1. To remember the difference between
transudate and exudate, focus on
the prefixes …
• Trans- means “across,” as in the
• Ex- means “out of,” as in exhale.
2. To remember the difference between
aerobic and anaerobic, think of jogging …
• When you jog, an aerobic activity, your
body needs oxygen, or air— aerobic means
oxygen is required.
• Anaerobic means without oxygen.
3. To remember what allergies to ask your
patient about before a CT scan that
requires contrast medium, think of SIC …
Contrast media (prior sensitive reaction).
4. To remember the signs and symptoms
of a hypersensitivity reaction to contrast
media, think PURR …
5. To remember what to assess when
evaluating a skin lesion, think of A, B, C, D …
A for asymmetry
B for border
C for color and configuration
D for diameter and drainage.
6. To remember that cones are cells in
the eyes that respond to color, think of
brightly colored ice cream cones.
7. To remember which direction to move
the syringe when you want to slow down
the flow through the tube, think of …
• lower is slower, or …
• slow DOWN.
8. To remember the meaning of myasthenia
think of grave muscle weakness.
9. To remember the progression of ARDS,
think of …
Assault to the pulmonary system
Decreased lung compliance
Severe respiratory failure.
10. To remember the progression of
signs and symptoms of Lyme disease,
remember LIME …
Lesions, lymph node swelling, like the flu (Stage 1)
Innervation problems, such as meningitis and
peripheral neuropathy (Stage 2)
Movement problems, such as arthritis (Stage 3)
Everything else, such as myocarditis and
arrhythmia (Stage 3).
11. To remember the difference between
depolarization and repolarization, think of …
the R in repolarization as standing for Rest.
Repolarization is the resting phase of the
12. When performing an assessment, remember
this CAUTION from the American Cancer
Change in bowel or bladder habits
A sore that doesn’t heal
Unusual bleeding or discharge
Thickening or lump
Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
Obvious changes in a wart or mole
Nagging cough or hoarseness.
13. To remember the four causes of cell injury,
think of how the injury tipped (or TIPD)
the scale of homeostasis …
Toxin or other lethal (cytotoxic) substance
Physical insult or injury
Deficit or lack of water, oxygen, or nutrients.
14. When combining insulins, to remember
which to draw first, think of
“clear before cloudy.”
Who doesn’t prefer a clear day to a cloudy one?
15. Remember this jingle when
converting inches to centimeters …
“ 2.54, that’s 1 inch and no more.”
16. Remember that X factor is often used to
describe a person or event that could cause
uneXpected, or unknown, outcomes.
Keep this in mind when performing dosage
calculations and you’ll remember that X
represents the unknown part of a ratio or fraction.
17. To remember the conditions that affect
the length of patient stay, think of FOCUS …
Functional skills (and disabilities)
Urgency of needs
Support of systems.
18. To remind yourself of the need to
check and adjust flow rates, remember
the following tongue twister …
Fight fickle flow with frequent follow-up.
19. To remember which drugs can be given
safely through an endotracheal tube, think
20. To remember which drug should be
inhaled FIRST, think about your ABCs…
A Bronchodilator comes before a Corticosteroid.
21. When using an IN-LINE nebulizer,
connect it to the IN-SPIRATORY side
of the ventilatory circuit.
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