Whether you spend every day by a patient’s side or never set foot in a medical facility, if you work in the healthcare industry, you must have a solid knowledge of medical language to do your job well.
To understand what is read, written, billed, or communicated while performing daily work activities, those in clinical and nonclinical jobs within a healthcare system must be able to use medical language with ease.
In this article let’s discuss. Let’s read about why is medical terminology important.
1. Why Is Medical Terminology Important in the Healthcare Field
A solid understanding of medical terminology will be essential when you’re preparing to work in healthcare. A medical terminology course in the PCC Medical Coding program has also become an integral component of other training programs for healthcare professionals of every level.
The terminology used to describe the work performed in a healthcare environment must be easy to understand.
2. What Is Medical Terminology?
Medical terms are terms that describe the elements of an organism and their function as an entity. Often professionals use the acronym in their descriptions of health problems or diagnostic procedures assigned by health professionals.
Here are some examples of the fundamentals in use:
- Who Uses It: Among the several healthcare professionals who use it are physicians, registered nurses, and physician assistants.
- What: It may refer to signs and symptoms, accepted diagnoses, established treatment plans, and dosage directions.
- When: Doctors and other medical professionals use it to diagnose and treat patients. Additionally, experts use it for medical billing and coding medical procedures.
- Where: It is utilized by healthcare management organizations as well as healthcare providers such as hospitals, surgery centers, and private practices.
- How: To make documentation easier, vocabulary is frequently condensed. When taking medications, for instance, PRN denotes “as needed”.
3. Why is Medical Terminology Important for Medical Assistants?
Medical terminology serves two important purposes: It streamlines communications, and using medical assistant terminology delivers greater information with minimal words than speaking the language they speak. It’s an all-inclusive language that improves healthcare communications.
The standardized document is used by hospitals, healthcare provider laboratories, pharmacies, and insurers to exchange data. Using standard terminology helps everyone understand each other. Terminology covers all the medical assistant’s duties.
4. Reasons Why Knowing Medical Terminology is Important
Understanding medical terminology will improve job performance and help you become an even better candidate. Some reasons for studying medical terminology can be summarized as follows:
4.1 Improved Patient Safety
Quality communication between healthcare professionals improves patient safety by minimizing errors. Often, the physician who knows a patient’s medical history can provide a safer and more effective solution appropriate for their particular case.
Putting the wrong conditions and procedures on the chart can greatly impact the care that patients are receiving. Sometimes treatment may be unsafe or unreliable.
4.2 More Efficient Care
Every day thousands of people visit the clinic. Medical professionals can write quickly by scribbling common abbreviations for a quicker response time. All care workers should understand this abbreviation in their language.
Training can assist in the development of a wide vocabulary that can be used in medical coding if necessary.
4.3 Improved Patient Experiences
The terms are understood by everyone who participates in the healthcare team, but it also aids in the patient understanding these terms. Patient Education helps patients get involved with their care teams and improve their satisfaction with their care.
Knowledge of medical terminology can also help prevent errors that can cause your patients to call for help. Traditionally the healthcare industry was defined by medical terms which were often known as medicine’s language.
With the wide array of electronic medical records available today, people must use medical terminology on paper and on the computer. It is a term used to define a specific medical term or code.
4.4 Speaking the Standardized “Language of Medicine”
Medical terminology enables the medical professional to communicate easily. Once everyone understands how a condition works, a medical procedure can be performed and how to fulfill its role in the future.
Knowledge of medical terminology helps employees understand the communication skills required to perform HIPAA compliance training. This education is essential for a safe workplace for the patient and employee.
4.5 Streamline The Documentation
Accurate and timely documentation of healthcare complications is required by insurance company rules and healthcare legislation. Healthcare professionals can seamlessly transition from one role to the next by using standardized medical terminology to capture patient symptoms and diagnoses.
5. Fundamental Term Structure
The following common word parts make up medical terms:
- Prefix: When present, the prefix denotes a location, direction, kind, quality, or quantity at the start of a medical phrase.
- Root: A term’s root determines its fundamental meaning. At least one root can be found in almost all medical words. In the absence of a prefix, the term starts with a root.
A term’s suffix, which is added at the end, can denote a specialty, test, method, work-related condition, or status. If not, the suffix might just indicate whether the word is a noun, verb, or adjective.
- Combining vowel: To make a word easier to pronounce, a combining vowel (often the letter “o” or “a”) may be placed between word segments.
Readers should be able to determine a term’s meaning by dissecting it into its constituent pieces. For instance, the word hypothermia is made up of the prefix hypo-, which means below normal, the root therm, which means heat or warmth, and the suffix -ia, which means condition.
6. Grammar Rules
When laying a foundation for medical terminology, language rules are a good place to start. Many terms used in medicine are constructed from smaller words and have literal translations.
Literal translations initially sound strange. The uneasiness will go if you develop a well learn medical terminology and language and become skilled at utilizing it.
For instance, suffixes will no longer be explicitly declared but rather assumed. The phrase “intravenous” then means “within the vein.”
Stay literal when appropriate because you are still developing your foundation in medical terminology. It should be emphasized that there are always exceptions to linguistic laws, and we refer to those as rebels.
6.1 Rules of Construction for Medical Terms in Language
- Keep the vowel from the first combining form when combining the second.
- It is customary to retain the vowel from the combining form when adding it to a suffix that starts with a consonant.
- You eliminate the vowel in the combining form when you combine it with a suffix that starts with a vowel.
- No combining form vowel is utilized, and a prefix is placed at the start of the word.
When defining a medical term, begin with the suffix and then list the word parts from left to right. You might need to include more words. You may use the filler word to expand your medical vocabulary as long as it does not alter the word’s meaning. It will be simpler to select the appropriate filler word(s) after you begin using the word in a sentence.
7. How to Learn and Get More Familiar With Medical Terms
The healthcare industry’s workforce cannot work unless trained and qualified in this sector. Providing adequate medical training is a good way to gain the benefits of healthcare workers.
A multitude of resources are available for learning medical terminology. The two most popular options are enrolling in certain courses that colleges and universities provide or participating in promoted programs and other medical trade schools and school training platforms.
As an illustration, the Southern Careers Institute (SCI) offers medical programs that include medical terminology studies.
Students who enroll in SCI’s programs can pursue careers as medical assistants, nursing aides, medical office managers, and medical coding and billing process and coding experts.
You can pick up healthcare terminology, just by working in the healthcare industry, in addition to formal education and training programs.
8. The Evolution of Medical Language
The origins of medical terminology can be traced back to Hippocrates and the ancient Greeks. The Hippocratic texts from the fourth and fifth century BC are the earliest known medical works, according to the National Institutes of Health.
In keeping with this history, modern medical terminology still makes use of Greek and Latin vocabulary. It’s believed that the main reason why so many Greek medical phrases continue to be used in medical language today is because of the writings of the Greek physician Galen, which have affected the field of medicine for approximately 1,500 years.
The original anatomists employed Latin words to describe the structures of the human body as they were discovered during the Renaissance, but other languages also entered the lexicon. Because medical educators at the time were also fluent in Arabic, the language was included during the Middle Times.
Latin was also regarded as an educated language from 1650 to 1850, which contributed to its employment in textbooks and instruction for medicine. During this time, a large portion of modern medical terminology was developed.
9. Medical Terminology’s Morphology
When it comes to language, morphology refers to the various shapes that words might take based on the prefixes, suffixes, and root words they are associated with. There is a morphology to the language used in medicine. Latin is typically used as the foundation for the rules for merging these word components.
Nouns can be singular or plural and have five case options. A word can have more than one form, and various endings determine a word’s form or meaning. Consider the term “index,” which is pluralized as “indices.”
We can refer to the explanation of malignant tissue in the lungs on Encyclopedia.com for a more thorough illustration of common medical terminology and jargon. The correct terminology is “adenocarcinoma of the left superior lobe of the lung.” There aren’t many words in this that are understandable to non-experts. We need to look at the phrase’s parts to understand what it means.
“The root (Marcin-) denotes malignant tissue. An abnormal growth or tumour is denoted by the suffix (-oma). The word “adeno” refers to a gland. Thus, a glandular cell is the source of cancerous growth that has developed. The individual with the growth or being examined is indicated by the designation (left), not the person doing the examination. Superior designates the top of the left lung’s two lobes.
Each medical student must learn and memorize a set of prefixes, suffixes, and root terms that will help them gradually fill in their road map of the human body as they gain experience with medical terminology.
10. Common Medical Terminology You should know
- Benign: Not cancerous
- Malignant: Cancerous
- Anti-inflammatory: Helps with swelling, pain, and soreness (such as ibuprofen or naproxen)
- Body Mass Index (BMI): Body fat measurement calculated using height and weight
- Biopsy: Examination of a tissue
- Hypotension: Low blood pressure
- Hypertension: High blood pressure
- Lesion: Injury, sore, or cut
- Noninvasive: Doesn’t involve inserting tools into the body; typically straightforward
- Outpatient: Same-day check-in and check-out.
A healthcare provider may not always have time to write in-depth notes about each patient they see in a day on the charts. Even if they did, nurses and other medical professionals would not be able to understand what was written.
All other medical practitioners and staff will be able to read the patient’s chart and give them the best care possible while using the same medical or health terms. Furthermore, wondering what is written on the patient’s chart is not a waste of time.
Since the patient is less likely to be charged for the wrong treatment, the payment method and reimbursement method frequently use health codes and terms, which frequently improves patient satisfaction.
Most doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals selected their fields because they want to help others. A key component of providing that support is being aware of and comprehending the relevance of medical language in the healthcare industry.
There are numerous benefits to working in the medical field, but there are also many responsibilities. If you are interested in a career in medicine, select it and obtain all the training and education required to land your ideal position aspiring healthcare professional.
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