This past month I’ve worked extensively on the HEARTScore project due to the time frame of my shift. Since I tend to come in 2 pm – 5 pm, I haven’t had as much patient interaction compared to the morning shifts. However, working on the HEARTScore Retrospective Study has still been a wonderful learning experience for me since I’ve become more comfortable with deciphering the clinical notes. Usually I’ll come across abbreviations or medical terms I’m unaware of, which prompts me to do a bit of background research to garner a better understanding of the terms. For example, “normocephalic atraumatic” essentially means that a patient’s head is in good working condition and hasn’t suffered any damage. Another term I came across is “NBNB vomiting,” which stands for “nonbilious vomiting.” This type of vomiting involves regular forward flow in the intestinal tract and omits bile/gastric content from the vomit. Moreover, I came across the term “syncope,” which is another word for fainting due to the lack of oxygen flow to the brain, perhaps due to a drop in blood pressure. There are other simple abbreviations I’m becoming familiar with, such as “HPI” (history of present illness) and “PMH” (past medical history). Overall, I hope to continue making a list of new vocabulary terms and abbreviations I find while reading through the notes, and I’ve found that I actually enjoy doing my own background research. 



Karen F. Murray, Dennis L. Christie Pediatrics in Review Oct 1998, 19 (10) 337-341; DOI: 10.1542/pir.19-10-337

Nordqvist, C. (2017, December 01). What is fainting and what causes it? Retrieved September 30, 2018, from

What Is Normocephalic Atraumatic. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2018, from