Learn to Interpret Healthcare Jargon

Doctors, dentists, chiropractors and other practitioners in the healthcare field use language that seems confusing and complex to the average patient, but learning to decipher this type of technical terminology may be helpful in understanding a diagnosis or treatment option. While most practitioners will take the time to answer questions posed by patients, having a knowledgeable base to draw from may simplify the conversation. 

Take a Medical Terminology Class

Those who have a great deal of leisure time may want to consider taking a medical terminology course at a community college; not only will the class offer students an affordable way to learn the prefixes, bases and suffixes that make up the medical lexicon, but it is also an excellent way to meet future medical professionals that may end up serving in local hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

If enrolling in a medical terminology course is not feasible for some reason, consider just buying the book that is used for instruction in that class. Learners may be able to purchase such a book at the college bookstore, but it is likely to cost less to buy the same title online.

Read Publications Written for Practitioners

One of the quickest ways to begin decoding the seemingly complicated language that is used in medicine is to read the publications that are produced for those individuals who work in a specific healthcare field. For instance, patients who wish to take steps toward a better understanding of the language used by doctors or dentists may want to read the American Journal of Medicine or the Journal of Clinical Dentistry, respectively.

Take Advantage of Free Online Resources

Online medical terminology dictionaries are available to define specific words that a patient needs to understand, but those looking to take a broader approach to learning medical terminology online will find a host of free games, flashcards and even courses that they can access. While this type of learning is not for everyone, it is definitely a good option for those who are competent internet users.

Understanding Terminology May Improve the Healthcare Experience

Whether an individual's practitioner is thorough or lax about answering questions, learning to understand medical terminology improves the healthcare experience for the patient. After a establishing a knowledge base for medical jargon, patients will find that their immediate interpretation of a provider's words offer a clear path to medical communication.
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