Mastering the language of healthcare: Medical terminology

William Woods Business

One of the courses that Online Master of Healthcare Administration students will take at William Woods University is BMT 520 – Medical Terminology for the Healthcare Manager. In the context of this program, medical terminology is the study of the principles associated with medical word building that helps aspiring healthcare administrators develop vocabulary needed for their job which in turn improves their communication skills.

Whether you intend to work in a clinical or non-clinical setting, understanding medical terminology is important for a number of reasons. First, it will allow you to converse more easily with healthcare professionals — an essential part of working in healthcare administration. Familiarity with terms related to medical conditions, medications, procedures, and more allows healthcare administrators to understand what is being written, billed or communicated on a day-to-day basis. Also, medical terminology is critical for understanding various job trainings healthcare administrators may complete routinely, such as infection control trainings.

Medical Term Structure
One of the key topics covered in this course are the commonly used prefixes, suffixes, root words, and combining forms that make up most medical terms. For example, the word “cardiovascular” includes the root word “cardi,” meaning “pertaining to the heart,” and the suffix word “vascular,” meaning “relating to the blood vessels.” Understanding various components that make up medical terms helps students grow their vocabulary faster.

In this course, students will practice:

  • Constructing medical terms by assembling word parts
  • Defining medical terms by breaking them down into word parts
  • Utilizing resources to correctly pronounce medical words
  • Utilizing resources to research medical terms and understand their relation to health

Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
Beyond medical term structure, students will also learn about anatomy, physiology, and pathology of disease. Students will take a deeper look into the main systems of the human body — such as digestive, nervous, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and others — by identifying major components of each system and learning about their basic functions. In doing so, students will examine commonly used words, word components and abbreviations of each system.

Aspiring healthcare administrators and managers will benefit from this course by improving their communication skills and learning the language of business in the healthcare industry.

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