Learning medical terminology is often referred to as mastering a new language. This is true because as a healthcare student, there will be quite a few classes that require you to memorize a lot of theoretical material and tongue-twisting medical terms. For some students, the amount of memorization needed may seem overwhelming. Thankfully there are a number of tips and resources available that can help you out.
Prepare Your Own Medical Terminology Study Guide
The process of becoming a successful student is about trying new things and finding what works best for you. Some students prefer to use physical note cards while others are more comfortable using digital tools. Good study habits are essential as well. You need to study in a way that adequately prepares you for tests and quizzes and ensures that you'll remember new terms not only in a week but at the end of the semester and onward.
What grabs your attention and can put you in a study mood? Knowing this will help you prepare a study guide especially crafted for your needs and goals. Making one will facilitate the learning process and help you find the right approach to training your memory and mastering medical terminology.
Use a Medical Terminology Dictionary
Using a dictionary of medical terms and abbreviations is always a good starting point for med students and healthcare professionals who want to build a good strategy. A dictionary is considered among the most important tools for anyone who is learning a new language or subject matter. Based on your preference, you can either use an online medical terminology dictionary or a printed one.
Make a List of Basic Medical Terms
Writing down the essential medical terms is another good practice. You can create lists of words you already know and those that you still need to learn. Making your own dictionary of terms by rewriting the ones you’ve come across is also a great idea. Writing by hand is proven to improve your memory and help you remember new words.
Get Into a Study Routine for Medical Terminology Tests
Regularly testing your knowledge of terms will get you into a routine that will be very beneficial in the long run. Several sites offer advice for students to get into the groove of regular, productive study habits. Most of them offer resources free of charge which vary in format and type. This medical terminology exam is a good example. You can access it easily and do it while you are on social media or having a break from other studying activities.
Note-taking, organization, and effective reading are skills that will help you become a successful student. You can test them as well by browsing for specific tests and quizzes. Like this note-taking quiz and set of exam prep guides.
It's worthwhile to regularly commit time to test yourself before you see the results.
We suggest you allow at least thirty days to evaluate how effective these tests are for you. After 30 days, the new method will become a habit and will no longer feel like a chore. You can then see whether it works for you.
Pickthebrain.com released a great study habit guide. Among the most useful tips you can borrow are:
- Be sure not to study longer than an hour without taking a break.
- Wake up a half-hour earlier and read from your textbook or rewrite key concepts in a notebook.
- Mark out times to study every day to prevent the need for cramming.
- Seek help from your instructors; they and the school want you to succeed!
More Medical Terminology Resources
As you study, be aware of the resources you can access. Quite often students feel that making hundreds of note cards is a daunting task. While the act of making them is a great first step in memorization, you don't necessarily have to reinvent the wheel. You might be able to borrow note cards from a fellow student who's already finished the course, or you might purchase ready-made note cards. Also, know that the internet is full of sites that can help as well. Healthcare is, after all, one of the biggest and fastest-growing job markets!
Study guides from other professors' classes
Generally, there are a number of resources that institutions and professors have provided online that have remained open-access. Feel free to take advantage of these types of resources when you find them. For instance, this professor's class breaks medical terminology down into prefixes, roots, and suffixes, as is relatively common, so his online activities are similarly structured. His site, and others like it, can be a great resource for you. To find them, search for terms like “medical terminology online” or “medical terminology activities” in your preferred search engine.
Online Medical Flashcards
Studystack.com provides an online flashcard tool, which lets you sort words into 'correct' and 'incorrect' piles so that you can focus on the terms you don't yet reliably know. It also lets you play games and take quizzes with word lists for further practice. If you take a closer look at available lists you'll most likely find some that are relevant to you now or down the road. If you create an account, you'll be able to make your own stacks of flashcards for individualized practice.