Medical Terminology


>>Hi, everyone. Welcome to the penguin
prof channel. Today I want to talk about how
to approach medical terminology. What I like to call breaking
up which isn’t hard to do. So, the key, of course, is to
take big complicated problems and to break them down into
small more manageable pieces. This is true for language
as well as the rest of life. The problem, of course, as
I’ve mentioned in other videos, is that in science and medicine
we use a lot of terms that come from Greek and Latin roots. So, I highly recommend
that as you master all of these pieces you keep a list. Or better yet get
yourself a dictionary of Greek and Latin roots. And, you know, you just
build your skill set from the bottom up. And it gets easier as you go. I promise. First thing to understand is
that you got to break words down into their component parts. And most medical and science
terms will have a beginning which we call a prefix. A middle which is
the root of the word. And then an ending
which is the suffix. And so usually the prefix and/or
the suffixes is a modifier of the main root of the word. So, you will probably notice,
if you haven’t already, that medical terms
are really long and it’s very daunting
for a lot of people. But the truth is most of
them are very descriptive and they mean something. So, if you can break them down,
it’s not going to be too bad. I mean, when you first
look at these terms, you can just say,
you know, forget it. This is ridiculously long. Or you can just say look,
you know, break them down, and they become more manageable. So, what I want to do in
this video is give you some of the most common of the puzzle
pieces that you will encounter in medical terminology. And, hopefully, give you
a good place to start. So, something you’ll see
every time we talk about bone and the skeletal system is
osteo when we’re talking about cell parts, when we’re
talking about conditions. Things like this slide
shows osteoarthritis. Don’t let this happen
to you by the way. Take care of your joints. You’re going to see this
osteo somewhere in there. Osteocyte, in fact, is
the name of a bone cell. When you see myo or sarco,
that refers to muscle. All different types
of cell structures within muscle you’re going
to see with myo or sarco. For example, you’ll
see the sarcomere. You’ll see the sarcoplasmic
reticulum. You will see myo
fibers or myofibrils. All of those things
relates to muscle. Muscle has a lot of really
specialized structures. And almost all of them
you’re going to see with myo or sarco usually in the prefix. This one you probably
know already. Neuro refers to nerves. A neuron is a nerve cell which
is what you’re looking at here. But there’s a lot
of other terms, of course, that use that root. So, you always know you’re going to be talking about
nerves there. When you see derm, that
refers to the skin. You probably know a lot
of these terms already. The epidermis which is this
section up here at the top. Epi just means on top. There are five layers
of the epidermis. And then beneath the
epidermis is the dermis. The dermal layer which is
what you’re seeing down here. So, derm you probably
have heard of terms like dermatitis for example. Just inflammation of the skin. A dermatologist. Things like that all
relating to the skin. Blood vessels you’re going
to often see the term angio. And you’ve, hopefully,
heard of angioplasty which is basically
the insertion of a — of a little catheter and a
balloon which is inflated in order to create space
inside an occluded vessel. The veins we have veno or
phlebo like a phlebotomist. Phlebotomist is someone who draws blood for
their profession. We see that a lot. Most people know
cardio and the heart. We really don’t know why when you suffer emotional
distress your heart aches. It’s kind of a mystery
of modern medicine. I can tell you that
Tylenol does not help. Things relating to the
nose you’ll often see rhino like rhinoplasty
which is a nose job. And, of course, that’s the root
for the rhinoceros so named because of not so much it’s
big nose but big horns. This term from tympany
refers to things like the tympanic membrane
which is the ear drum. The tympany that’s the
kettle drum in an orchestra. And, of course, the
drum vibrates and creates a particular pitch. And similarly when sound waves
strike the tympanic membrane and cause it to vibrate that
will cause the ear ossicles to vibrate and set up a whole
chain of events which leads to your ability to hear. This one you probably
don’t know. But neph, n-e-p-h,
relates to the kidney. The functional unit of
the kidney is the nephron. This is the actual nephron here. That is how the kidney
is able to filter blood and produce a filtrate which
will eventually be urine. So, here’s some more. Some of these you may know. They’re all pretty common. The skull. The skull, itself, actually
is referred to as the cranium. You’ve probably heard of that. The eye you’ll see things
like ophthalmologist. You’ll see an ocular. The ear is oto, o-t-o. Otoliths. Those are the tiny
little bones in the ear. They’re actually the
smallest bones in the body as I was mentioning earlier. Blood clot. You’ve probably heard
of a thrombosis. That’s fairly commonly used. Liver. You see hepato a lot. Liver cells are called
hepatocytes. You may have heard of hepatitis
which is a disease of the liver. Breast actually you’re going to
see things like mammary glands. I’m sure you’ve heard
of mammography. Large intestine we use
colo as in the colon for the large intestine itself. But you’ll see it in other
things like a colonoscopy. Gastro for the stomach. Ileo for the small intestine. Thoraco for the chest. You — I’m sure — heard of
things like the thoracic wall. The thorax. All the same root. And in the lung,
pneumo or pleuro. I’m sure you’ve heard
of pneumonia. Pleuro you’ll see things
like pleurisy relating to the inflammation
of lung membranes. A lot of terms. Prefixes, especially,
relate to size. Size matters, of course. Macro which means large. Micro which means small. You probably know those. Megalo or megaly means
large or enlarged. Rates. This is really important
to take note because a lot of these prefixes look
very much the same but they mean dramatically
different things. So, for example, if your patient
is hyperthyroidic [phonetic], it means that their
thyroid is overactive. If they are hypothyroidic
[phonetic], it means the thyroid is not
as active as it should be. So, the — the main part
of the word looks the same but if you change that
prefix it means a completely different thing. Tachy and brady referring
to rates as well often in reference to the heart. So, tachycardia, for example, is a resting heart
rate that is too fast. Bradycardia, resting
heart rate that is slow. Colors. We have a lot of
prefixes relating to color. Chlorophyll, for example,
like in plants is green. Leuk is white. You see that in leukocytes. Red, erythro. Erythrocytes, red blood cells. And cyan which is the color blue
like erythrocyanan [phonetic]. Cyanobacteria you may
seen in general biology. Those are the blue green algae. Oh, my goodness. Spend some time with
these directional terms — directional prefixes because
they will mess you up. Sometimes I swear these
little guys are what drive people crazy. Look at this for example. So, endo or intra
both mean within. But look at this difference. Intra versus inter
which means between. So, for example, I
would say intracellular and that means within
a single cell. Right? But what if
I say intercellular? So, that means between cells. It sounds like a
very small difference but it means a dramatically
different idea. So, most people would think
about perhaps intercourse. Yeah, that’s a good one. Which is between people. There — there is no such thing as intracourse [phonetic]
far as I know. Extra refers to outside. You certainly know things
like extraterrestrial. Peri. Peri means around. So, when we talk about something
that is around a structure. Peritoneum for example. That is fairly commonly used
to mean around something. It could even be —
it could be a cell. It could be a whole
sheet of tissue. It could be around an organ. The pericardium, for example, is a membrane surrounding
the entire heart. And then trans. That means across. So, this could be something like
a protein that actually goes across a cell membrane. A transmembrane protein. Or you could be using it to
discuss an actual process. You’re going to see
that as well. But these are little guys that
really make a big difference. Test and procedures. These get used a lot. And it’s really helpful
to know these because you’ll see them
over and over again. Echo as in echocardiogram. Using ultrasonic waves. Electro I’m sure you know. Ectomy is the removal. A gram is a picture. You can talk about a graph. The process of making an image. Making a cut. Using an instrument for
viewing or creating and opening. These are very common. And finally some problems. Dys meaning not working
properly. Mal as a prefix meaning bad. The term malady comes from this. Malaria was a disease
that was thought to be spread through the air. So, literally malaria
means bad air. We now know, of course,
it’s not caused by the air. Emia is referring to some
sort of blood condition. And itis. Anything with
itis is an inflammation. And osis. That’s just a
very, very broadly used term for a condition or disease
as is the suffix pathy. For example, neuropathy is a
very broad term for a disease of the nervous system. So, when you put
it all together, we can take some big complicated
words and break them down. So, here is a three-parter
for you. Hypercholesterolemia. So, when you break it down, you can see that hyper
which means elevated. This refers to, of
course, cholesterol. And emia this is referring
to a condition in the blood. It’s elevated blood cholesterol. Dermatitis. I think I gave that
one away earlier. Derm referring to the skin. And that itis is
the inflammation. So, that’s just an
inflammation of the skin. A colostomy referring
to the colon. And then an actual
opening in the colon. So, some things for you
guys to try on your own. There’s plenty of fun
things to look at. I think that you’ll find
that if you just kind of get over the initial panic of,
wow, these words are long and foreign you just
got to keep going. Keep — keep reading. Keep exposing yourself to them. And trust me. It gets easier. As always, I want to thank you for visiting the
penguin prof channel. Please comment, read,
and subscribe. Join us on the Facebook
page and follow on Twitter. Good luck.

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