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NorQuest Health Dictionary

A research guide focused on medical terminology

Ulcerative colitis

A condition in which the lining of the intestine is inflamed with open sores, resulting in diarrhea, cramps, weight loss, and bleeding. Surgery is currently the only known cure for ulcerative colitis. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Umbilical cord

Blood vessels that carry blood, oxygen, and nutrients from the mother to the fetus and that carry waste products away from the fetus. Shortly after birth the doctor will clamp and cut the umbilical cord. SCSF 1000 unit F4

Umbilical cord stump

A small piece of umbilical cord that remains attached to the newborn after the doctor has cut the umbilical cord. The umbilical stump will dry up and fall off within seven to ten days after birth. The umbilical stump must be kept clean and dry to prevent infection until it dries up and falls off. SCSF 1000 unit F4


Behaviour that is not reserved; not acting in a conservative, mature manner. HCAs need to avoid acting in an undignified manner when in the workplace. RRHB 1000 Unit B2

Unexpected events

Events that are unplanned and do not happen to everyone. Unexpected events include the early death of a child or spouse, or a severe illness. FOCC 1000 Unit C3


An organization of workers who have joined together to meet common needs such as safe working conditions and fair employee treatment. Unions consist of leaders who represent the workers, union officials who support and assist the workers, and union members (workers). RRHB 1000 Unit B2


One of a kind; not like any other. Each client is unique because of the life experiences she has lived through. PCCA 1000 Unit A4

Unit pricing

The cost of an item based on a unit of measure, such as grams, kilograms, or millilitres. When shopping, compare the unit pricing for different sizes of the same item; the larger size may have a lower unit price than the smaller size. SCSF 1000 Unit F5


All Canadian residents are entitled to health insurance coverage by their province or territory. Universality is one of the five criteria outlined in the Canada Health Act. RRHB 1000 Unit B1


Unpleasant tasting. Mixing different foods together can sometimes make the meal unpalatable. BCND 1000 Unit D7


Hollow tubes that urine travels through from the kidneys to the bladder. Each ureter is connected to a kidney and drains separately into the bladder. FOCC 1000 Unit C2


This is a procedure in which the ureters are brought to the skin surface of the abdomen. The ureterostomy will drain urine continually so the urinary appliance needs to have a leak-proof seal. SCAE 1000 Unit E1


A hollow tube that allows urine to drain out of the body from the bladder. Two muscles at the base of the bladder control the flow of urine into the urethra. FOCC 1000 Unit C2


A container used for a male to void into. A urinal can be used while the man is lying, sitting, or standing. BCND 1000 Unit D3

Urinary blockage

Occurs when the urethra is blocked by a stone, growth or spasm, preventing urine from emptying out of the bladder. Urinary blockage can lead to kidney damage or kidney failure. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Urinary catheter

A tube inserted into the bladder to drain urine. A urinary catheter may increase the risk of infection if it is indwelling. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Urinary drainage bag

A bag found at the end of a urinary drainage system that is used to collect urine from the bladder. The urinary drainage bag has a clamp at the bottom that can be opened to allow the bag to be emptied. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Urinary drainage system

Equipment and procedures used to collect urine from the bladder. The urinary drainage system keeps an incontinent client dry, allows the urine to flow freely, and allows for accurate monitoring of urine output. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Urinary incontinence

A condition in which passing of urine can no longer be controlled and urine leaks out of the bladder. Causes of urinary incontinence include aging, stroke, brain damage, or damage to nerves involved with urination. FOCC 1000 Unit C4

Urinary meatus

The opening from the urethra to the outside of the body. The urinary meatus is located at the tip of the penis in men and in front of the vagina in women. BCND 1000 Unit D3

Urinary system

Specific organs which all work together to clean the blood, regulate the amount of water, and remove urine in the body. The kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra are the organs that make up the urinary system. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Urine specimen

A sample of urine that is sent to a laboratory for testing. Urine specimens may be collected using three different methods: midstream, routine, or 24-hour collection. SCAE 1000 Unit E1


A tool used for eating food, so the fingers and hands do not touch the food. Examples of utensils are forks, knives, and spoons. BCND 1000 Unit D7


A blood-rich, expandable female reproductive organ that provides an ideal environment for a fertilized egg to develop. The uterus is connected to the outside of the body by the vagina. FOCC 1000 Unit C2