Medcal Terminology at a Glance

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Electronic medical record Pages: 14 (1940 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Medical Terminology at a Glance
Studying medical terminology is like learning a new language Basic rules for building terms will help you both build and translate many different words You must be able to put words together or build words from their parts Like piecing together a puzzle

Understanding Medical Terms
It is impossible to memorize all of the thousands of medical terms You can distinguish the meaning of many different words by analyzing the word parts Word roots
Combining forms
Prefixes
Suffixes
Figure 1.1
Nurse completing a patient report. Healthcare workers use medical terminology in order to accurately and efficiently communicate patient information to each other. Basic Word Parts
Word root is the fundamental meaning of the term
Prefixes and suffixes modify the word root
Combining vowels connect other word parts
Always exceptions to rules
Medical Terms Are Built from Word Parts
Word Part

Word root
Prefix
Suffix
Combining form

Example (Meaning)

cardiogram (record of the heart)
pericardium (around the heart)
carditis (inflammation of the heart)
cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)

Word Root
Foundation of the term
General meaning of word
Often gives body system or part
cardi = heart
Or may be an action
cis = to cut

Word Root
Medical terms may have more than one root
osteoarthritis
Medical terms may be built without a word root
hyper- = prefix meaning excessive
-trophy = suffix meaning development
hypertrophy = excessive development
Combining Vowels
Make it possible to pronounce long terms
Usually an “o”
Combine two word parts:
Between two word roots
Between word root and suffix
Combining Vowel Rules
Between word root and suffix
If the suffix begins with a vowel
Do not use a combining vowel
Arthritis, not arthroitis
If the suffix begins with a consonant
Use a combining vowel
Arthroscope, not arthrscope
Combining Vowel Rules
Combining vowel is typically kept between two word roots
Even if the second word root begins with a vowel
gastroenteritis, not gastrenteritis
Combining Form
Typically used to write word roots
Also use the word root/combining vowel format
Examples:
cardi/o
arthr/o
gastr/o
Common Combining Forms
aden/o – gland
carcin/o – cancer
cardi/o – heart
chem/o – chemical
cis/o – to cut
dermat/o – skin
enter/o – small intestine
gastr/o – stomach
Common Combining Forms
gynec/o – female
hemat/o – blood
hydr/o – water
immun/o – immunity
laryng/o – voice box
nephr/o – kidney
neur/o – nerve
ophthalm/o – eye
Common Combining Forms
ot/o – ear
path/o – disease
pulmon/o – lung
rhin/o – nose
Prefix
Added to the front of a term
Adds meaning such as:
location of organsub- = below
number of partsmono- = one
time (frequency)post- = after
Prefix
Not all medical terms have a prefix
When written by itself, followed by a hyphen
intra-
hyper-
multi-

Common Prefixes
a-without, away from
an-without
ante-before, in front of
anti-against
auto-self
brady-slow
contra-against
de-without
Common Prefixes
dys-painful, difficult, abnormal
endo-within, inner
epi-upon, over
eso-inward
eu-normal, good
ex-external, outward
exo-outward
extra-outside of
Common Prefixes
hetero-different
homo-same
hydro-water
hyper-over, above
hypo-under, below
in-not, inward
inter-among, between
intra-within, inside
Common Prefixes
macro-
micro-
myo-
neo-
pan-
para-
per-
peri-
large
small
to shut
new
all
beside, near, abnormal, two like parts of a pair
through
around
Common Prefixes
post-after
pre-before, in front of
pro-before
pseudo-false
retro-backward, behind
sub-below, under
supra-above
tachy-fast
Common Prefixes
trans-through, across
ultra-beyond, excess
un-not
Number Prefixes
bi- two
hemi- half
mono- one
multi- many
nulli- none
poly- many

primi-first
quadri- four
semi- partial, half
tetra-...
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