Skip to main content

NorQuest Health Dictionary

A research guide focused on medical terminology

Wafer/Ostomy wafer/Flange

The part of the ostomy appliance that is secured to the skin around the stoma and forms a protective barrier on the skin. The wafer can stay in place around the stoma for long periods of time. SCAE 1000 Unit E1

Wake

A ceremony followed by some cultures after a death. The Plains Indians hold a wake service at night with the body of the deceased present and the family in attendance. SCSF 1000 Unit F3

Walker

A mobility aid used to support a client with decreased balance or strength. It is placed in front of the client and has four legs with padded handgrips on either side. Walkers are the most stable form of ambulatory aid and work well for clients requiring a high level of support with balance. BCND 1000 Unit D2

Wall oxygen

A supply of oxygen that is located in one area and is piped through the walls into each room. The wall oxygen is attached to tubing using a wall outlet, which allows the caregiver to control the flow of oxygen. SCAE 1000 Unit E2

Wandering

To continually walk or move about without any clear reason or goal. The caregiver may not understand why a client is wandering, but she needs to understand the action has meaning for the client. SCSF 1000 Unit F2

Warp

Change shape. Dentures can warp if they are not stored in cool, clean water. BCND 1000 Unit D5

Wellness

Having good physical and mental health. There are six dimensions of wellness that affect health: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and environmental. RRHB 1000 Unit B1

Wellness or Six dimensions of wellness

Wellness is having good physical and mental health. There are six dimensions (areas) of wellness that affect health: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and environmental. RRHB 1000 Unit B4

Wernicke's aphasia

The affected person can still produce speech, but the words are not organized into a meaningful sentence and some words are not real. Understanding spoken and written language is mainly affected. Wernicke's aphasia is also known as fluent aphasia because the affected person can still speak without effort. FOCC 1000 Unit C5

Wet-dry vacuum

A vacuum that is designed to pick both dry and wet material off a floor without damaging the vacuum. If liquid is vacuumed up using a regular vacuum you can damage or destroy the vacuum. SCSF 1000 Unit F5

Wheeze/wheezing

A high-pitched whistling sound heard during respirations, caused by air trying to pass through narrowed airways in the lungs. Wheezing is often heard during respirations when a person is having an asthma attack. SCAE 1000 Unit E3

WHMIS

Workplace Hazardous Material Information System; an information system in which individuals are taught how to handle dangerous and hazardous products safely in the workplace. The WHMIS course is part of any orientation to an agency or facility. PCCA 1000 Unit A2

Windpipe

See Trachea. FOCC 1000 Unit C2

Wisdom

Knowledge gained from learning and life experience. Elderly people who have a positive attitude want to share their wisdom with young people. FOCC 1000 Unit C3

Wring

To twist. Never wring out elastic stockings as this can damage the special stretch fabric from which they are made. BCND 1000 Unit D6

Written reports

Information documented in a client's chart; a legal document that must be accurate and legible for others to read and understand. Written reports are used to communicate to others what the care team did or did not do for the client. PCCA 1000 Unit A1