Distance Learning Course of 12 Lessons
This course teaches medical terminology from an anatomical approach. Root terms are divided by each body system.
The origin, a combined form, and an example of non-medical everyday usage is provided for each root term. Word Associations are provided as a learning tool. Unusual and interesting information is provided in regards to each term.
Root terms are combined with prefixes and suffixes as your learning will culminate in the interpretation of several paragraphs of medical notes. This course teaches medical terminology according to each body system. Multiple graphics, study tips and unusual facts make for a most enjoyable course.
This course teaches medical terminology according to each body system. Multiple graphics, study tips and unusual facts make for a most enjoyable course.
Tuition & Fees
This course run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.
Wednesday – Lesson 01
Welcome to the first lesson of medical terminology! We’ll begin the course by exploring root terms, which represent the main meaning of a combined medical term. A combined medical term consists of a root, a prefix, and/or a suffix. As we progress through each lesson of this course, you’ll see that we proceed by “body system,” and in this first lesson, we’ll go over root terms that are associated with the musculoskeletal system, so we’ll be talking a lot about the muscles, bones, joints, and tendons of the body in this lesson.
Friday – Lesson 02
In today’s lesson, you’ll learn a variety of terminology relating to the integumentary and digestive systems. The integumentary system includes the skin, connective tissues, and some loosely associated structures such as nails and teeth. When we discuss the digestive system, you’ll learn medical terminology relating to the digestive tract from the mouth, to the pharynx, to the esophagus, and so on, all the way out to the exterior of the body.
Wednesday – Lesson 03
In this lesson, we’ll go over terminology related to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The cardiovascular system includes the heart, arteries, veins, and blood, while the respiratory system includes the lungs and assorted chest structures.
Friday – Lesson 04
Today’s topic areas are the urinary and reproductive systems. When we go over the urinary system, you’ll learn terminology related to the kidneys, bladder, urine, and even some chemistry terms. When we go over the reproductive system, you’ll learn root terms that refer to both male and female anatomical structures.
Wednesday – Lesson 05
In this lesson, we’ll finish up our discussion about root terms. You’ll learn root terms that are associated with the neurosensory system, including nerves, the eyes, ears, brain, and spinal cord. Then we’ll begin doing something a little different—at the end of the lesson, we’ll do a little review session to help you remember all of the root terms that you’ve learned up to this point.
Friday – Lesson 06
In today’s lesson, you’ll learn about prefixes and suffixes that are common in medicine and start with the letters A through H. Starting today, we won’t be going through the word associations that we did in previous lessons. By now, you’ll find that you can recognize many of these terms as they’re used in our normal, everyday language.
Wednesday – Lesson 07
In this lesson, we’ll continue to progress through the prefixes and suffixes commonly used in medical terminology. Our objective for today is to identify the common medical prefixes & suffixes that begin with the letters I through O.
Friday – Lesson 08
Today, we’ll complete our tour through the alphabetical listings of the most common prefixes and suffixes used in medical terminology by focusing on prefixes and suffixes that begin with the letters P through Z. You’ll find that there are many more terms that medical professionals use less often, and you’ll even discover that sometimes a root that you already know is used as a prefix or suffix.
Wednesday – Lesson 09
In previous lessons, you learned about common prefixes and suffixes. In today’s lesson, we’ll study specific prefixes and suffixes that pertain to color. Color is used quite a bit in the medical field because it helps everyone to describe various signs and symptoms. In this lesson, we’ll also go over medical abbreviations that are specific to the various occupations and titles of the medical industry. Your assignment in this lesson will change a little as your research becomes a bit more challenging.
Friday – Lesson 10
The medical community uses an abundance of abbreviations. Some medical facilities don’t allow them, but you should still learn the meanings of the most common abbreviations so you’ll know them when you see them. For this lesson, we’ll study the abbreviations that start with the letters A through R. Your assignment for this lesson will be a bit different—you’re going to find words in a medical note that you can replace with the abbreviations that you learned in the lesson.
Wednesday – Lesson 11
In this lesson, we’ll finish our study of medical abbreviations as we explore the abbreviations that begin with letters S through Z. We’ll also go over specific abbreviations that refer to hospital areas, laboratory tests, chemistries, and medical symbols. In today’s assignment, it’s up to you to find the abbreviations that correctly relate to each sentence in a medical note.
Friday – Lesson 12
Here in our final lesson, it’s time to put everything you’ve learned together. We’ll look at our roots, prefixes, and suffixes, and see how they create combined medical terms from body system to body system. You’ll also learn some directional terms that are commonly used in medicine. You’ll find that your assignment for this lesson provides you the opportunity to decipher a complete medical note.
On completion of this course, you will receive one qualification:
Medical Terminology Certificate of Completion
A 65% or better must be achieved in order to receive a Certificate of Completion.
About The Instructor
Douglas Best first began working as a field medical instructor in the US Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas in 1980. He has worked as a nurse in such medical specialty areas as Pediatrics, Newborn Intensive Care, Home Health, adult cardiac, surgical and medical intensive care units, the emergency room, heart catheterization, burn intensive care and the morgue. He has been a CPR instructor, EMT, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Neonatal Advanced Life Support certified. He is also a curriculum specialist and has developed such workforce training programs as Medical Specialty Training for displaced workers, Medical Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant in Spanish, and Medical Transcription for the University of Texas at Brownsville. He has also overseen research projects in the development of nurses from Mexico and Sri Lanka. He currently is a trainer working with Humana Military.
This course is an online course.
A new session of this course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends. Your instructor will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
There is no experience or previous qualifications required for enrollment on this course. It is available to all students, of all academic backgrounds.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari (We recommend Firefox or Chrome).
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
“Great intro to medical terminology and abbreviations; very useful to someone interested in getting into healthcare field.”
“I am new to medical terminology, and really enjoyed this course. I was not sure how much I was retaining until the final exam. It is amazing how this all sunk in.”
“I’m in the medical profession and taking the class has helped me to understand what the doctors and nurses are writing in the charts. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is thinking of taking this course. Taking it on-line has helped me a lot because of my work schedule. I was able to print it up and take it with me to work so I can study during my breaks. Thanks for being the best teacher.”
“I really enjoyed the course. I found it most informative, interesting, and entertaining! Reading signs, wall charts, labels, and such at the hospital has been a practical review. Thanks so much for offering this course online.”
“I really enjoyed this class. The instructor made learning the terms fun and enjoyable. I would recommend this course to others. Thanks again!”
“I truly enjoyed the course. I have no experience in the medical field, but found it was so easy and it just made sense. Thank you.”
“Many, many thanks for helping to make a smooth beginning for a career change in the medical field that will enable me to be at home with my family!”
“The course has been so useful. You were correct, I’ll never be able to watch those hospital shows in the same manner ever again.”
“The course was easy to comprehend, and it covered material that could help me in my job search.”
“This course was a lot of fun. It was also very helpful and I will reference back to the class when working in the medical field. Thanks for all your help!”
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