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Medical Term Clarification

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by ClimbingRN2b ClimbingRN2b (New Member) New Member

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I know this is a no brainier but I need to dispute an exam question and i need some opinions and a link to credible information that i could show my instructor would be even better

Does the dorsal aspect of the hand refer to the palm or the back of the hand?

Thanks

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dudette10 has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Academics.

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I know this is a no brainier but I need to dispute an exam question and i need some opinions and a link to credible information that I could show my instructor would be even better.

Does the dorsal aspect of the hand refer to the palm or the back of the hand?

The question on the exam asked about the easiest place to access pallor on a patient that has a dark skin tone. The correct answer given was the "dorsal aspect of the hand".

This is quite confusing because I thought the palm would be the best place to acess for pallor on a dark skinned individual and the next best places would be sclear and bucossal membrane

Does the dorsal aspect of the hand refer to the palm or the back of the hand?

Thanks

Dorsal aspect refers to the back of the hand. If you need a link to objective information, take a look at your anatomy textbook or google.

I usually don't do this, but it seems that you truly believe you are using the correct words/spelling for things, i.e. you're not making typos or using textspeak. This is only meant to help you in your studies; not as a dig or insult. :)

It's terminology, not terminition.

It's assess, not access.

It's mucosal membrane, not bucossal (although the Latin origin word for mouth is "boca").

It's sclera, not sclear, but the sclera is white, so that's not the place to assess for pallor. Do you mean the conjunctiva?

Good luck.

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dudette10,

I wrote this half awake and the typos are glaring. Thank you for the help.

I am aware that the dorsal aspect of the hand is the back of the hand but my teacher said that dorsal was the correct answer regarding pallor assessment.

I think my instructor has made a mistake and is referring to the dorsal aspect of the hand as if it were the palm.

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GHGoonette is a BSN, RN and specializes in PACU, OR.

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I know this is a no brainier but I need to dispute an exam question and i need some opinions and a link to credible information that I could show my instructor would be even better.

Does the dorsal aspect of the hand refer to the palm or the back of the hand?

The question on the exam asked about the easiest place to access pallor on a patient that has a dark skin tone. The correct answer given was the "dorsal aspect of the hand".

This is quite confusing because I thought the palm would be the best place to assess for pallor on a dark skinned individual and the next best places would be sclera and mucosal membrane

Does the dorsal aspect of the hand refer to the palm or the back of the hand?

Thanks

Yes, the dorsal aspect refers to the back of the hand. If you think about it, everybody's palm is lighter than the back (unless they've been hennaed, as is the practice in certain religious groups), thus it is not the best place to look. It took me some time to be able to spot pallor in dark-skinned people, but you notice it as a "dusty" hue, for want of a better word, or a greyish skin tone. My colleagues, most of whom are themselves dark skinned, always noticed it before I did.

When you assess the back of the hand, always look at the fingernails. Pallor due to shock will result in them losing their normal pinkish hue, and early cyanosis may be visible as a blue-grey rim around the nailbed.

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rumwynnieRN specializes in Urology, ENT.

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The dorsal aspect refers to the back of your hand. The dorsal side of the hand the same skin color as the rest of the body (such as face, legs, etc). The palm of the hands will almost always be lighter and would not be a good reference. It's also usually calloused. When talking about pallor that it refers to how pale someone is and you won't notice it on the lighter side of someone's hand.

I hope that helped. I was wondering why you would look at someone's sclera for pallor (were you thinking of jaundice?).

Edited by rumwynnieRN
Question and took a word out.

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Emergency RN has 30 years experience and specializes in ED, CTSurg, IVTeam, Oncology.

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Agree with all the other respondents. Just wanted to add that the best way to remember Dorsal aspect is to think of Dorsalis Pedis (pulse on the back or top of your foot), or Dorsal Fin (as on the back or top of a fish). The front of the hand is otherwise generally referred to as the anterior or Palmar aspect.

And to the OP, if your instructor still doesn't believe that the Dorsal aspect is the back of the hand, do this; go onto google, type in the search term "dorsum of hand," and pick several of the links. Go to each link and print a copy of the web page, and give it to her the next time you're in class. But, don't make a big deal of it (esp in front of other students or teachers) as sometimes teachers (because of ego) hate to be so egregiously wrong and be caught at it. If your instructor is smart enough to admit their mistake, then I suspect that everyone's grades would reflect the change in answer scoring. If not, then just let it drop; it's not really a battle worth fighting.

Good luck ;)

Edited by Emergency RN

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BacktotheBeach has 4 years experience.

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check out anatomical position in your text. It goes against everything you think, but I bet it is the palmar side.

Although, in assessment/palpation areas of the book, I think they refer to the 'back' of the hand for temp assessment on the skin....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatomical_terms_of_location

ETA: ok this is from wiki:

However, presumably for improved clarity, the directional term palmar (Latin palma; palm of the hand) is usually used for the anterior of the hand, and dorsal is used to describe the back of the hand. Thus, by connecting the extremes, dorsopalmar axis is formed. Most commonly, "dorsopalmar" is used when describing the hand, although it is sometimes applied to the arm as a whole (see Fig. 12).

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ORnurseCT has 5 years experience and specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

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Dorsal is posterior in humans

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Mike R is a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency.

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Dorsal is back.

I had to learn it in zoology which I took WELL before I ever thought of taking A&P or nursing. I remember it thanks to Flipper. Dorsal fin. ;)

That's exactly how I remember it!

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akulahawkRN has 3 years experience as a ADN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in Emergency Department.

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The dorsum of the hand is the back of the hand. Remember what anatomical position is, and where/how the hand is facing when in that position.

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