The Importance of Medical Terminology in the Healthcare Field

If you spend every day at a patient’s side or never step foot in a medical facility, a firm understanding of medical terms is crucial to your job success if you work in healthcare. In a healthcare environment, all individuals in clinical and non-clinical roles must use medical terms effectively to understand what is being read, written, paid, or communicated during day-to-day work assignments every day.

Suppose you are a trainee GP, a nursing student, a social care worker, or a doctor’s receptionist. In that case, you must understand medical terminology if you work in an area where a basic understanding of medical terms is needed.

You may find yourself responding to an emergency in either of these positions, making a 999 call and needing to administer life-saving treatment, such as CPR or an injection of EpiPen. It will help to have an understanding of medical terminology when you deal with emergency services.

But in your day-to-day tasks, when calculating medication doses for care home residents or as a receptionist responding to triage details from more senior medical personnel, it is also likely to be relevant.

Reasons Why Knowing Medical Terminology is Important

For medical professionals, the object of medical terminology is to create a standardized language.

This language allows medical professionals to communicate more effectively and encourages reporting. It helps workers save time by ensuring that they do not have to describe in plain English complicated medical issues and concentrate on patient care.

Another goal of Medical Terminology is to help minimize mistakes from poor communication or poor documentation and ensure that employees can examine the medical history of a patient easily and correctly to begin diagnosing and treating them while ensuring that employees are aware of any allergies that the patient may have.

Understanding medical terminology may boost your work efficiency or make you a more competitive candidate for positions in health care. Some of the key reasons why people should learn medical terminology include:

1. Speaking the Standardized “Language of Medicine”

Medical language helps all medical practitioners to understand and efficiently interact with each other. They will perform their duties accordingly if everybody knows what a disease, medicine, or procedure is, whether it is providing medicine or billing for a medicine.

Understanding medical terminology also helps all workers, whether HIPAA compliance training or infection management training, to fully understand staff interactions and training. To build a healthy atmosphere for both patients and staff, these training sessions are important.

2. Improved Patient Safety

By that, the number of errors and quality communication among all healthcare team members increases patient safety. For instance, if a doctor knows the patient’s complete medical history, including treatments or past illnesses, it helps the doctor prescribe a secure, successful medication for that patient. If anyone confuses the words, this may make a major difference in the patient’s care, putting the incorrect diagnosis or procedure in the graph. Treatment may be less effective, or it may be harmful in some situations.

Patients also do not understand the language used by physicians when describing their illness or treatment. The patient might be asking the nurse what the doctor said, but there can be a lot of uncertainty if they don’t understand either. If all healthcare team members use the same language, they will describe it to the patient. Not only can successful patient education contribute to satisfaction, but it can also make the patient more likely to participate.

3. Improved Patient Experiences

As medical terminology is understood to all team members, they will also help the patient understand what such words mean. Patient education helps patients become a more involved member of their care team, resulting in increased satisfaction. Knowing medical terminology may also help you avoid making errors in coding or billing that a patient can have to call to fix.

A significant component of the healthcare sector has long been healthcare terminology and has been referred to as medicine’s language. With today’s electronic health records being used everywhere, people must use healthcare terms on people and computers. In special medical terms and codes, this language is used. They can interact easily with medical professionals who both understand and use the same codes and terminologies. They are all willing to play a part in delivering the best in healthcare, whether it is a surgical procedure, a health disorder or prescription medication, because they all use the same medical or health care terms.

4. More Efficient Care

Dozens of patients can be seen by healthcare practitioners every day. Doctors or nurses may write rapidly and scribble common abbreviations to provide more immediate treatment. To provide the best treatment, all care team members should be able to comprehend these abbreviations and words.

Learning medical terminology also helps you develop a broad vocabulary of medical terminology that will help you perform your job, whether in medical coding, marketing for health care or serving as a representative of patient services.

5. Better Patient Safety

To avoid injuries, healthcare complications, and litigation, patient protection is of vital importance. There is less risk of errors being made when anyone in the healthcare team uses quality and standardized communication. For example, if the doctor can easily read a patient’s chart, it helps the doctor with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. If the incorrect medical terminology is used, it can dramatically alter the treatment the patient receives. It can be detrimental or even dangerous to have an incorrect diagnosis or incorrect treatment plan.

Reasons of using medical terms
 

Below is a look at several particular points in the patient care journey:

  • During intake or admission: An intake specialist, for example, may note that a patient “has a fever and chronic gastritis.”
  • During an initial examination: Providers also use language during a brief initial examination to explain anomalies that they notice.
  • During a hospitalization: When reporting changes in a patient’s condition, physicians and nurses regularly use language.
  • During discharge planning: Practitioners use it during a hospital stay while preparing to discharge a patient.
  • Doctors should use common phrases or abbreviations for prescriptions when administering medicine. “BID” means twice daily, for instance.
  • It is the foundation of successful and precise medical billing throughout the coding and billing process.

How can you learn medical terminology

  • Textbooks: People can purchase textbooks recommended by colleges and medical trade schools. 
  • Scientific Journals: Although the language is often very advanced, papers rich with medical phrases are featured in scientific journals. 
  • Training Manuals: Some hospitals, operation centres, and medical offices have training manuals for staff loaded with words widely used.
  • Volunteer work: Just by working at a nearby hospital or community agency, you can learn widely used medical phrases.

How to Learn and Get More Familiar With Medical Terms

Employees in the healthcare industry would not be productive without adequate training and expertise in this sector. Proper health-related education will offer the following benefits:

1. Standardized communication between professionals

Normal words help healthcare professionals understand the situations and concerns of patients, help them to decode complex data to provide a more detailed diagnosis, and help answer the following questions:

  • Why is the patient in the hospital?
  • To support the patient, what needs to be done?
  • What treatment is recommended for the patient?

2. Easy documentation and communication 

Medical terms use abbreviations and terms that can be quickly written down in a fast-paced work environment and are particularly helpful. On a day-to-day basis, medical practitioners work with many patients, and because medical terminology is common, other medical practitioners will also recognize such abbreviations.

3. Avoid errors 

A patient’s inability to communicate or record medical records correctly may put them in trouble, and the patient can experience serious health problems. Medical words can explain a patient’s medical history through medical records and should the patient need further care; these records can inform healthcare practitioners’ specifics that can help them more effectively identify the patient and provide the appropriate treatments. Example: A physician who knows that a patient is under certain drugs or has already gone through certain medical procedures will have a clear idea about whether there is the medicine that should not be used.

Conclusion

They do not always have time to compose lengthy explanations in the charts about all the patients a healthcare professional sees during the day. Even if they did, it would not be possible for nurses and other doctors to comprehend what was written. They will all understand the patient’s chart and provide them with the best possible treatment by all medical staff using the same medical or health terms. Besides, time is not lost by having to wonder what is written on the patient’s chart. Health codes and terms are often used by the payment method and reimbursement method, and often contributes to better patient satisfaction since the patient is less likely to be billed for the incorrect treatment.

In general, physicians, nurses, and any healthcare team member have chosen their professions to support others. Knowing and understanding the significance of medical terminology in healthcare is an integral aspect of offering that assistance. Working in the medical sector has many advantages, but it also has many obligations. Choose the medical career you want to pursue and get all the preparation and education needed to fulfil your dream job if you are aspiring healthcare professional.

February 3, 2021

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