Memorizing medical terms can seem overwhelming at first. Terms can look intimidating due to their roots in Greek and Latin. That can make many of them appear strange and difficult to remember. That being said, knowing basic medical terminology is an essential part of a career in healthcare.
Luckily for any aspiring health care professional, memorizing such terms isn’t as complex or hard as you might think. In fact, there are numerous strategies you can use to keep them stored in your memory. Here are three ways you can easily remember medical terminology while studying health administration.
1. Use Techniques You Used in School, Like Flashcards and Rewriting Terms on Paper
You probably used memorization techniques to remember certain terms during school right before big exams, and they’re still useful to try during your career as well. Rewriting terms on paper rather than on your computer is one way to make sure certain words stick in your brain. If necessary, rewrite the words over and over again to make sure you can easily recall them. If you’re more of a visual learner, tools like flashcards can be helpful as these give you more visually-based cues to remember terms. They also provide another opportunity for you to rewrite terms by hand. You could also try recording yourself as you say each word and their definition, and listening back to these recordings later.
2. Learn Some Greek and Latin Roots of Common Medical Terms
Many medical terms are rooted in Greek or Latin, and knowing even a few very basic Greek and Latin words can unlock the meaning of many medical words in your health administration courses. You don’t even need to know that many Greek or Latin words to get the full benefits of this. For example, the suffix “-itis” is Latin for inflammation, and adding it to other words tells you that the term likely refers to inflammation of a certain body part. For instance, appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. There are words and suffixes rooted in Greek, as well, such as myalgia (the suffix “-algia” meaning pain) and the prefix “carcin-”, meaning cancer.
3. Make a Game Out of Studying Terminology for Your Health Administration Diploma
Memorizing medical terminology during your health administration diploma can be fun if you turn it into a game. You could create a Jeopardy-style game with flashcards, for example, with categories for each type of medical term you need to study on those cards. Make a separate group of cards for the definitions for each term, and have another person play the game with you. Alternatively, you could download smartphone apps that can help you memorize medical terms, such as Med Term Scramble or Taber’s Medical Dictionary. You could also try getting more creative with how you try remembering certain terms, such as by making abbreviations, rhymes or even songs out of them. When it comes to remembering complex medical terminology, it’s all about being creative and having fun with it!
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