Anatomical Body Landmark
The first important thing in learning about anatomy and physiology is to know the anatomical position and body landmarks. To accurately describe body parts and position, initial reference point and directional terms should be used in a medical setting. The correct anatomical position is standing up (erect) with the feet parallel and the arms hanging at the sides with the palms facing forward and the thumbs pointing away from the body.
To precisely point out the chief complaint of a patient, the nurse or physician uses anatomical terms representing a certain body part. For example, a patient walks in the emergency room with a hacking wound on the posterior portion of the left lower leg. To clearly state the area of injury the nurse uses the term “sural” which means the posterior surface of the lower leg rather than writing “back area of the lower leg”. Knowing these terms not only give the nurse a more accurate formulation of chief complaints but it also saves time of a good deal of description.