I Glossary

Affect: Outward display of one’s emotional state. A “flat” affect with little display of emotion is associated with depression.

AIDET: Mnemonic for introducing oneself in health care that includes Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank You.[1]

Auscultation: Listening to sounds, such as heart, lung, and bowel sounds, created by organs using a stethoscope.

BMI: A standardized reference range to gauge a patient’s weight status.

Cultural safety: The creation of safe spaces for patients to interact with health professionals without judgment, racial reductionism, racialization, or discrimination.

Developmental stages: A person’s life span can be classified into nine categories of development, including Prenatal Development, Infancy and Toddlerhood, Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, Adolescence, Early Adulthood, Middle Adulthood, Late Adulthood, and Death and Dying.

Family dynamics: Patterns of interactions between family members that influence family structure, hierarchy, roles, values, and behaviors.

General survey assessment: A component of a patient assessment that observes the entire patient as a whole. Observation includes using all five senses to gather cues that provide a guideline for additional focused assessments in areas of concern.

Inspection: The observation of a patient’s anatomical structures.

Medical asepsis: Measures to prevent the spread of infection in health care agencies.

Objective data: Information observed through your sense of hearing, sight, smell, and touch while assessing the patient.

Older adults: People over the age of 65.

Percussion: An advanced physical examination technique where body parts are tapped with fingers to determine their size and if fluid is present.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Includes gloves, gowns, goggles, face shields, and masks, along with environmental controls, to prevent the transmission of infection for patients who are diagnosed or suspected of having an infectious disease.

Physical examination: A systematic data collection method of the body that uses the techniques of inspection, auscultation, palpation, and percussion.

Primary data: Information provided directly by the patient.

Primary survey: A brief observation at the start of a shift or visit to verify the patient is stable by assessing mental status, airway, breathing, and circulation.

Secondary data: Information collected from a family member, chart, or other sources.

Subjective data: Information obtained from the patient and/or family members that offers important cues from their perspectives.

  1. Huron. (n.d.). AIDET patient communication. https://www.studergroup.com/aidet


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Nursing Skills - 2e Copyright © 2023 by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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