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Monday, November 29, 2021  

Medical Terminology For Today and TomorrowPublished 7/3/2007

Think with me if you will to your first set of nursing classes. Do you recall your medical terminology class? Probably not.

The class in itself is usually forgotten because it entails so much memorization and usually so dull.

The impact or the value of the class usually lives on especially if it is taught correctly.

Medical terminology is the language of the entire health care field. The course is designed to help students master the language.

Medical terminology is a concise accurate way of communicating among health care professionals. Since many of the terms are derived from Greek and Latin, medical terminology becomes an even more universal language.

If you were taking this course today it would be recommended to study medical terminology in frequent intervals, spending time to review and practice.

This is true of most foreign languages because it helps you to retain the information.

Repetition really builds and strengthens the understanding of the language.

For those of us in the medical professional, we realize this and do it probably without notice. I can’t keep from thinking how medical terminology is changing.

I can recall diagnosis that weren’t even in the medical dictionary years ago or even an ICD-9-CM coding book but they are there today.

I specifically remember when WPW came to the medical dictionary and the coding books.

WPW is known as Wolfe Parkinson White and is a heart rhythm syndrome. Medicine is constantly changing and how we use medical terminology is changing.

Most nurses have been introduced to the language so that they can document their findings for the paper record, but today all that is changing due to advances of the electronic record.

We can use templates or push a key to translate a series of words into a sentence.

Instead of spelling out the words to use when everything is within normal limits or using the abbreviations that we were all taught, such as WNL, we can now be a press a key or high light a field to state the three words.

With progress comes new obstacles and I do drawn some concern that while we can speed up the process of all this tedious time consuming writing that all nurses have to do, my concerns come with will we still maintain the integrity of the medical record?

With the increased interest in voice recognition and increased advances with computer operability and connectivity, will we lose sight of what really matters the medical language that we are using to communicate with each other as health care professionals?

Some things to consider:

v Know your documentation practices at your facility

v Are documentation guidelines and policies in place

v Is there any planning for the future for the transition to the electronic health record

v Are you on the team or do you need to form a team to discuss this matter

v Have you read the latest journals to find out what electronic health record products are safe and which have been certified

v Do you know the questions to ask to get the process started

Medical Terminology will probably be one of the first classes any medical student will take and it will be around for awhile but how we use that class in the future is changing.

Do you think that we should introduce medical terminology on the computer since that is where the field is headed?

Please respond if you would like to answer the question.

You may submit any comments to dclaybrook@cox.net. I would like to hear from any nursing student or other health care professionals that have just completed their basics to those nurses that have been in the field for awhile.

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