Health care professionals and students are not the only one’s who greatly benefit from knowing medical terminology. When you or a family member visit your doctor’s office or have the need to go to the hospital, you always hear some form of medical terminology. Whether they are referring to a test, diagnosis, part of your body or the need to see a specialist.

For the lay person, even knowing just some basic medical terminology is very beneficial. For the health care professional, it’s imperative. Health care professionals include physicians, nurses, nurse assistants, schedulers, phlebotomists, medical assistants, coders, EMS personnel and many more.
Medical terminology can contain a prefix, root word, a combining vowel and a suffix to create medical terms. These terms can contain multiple root words, combining vowels etc. You must be very precise when dictating a term; if you misuse a letter or word, you will be changing the term, which could lead to unnecessary tests, appointments and treatment or an incorrect diagnosis of a patient.

Let’s break down Electrocardiogram, so you can get an idea of the components of a term. Electr (root word meaning electricity), O (combining vowel), Cardi (root word meaning heart), O (combining vowel), Gram (suffix meaning record). Taking the terminology, you can read that an Electrocardiogram means the record of the electricity in the heart. This may seem daunting to you at first, but once you learn and memorize what the components mean, you will easily decipher common medical terms.

In order to strengthen your understanding of medical terminology refer to our ‘word building’ reference:
It contains close to one thousand words.  Each word is broken down so the reviewer can easily see how   the various components add meaning to a specific word.