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NorQuest Health Dictionary

A research guide focused on medical terminology


A substance found in some foods and drinks that stimulates the body and promotes the loss of body water. Caffeine can be found in tea, coffee, and some medications. BCND 1000 Unit D7


To become hardened by a buildup of calcium in the structure. Calcification of cartilage in the ribs reduces the ability of lungs to expand. FOCC 1000 Unit C3


Marked with standard scale of measurement readings. Insulin syringes are calibrated in units because insulin dosages are ordered in units. SCAE 1000 Unit E6

Calibrated teaspoon

A teaspoon is part of the Imperial System of Measures. A calibrated teaspoon is measured to ensure it is exactly one measured teaspoon. One teaspoon is considered to be equal to 5 ml. When measuring liquid medications, you must use a calibrated teaspoon because kitchen teaspoons vary in size. SCAE 1000 Unit E6


A unit of measure used to determine the amount of energy a food supplies to the body. A certain number of calories need to be eaten each day to meet the energy needs of the body. BCND 1000 Unit D7

Canada Health Act

Federal government legislation that requires each province and territory to ensure its residents have access to health care based on universality, accessibility, comprehensiveness, portability, and public administration. The Canada Health Act ensures that all Canadians have access to health-care services. RRHB 1000 Unit B1

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

This is part of the Canadian Constitution and guarantees the rights and freedoms of all Canadians, including clients in care. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives all Canadians the right to equal protection without discrimination. PCCA 1000 Unit A4


A disease in which the body cannot control abnormal body cells which grow and spread quickly. Cancer invades normal tissue and travels to new sites in the body where it continues to grow. FOCC 1000 Unit C4


Containing cancer cells. Tumours can be cancerous or non-cancerous. FOCC 1000 Unit C4


A mobility aid that assists a client to walk if he has decreased balance or leg strength. A cane can have from one to four tips at the base. As the number of tips increases so does the degree of support and stability. BCND 1000 Unit D2


Medication enclosed in a cylinder-shaped outer container. A capsule is an oral medication. SCAE 1000 Unit E6


Provide energy to the body in the form of sugars and starches. The body can easily break down carbohydrates into an energy source that can be used immediately or stored for later use. SCSF 1000 Unit F5

Carbon dioxide

A gas that is produced by the cells and is considered a waste product of cell activity. Carbon dioxide is removed from the body by the circulatory system. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Cardiac muscle

Muscle tissue that is found only in the heart and is under involuntary control. Cardiac muscle tissue must be very strong because the heart must continue to beat regularly. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Cardiovascular conditions

A group of conditions affecting the heart and blood vessel system. Cardiovascular conditions include angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart failure. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Care plan

A guide developed by the health-care team that describes the care needs of the client and what types of assistance the client requires. A care plan has three major parts: identifying information; care goals and expected outcomes; and basic needs of the client. BCND 1000 Unit D1

Care plan or Support plan

Provides information to healthcare members about the client's needs, goals the client is trying to reach, and care strategies to assist the client in reaching the goals. The care plan is updated regularly with input from everyone involved in the client's care, including the client. PCCA 1000 Unit A1


A form of connective tissue found in different areas of the body. Cartilage helps to protect bones within a joint. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Case manager

The person responsible for organizing and leading community support team activities. The case manager is usually the supervisor to whom an HCA would report when working in the community setting. RRHB 1000 Unit B3

Casual employment

No set rotation of shifts; the employee is called to the workplace as needed. Casual or 'on call' workers may feel stress because the work schedule is irregular and unreliable. RRHB 1000 Unit B4


A clouding of the lens of the eye preventing light from passing through, thereby impairing vision. Cataracts can result in total blindness in the affected eye. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Catastrophic reactions

An uncontrollable and often unpredictable overreaction to a stimulus. The HCA should act to reduce a client's feelings of anxiety during a catastrophic reaction. SCSF 1000 Unit F2


A group of similar items or a classification of items. The tasks assigned to an HCA can be grouped into a category of personal-care activities. RRHB 1000 Unit B1

A system of arranging similar items into one or more groups. There are many different categories of medications, such as oral, installations, topical, rectal, inhalers, and nebulizers. SCAE 1000 Unit E6


A tube that is inserted into the body. A urinary catheter is used to drain urine from the body. The urine is collected in a drainage container. SCAE 1000 Unit E1


To stop. Death occurs when breathing and pulse cease. SCSF 1000 Unit F3

Celiac disease

A condition caused by the inability to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac disease cannot be cured; the only treatment is to avoid foods and fluids containing gluten. SCSF 1000 Unit F5


The basic element of the body from which all tissues, organs, and body systems are formed. Cells all have the same basic parts, but may have a different purpose or life span. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Centimetre (cm)/centimetre

A measurement of length in the metric system. 2.54 centimetres (cm) is equal to one inch. To change centimetres (cm) into inches (in.), divide the centimetres by 2.54. To change inches (in.) into centimetres (cm), multiply the inches by 2.54. BCND 1000 Unit D1

Central nervous system

The brain and spinal cord. The central nervous system is one part of the nervous system. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Centre of gravity

The part of an object from which its weight is spread evenly. When you carry a box of books, your centre of gravity will shift slightly towards that box. PCCA 1000 Unit A2


Part of the brain that coordinates movement and is largely responsible for balance. The cerebellum is found near the base of the brain, behind the brain stem. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Cerebral palsy (CP)

A group of disorders caused by an injury to the brain or abnormal development before birth. Symptoms include muscle rigidity, muscle spasticity, and speech problems. Cerebral palsy does not progress over time, so symptoms will not become worse. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Cerebral vascular accident (CVA)/Stroke

A disruption of blood flow to part of the brain that can cause cell death to the affected area. CVA may be the result of a blood clot in a blood vessel of the brain or bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Cerebrospinal fluid/CSF

A clear fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid acts like a cushion to protect the brain from injury. FOCC 1000 Unit C2


A powdery substance. When administering medications, check that pills are not split, chalky, wet or discoloured before preparing them for the client. SCAE 1000 Unit E6


The type, quality, and traits of something. A client may describe the characteristics of pain as sharp and severe, dull and constant, occasional and mild, or steady and burning. BCND 1000 Unit D1 Charting/Recording/Documenting The process of recording, on a legal form, information about a client and the care given to the client. Any information recorded in the chart needs to be reported to the supervisor as well. BCND 1000 Unit D1

Checklist/Flow charting

Documentation that provides a prewritten list of activities and client data. It has small boxes that need to be checked off daily to confirm care or to alert the reader of a change. Checklist documentation reduces the time an HCA needs to chart care given, and ensures documentation is done daily for specific activities and observations. BCND 1000 Unit D1

Chemical restraint

A medication used to restrict or control a person's actions or behaviours. It is not acceptable to use a chemical restraint on a client for the benefit of the caregiver. RRHB 1000 Unit B2


The use of chemicals and drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy has unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Cheyne-Stokes respirations

A distinct pattern of breathing noted when a client is at the end stage of a terminal illness. Cheyne-Stokes respirations have a decreased rate and depth of breathing with periods of apnea. SCAE 1000 Unit E3


A person who specializes in foot care. A podiatrist or chiropodist should treat people with foot problems. BCND 1000 Unit D5


Inflammation of the gallbladder. Cholycystitis often occurs at the same time as gallstones and can be chronic or acute. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Chronic bronchitis

Inflammation of the airways and excessive mucus production that lasts a long time or occurs frequently. Mucus blocks the airways resulting in coughing up sputum and/or blood, and shortness of breath. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Chronic illness/chronic disease

A condition that lasts a long time, as in a disease or illness that is stable and lasts a long time. Some clients with chronic medical conditions may require lifelong assistance from the health-care system. RRHB 1000 Unit B1


Arranged in the order that events happened in relation to time. When documenting client care it is important to chart chronologically. BCND 1000 Unit D1


A mixing or stirring movement. Food is churned with digestive juices in the stomach. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Circulatory system

The heart, blood vessels, and blood in the body, as well as the lymph and lymph vessels. One function of the circulatory system is to carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells and to remove wastes and carbon dioxide from the cells. FOCC 1000 Unit C2


Removal of the foreskin covering the head of the penis in males or the skin covering the clitoris in females. Some cultures believe all infant boys should be circumcised. BCND 1000 Unit D3


A surgical procedure to remove the foreskin covering the head of the penis. If the HCA is assisting with the care of an infant with a circumcision there may be special instructions on bathing and care of the penis. SCSF 1000 unit F4


A condition of the liver caused by a chronic disease which damages the liver so it cannot function normally. Common causes of cirrhosis are continual alcohol abuse and hepatitis C. FOCC 1000 Unit C4


Sweaty, damp or moist to the touch. Cool and clammy skin is abnormal. FOCC 1000 Unit C2


A device used to hold something in place or pinch something together. A clamp found at the bottom of a urinary drainage bag prevents urine from leaking out when it is in the closed position, but can be opened to drain the bag when it becomes full. SCAE 1000 Unit E1


To close with a clamp or to squeeze something closed, such as tubing. When a urinary drainage bag must be higher than the bladder, ensure the bag is emptied and the tubing is clamped before you begin. SCAE 1000 Unit E1


To make clear. To make sure you understand what the other person is saying and/or to make sure the other person understands what you are saying. Example: I don't understand what you are saying. Could you repeat the question? RRHB 1000 Unit B3


To make clear and understandable. If you do not understand or are unsure of directions for giving a medication you must report to the supervisor for clarification before delivering the medication. SCAE 1000 Unit E6


Allows you to check whether you understand the message being sent and lets the sender try and make the message clearer. Example: I don't understand what you are saying, could you repeat the question. PCCA 1000 Unit A1


Uncontaminated and free from harmful microorganisms. When providing care, use new gloves as they are considered to be clean. PCCA 1000 Unit A2

Cleansing swab/Toothette

A device used for cleaning the mouth. It has a sponge on one end that can be moistened and used to wipe the mouth, cheeks, tongue, and teeth. When using a cleansing swab, use gentle strokes so you do not accidentally injure the lining of the mouth. BCND 1000 Unit D5

Clean technique

Practices followed to remove or destroy harmful microorganisms and to prevent their spread. Handwashing is an important part of clean technique that the HCA performs to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Clean technique (medical asepsis)

A set of practices that destroy and prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms; refers to clean rather than sterile. The general rule for maintaining clean technique is to work from clean to less clean. Clean technique is used when doing a simple dressing change. PCCA 1000 Unit A2

Cleft lip

A physical defect, formed during fetal development, to the upper lip causing an opening where there should not be one. An infant born with a cleft lip may have surgery to correct the abnormality and lead a normal life. SCSF 1000 unit F4

Cleft palate

A physical defect, formed during fetal development, to the upper palate or roof of the mouth. A cleft palate can cause feeding difficulties for the infant because there is a hole in the roof of the mouth, but it can be surgically repaired. SCSF 1000 unit F4


Religious and spiritual leaders who provide guidance and counselling. Clergy are an important part of many clients' support teams. RRHB 1000 Unit B3


A person who receives community support services and lives in the community setting. People who attend day programs, but continue to live in the community, are referred to as clients. RRHB 1000 Unit B1

Clinical syndrome

Refers to a condition that must be diagnosed and treated by a health-care professional. Depression can be a clinical syndrome that results in extreme feelings of sadness and an inability to cope with everyday life. SCSF 1000 Unit F1

Clintron mattress

This type of mattress contains beads that move under an airflow to support the client. The Clintron bed mattress helps reduce the risk of shearing force and friction. PCCA 1000 Unit A3


Clogging occurs when the free flow of fluid is stopped due to a solid piece of substance blocking the flow. The nurse is responsible for preventing the feeding tube from becoming clogged by flushing it with water. SCAE 1000 Unit E5

Closed-ended questions or Direct questions

These types of questions usually have a 'yes' or 'no' answer; or the answer is limited to specific information. Asking a client if they slept well last night is an example of a closed-ended question. PCCA 1000 Unit A1

Closed pouch or Non-drainable pouch

The ostomy pouch is not drainable and must be changed each time it is one-third full. A closed pouch is less likely to leak than a drainable pouch because it is fully sealed. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Closed system

A system that has no openings in it, so nothing can get into or out of it. The indwelling catheter drainage system is a closed system because it collects urine from the bladder and contains it within the drainage bag, with no openings in between. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Club foot

A physical defect in an infant that causes one or both feet to be twisted inward and downward. Club foot can usually be treated using corrective splints but in a few cases surgery is required to correct the problem. SCSF 1000 unit F4


A variety of objects that are not arranged or organized in any way, spread throughout a space. Home management includes doing household tasks such as sorting and organizing clutter. SCSF 1000 Unit F5


Tailbone, found at the bottom of the spinal column. The coccyx is one pressure area of the body that needs to be observed for skin breakdown. BCND 1000 Unit D1

The end of the spine, also called the tailbone. The coccyx is a bony prominence that is prone to skin breakdown. PCCA 1000 Unit A3


A structure in the inner ear that contains nerve cells necessary for hearing. The nerve cells in the cochlea turn a physical vibration into an electrical impulse. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Code of Conduct

A guide to practice that outlines how a health-care aide should act in the care setting. It is important to know the Code of Conduct in the facility or agency in which you work. RRHB 1000 Unit B2

Code of ethics

Rules and standards of conduct that members of a group are expected to follow. Agencies will have established their own code of ethics for client care. HCAs must respect and follow this code when they give care. PCCA 1000 Unit A4


To use force to control another person. An example of abuse is the coercing of a client into doing something the client does not want to do. PCCA 1000 Unit A4


Activities and functions of the brain including such things as thinking, memory, using language, and coordinating movements. Injury to the brain may change or reduce cognition in the affected area. SCSF 1000 Unit F2


Refers to the ability of the brain to function, think, understand, and learn. As Huntington's disease progresses, it affects a person's cognitive abilities. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Cognitive impairment

See Dementia. SCSF 1000 Unit F1

A condition of the brain that disrupts the way the brain functions in thinking, remembering, using language, and coordinating movements. Cognitive impairment is also known as dementia. SCSF 1000 Unit F2

Cognitive processes

Activities of the brain that allow us to function, think, process information, and reason. Six cognitive processes include interpreting, organizing, judging, reasoning, perceiving, and recognizing. SCSF 1000 Unit F2

Collective agreement

Contracts that the employees and employer agree to follow that cover conditions of work, hours of work, pay scales, vacation time, statutory holidays, seniority, and benefits. Collective agreements are made between the employer and the union leader representing the employees. RRHB 1000 Unit B2


A stoma that is formed when a part of the large intestine is brought to the surface of the abdomen. A colostomy allows feces to be expelled from the bowel when a health condition makes it necessary to bypass all or part of the colon. SCAE 1000 Unit E1


A sleep-like condition in which the client is unconscious and cannot be awakened. Clients who are in a coma usually do not chew or swallow and need to have their nutritional needs met using Enteral nutrition. SCAE 1000 Unit E5


Showing signs of wanting to fight; aggressive behaviour. It is best to leave a client alone when he is becoming combative and let him calm down before attempting to give care. BCND 1000 Unit D1


To burst into flames or burn. Oxygen supports combustion and should not be in the same area as something that could cause a fire or spark, such as a cigarette. SCAE 1000 Unit E2


A portable chair with wheels that has an open seat; it is used to assist clients with elimination. A commode can be placed at the bedside or wheeled into the bathroom and positioned over the toilet. PCCA 1000 Unit A2


The process of individuals sharing or exchanging information. When we communicate, our goal is to have another person understand what we are trying to express. Without communication it would be difficult to resolve a disagreement. PCCA 1000 Unit A1

Communication Process

An active two-way process involving communicating both content and feeling of a message. This process includes a sender, a receiver, a message and a feedback loop. It is important that health care aides understand the communication process. PCCA 1000 Unit A1

Community-based care

Settings that require the HCA to come to the client's place of residence and assist the client in meeting his personal-care needs. Examples of community-based care are private homes, group homes, and supportive housing arrangements. RRHB 1000 Unit B1

Compassionate care

An awareness of the suffering of another person and the desire to help relieve this suffering by providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support. The role of the HCA in palliative care is to provide compassionate care to dying clients. SCSF 1000 Unit F3


Able to work well with each other. For a transfer, compatibility means being similar in weight and height so the body proportions are comparable. A very tall man and a very short HCA may have difficulty with a transfer because their heights are not compatible. BCND 1000 Unit D2


Actions or aids used to make up for something that is missing or not functioning normally. If a client has difficulty seeing, you can compensate by describing the surroundings so he knows where items are located. FOCC 1000 Unit C5


Having the required knowledge, training, and skills to perform a task safely. Before you accept an assigned task, ensure that you are trained and competent in doing it. RRHB 1000 Unit B1


Having the required knowledge, training, and skills to perform a task safely. Before you accept the responsibility of an assigned task, you must be competent at performing that task. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Complete bed bath

Includes washing all parts of the body, including hair if necessary. A complete bed bath is done when clients are not able to have a tub bath or shower. BCND 1000 Unit D4


A problem added onto an already existing problem. Skin breakdown is a common complication of incontinence. PCCA 1000 Unit A3


The parts that makes up something. Non-verbal components of communication include body language, tone of voice, rate and rhythm of speech, and the volume and pitch. PCCA 1000 Unit A1


All medical services that are necessary must be provided for under the provincial or territorial insurance plan. Comprehensiveness is one of the five criteria outlined in the Canada Health Act. RRHB 1000 Unit B1


The removal of some of the water content of a substance, so the fluid that is left is more condensed. Tube feeding formulas are very concentrated, so the client may meet additional water per tube feed to prevent dehydration. SCAE 1000 Unit E5


General ideas about something. It is important to learn the concepts of health and wellness. RRHB 1000 Unit B1


Accurate and to the point; without using extra words. Documentation needs to be concise and legible. BCND 1000 Unit D1


To show sympathy for another person who has suffered a loss. After the funeral for an Ismaili Muslim, the women will stay and offer condolences to the women of the deceased's family, while the men accompany the body to the cemetery. SCSF 1000 Unit F3

Condom drainage or condom catheter

A urinary appliance that is placed over the penis to collect urine from a man with urinary incontinence. Condom drainage will help keep an incontinent client dry and reduce the risk of infection. SCAE 1000 Unit E1


How someone behaves or acts. HCAs should always conduct themselves in a professional manner. RRHB 1000 Unit B2


Personal information about an individual that must be kept private. One way to practise confidentiality is to never discuss a client's personal information in a public area. BCND 1000 Unit D1


Keeping personal information about an individual private. One way to practise confidentiality is to never discuss a client's personal information in a public area. PCCA 1000 Unit A4


The arrangement of items in an area, such as the arrangement of furniture in a bedroom. The configuration of the bathroom's toilet, tub, sink, and assistive devices will affect how a caregiver assists with a transfer in that room. BCND 1000 Unit D2


A disagreement or problem between two parties. A conflict can occur between team members, clients, family members, or visitors. RRHB 1000 Unit B3

Conflict resolution

Resolving a conflict using a respectful, assertive approach to work toward a solution that meets the needs of both parties. Conflict resolution is the best way to promote workplace harmony. RRHB 1000 Unit B3


A condition of not being oriented to self, place, or time; a state of being disoriented or confused. Confusion may be resolved once the condition that caused the confusion is treated. SCSF 1000 Unit F2

Congenital deformities

An abnormal shape or structure of part of the body that is present at birth. Causes of incontinence include congenital deformities. BCND 1000 Unit D3

Congenital hip dysplasia

A condition in which the hip joint of an infant is dislocated partially or fully during development. Congenital hip dysplasia can be corrected using special splints, casts, or surgery. SCSF 1000 unit F4


A condition that occurs when mucus in the lungs and airways builds up. Congestion is usually caused by a cold or allergies. SCAE 1000 Unit E6

Congestive heart failure (CHF)

The heart is weakened and enlarged so it can no longer effectively pump blood through the body. CHF causes shortness of breath, fluid in the lungs, difficulty breathing, edema of the feet and legs, and fatigue. FOCC 1000 Unit C4


In agreement. Word to describe when spoken words match body language and voice used. Jane's smile and statement "I feel happy today" are congruent messages. PCCA 1000 Unit A1

Connective tissue

Tissue that forms certain body parts, or that connects other tissues and parts of the body. Bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage are all formed from connective tissue. FOCC 1000 Unit C2


Your ethical and moral feelings, such as a sense of knowing right from wrong. Every Canadian has the right to freedom of conscience and religion. PCCA 1000 Unit A4


The thickness and feel or texture of a substance. When collecting a specimen it is important to observe for colour, amount, consistency, and odour of the sample. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Consistent or consistency

Following the same principles and applying these principles every time. If you are consistent when caring for a client, they will learn to trust you. PCCA 1000 Unit A4


Infrequent bowel movements during which hard stools are passed. A constipated client may experience pain while trying to pass stool. FOCC 1000 Unit C4


A narrowing. Pupils should constrict when exposed to bright light. FOCC 1000 Unit C2


To take into the body, such as food and fluids. Clients with kidney disease may be allowed to consume only a limited amount of fluid each day. BCND 1000 Unit D1


To take in or to eat. Consumption of caffeine should be avoided for at least two hours before taking a blood pressure reading. SCAE 1000 Unit E3

Contact transmission

Transmission of microorganisms by direct contact with a client (skin to skin) or indirect contact by means of environmental surfaces (skin to object to skin). Microorganisms on a client's hands can be transmitted directly to you when you touch her hands. PCCA 1000 Unit A2


Description of disease-causing microorganisms that are transmitted easily from one person to another. The common cold is easily transmitted from person to person, so it is considered a contagious disease. PCCA 1000 Unit A2


To allow microorganisms to come in contact with a surface that is free of microorganisms. When collecting a specimen, take care to avoid contaminating the specimen or specimen container. SCAE 1000 Unit E2

Continuing care

Refers to personal support services being provided in a facility-based or community-based setting. Continuing care is a program funded under the Canada Health Act. RRHB 1000 Unit B1

Continuous tube feeding

A tube feeding that continues 24 hours a day. If a client is receiving a continuous tube feeding, the head of the bed must always remain elevated. SCAE 1000 Unit E5


A fixed and bent position of a joint preventing normal movement and causing permanent deformity. Immobility can cause contractures of the affected joints. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Deformity of a joint, usually caused by a permanent tightening of the joint and shrinking of muscle. Lack of movement can result in a joint becoming fixed in a deformed position, known as a contracture. PCCA 1000 Unit A3

Controlled-dosage system

A systematic method of controlling the distribution of pre-packaged medication to ensure the correct dose of a medication is taken. The dossette and pre-packaged blister pack are two examples of the controlled-dosage system. SCAE 1000 Unit E6


A bruise caused by broken or damaged blood vessels. A contusion in the brain can result in a cerebral vascular accident. FOCC 1000 Unit C4


A device or a practice that makes work easier or that reduces the workload. A restraint should never be used for the convenience of the caregiver. RRHB 1000 Unit B2


Curved outward. Healthy nails should be pink in colour, convex, and have a smooth appearance. BCND 1000 Unit D5


To express or pass on. There are ways to convey a message that may make the message more acceptable to the customers. SCSF 1000 Unit F6


Working together. When team members work co-operatively, the stress level at work is reduced. RRHB 1000 Unit B3


Large amount. A person with untreated diabetes may drink copious amounts of fluids. BCND 1000 Unit D1


A hard, thick area of skin on the foot caused by a pressure area, such as pressure from a shoe. Corns can cause difficulty walking and should be treated by a podiatrist. BCND 1000 Unit D5


Clear, protective covering located over the front of the eye. The cornea protects the front of the eye and allows light to pass through the pupil and lens. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Coronary artery disease (CAD)

The gradual hardening and narrowing of heart arteries due to plaque build-up and loss of artery elasticity. CAD reduces the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. FOCC 1000 Unit C4


Being considerate of other people's feelings. It is courteous to knock on a client's door before entering. PCCA 1000 Unit A1


The process of burning a body after death until only ashes remain. The Hindu culture believes that cremation helps the departing soul find a new body. SCSF 1000 Unit F3

Crohn's disease

A chronic condition of the gastrointestinal tract that causes inflammation of the bowels. People with Crohn's disease suffer with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. SCAE 1000 Unit E1


The spread of microorganisms from one surface or item to another. When preparing meals, do not cross-contaminate by putting cooked meat on the same plate that raw meat was on; this could lead to the spread of harmful microorganisms from the plate to the cooked meat. SCSF 1000 Unit F5


The spread of microorganisms from one person to another. Working with different clients without washing your hands between care practices may result in cross-contamination. PCCA 1000 Unit A2


A mobility aid that provides balance and stability by taking all or some of the weight off one leg, or some weight off both legs. Crutches must be fitted properly, so the top of the crutch is 3-4 cm below the axilla (armpit). BCND 1000 Unit D2


An acronym used for observing circulatory function in the lower legs and feet. C stands for colour of the skin, T stands for temperature of the skin, E stands for observing for edema, M stands for movement of the feet and toes, P stands for pedal pulses on both feet, and S stands for sensation to feet and legs. If any changes are seen when using CTEMPS to observe the lower legs and feet report these to the supervisor. BCND 1000 Unit D6

Cubic centimetre (cc)

A metric measurement of volume. One cubic centimetre (cc) is equal to one millilitre (ml). SCAE 1000 Unit E6


A sign or signal that indicates what happens next. A cue can be a word or action that signals to the HCA what assistance the client wants. FOCC 1000 Unit C4


The part of the blood pressure machine that is placed around the client's upper arm. The cuff is inflated and then slowly deflated, allowing a blood pressure reading to be obtained. SCAE 1000 Unit E3


The patterns of behaviors that are shared among members of a group. Culture includes many things, including language, religion, life experiences, beliefs, and race. Making eye contact during conversation is a sign of disrespect in some cultures. PCCA 1000 Unit A1

Learned behaviours shared by a large group of people. Caregivers must be sensitive and accept the cultural beliefs and differences of each client. PCCA 1000 Unit A4


A bluish discoloration of the skin or lips due to lack of oxygen in the body. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

A lack of oxygen in the blood causing the skin to turn a bluish colour. Cyanosis can be seen around the mouth and indicates a low oxygen level in the blood. PCCA 1000 Unit A3

Cystitis/Urinary tract infection (UTI)

A bladder infection caused by bacteria entering the bladder from the urethra. Symptoms of UTI include urgent need to pass urine, burning feeling when voiding, blood in the urine, and lower abdominal pain. FOCC 1000 Unit C4