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ed2go Health and Fitness Medical Medical Terminology: A Word Association Approach
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Medical Terminology: A Word Association Approach

This course teaches medical terminology from an anatomical approach where 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. If you’ve ever had trouble memorizing medical terms, this course (and approach) is for you!

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Starting April 17 | May 15

No instructor. Study on your own schedule

Medical Terminology: A Word Association Approach


Details + Objectives

Course Code: met

What You Will Learn
  • Learn the medical terminology from an anatomical approach with root terms divided by body system
  • Discover the origin of medical terms and examples of non-medical everyday usage
  • Use word associations as a learning tool for medical terminology
How the course is taught
  • Instructor led or self paced online course
  • 6 -12 weeks to complete
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Set yourself up to enter a career in healthcare with an understanding and ability to interpret complex medical terms
  • Learn a method that will help you easily recall and interpret medical terminology when you need it most
  • Increase your medical industry communication skills


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Lesson 1 & 2

Begin the course by exploring root terms, which represent the main meaning of a combined medical term. You’ll proceed throughout the course by “body system” beginning with the musculoskeletal system which includes muscles, bones, joints, and tendons. Then, you’ll move on to the integumentary and digestive systems

Lesson 3 & 4

Learn medical terminology related to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems including the heart, arteries, veins, blood, lungs and assorted chest structures. Then, move on to the urinary and reproductive systems where you’ll learn terminology for both male and female anatomical structures as well as the kidneys, bladder, urine, and even some chemistry terms.

Lesson 5 & 6

Complete the discussion of root terms with the neurosensory system including nerves, the eyes, ears, brain, and spinal cord. Then, participate in a review session to help you remember all the root terms that you’ve learned so far. You’ll also begin learning about prefixes and suffixes that are common in medicine starting with letters A through H.

Lesson 7 & 8

Continue to progress through the prefixes and suffixes commonly used in medical terminology by identifying the common medical prefixes and suffixes that begin with the letters I through Z.

Lesson 9 & 10

Study specific prefixes and suffixes that pertain to color which is used quite a bit in the medical field because it helps everyone to describe various signs and symptoms. You’ll also go over medical abbreviations that are specific to the various occupations and titles of the medical industry. Then, move on to the most common medical abbreviations beginning with the letters A through R.

Lesson 11 & 12

Complete your study of medical abbreviations beginning with letters S through Z and go over specific abbreviations that refer to hospital areas, laboratory tests, chemistries, and medical symbols. Finally, you’ll put everything together by looking at roots, prefixes, and suffixes, to 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.

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Instructors & Support

Douglas Best

Douglas Best is a trainer for Humana Military. He began working as a field medical instructor in the US Army in 1980. He has worked as a nurse in such areas as pediatrics, the emergency room, and the adult cardiac, surgical, newborn, and medical intensive care units. He is also a curriculum specialist and has developed workforce training programs including Medical Specialty Training for Displaced Workers, Certified Nursing Assistant in Spanish, and Medical Transcription for the University of Texas at Brownsville.




There are no prerequisites to take this course. No medical background is necessary.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


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When can I get started?

Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling. 

Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.

How does it work?

Instructor-Led: Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

Self-Paced: You have three-month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.


How long do I have to complete each lesson?

Instructor-Led: 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.

Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons before your three-month access.

What if I need an extension?

Instructor-Led: 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.

Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.

What is medical terminology?

Medical terminology is the special language used to describe the human body. This includes the body’s processes, systems, components, conditions affecting it, and the procedures that are performed on it. It is a special language found throughout healthcare professions that allows workers to communicate more quickly and effectively with one another.

How important is it to know medical terminology in healthcare?

Understanding medical terminology is extremely important if you work in or aspire to work in healthcare. Everything you do in healthcare positions will be based on it as it’s used to describe not only diagnoses and procedures but also symptoms and medical equipment. Knowing medical terminology will help you communicate with other healthcare workers to ensure that patients get proper care and will set you apart as a dedicated professional in the industry.

Where did medical terms come from?

Medical terms are often created using various prefixes and suffixes in Latin and Ancient Greek. The meaning of these words are frequently derived from the language of origin. These prefixes and suffixes are combined with a root term to create meaning.

What is the root in medical terminology?

The root in medical terminology often refers to the organ, tissue, or condition that is being referenced. Once you understand the way medical terminology is put together and memorize some of the roots as well as suffixes and prefixes, it becomes easy to understand various terms and how they are assembled.  

Do all healthcare workers need to understand medical terminology?

Doctors, nurses, medical technicians and others who perform procedures are not the only people who need to understand medical terminology. Almost any type of healthcare job can benefit from an understanding of medical terminology. Even if you’re working at an entry-level, it will help you to develop a basic knowledge of medical terminology in the following careers as well:

  • Medical transcriptionist
  • Medical records specialist
  • Surgical technician
  • Occupational therapy assistant/aide
  • Radiology technician
  • Medical assistant
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Medical biller
  • Medical coder
  • Pharmaceutical salesperson
Are there non-healthcare jobs where knowledge of medical terminology would be useful?

In addition to those in healthcare, there are also several non-healthcare careers that would benefit from a knowledge of medical transcription. Lawyers, paralegals, court reporters, legal secretaries and other legal professionals who handle cases that involve medical related issues should understand the terminology involved. Therapists and counselors should also consider a course in medical terminology as it can help them when interacting with and discussing patients.

What is word association?

Word association is the natural production of additional words in response to a given word. This is often made into a game to prompt memory and is a very effective learning technique especially when learning a new language.  

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