When I was a student (and new nurse) I remember hearing medical terms all the time that would make me think, “I should probably know what that means, but I’m too embarrassed to ask.” And I hated how that made me feel… lost, incompetent, out of the loop, and unsure of myself.

You can imagine what feeling this way did to my confidence level. Yep…pretty low sometimes.

In this episode I’m diving into some common medical terms that students (and even experienced nurses) often feel a little unsure about…terms like:

  • Sensitivity vs specificity
  • Hypoxia vs hypoxemia
  • Crystalloid vs colloid
  • And let’s not forget medical slang like “the gap,” “rainbows,” and “Christmas trees”

After listening to this episode, you’ll be absolutely fascinating at your next cocktail party and probably feel a lot more confident at the bedside, too!

Prep for nursing school with Crucial Concepts Bootcamp: Whether you’re starting nursing school or heading in to your second semester, CCB teaches you the strategies and foundation concepts you need to succeed.

Kali Dayton Interview: Learn about ICU delirium and the dangers of oversedation in this compelling interview.

Purewick:  This is an external catheter that’s gaining quickly in popularity (you know, if there were a popularity contest amongst urine collection devices).

Oxygenation: Explore this foundation concept (especially if the concept of hypoxemia vs hypoxia is new to you!).

Atelectasis: Learn more about this respiratory condition (spoiler alert…it’s so much more than “crackles!”)

Drill these terms in by referring back to them in the article here.

If this episode helped you, please take a moment to rate and review the show! This helps others find the podcast, which helps me help even more people 🙂

Click here, scroll to the bottom, then simply tap to rate with 5 stars and select, “write a review.” I’d love to hear how the podcast has helped you!

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Thanks for studying with me!

Nurse Mo


The information, including but not limited to, audio, video, text, and graphics contained on this website are for educational purposes only. No content on this website is intended to guide nursing practice and does not supersede any individual healthcare provider’s scope of practice or any nursing school curriculum. Additionally, no content on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.