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the importance of learning medical terminology

all professionals have a level playing field and can talk about the same things


What is the basic foundation of the word

the word root. e.g. cardi. everything revolves around the root. must know the meaning of the root itself. medical terms are created every day based on the new changes occurring.


What is a combining form?

word root + a vowel (usually an 'o' and sometimes an 'i') e.g. myoelectric----> my o electr ic


What is the combining vowel rule? (slide 7)

A word cannot end in a combining form.
Either: -drop the combining vowel
-add a suffix
-make the word a noun or an adjective
Example- Megalocardia
Note: Word cannot be megal/o/card/o
Must drop combining vowel o
Must add ending


True or False: The word root is the basic ending of a word.

False. The word root is the basic foundation of a word.


What generally needs to happen when a term has more than one word root?

You need a combining vowel.


What is a suffix?

-Attaches to the end of the word root
-Makes word a noun or an adjective
-Meaning of suffix remains the same
-Suffix changes meaning of root to which it is attached


How do you break down and define a word?

Always start with the suffix. Then the prefix, and then the root(s).


What is the suffix rule?

If the suffix starts with a consonant, add a combing vowel. If the suffix starts with a,e,i,o,u or y- add directly to the root
e.g. cardi o gram or e.g. cardi algia


In the term hypodermic, why is there no combining vowel before the suffix?

The suffix –ic already begins with a vowel, so no combining vowel is needed.


What is a prefix?

-Attaches directly to the beginning of a word
-Meaning of prefix always remains the same
-Prefix changes meaning of root to which it is attached
-Not all words have prefixes
e.g. endocardium
Note: Combining vowel is not needed


True or False: The meaning of prefixes and suffixes never changes, but both change the meaning of the word root.

True-The meaning change could be as simple as changing from a noun to an adjective, or from positive to negative


What is the structure of compound words?

usually composed in the following order:
Combining form + word root + suffix
Leuk / o + cyt + osis
(Combining form) + word root + suffix


Define intracardiac

Suffix = ac = pertaining to
Prefix = intra = within
Word root = cardi = heart
Definition = pertaining to within the heart


What do you do when medical words identify body systems or parts

Define suffix first, body organs in order they are studied in body system
Example: cardiopulmonary
Suffix = ary = pertaining to
Body organ = cardi = heart
Body organ = pulmon = lungs
Definition = pertaining to the heart and the lungs


When you have all 3 components of a term, what is the order in which you read them?

Suffix, Prefix, Root


Sounds like an 'f'---look for

f or ph


sounds like a 'j'---look for

j, ge, gi, gy


sounds like a 'k'---look for

k, c, ch, qu


sounds like an 'n'---look for

n, pn, kn


sounds like an 'c'---look for

s, c, ps


sounds like 'sk'---look for

sk, sc, sch


sounds like 'z'---look for

z or x


If intra = within, cardi = heart, and –ac = pertaining to, define the term intracardiac:

Pertaining to within the heart


soft 'c' sounds

Words that begin with ‘c’
If followed by ‘e’, ‘i’, or ‘y’---Pronounced as soft ‘c’ -Has ‘s’ sound
Examples ‘ce’ = cervix, ‘ci’ = circumduction, ‘cy’ = cyst


Hard 'c' sounds

Words that begin with ‘c’
If followed by ‘a’, ‘o’, ‘u’, or consonant,
Pronounced as hard ‘c’---Has a ‘k’ sound
Examples-‘ca’ = cancer, ‘co’ = collagen, ‘cu’ = cuticle,
‘ch’ = cheiloplasty


Words that end in 'g'

If followed by ‘e’ or ‘i’, pronounced as soft ‘g’-Sounds like ‘j’
Examples- Laryngectomy , Pharyngitis
If followed by ‘a’, ‘o’, or consonant, pronounced as hard ‘g’
Has ‘guh’ sound
Examples: Laryngalgia, Meningocele, Glossal


What is an eponym?

Name for a disease, organ, procedure, or body function
Derived from the name of a person