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Medical Terminology / It's not that easy?

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I took medical terminology this semester because I thought it would help me in the future.

Instead, I am constantly worrying over this class.

I was confident when I first entered the course because I heard from so many people online that it was an easy course.

Maybe my course is different?

It's all self-taught.

There is an exam every week.

And my medical terminology "class" is not just memorization of prefixes and suffixes.

There is also diseases, words relating to body parts, and other terminology that I must memorize.

For example, there is an entire chapter dedicated to the ear.

I have to memorize every part of the ear and the functions.

There are 13 tests and in order to barely get an 'A' I have to only get 130 points wrong.

And there is no room for error. No half points. If it's spelled wrong or partially wrong, it's one point off.

I accidently spelled 'separating' wrong and I got an entire point off. :l

Plus, all the tests include prefixes and suffixes from previous tests.

I really wanted to take this course and take some knowledge from it.

But since it's all memorization and I'm constantly feeling rushed.

Once I finish that test, I completely forget the vocab that I just learned and move on to the next chapter.

So basically, it's in one ear and out the other...

If you took this class, did you only have to memorize prefixes, combining words, and suffixes?

I don't understand how everyone thinks it's so easy!

See, if it was JUST the prefixes, CW, and suffixes, YES, it would've been an easy class.

What really bums me out is that if I get a 'B' in this class... ughh..

It's only one credit! It'll bring down my GPA.

And this is the hardest class out of all my other classes.

I'm taking two language classes and human sexuality.

AHHHH, so stressed. 😕

I took medical terminology several years ago, but my class was fairly easy. We didn't have to worry about all of the parts of there ear and function (as you example gave). Sorry yours is so difficult. The only thing I can say is that once you get med term it will help with other things I am sure. Since your class seems to be more difficult, hopefully it will give you a leg up in A&P. I would suggest that you make note cards with all of your roots and suffixes and base words and study them. Once you get them, medical words are a lot easier. I am a medical transcriptionist, so trust me I know medical terminology can be a pain in the rear. Keep doing what you are doing and try to memorize what you can. I think you will retain more than you think especially once you start applying to real world things.

As far as as your GPA, how does the school you are applying to work? At the school I am applying to they only "count" the GPA for required prereq classes.

Sorry I am not much help! I do, however, sympathize with you. Medical terminology can be tough! Good luck!

J

Butterfly0328

Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

I totally understand how you must be feeling. The class isn't even required and you thought you would do a good thing and take it. Well, even though it is not required I also took it and I am sooo glad I did. If you have not gotten to A & P, you will thank your lucky stars you took this class when you do. Even though it seems like you may not be retaining much of the information, you are probably retaining more than you realize. It does sound like a very detailed class for only one credit. But trust me, it will pay off when you begin your A & P. I actually believe it should be a required course because so much medical terminology is used in anatomy. Ex. Nephro= kidney, hepato=liver, anterior=front, posterior=back. All of this is needed for A&P. So my suggestion is to maybe change your mindset from " what the he&*, " to " I am going to give this class my very best effort and trust I will do so much better in A & P as well as nursing classes because of this class." Good Luck:)

So, Butterfly-

Do you think there is any point in taking Medical Terminology if I have already had A & P? I was thinking it might be a help for when I start nursing school, but if A & P covers the same info then perhaps I'd be wasting my time.

Thanks.

"So basically, it's in one ear and out the other..."

Shouldn't that be "In one external auditory meatus and out the other..." ?

Butterfly0328

Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice.

Mama, I guess if I were in your shoes and I had already completed A&P I wouldn't also take medical terminology. I am just now completing A&P II and so have not obviously applied to the Nursing Program yet. So, as far as medical terminology helping for your nursing classes I really don't know. But if I were you I would just wait or perhaps get the opinion of those in the nursing program to see what they think. But I would lean more towards not taking med. term. because you have already been exposed to a lot of it in A&P. I hope this helps. :)

Is it required for your program? Have you considered dropping the class? It would help to have a little background in med term, but you will also learn fill of it in A&P and most of your nursing classes. If it isn't required, ditch it!

PacoUSA, BSN, RN

Specializes in PCU / Telemetry. Has 9 years experience.

I had taken A&P already when I took Medical Terminology. Granted, some of the stuff is repeated, but it can't hurt to use it as reinforcement. Besides, I learned a lot more new things anyway.

The MT class I took at my school was 4 credits and was a gift. I am grateful for the nice boost to my GPA :D

Believe it or not, having had A&P in the past (several times because I love it) Medical terminology has still helped me to understand why each part was given the name that it was. It gave me the understanding that putting "-ectomy" with any anatomy term means to remove it and that al,el,ia,etc all simply means that it pertains to that particular anatomy feature. I think having A&P first made it easier for me to understand terminology because I had a mental visual of where everything was or what area it was associated with, so it was easier to memorize it.

Just know that once you start using it and are required to pull the words from that little black book in the back of your brain, they will be there and you will understand them better every time you have to use them. Medical language will become your primary language before you know it.

Good Luck!!

soushee

Has 3 years experience.

I took medical terminology online, so I didn't have to memorize anything. Which, to me, I feel was better because I wasn't just memorizing, regurgitating, and then forgetting like what happens in most classes like that. I actually recall what I learned. And I think it helped in a variety of classes. It's a lot more than just learning anatomical terms.

Mama2fiveboys,

I'm enrolled to take it next semester and have already taken anatomy, physiology, and comparative anatomy. Medical terminology is not required by my school but I think it will be valuable for several reasons. One, even though I've learned something, returning to study it again is different. I can learn more from it because I have a better foundation in the first place. Another way to say it: a framework to hang concepts or details from. I'm a strongly global learner so that makes a particularly lot of difference for me. I got good grade the first time around in the anatomy class but I understood much more the second time around in the comparative anatomy class.

Second, cramming is not as effective as learning a little bit often... coming back to the material a year later is a grand version of that concept. I'm finding that after the first anatomy class, I knew some of the terms easily but many were more familiarly vague. Now, I can pull up many more of the terms easily.

Third, I don't think I will be learning the same thing. There will be a lot of overlap but even there is, I'll be coming at it from a much different angle. There is also a lot that is not overlap.

P.S. I like your name, I'm Mama to four boys (and a girl).

My comments will seem atypical.

Taking a med. terminology course, expecting an easy course, is a contradiction in terms. What is critically important is what you learn, what you retain. Learn it, understand it, retain it--and it will be a tremendous help in any future healthcare-related field--nursing school, or whatever.

The basis of most med. terminology is a thorough founding in Latin & ancient Greek--that's where all those prefixes, roots, and suffixes came from. Latin & Greek haven't been a focus of even liberal arts college curricula in more than a century, and then some.

Med. terminology is a crash course in the essences--without any of the understanding--of Greek & Latin.

As for me, I've been fascinated by words & their etymologies (origins), and their cross-language counterparts, for as long as I can remember. So, even tho I have next to no understanding of Greek & Latin, the subject matter is relatively easy, because I have instant associations with very many of the words, and with their parts. If you have this, you will also have a much better understanding of our version of English. (English is probably the master word-borrower among common contemporary languages.)

During CNA clinicals, I was observing, & trying to be helpful to, the PTA applying electrodes to specific muscles of the thighs of a *seated* patient/resident. The PT referred to "above" & "below." I had trouble visualizing what he meant. Finally, I said, When you say above, can I understand proximal? And distal for below? Well, yeah, he said, If you wanna talk that fancy. I just said, It makes it clearer to me.

To him, above & below had no reference to up & down, for a seated patient. He meant up & down, for a patient in standard anatomical position--a huge difference. THIS is an example of why we learn & use med. terminology.

soushee What was the name of the university or institution that you took your medical terminology class from? I work full time and have to take this class along with 2 other classes and I am beginning to loose my mind. Thanks for your help...

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

I am so glad I took med term. It has been a huge help to me because now I know the words and there meanings in A&P II and micro. Many people who are taking these classes are struggling with the latin and I am not. I took it fifteen years ago when it was required and now it's not. For me the basics of med term I have retained over the years. I know it seems like a waste now because you are getting a B but believe me you will be so happy you took this later. When I had to memorize the arteries and veins of the body it was a piece of cake for me because I pretty much knew the hepatic portal went to the liver and what subclavian meant and brachial. I think I ended up with a 112% on that test. So just buckle down and get memorizing. You will feel relief later down the road.

Use quizlet.com. I haven't taken this class yet but I think it will help you a lot- it sure has for my other classes! It's not just making flashcards. You can quiz yourself by having you type the answer, it can generate tests out of your question/answer sets, play games, etc. Not to mention it's a lot faster to type your sets than to write them, and you won't have any flashcards to lose or take up space. It will force you to make sure you're spelling things correctly too.

Best of luck. I can definitely see how you're frustrated but there's still time to make a comeback! And in the end if you do get a B, it isn't a prereq and it's one credit so it won't hurt your GPA that much.

Your class is exactly how mine was-- what textbook are you using? I recommend getting Stedman's medical terminology flash cards. It includes lots of terms (800), and although it's not all of the terms you'll need to know, it's better than spending 3 hours writing out flash cards.

Medical terminology is hard, but you can do it. Good luck with the rest of your semester!

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

lovesicles said:
I took medical terminology this semester because I thought it would help me in the future.

Instead, I am constantly worrying over this class.

I was confident when I first entered the course because I heard from so many people online that it was an easy course.

Maybe my course is different?

It's all self-taught.

There is an exam every week.

And my medical terminology "class" is not just memorization of prefixes and suffixes.

There is also diseases, words relating to body parts, and other terminology that I must memorize.

For example, there is an entire chapter dedicated to the ear.

I have to memorize every part of the ear and the functions.

There are 13 tests and in order to barely get an 'A' I have to only get 130 points wrong.

And there is no room for error. No half points. If it's spelled wrong or partially wrong, it's one point off.

I accidently spelled 'separating' wrong and I got an entire point off. :l

Plus, all the tests include prefixes and suffixes from previous tests.

I really wanted to take this course and take some knowledge from it.

But since it's all memorization and I'm constantly feeling rushed.

Once I finish that test, I completely forget the vocab that I just learned and move on to the next chapter.

So basically, it's in one ear and out the other...

If you took this class, did you only have to memorize prefixes, combining words, and suffixes?

I don't understand how everyone thinks it's so easy!

See, if it was JUST the prefixes, CW, and suffixes, YES, it would've been an easy class.

What really bums me out is that if I get a 'B' in this class... ughh..

It's only one credit! It'll bring down my GPA.

And this is the hardest class out of all my other classes.

I'm taking two language classes and human sexuality.

AHHHH, so stressed. 😕

It sounds exactly like the one I took.I found it tricky but doable. Not nearly as hard as nursing school.

It is fairly an easy course. I don't know why you got it hard. If you are good at A &P this is a piece of cake course.