We all have dealt with healthcare professionals in the past, and we will be dealing with many more in the future as well. A formal conversation with them regarding someone’s health can sometimes be a real head-scratcher.
Healthcare professionals tend to throw a lot of medical jargon at times during interaction with patients and their families.
It can be a little overwhelming, especially for someone who has never heard those terminologies before. It can be hard to keep up with them if we are unaware of even the most basic medical terminologies out there. Even if you have no intention of working in the healthcare field, there are some medical terminologies that every individual should be aware of. It can help streamline the process of communicating with a healthcare practitioner with whom you are bound to have regular interactions in your life.
Medical Terminologies for Medical Students
Learning medical terminologies can be a time-consuming task. Even after working hard all day long at remembering medical abbreviations and phrases, one can only grasp about one-third of the whole thing. If you are a medical student, then this aspect of your education becomes even more critical. There is no other way around it for medical students as they will have to perfect the task of learning all the medical terminologies to put their knowledge to future use in their profession. If you want to be considered a professional in your field, then you cannot skip this crucial aspect of your medical education.
Mastering Medical Terminology
Mastering medical terminology seems like an impossible task from the outside looking in as there are tens of thousands of medical terminologies that require registering in the brain but just because something seems impossible does not mean it’s unachievable. All you need is a good approach; then, you can master anything in the world. Even something as tedious as learning medical terminologies and jargon. If you put to use some of the most effective memorizing strategies and utilize tried-and-true tools, then you would be able to master the art of using medical terminology like a pro. You would be able to outperform all of your peers and even make this tedious activity a fun one instead.
Medical Terminology Courses
Students can sign up for various medical terminology courses to master the challenge, but regardless of the teaching method used, these courses are generally dull and challenging to comprehend. Students are encouraged to rely on rote memorization. Rote memorization techniques are only beneficial in the short run, and in the long run, it is nowhere helpful as the human brain is susceptible to forgetting. Individuals who are not adept at memorizing thousands of complex terminologies and phrases will lag behind individuals who are more adept at memorizing such complex terms.
The objective of Medical Terminology Courses
The main objective of a medical terminology course should not be rote memorization. It should be to utilize effective memorizing strategies so that students can retain what is being learned much easily for years. They should not be focused on short-term goals like passing the test; instead, they should be focused on applying the learning for long-term use in their future profession. Changing the whole approach can prove to be a bigger splash on students on how they view medical terminologies.
Information retention should be the ultimate goal of these medical terminology courses so that future physicians can use their learning to flourish in their profession.
Another way to make learning medical terminology a fun activity is by boosting comprehension skills and developing an effective strategy for memorizing. Breaking down complex terms into smaller units can streamline the process ten-fold. One can also combine different learning styles to make things more interesting. Multimedia technologies should also be used extensively to promote better information retention.
This article will be listing down some of the most effective memorizing tactics or strategies that will help you master medical terminologies like a pro. So, without further ado, let’s break it down.
1. Break It Down, Literally
Medical terminologies are primarily derived from Latin or Greek words. When we break these Latin words down to their most basic form, it becomes easier to register in the brain. As practice makes a man better, it is essential to keep practicing these basic Latin and Greek words to be able to master the task. Knowing and understanding the roots, prefixes, and suffixes of medical terms is the most crucial step in the process of mastering medical terminology.
Learn the correct pronunciation of the terms by watching pronunciation videos of the term. Another trick to remember medical terminology effectively is to understand the concept itself. The more you know about the concept, the better your mind will be able to register and retain it. Don’t chomp at the bit, though, and begin with five or six terminologies every day, working your way through all the other terminologies.
Example – To remember the medical term “costochondritis,” we must break it down into smaller and simpler units.
The prefix “costo” means “ribs.”
The root term “chondr” means “cartilage”
The suffix “Itis” means “inflammation”
Thus, we can break down complex terms into simpler units by using this method. This is one way we can master medical terminology like a pro.
Flashcards are highly effective at helping students learn novel terms. It is a unique way of learning in which the terminology is written on one side, and its meaning is written on the other side. The use of flashcards as a memorizing strategy is highly effective as it helps to create a visual link or an association between the term and its meaning. There are several online programs that prepare flashcards which you can access for free on the internet. You can also make one yourself if you desire. By using flashcards, you can strengthen the association of the term with its meaning more efficiently in your mind.
3. Creating Acronyms For Medical Terms
While creating acronyms requires some originality and creative thinking on the learner’s part, it is an extremely effective memorizing strategy, particularly for groups of words that are linked. Creating acronyms is quite simple; all you have to do is take the first letter of a bunch of related words and rearrange them to make a whole new world that is easy to remember. For example, HIV/AIDS is the universally accepted acronym for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus/ Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome.
Similarly, you can make a creative acronym for anything related to a group of linked words.
4. Simplify The Terminology
Another method of mastering medical terminologies is to simplify the terminology by explaining it in common everyday language. This can help the student gain some insight into what the terminology means in an everyday context. It aids in comprehension better as the medical term gets simplified and becomes familiar to the learner. For example, the medical term “hyperglycemia” can be better understood as “high blood pressure,” and the term “hypoglycemia” can be better understood as “low blood pressure.” So, by understanding the terminology in everyday language, we can simplify the term and make it more familiar to the general population.
5. Written Notes and Repetition
Writing the terminology down five to six times in your notebook will help your brain register the term better. Making written notes and repeating them multiple times will aid in familiarity with the term. The terms can be written down in one’s own handwriting 10-15 times till a visual impression gets created. Such an impression is permanent and can help one become a pro.
The process of learning and becoming better at something involves trying new things and finding what works best for you. Some students prefer to use physical note cards, while others are more comfortable using digital tools. Good study habits and sticking to a study routine are essential as well. It would help if you prepared yourself in such a way that you adequately remember the terminology not only for your tests and quizzes but also beyond the exam and semester. Practice makes a person perfect. Practicing every day and meeting day-to-day goals when it comes to mastering medical terminologies will take you a long way in your career in the end.
The human body is an interesting entity built of complex systems and processes. The terminology used to define them appears complex on the surface, but once we dissect them and become familiar with them, the intimidation ceases to exist. Medical terminologies seem like an impossible feat to achieve, but anything can be made possible with the right approach and strategy.
Medical terminology courses can instill these skills in students for a better grasp of medical terminologies not just for the short-term but also for the long-term. If you want to master medical terminologies like a pro, sign up for a medical terminology course today that instills comprehension skills in their students and provides them with correct memorizing strategies. Download the eGurukul App for more details.