Medical Terminology in Nursing...

  1. Hi!

    I'm new to the forum. I'm currently in school taking my pre-reqs for nursing, and one of my assignments for the Medical Terminology class is to have a discussion with someone in the medical field the importance (or lack thereof) of having a solid grasp of Medical Lingo in the field. Basically, is this going to be a useful class once I'm actually working?

    I can't wait to hear from you!
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   dthfytr
    Oh, you'll have lots of fun. Alot of medical terminology fuses prefixes with suffixes to make a description of something in somewhat general terms. You gotta know this stuff though. Prefixes; Hepat = liver; nephro = kidneys; pneumo = lungs. The suffix "itis" means inflamed. Hence liver disease is hepatitis, kidney infection nephritis, lungs would be pneumonitis. Hope that helps.
  4. by   roser13
    Does it matter what we think?

    Seriously, it is a pre-req, you have to take it. It matters not what we think.

    But yes, you must know your terminology.
    Last edit by roser13 on Sep 14, '10
  5. by   island40
    It is useful to know what people you work with are talking about - but then again most Americans don't know English so it is just more words to mangle. Take orientation: you can be oriented, you can go to an orientation and you can orient yourself but there is NO English word orientated. There are A LOT (not alot) of medical terms that are used exclusively to a specialty and you forget as soon as the test is over. Being able to write tenesmus instead of loud bowel sounds makes you feel more like one of the group.
  6. by   roser13
    " but there is NO English word orientated"

    Au contraire...check your dictionary. And actually, in the true meaning of English, the British term is orientated.
    Last edit by roser13 on Sep 14, '10
  7. by   roser13
  8. by   Little Panda RN
    Yes, having medical terminology will be useful. I learned med term when I was in medical assisting school and when I went back for my LPN it was a godsend. Many of my class mates struggled to learn med term on top of everything else. I think it should be a requirement for any nursing program and the college I went to finally made it a pre req to getting into the program.

    Just my 2 cents
  9. by   GM2RN
    Medical Terminology is foundational to understanding your textbooks and lectures from now on, which in turn are foundational to understanding everything that you will do as a nurse.
  10. by   chorkle
    studiousme--

    It will be an essential class, long before you get to actually working.

    GM2RN said it well.
  11. by   ObtundedRN
    Its important for us to know, so that we can understand professional materials, and to be able to understand those in depth H&Ps. Also so we can sound more professional when talking to the MD and not look like a fool. But its also very important to know how to translate these words into VERY basic terms. This way you can easily explain things to your patients and their family.
  12. by   AgentBeast
    Learning Greek and Latin would probably be even more useful, and more fun.

    Many of the early Anatomists were Greek or Latin, so many of the words they used to describe structures are either Greek or Latin, obviously. Take the cauda equina, the name literally translates as horse tail, because that is what it looks like. Sella Turcica = Turkish Saddle ect. Pretty much every word for a part of human anatomy has it's roots in either Latin or Greek.
  13. by   leenco12
    Quote from island40
    It is useful to know what people you work with are talking about - but then again most Americans don't know English so it is just more words to mangle. Take orientation: you can be oriented, you can go to an orientation and you can orient yourself but there is NO English word orientated. There are A LOT (not alot) of medical terms that are used exclusively to a specialty and you forget as soon as the test is over. Being able to write tenesmus instead of loud bowel sounds makes you feel more like one of the group.
    Au contraire...check your dictionary. And actually, in the true meaning of English, the British term is orientated.

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  14. by   merlee
    I loved teaching medical terminology, especially when I could hook it up with 'everyday' words. Pepsodent, Lysol, Pepto-Bismal and many other brand names can be related to med terminology.

    And without a sound knowledge of medical terminology, you will never be able to read a chart, take off orders, write decent notes.

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