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Archive Language Point 147

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Medical vocabulary

Helen and Alice in the living room

Areas in a hospital

the place in a hospital where people go when they first arrive
You have to report to reception first before a nurse will see you.

A and E
Short for Accident and Emergency. The part of a hospital where people who are hurt in accidents or suddenly become ill are taken for urgent treatment. Also known as the Emergency Room (ER) in American English or Casualty
All the victims were rushed to A and E after the explosion.

one part of a hospital where patients with a similar type of condition or illness are treated
Which ward is your mum in?

Different types of wards or units in a hospital:
the study and treatment of medical conditions of the heart

the study of the structure and diseases of the brain and all the nerves in the body

the study and treatment of tumours (diseased cells which can lead to cancer) in the body

the treatment of women's diseases, especially those of the reproductive organs

Medical equipment

a needle
a very thin piece of hollow metal used when taking blood or putting drugs into a patient
You have to use a clean needle for each injection.

a syringe
a hollow cylindrical piece of equipment (used with a needle) which is used for holding liquid which is taken out or put into someone
Have you got the syringes ready for the injections?

a thermometer
a device used for measuring someone's temperature (to find out if s/he has a fever or not)
Just pop this thermometer under your tongue for 30 seconds please.

Patient procedures and equipment

an operation
when a doctor (or surgeon) cuts a body for medical reasons to repair, remove or replace a diseased or damaged part
I had to have an operation to have my appendix removed.

a stitch
a length of special thread (or cotton) used to join the edges of a deep cut in your flesh
After my operation, I had to have 20 stitches.

a crutch is a stick with a piece that fits under the arm, which you lean on for support if you have difficulty in walking because of a foot or leg injury
He broke his leg and has to use crutches for the next 6 weeks.

a wheelchair
a chair with wheels that someone who can't walk uses. The person can push the chair him/herself by using her arms to move the wheels or can be pushed by someone else
It's important to make sure that the new building is accessible for people in wheelchairs.

a sling
a piece of material that is used to support your arm if you have broken or injured it
She didn't break her arm but injured it quite badly in the fall and now has her arm in a sling.


taking off one set of clothes and putting on a different set of clothes

to make up the numbers
to have enough people to do a particular activity (here, four people to play a game of tennis)

knackered (informal):

a quiet night in
an evening when you stay in your house, usually watching TV, rather than going out

extremely professional
very focused on your work

to bail out on me
to get out of something you had already planned to do with me


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