Welcome to Words Untwisted. Are you searching for a way to stand out from among the crowd of trainees and job seekers in healthcare? Then you definitely need to be skilled in the language of medicine. I mean, really get fluent in it. Don’t just rely on that medical terminology course you passed once. Everybody took that. Distinguish yourself by going the extra mile. How? We’ll get to that in a bit, but first let’s look at why knowing medical terminology is a critical skill.
In today’s healthcare job market, electronic medical records have become the central hub of the workplace, and this has changed how medical information is managed, as well as who is involved in documenting it. The switch to electronic medical records has transformed old jobs like medical receptionist and medical secretary; it has also created new positions like medical scribe and health informatics technician. Now there is greater demand for employees who are not only computer savvy, but also fluent in the use of medical terminology.
The advantage of understanding the medical terms you will encounter everyday cannot be overstated. Your medical terminology skills may even be tested as part of the application process or job interview. Of course, medical terms and their definitions are taught as a part of training courses and certifications, but that alone may not give you the vocabulary skills needed to keep up in a fast-paced medical office or hospital. So what can you do?
Let’s look at what you may have already tried. If you’ve studied medical terminology before, you may have been told that everybody finds it difficult to learn. You may even have been encouraged to memorize just enough medical words to pass an exam. If you had a good instructor, you would have learned how to break down a medical term into prefix, suffix and word root. Knowing medical prefixes and suffixes can definitely help. Still, for the most part, learning medical terminology on its own involves trying to memorize many strange sounding medical terms that have little meaning to you.
Think about it, who learns a foreign language by memorizing a dictionary? Why would it make more sense to try committing a medical dictionary to memory? Yet that is often the approach taken in many medical terminology courses designed for medical assistants, medical coding and billing staff, and other medical office personnel. In some courses, after a quick overview of the main body systems, you’re asked to memorize a list of medical terms organized by system. If you’re like most people, six months later you can’t remember many words on that list; so any shortcuts designed simply to help you pass a medical terminology quiz or test, will be of no help to you in the hectic world of healthcare.
How do medical professionals like medical students and nurses remember medical terminology? Students in medical school or nursing school get familiar with hundreds of medical words repeatedly, over time, as they learn the fine details of human anatomy and physiology. Opportunities for learning in context, and repeated exposure, are what make medical terminology the second language of a doctor or nurse. Does that mean you need an advanced degree to master medical terminology? Not really. One of our goals at Adonis Health Informatics, is to show that with the right tools, anyone qualified to work in a doctor’s office can learn medical terminology easily – it doesn’t have to be painful (or boring). Step 1 is to believe that you can do it. The next step is finding a learning tool that works for you.
To help with step 2, we have created lessons that you can use to learn medical terminology online, in a series of videos that are fast, free and fun. Each one-minute video teaches one medical suffix, prefix or root, using fun illustrations and examples to give that medical term context for you. Once you have a good understanding of these common suffixes and prefixes, the medical words built from them will begin to make sense to you, and will become easier to use correctly. So prepare yourself to be competitive when facing prospective employers – use our system to really make their language your own.
Get started by subscribing to our YouTube channel: 1-Minute Medical Terminology. There you will find multiple playlists to choose from: basic or advanced medical terminology, common medical prefixes and suffixes, and much more. To see a complete list of our videos, you could also click on the hashtag below this article. If you prefer to begin our series by email, sign up on our website then check your inbox for a confirmation message. Whichever option you choose, start today – build or improve your medical vocabulary, and have fun learning!