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Courses in Medical Terminology

by Suzy Kerr

Exploring a career in the medical field requires a basic understanding of medical terminology. The terms and abbreviations used within the medical and healthcare industries can often seem like a language all its own, but if you want a career in this field, you’ll need an understanding of medical terminology. While a degree may not be necessary for some jobs, classes in medical terminology can help you gain a better understanding of healthcare lingo and how it is used.

Traditional College Classes

You can take traditional college classes in medical terminology. The KU School of Medicine, for instance, which has a well-earned reputation for state-of-the-art technology and education, offers medical terminology. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school as being one of the premiere training institutions for primary care physicians. The school has branched out, extending to several different campuses, spreading its reach of new methodology and teaching methods.

Online Classes

Courses online give students the advantage of learning at their convenience instead of in a traditional classroom. The goal of any medical terminology course is to provide the knowledge needed to be well equipped to work in the healthcare industry or related field. Online classes often provide the following material: online streaming of audio-video lectures, learning objectives for each segment or lesson of the class, and quizzes to ensure you understand the material and homework to help you research and study. The typical pace of a course is 16 weeks, indicating a normal semester. Generally, a practicing physician teaches these courses, so students can be assured of an experienced mentor.

Fast-Paced Intensive Classes

Available fast-paced classes, such as those offered at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas, include a 48-hour intensive program that teaches not only medical terminology but word origins, word structure, pronunciation, spelling and application of the terms. In this way, the words are analyzed through use of root words, abbreviations, prefixes, suffixes, symbols and plurals. This type of class benefits those who want to get a jump-start on a nursing program, or those who are already in the field and need a refresher course in medical terminology before continuing in their chosen field.

Free Online Classes

If you choose a career in medical billing and coding online, you might be able to enroll free of charge when you join an association such as the American Medical Billing Association. This may also be an option if you are working on your nursing degree; ask the university department dean if you can receive credit for the free online course if you make a passing grade. Many major corporations also offer free online courses in medical terminology to employees to build on their educational foundation and keep them up to date with technology.

About the Author

Suzy Kerr graduated from Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia. She completed her Master's degree in Nutrition Sciences, also at the University of Georgia. Suzy has been a successful health, fitness and nutrition writer for more than 10 years, and has been published in various print and online publications.

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