Knowledge of medical terminology is fundamental to a wide variety of health care fields. This book is designed to satisfy the basic learning requirements needed to practice in any health career setting. In the course of your training and future careers, you will need to learn thousands of new terms. The job might be overwhelming if not for learning the skills of dividing the words into their component parts. These roots, suffi xes, and prefixes appear over and over in different terms but retain the same meanings. Knowing these meanings will help you define and remember a host of words. This process is like using a set of building blocks to assemble different structures. Using a more scientific example, it’s like using the four bases in DNA to code for all the amino acids needed to make proteins.
After the introductory sections, each chapter begins with an illustrated overview of a specific body system with definitions of the key terms related to that system. Tables of word parts and exercises on using them follow. Turning to the abnormal, a section on diseases and treatments is included, followed by defi nitions of relevant key terms. The section of supplementary terms includes words and phrases that are “good to know” if time allows or if someone is particularly interested in that specialty. The sequence of the systems chapters differs slightly from that found in traditional anatomy and physiology books. The organization emphasizes their clinical importance, starting with the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems and continuing with systems treated in more specialized fields, such as the urinary, reproductive, and musculoskeletal systems. The chapters can be taken out of order once the introductory units are completed.
We have tried to make this book easy to use and full of reinforcing drills. We have also included many phonetic pronunciations so you can recognize technical terms when they are spoken and can comfortably use them yourself. The online student learning resources offer many additional activities and an audio glossary. Each chapter opens with a short case study. Some of the words and abbreviations in these studies will be unfamiliar at the start, but return to the opening study after you have completed the chapter, and hopefully, it should make more sense. You are probably at the beginning of a long journey to gain accomplishment in your chosen field. We hope that this book will aid you in that endeavor and provide a basis on which to build your career.
Barbara Cohen and Ann DePetris