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Lesson 1 SCOPE AND NATURE Aim To explain the scope and nature of terminology used in medicine and allied professions. Medical terminology is not only used in medicine by doctors and nurses; but is also used in a wide range of associated professions. These related professions include dentistry, veterinary care, medical practice managers, medical receptionists and many types of natural therapies. This course is aimed to develop your awareness of terms not only used by doctors and nurses, but also by other allied professionals. Anyone working in any of these professions will benefit from doing this course. Origins of Words There are two types of medical terms: 1. Eponyms Words that are created by naming something after a person or after something else e.g. a disease named after the person who discovered it. 2. Systematically Constructed Words Medical terms created systematically using other words, or parts of (or derivations from) other words, typically Ancient Greek words or Latin words. There has been a trend starting over the late 20th century, to replace eponyms with systematically constructed words e.g. Parkinson’s disease has been renamed “paralysis agitans.” The advantage of a systematically constructed word is that the components of the word can tell us something about the meaning of the term. By developing an understanding of the components that are commonly used in these systematically constructed words it is (in time) easier to both understand and remember the meanings of the terminology. Structure of Words There are three parts to most medical terms: 1. The Word Root This is usually the middle of the word and provides its core meaning. 2. The Prefix This is normally at the start and commonly identifies a part of the core meaning. 13. The Suffix This comes at the end and modifies the core meaning (eg. What it is interacting with or what is happening to it). Example: The word myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) is constructed systematically from the following: myo (prefix) means muscle card (root) means heart itis (suffix) means inflammation By changing the prefix only, a new word (pericarditis) can be created. Peri-means ‘the outer layer’, so pericarditis is a condition where the outer layer of the heart is inflamed. SELF ASSESSMENT Perform the self assessment test titled ‘Test 1.1.’ If you answer incorrectly, review the notes and try the test again. PREFIX EXAMPLES Prefix Meaning Application in a word a- Without, absent arrhythmia ab- away from abnormal, aberrant ad- toward adduction, adhesion an- (also, a-) absence or deletion of anaemia, abortion anti- effective against, opposite of antihistamine, antibiotic ar- pertaining to cardio- or cardi- heart cardiorespiratory, cardiac cyt to do with the cell cytology, cytoplasm contra- opposing contraindication, contraction acro- or acr- to do with the extremities acrodermatitis, acrocyanosis derm or derma to do with the skin dermatosis, dermabrasion gastro- or gastr- to do with the stomach gastroenteritis, gastroscope hyper- larger, more significant hyperactive, hyperplasia hypo- lesser, deficient, below normal (opposite of hyper-) hypotension, hypoplasia leuko- or leuk- white leukocyte, leukaemia nephr- having to do with the kidney nephritis, nephrolith neur- having to do with nerves neuralgia, neuron 2SUFFIX EXAMPLES Suffix Meaning Application in a Word -ology study of pathology, cardiology -ologist student of pathologist, cardiologist -algia pain neuralgia, -ia state or condition of anaemia, hypochondria -otomy incision episiotomy, lobotomy -osis, or -y condition of dermatosis, neurosis, apathy -ectomy surgical removal appendectomy -tome instrument that cuts dermatome -gram record PolyGram, histogram, electrocardiogram -itis inflammation nephritis, dermatitis SELF ASSESSMENT Perform the self assessment test titled ‘Test 1.2.’ If you answer incorrectly, review the notes and try the test again. SET TASK 1. Using the internet, library and any other resources within your reach try to gain a broad understanding of the structure of medical terminology. Utilise the information you have researched and a medical terminology dictionary to understand any terms you have difficulty with. 2. Carry out research on the internet or at a local library into relevant career opportunities. 3. Pronunciation. Use the local library/internet to learn the pronunciation for the different terminology you learnt in this lesson 4. Refer to the “Medical Terminology – Diagnostic Procedures” document. Select one term from each of the letters A – E that you are unfamiliar with and find the meaning of this term. The purpose of this set task is to familiarise yourself with the terminology of medical diagnostic procedures. While you will not be asked to submit your answers for this set task, and are not required to remember the terms by rote, you should be aiming to broaden your knowledge of the world of medical terminology. Throughout the course you will be required to use this booklet in a similar way. ASSIGNMENT Download and do the assignment called ‘Lesson 1 Assignment’.

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