What Do You Learn in a Medical Terminology Class?

Students learn common terms used in health care settings when enrolled in a medical terminology class. The terminology is often divided in categories that explore the systems of the human body, such as the circulatory, respiratory and nervous system, and learn ways to relate the medical terms to anatomical counterparts.

Beginner courses in medical terminology teach students how to identify the meaning of medical terms based on the root word that is surrounded by a suffix and a prefix. Students learn how the meaning of a root word can be changed based on the suffix or prefix used. Common suffixes and prefixes include micro, otomy and itis.

Advanced medical terminology courses teach the basics of medical terms used to describe human systems that include the digestive, urinary and musculoskeletal systems. Many students rely on study groups, flash cards and online tutorials to help them review the medical terms prior to tests, homework and worksheets that are required.

Students taking medical terminology courses are typically entering the health care field and preparing for a position as a medical assistant, medical billing and coding specialist, health care manager, insurance representative, registered nurse or nurse practitioner or physician. Medical terminology courses are often prerequisites for upper level courses in health care.