A medical terminology course will equip you with valuable skills that will enable you to interpret and apply the ‘language’ of patients’ medical symptoms and procedures — verbally and in writing — in a range of healthcare settings.
Studying the ‘language’ of healthcare will help you gain a competitive career advantage or help you enter the medical sector as a health administrator, medical receptionist, healthcare worker or ward clerk.
Our Certificate of Medical Terminology will help you learn the ‘ABCs’ of the medical world! This includes studying anatomical and pharmacological terminology and terminology relating to medical equipment. You will also learn about the terms used to describe the various elements of the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, immune, lymphatic, reproductive, respiratory, excretory, digestive and integumentary systems.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a medical terminology course include:
- Learning about the scope and nature of medical terminology
- Exploring the origins of words
- Studying the structure of words
- Understanding prefixes and suffixes
- Examining anatomical terms and structure
- Learning about the location of organs
- Exploring brain structure
- Studying word forms, abbreviations and symbols
- Understanding medical equipment and procedures
- Learning about diagnostic and surgical procedures and equipment
- Exploring the storage and handling of medicines
- Studying the sterilising of equipment
- Gaining an understanding of bacteria
- Learning how to observe through a microscope (microscopy)
- Exploring diagnostic microbiology
- Studying research microbiology
- Examining common bacteria you may encounter in a medical setting
- Understanding the types of wounds
- Examining problems resulting from wounds
- Gaining insights into treating wounds
- Learning about electrolytes
- Exploring pharmacological terminology
- Studying medicinal terminology including alternative and herbal
- Examining over the counter and prescription drugs
- Learning about the musculoskeletal system
- Exploring musculature and the major muscles
- Studying the relationship between the muscles and the skeleton
- Understanding bone and joint problems
- And much more!
The History of Medical Terminology
Medical terminology has evolved primarily from the Greek and Latin languages. The science of anatomy began during the Renaissance, and many early anatomists attended Italian schools of medicine. They assigned Latin names to structures they discovered, which is why Latin accounts for many of the root words in the English language.
Names for others conditions were retained from the teachings of Greek physician, Galen, who wrote texts on medicine in the latter part of his life. These remained influential for almost 1500 years and many of the condition and disease names he first used have been retained. Which explains why the second most common source of medical root words is the Greek language!
Older roots also have their origins in Arabic, due to the scholars that were important teachers of medicine throughout the middle ages. Some modern roots are also taken from the English language, which reflects its pre-eminence in the medical and biomedical sciences for the past half-century.
The addition of suffixes to nouns to denote different syntax constructions comes from the Latin language. This is because suffices were commonly used by Italian scientists.
Some prefixes are also adaptions of Latin words, and in medical terminology, they were attached to root words and often used to indicate locations on the body or directions relative to structures in the body.
Some words in modern medical terminology have also been borrowed from biology, and many of these are species of pathogens and names of the genus. Using Latin for these names dates back to the founder of the modern system of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus.
And finally, from 1650 through to 1850 and because Latin was the language of educated people, many linguistic elements from the Latin language (like prefixes, roots, and suffixes) were included.
An example of medical terminology being used to describe diseases or procedures is the case of acute pancreatitis. The root (pancrea-) indicates the organ involved, the pancreas. The suffix (-itis) indicates inflammation, and the word ‘acute’ describes a rapid onset of the condition.
An example of a surgical procedure is a choledocholithotomy. This is an operation to remove (-otomy) a stone (-litho-) that originated in the gall bladder (chole-) but is currently in the common bile duct (-docho-)!
30 Complex Medical Terms For Common Things
- Obdormition – When your limbs ‘fall asleep’. Derived from the Latin word ‘obdormire’ meaning to fall asleep.
- Borborygmus – The noise your stomach makes when you’re hungry. Derived from the Greek word for ‘to rumble’.
- Vasovagal Syncope – Also known as fainting. Derived from Latin and the Greek word for ‘sudden loss of strength’.
- Lachrymation – When you’re vision is blurred by a few loose tears rather than actually crying. Derived from the Latin word for ‘a tear’.
- Horripilation – Also known as goosebumps. Derived from the Latin word ‘horripilar’ meaning to ‘bristle with hairs or be shaggy’.
- Fasciculation – When the muscle fibres contract under your skin and you feel muscles twitching. Derived from the word ‘fasciculus’ or ‘little bundle’.
- Bulla – Also known as blisters. Derived from the Latin word ‘bulla’ meaning ‘a bubble, stud or knob’.
- Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter – Also known as hiccups. Derived from the Latin word ‘singultus’ meaning ‘the act of one’s breath while sobbing’.
- Formication – That creepy-crawly feeling when your skin feels likes it’s teeming with tiny insects. Derived from the Latin word ‘formica’ which means ant.
- Veisalgia – When you have an uneasy stomach and a sensitivity to light and noise, ie. a hangover! Derived from the Greek word ‘algos’ for pain.
- Gustatory Rhinitis – When your nose runs when you eat hot or spicy foods. Derived from the Latin word for ‘tasting’ and the Greek word for ‘nose inflammation’.
- Muscae Volitantes – When you see small transparent threads floating across your line of sight. Derived from the Latin words for ‘flying flies’.
- Odontalgia – Also known as a toothache. Derived from the Latin word ‘odontalgia’ meaning ‘toothache’.
- Otalgia – When the cabin pressure changes on an airplane and your ears hurt. Derived from the Greek word ‘otalgia’ meaning ‘earache’.
- Pyrexia – Also known as a fever. Derived from the Greek word ‘puretos’ for fever.
- Morsicatio Buccarum – A condition where people repeatedly chew or bite down on the inside of their mouth. Derived from the Latin words ‘morusus’ meaning ‘bite’ and ‘bucca’ meaning ‘cheek’.
- Epistaxis – Also known as a nosebleed. Derived from the Greek words ‘epistag’ meaning ‘to bleed from the nose’.
- Xerostomia – When you have a dry mouth as a result of taking medications. Derived from the Greek words for ‘xeros’ meaning ‘dry’ and ‘stoma’ meaning ‘mouth’.
- Bruxism – Also known as teeth grinding. Derived from the Greek word ‘brukein’ meaning ‘to gnash’.
- Rhinorrhea – Also known as having a runny nose. Derived from the Greek word ‘rhis’ meaning ‘nose’ and ‘rhoia’ meaning ‘flow’.
- Aphthous Stomatitis – Also known as mouth ulcers. Derived from the Greek word ‘aphthi’ which means to ‘set on fire or inflame’.
- Cardialgia – Also known as heartburn. Derived from the Greek word ‘kardia’ for heart.
- Emesis – Also known as nausea, particularly after a stomach bug or food poisoning. Derived from the Greek word ‘emein’ meaning ‘to vomit’.
- Sternutate – Also known as sneezing. Derived from the Latin word ‘sternuere’ meaning ‘to sneeze’.
- Varicella – Also known as chickenpox. Derived from the Latin word ‘varius’ meaning ‘speckled or spotted’.
- Hyperhidrosis – A condition where people sweat a lot. Derived from the Greek word ‘hidrosis’ meaning ‘sweat’.
- Heloma Molle – Also known as foot corns. Derived from the Latin word ‘duro’ for ‘hard or tough’ and the Greek word ‘heloma’ for nail.
- Crepitus – When your joints pop and crack due to air in the subcutaneous tissue. Derived from the Latin word ‘crepitus’ meaning ‘a crackling sound or ‘a rattle’.
- Diplopia – Also known as double vision. Derived from Latin ‘dipl-‘ meaning ‘double’ and ‘-opia’ meaning ‘vision’.
- Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia – The ‘brain freeze’ you feel when you eat an ice cream. From ‘sphen’ meaning wedge, palatine meaning ‘pertaining to the palate’, ‘gangli’ referring to the main cells of the nervous system, ‘neur’ meaning nerve and ‘algia’ meaning pain!
Gaining a valuable career edge or up-skilling to enter the exciting and ever-changing world of healthcare is as simple as learning your (medical) ABCs with our Certificate of Medical Terminology!