How to Describe Symptoms and Illnesses in American Sign Language
How to Communicate about Safety in American Sign Language
ASL: How to Sign about Medical Professionals

ASL: How to Sign Medical and Hospital Terms

Medical words are simple in American Sign Language (ASL) — they usually look like what they mean. For example, blood pressure is signed by making a C handshape with your dominant hand and then placing it on your arm muscle. You then mimic working a pump bulb. Check out this table for some common medical terms and treatments.

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You fingerspell some medical terms, especially those that are abbreviations anyway. For example, you use the manual alphabet to sign CPR, ER, OR, MRI, ICU, IV, and x-ray, as well as the names of medications.

Try the following sentences for practice:

  • English: I need to check your blood pressure.

    Sign: YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE — CHECK — ME MUST

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  • English: He needs an injection.

    Sign: INJECTION — NEED HIM

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  • English: She has an infection.

    Sign: INFECTION — HAS HER

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  • English: Sit in the wheelchair.

    Sign: WHEELCHAIR — SIT

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