Why Is Knowing Medical Terminology Important?

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Medical terminology is a language used for thousands of years. Many of the terms created in early times by scientists like Aristotle are still in use today. Learning medical terminology serves several important functions for medical professionals.

Creates Standardized Communication

Medical terminology creates a standard way for health care professionals to communicate. Standard terms are important to ensure a complete understanding of patient issues.

Helps to Decipher Complex Information

Many medical terms are actually word parts made up of word roots, suffixes and prefixes. If a clinician memorizes standard word parts, then it is possible to decipher the meaning of most any medical term.

Allows an Understanding of Diagnosis and Procedures

Knowledge of medical terminology allows the health care professional to understand why the patient is in the hospital and how they are being treated.

Helps in Treating Patients

Part of treating patients is reading documentation and discussing issues with other clinicians. Understanding medical terminology allows the clinician to process the information listed in reports and given by other clinicians, which ultimately helps in creating a treatment plan for the patient.

Allows for Fast and Easy Documentation

Much of medical terminology is made up of abbreviations. Clinicians treat many patients within one day, which means a great deal of documentation. Methods such as abbreviations allow for a fast way to document in the patient’s record.


  • “Exploring Medical Language;” Myrna LaFleur Brooks,R.N., B.Ed.; 2001.

About the Author

Jacqueline Wilson has more than 13 years of writing and editing experience both in print and online. She has a specialized certification in health-care and is published in the medical academic arena. Wilson has extensive experience in education, marketing and sales. She also teaches college courses on a variety of topics. Wilson received her Bachelor of Science from the Indiana University School of Medicine.

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