Nursing Beyond the Vital SignsNursing Beyond the Vital Signs

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Nursing Beyond the Vital Signs

Nursing is so much more than simply popping a thermometer in a patient's mouth or recording a blood pressure. In my time as a nurse, I have participated in life saving efforts when time was critical, I have held a mother's hands when her newborn baby was being prepped for surgery, and I have looked into the terrified eyes of an elderly person in pain. Nurses literally go into battle, serving in military operations all over the world. They also learn and implement the latest in medical technology. This blog is to highlight nurses and prove that they deserve respect and appreciation for all that they do.

Medical Conditions With Misleading Names

When it comes to your health, you may think you have it all figured out. You are savvy about infection control, disease prevention, and the like. However, the field of medical care can be quite tricky. There are, for example, several medical conditions with names that are extremely misleading. Upon hearing the name of such conditions, you may automatically dismiss them as an affliction you couldn't possibly have. However, due to their misnomers, you may be entirely inaccurate in your self-diagnosis. Here are a few such conditions.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis to be technical) is so named because it is an affliction found commonly among tennis players. This medical condition involves pain in the tendons of the elbow and sometimes extends further down into the forearm and wrist. 

Tennis elbow is caused by overworking the tendon through repetitive motion. In the case of tennis players, this is from repeated swings of the tennis racket. However, tennis players are not the only people who engage in repetitive motion tasks that work those elbow and forearm tendons. Plumbers, butchers, and many other manual laborers can easily develop this painful condition. In fact, anyone who repeats the exact same motion day in and day out, can develop tennis elbow.

Swimmer's Ear

Swimmer's ear (acute external otitis) is an infection in the outer ear canal. This is a problem common to swimmers because it can be caused by the excess water from swimming that can remain in the ears after getting out of the pool. The moisture makes your ear a welcoming place for bacteria to grow. 

However, you do not have to be a swimmer to experience swimmer's ear. Acute external otitis can also result from putting your finger in your ear, or even from using cotton swabs to clear debris from your ear. This can actually push bacteria down into the ear canal, resulting in a painful infection. 

Dancer's Hip

You may remember the episode of How I Met Your Mother in which Marshall finds out he has dancer's hip because he secretly loves to dance. What you may not have known is that dancer's hip is a real condition.

Otherwise known as snapping hip syndrome or  iliopsoas tendonitis, dancer's hip is a condition in which a person hears and/or feels his or her hip snap when they move. Daily activities, like walking, standing up from a seated position, or exercising, can easily cause the hip to make this snapping sound, and in some cases the condition can be quite painful. 

Dancer's hip commonly affects dancers because of the flexibility in the hip required to perform many dance moves, and of course the amount of physical activity they undergo. However, even non-athletes can develop dancer's hip. Some people may even suffer from dancer's hip beginning in childhood, due to abnormalities in the structure of their hips. 

As you can see, medical conditions sometimes have names that are quite misleading. Just because a condition is named after a group of people who commonly suffer from it, does not mean they are the only ones who can get it. Do not let the name of a condition fool you.  If you believe you may have any of these conditions, contact your doctor, or a clinic that specializes in the condition, such as Hand Rehabilitation Specialists.