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drawing of a monitor   Module 2 – Unit 2:  Language Focus

Understanding Medical Terms & Abbreviations

Read the description of Mr. Yee’s medical situation below and complete the tasks that follow.

Case Study

Mr. Yee a 62 y/o man with a history of asthma and hypertension walked into the emergency room with c/o substernal chest pain (6 out of 10) which started two hours ago while he was eating breakfast. He says that after the chest pain began he started wheezing, so he used his Albuterol inhaler, which relieved his wheezing but not his chest pain. He says he a coughed up a small amount of white sputum at that time, but he also says that is not unusual for him. Mr. Yee denies chest pressure or tightness, but he is complaining of nausea and states that he has been burping since breakfast. Except for asthma and hypertension, Mr. Yee denies any other medical history. He takes HCTZ 25 mg BID for his blood pressure and uses an Albuterol inhaler PRN for his asthma. He is allergic to sulfa.

  1. Can you explain the meaning of each word or term in the list below? Use the case study about Mr. Yee to help you. If you can’t explain the meaning, use a dictionary.
    • asthma
      sputum
      hypertension
      substernal
      chest tightness
      wheezing
      nausea
      inhaler
      burping
      coughed up
      allergic
  2. Match the abbreviations in the reading with their meanings by drawing a line.
  3. y/o

    c/o

    HCTZ

    mg.

    BID

    PRN

    twice a day

    milligrams

    as needed, if needed

    year old

    hydrochlorothiazide

    complaint of

  4. Write four questions that a health professional might ask Mr. Yee to elicit the information in the description above.
    • ________________________________________________________________

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