From OSHKY Knowledge Library


When describing injuries, equipment, PPE, clothing, and other items related to the anatomy of the human body, it is important to have a universal language to describe the placement or order of these items.  This is especially true when words are the only way to describe a situation, as is the case with written reports or in a deposition.  Any explanation where pictures or diagrams cannot be examined readily is a primary reason for having these orienting and directional terms at the ready in your vocabulary.


Superior: Toward the head end or upper part of a structure or the body; above.

Ex: The head is superior to the abdomen.

Inferior: Away from the head end or toward the lower part of a structure or the body; below.

Ex: The navel is inferior to the chin.

Ventral: Toward or at the front of the body; in front of.

Dorsal: Toward or at the back of the body; behind.

Example term definitions taken from Quizlet.