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Using medical terminology
• Medical terminology is used in: – conversation with other professionals – medical charting and documentation – professional texts, journal articles

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Using medical terminology
• Understanding and using medical
terminology correctly is essential to a successful midwifery career • Why is this essential?

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Medical terminology
• Each health care specialty has its own
terminology and abbreviations • Health care professionals become so used to the language of their specialty they forget others don’t understand these terms

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family and community members • Be aware of the client’s literacy level and language of origin 80 slides total 5 . treatments and terms should always be explained in lay person’s language when talking to patients.When not to use medical terminology • Medical conditions. diagnoses.

Building blocks of medical language • Medical terms are made up of several parts – elements .that can be combined to make many different words • Learning the meaning of these elements helps understand many medical terms 80 slides total 6 .

suffixes 80 slides total 7 . prefixes 3. roots and combining forms 2.Building blocks of medical language 3 principle elements make up medical terms: 1.

Each element is essential to understanding the meaning of the medical term Prefix Root Combining Vowel Suffix 80 slides total 8 .

The Root • The root is the part of the medical term that gives the main meaning • It usually refers to a structure and/or function of the body • Roots are usually Latin or Greek in origin • All medical terms have at least one root 80 slides total 9 .

stomach • Enter/o – small intestine • Cardi/o . usually the letter “o” • In the dictionary. the vowel is separated from the root with a slash mark. example: • Gastr/o .Combining forms • Combining forms consist of roots plus a vowel.heart 80 slides total 10 .

• Not needed if the suffix begins with a vowel 80 slides total 11 .” the next element in the medical term • Used if the suffix begins with a consonant.Combining vowel • The letter “o” is called the combining vowel • It links the root to the “suffix.

Roots and combining forms • There are thousands of roots and combining forms that make up medical language • You need to learn the roots and combining forms used in general medical terminology and what is specific to maternity care 80 slides total 12 .

Basic root words Adip/o Arteri/o Arthr/o Axill Blephar Bucca Cardi/a Cephal Cerebr/o fat artery joint armpit eyelid cheek heart head brain 80 slides total 13 .

Basic root words Cervic Cholecyst Col/o Cost/o Crani/o Cyst/o Cyt/o Derm Enter neck gallbladder large intestine rib skull urinary bladder cell skin small intestine 80 slides total 14 .

nephr/o Lapar Laryng/o Lumbus esophagus stomach blood liver kidneys abdominal wall larynx loin. lower part of the back 80 slides total 15 .Basic root words Esophag Gastr/o Hem/o Hepat/o Ren/o.

ocul/o Or/o. muculo Nas/o. rhino Neur/o Ophthalm/o. stomat/o Oste/o Ot/o Pancreat/o Pharyng/o spinal cord muscle nose nerve eye mouth bone ear pancreas throat 80 slides total 16 .Basic root words Myel/o My/o.

Basic root words Pneum/o. pneumon/o Splen/o Thorac/o Thyroid Trache/o Ven/o. trachea vein vertebra life 80 slides total 17 . phleb/o Vertebr/o Viv/o lung spleen chest thyroid gland windpipe.

even if the second one starts with a vowel. 80 slides total 18 . • The combining form is always used when linking two roots. if the suffix begins with a consonant.” the next element in the medical term.Combining forms • The letter “o” is called the combining vowel • It links the root to the “suffix.

Suffixes • Suffixes are word elements that are attached to the end of roots and combining forms to add to or change their meaning • All medical terms have a suffix 80 slides total 19 .

Suffixes • Each suffix can be added to many roots itis = inflammation appendicitis = inflamed appendix arthritis = inflamed joint 80 slides total 20 .

Suffixes • The combining vowel is used between the root and the suffix when the suffix begins with a consonant: Example: cardi + o + megaly = cardiomegaly cardiomegaly = enlarged heart cardi = heart. megaly = enlarged 80 slides total 21 .

Suffixes • When the suffix begins with a vowel. itis = inflammation 80 slides total 22 . there is no need for a combining vowel between the root and the suffix • The suffix is attached to the root word Example: gastr + itis = gastritis gastritis = inflammation of the stomach gastr = stomach.

Suffixes Some common meanings of suffixes: • Pathological (disease) conditions • Diagnostic procedures • Surgical procedures • Pertaining to • Produced by • Resembling 80 slides total 23 .

usually Latin or Greek 80 slides total 24 . they are listed alphabetically • The word is preceded by a dash and identified as a word element • The dash indicates something precedes it • Dictionary entries will give the language of origin.Suffixes • When suffixes are listed in medical dictionaries or word lists.

-al. -ous. -iac. -ical. -ose. -tic Examples: Cardiac (pertaining to the heart) Cellular (pertaining to the cell) Psychotic (pertaining to psychosis) Corporeal (pertaining to the body) 80 slides total 25 . -ic.Common suffixes Pertaining to: -ac. -ary. -ar. -eal.

destroy -cyte cell -ectomy removal of -emia blood -gram record 80 slides total 26 .Common suffixes -algia pain -centesis surgical puncture to remove fluid -cide to kill.

esp.a instrument used to record process of recording condition. an abnormal state -ism condition -itis inflammation of -lithiasis presence of or formation of stones 80 slides total 27 . .Common suffixes -graph -graphy -ia.

Common suffixes -logy -logist -megaly -oid -oma -otomy -pathy -plasty study of person who studies it enlargement resembling tumor surgical incision disease surgical repair 80 slides total 28 .

instrument examination using a scope stoppage surgically create an artificial mouth or stoma 80 slides total 29 .Common suffixes -plegia -pnea -rrhea -scope -scopy -stasis -stomy paralysis breathing. flow examination. respiration drainage.

Prefixes • Prefixes are word elements that are attached to the beginning of roots and combining forms to add to or change their meaning • Many (but not all) medical terms have a prefix 80 slides total 30 .

Prefixes Common meanings of prefixes: Location Position Direction Time Number Negation. absence of Color 80 slides total 31 .

resulting in thousands of variations • The prefix “hyper” means “abnormally increased or excessive” Hyperacid = excessively acidic Hyperactive = abnormally active Hypertension = persistently high blood pressure 80 slides total 32 .Prefixes • The same prefixes can be attached to many root words.

Just one letter makes the difference between life and death! • Correct spelling is critical in health care 80 slides total 33 .Prefixes • Prefixes can dramatically change the meaning of a word • Example: “systole” means “contraction of the heart” • The one letter prefix “a” means “without” • “Asystole” means “no contractions of the heart” -.

they are located alphabetically followed by a dash and identified as a word element • Their origin (Latin.word element (Gr) meaning many. much 80 slides total 34 . Greek) is usually given • Example: epi.Prefixes • When prefixes are listed in medical dictionaries and word lists.word element (Gr) meaning over poly.

painful over 80 slides total 35 . not against self two. difficult. double slow bad.Common prefixes A-/anAntiAutoBiBradyDysEpiwithout.

normal half above. excessive less than.Common prefixes EuHemiHyperHypoInterIntraMultiNonPerigood. under between within many not around 80 slides total 36 .

rapid three 80 slides total 37 . below above.Common prefixes PolyPostPrePseudoQuadriSemiSubSupraTachyTrimany. behind before. in front false four half under. over fast. much after.

Putting it all together • Learn the meanings of commonly used word elements and understanding how they combine to make a medical term • Then you can figure out the meaning of thousands of medical terms • Think of each word as a combination of building blocks or railroad cars. fitted together to create a precise meaning 80 slides total 38 .

Putting it all together The medical term is put together like a series of building blocks or train cars Prefix + Root + Combining vowel (if needed) + Suffix 80 slides total 39 .

Putting it all together – linking the components to define the term Prefix Root Combining Vowel Suffix 80 slides total 40 .

Putting it all together • When you see a new term. break it down into the elements • Start at the end of the word and work to the left • Identify and define each element • As you define each element you will define the medical term 80 slides total 41 .

Start at the end of the word and work to the left Combining Vowel Prefix Root Suffix 80 slides total 42 .

Example: “Echocardiogram” echo cardi o gram 80 slides total 43 .

Define Echocardiogram reading from left to right Echo = reflections of sounds Cardi = heart O= connecting vowel Gram = Written. record 80 slides total 44 .

Define Echocardiogram reading from left to right Echo = reflections of sounds Cardi = heart O= connecting vowel Gram = Written. record Echocardiogram is defined as a written recording of the heart using reflections of sounds 80 slides total 45 .

record Echocardiogram is a written recording of the heart using reflections of sounds 80 slides total 46 .Putting it all together Prefix + root + (connecting vowel) + suffix Echocardiogram • echo = reflections of sounds • cardi = heart • o = connecting vowel • gram = written.

Example: “Cytology” No Prefix Cyt o logy 80 slides total 47 .

Putting it all together Prefix + root + (connecting vowel) + suffix Cytology • Cyt (root) = cell • o = the connecting vowel • logy = (suffix) study of Cytology means study of the cell A cytologist is someone who studies cells 80 slides total 48 .

Example: “Bradycardia” Brady cardi No Connecting vowel ia 80 slides total 49 .

a = condition. esp. an abnormal state Bradycardia means a condition of abnormally slow heart 80 slides total 50 .Putting it all together Prefix + root + (connecting vowel) + suffix Bradycardia • Brady = abnormally slow • no connecting vowel is needed because the prefix ends with a vowel • cardi = heart • ia.

Example: “Splenectomy” No prefix splen No Connecting vowel ectomy 80 slides total 51 .

Putting it all together
Prefix + root + (connecting vowel) + suffix
Splenectomy • splen = (root) spleen • no connecting vowel is needed because the suffix begins with a vowel • ectomy = (suffix) removal of Splenectomy means removal of a spleen

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Putting it all together
Prefix + root + (connecting vowel) + suffix
Dyspnea • Dys = bad, difficult, painful • pnea = breathing, respiration • ia, a = condition, esp. an abnormal state Dyspnea means an abnormal condition of difficult breathing

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Putting it all together
Prefix + root + (connecting vowel) + suffix
Hemocyte • hem = blood • o = connecting vowel • cyte = cell Hemocyte is a blood cell

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Changing the meaning of the term Changing one element

modifies the meaning of
the term

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brady Bradycardia: a condition of abnormally slow heart Tachycardia: a condition of abnormally fast heart cardi tachy No Connecting vowel a 80 slides total 56 .

Tachycardia: a condition of abnormally fast heart Tachypnea: a condition of abnormally fast breathing cardi tachy pne No Connecting vowel a 80 slides total 57 .

• Misspelled words can lead to diagnostic. medication and treatment errors • Some words look or sound similar and can be confused 80 slides total 58 .Spelling • Correct spelling is critical in health care.

Spelling • Pay attention to the context to help you figure out the correct meaning of a term • Example: “The client has a fractured ilium” ilium = part of the hip bone ileum = part of the intestine 80 slides total 59 .

the plural forms of the words are not made by adding an “s” as in English • Memorize the guidelines • When in doubt.Singular and plural • Because many medical terms come from Greek and Latin words. memorize the specific words 80 slides total 60 .

ganglia ovum. ova alveolus. plural -a -ex or -ix -ae -ices vertebra.Changing singular to plural If the word Change it Examples: ends in to singular. arthritides phalanx. diagnoses arthritis. vertebrae index. phalanges ganglion. alveoli 80 slides total 61 . indices -is -itis -nx -on -um -us -es -ides -ges -a -a -i diagnosis.

circulation. gingivitis. cholecystitis. gestation chronic. i or y • “ch” sounds like “k” cell. cyst genetic. i or y • “c” sounds like “s” • “g” sounds like “j” when followed by e.Pronunciation guidelines • The “soft” pronunciation of the consonant is used when followed by e. chromium. psychologist 80 slides total 62 .

Pronunciation guidelines • When a word ends in “i” it is pronounced like “eye” as in bacilli • “x” is pronounced “z” as in xylocaine xenophobic 80 slides total 63 .

psychosocial psychologist • “ps” is pronounced “s” (silent “p”) as in 80 slides total 64 .Pronunciation guidelines When “P” is at the beginning of words followed by a consonant: • “ph” is pronounced “f” as in pharmacy • “pn” is pronounced “n” (silent “p”) as in pneumonia. pneumococcus psychotic.

Abbreviations & symbols • Medical abbreviations and symbols are a “short hand” for medical professionals • Most have been standardized and are universally accepted 80 slides total 65 .

Abbreviations & symbols • Individual facilities and specialties may use their own specific abbreviations and symbols or use a symbol differently Example: Means “change” • In maternity care it is also used to mean “trimester” 80 slides total 66 .

24 yo. c/o 1st bleeding • Client S. Recommend her PNV Rx @ her next PNV. c/o constipation.J.J. 8 weeks gestation. 80 slides total 67 ... 8 weeks gestation.The context indicates the meaning • Client S. 24 yo.

• Learn the abbreviations and symbols used on your clinical site during orientation to the practice.Abbreviations & symbols • Don’t assume you know what an abbreviation or symbol means. 80 slides total 68 . and by asking. through chart review.

• Use only standard medically accepted abbreviations and those used by the facility on your clinical site • Use capital and small letters appropriately • Non-standard abbreviations can result in medical errors and fines for the agency when discovered during chart audits 80 slides total 69 .Abbreviations & symbols • Don’t use your own personal abbreviations in health care documents.

c. b.i. BM BP c CDC before freely.d. at will before a meal twice a day bowel movement blood pressure with Centers for Disease Control 80 slides total 70 .Common abbreviations & symbols ā ad lib a.

n.p. n&v complains of discontinue hour water At night. H2O h.Medical abbreviations & symbols c/o d/c h. at bedtime intake and output Laboratory Nothing by mouth nausea and vomiting 80 slides total 71 .s. I&O lab.o.

O.O. p P p.Medical abbreviations & symbols O2 O. oxygen Right eye Left eye Each eye after pulse After meals By mouth 80 slides total 72 .c.S.D. P. O.U.

i. q.n.d.r. q.h.Medical abbreviations & symbols p. R RR s stat.d. once a day Every hour Four times a day respiration respiration rate without immediately 80 slides total 73 . q. As needed Daily.

d. pulse and respiration Treatment. x 80 slides total 74 .Medical abbreviations & symbols T t.i. traction vital signs Weight multiplied by Tx VS Wt. TPR temperature Three times a day temperature.

Medical symbols > < ↓ ↑ ↘ ↗ # greater than less than decreased. higher. lower increased. elevate decreasing increasing pound or number 80 slides total 75 . down. up.

trimester at 80 slides total 76 .Medical symbols ′ ″ o ♂ ♀ ∆ @ foot or minute inch or second degree male female change.

come with textbooks and CDs • Medical dictionaries are available online • Add medical terms to your computer’s spell check program 80 slides total 77 .Medical Dictionary • Taber’s or Mosby’s available in bookstores.

conditions.Choosing a medical dictionary • Explanations of medical procedures. reference tables containing information like lab values. etc • Vocabulary useful to your chosen field 80 slides total 78 . conversion tables (metric to standard). charts. easy to understand definitions • Pronunciation guidelines • Abbreviations and symbols • Useful diagrams. disorders and diseases • Clear.

Learn medical terminology Study and learn a few words every day Make flash cards Practice using terms verbally Use symbols and abbreviations when you write notes • Use a medical dictionary for reference • Ask for a definition when you hear a term or see an abbreviation that you don’t know • • • • 80 slides total 79 .


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