The Importance of Medical Terms

Why Healthcare Professionals Communicate Through Medical Terms

In the medical field there is a language spoken between health professionals called medical terms. This language helps these professionals communicate more thoroughly and assists them in their daily tasks.  Medical terms are found every day in magazines, commercials about new drugs or products, and even every day conversation. As a patient, it is important to be familiar with these terms so that you are able to make sound decisions about your health care and make your doctor’s visits less intimidating.

Just like a foreign language, medical terminology has its own vocabulary and ways of putting words into an easily understood format. As with learning a new language, there are some basic rules to consider. Decoding medical terminology is an important process and it is useful to break down the words by evaluating the meaning of the suffix first, then prefix, then finally the root. Medical terminology uses words using prefixes and suffixes in Latin and Ancient Greek. Many times you’ll come across a medical term that contains a prefix that describes a number. For instance, the three most common number prefixes are Mono, Bi, and Tri. As you may know, Mono means “one,” Bi means “two,” and Tri means “three.” It is also common to encounter terms that describe where a procedure or condition takes place on the body. For example, “Ab” means “away from” and “Ad” means “toward.” Most people are already familiar with some common medical terms. Surely you’ve heard of an esophagus, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. The word esophagus actually comes from Greek words meaning “that which swallows what we eat.” Another common term is Placenta which means “flat cake” in Greek, basically describing its shape.

There are so many reasons why having terminology in the medical field is important. Medical terminology essentially provides a standard language of medicine that allows medical professionals to communicate and work unanimously. This terminology prevents errors in documentation and helps avoid wrong diagnosis of patients.

National Career Education provides Sacramento area students with the knowledge they need to succeed in the medical field. At NCE, students have the opportunity to receive specialized and intensive hands-on programs to train them for the healthcare career they’ve been dreaming of! NCE offers programs in Lab Assisting, EKG, Phlebotomy, Medical Assisting, and Optometry that will teach students everything there is to know about medical terminology and even more. Contact NCE today to find out how you can become one step closer to achieving your dreams in the medical field!

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