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BSBMED301B
Interpret and Apply
Medical Terminology
Appropriately
Medical Administration
Training
Written by Jennifer Atkins
www.mediweb.com.au
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 1
Copyright
Copyright © Jennifer Atkins 2013.2
© 2009 Version 1
This training manual is copyright under the Copyright Act 1968.
Any third party copyright material included in this publication is attributed.
Jennifer Atkins asserts her ownership of the Intellectual Property contained in this
training manual. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, utilised,
distributed, or translated into any other language in whole or in part, in any form or
by any means, by any other party whether it be electronic, manual, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise.
Copying without authorisation is illegal.
Disclaimer
Every attempt has been made to ensure this workbook is free from errors or
omissions. However, as an educational resource, all effort should be made to
ensure you seek professional advice before relying on any statement or fact
contained herein. Material in this workbook is current at the time of writing.
Jennifer Atkins Medical Administration Training
www.mediweb.com.au
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 2
Table of Contents
RESOURCES: HELPFUL WEBSITES ............................................................................ 7
BSBMED301B: INTERPRET AND APPLY MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY APPROPRIATELY... 9
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................... 13
WHAT IS MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY?
14
HOW IS MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY COMMUNICATED?
15
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
16
SPECIALIST AREAS OF MEDICINE
21
CHECKLISTS
23
LEARNING MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ..................................................................... 27
ROOT WORD
28
COMBINING VOWEL
29
COMBINING FORM
29
PREFIX
30
SUFFIX
30
RULES WHEN JOINING MEDICAL TERMS TOGETHER
32
LITERAL MEANING OF MEDICAL TERMS
40
SEEK CLARIFICATION
41
DICTIONARY MEANING VERSUS LITERAL MEANING
42
AUSTRALIAN VERSUS AMERICAN SPELLING
44
SINGULAR AND PLURAL WORDS
46
PRONUNCIATION
49
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
52
MEDICAL ABBREVIATIONS.................................................................................... 61
MEDICAL ABBREVIATIONS WRITTEN ON SCRIPTS
62
LIST OF COMMON MEDICAL ABBREVIATIONS
66
SYMBOLS
68
SYSTEMS OF THE BODY ........................................................................................ 77
ELEVEN MAIN SYSTEMS OF THE HUMAN BODY
77
ANATOMICAL PLANES AND POSITIONS ................................................................ 85
PLANES OF THE BODY
86
BODY CAVITIES
87
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
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DIRECTION AND LOCATION
88
LIST OF TERMS FOR POSITION AND DIRECTION
90
MOVEMENT OF JOINTS
91
ABDOMINOPELVIC QUADRANTS AND REGIONS
93
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
96
INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM ................................................................................. 103
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM
104
THE LAYERS OF THE SKIN
105
FUNCTIONS OF THE SKIN
105
SKIN COLOUR
106
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
113
GLOSSARY OF INTEGUMENTARY TERMS
124
SKELETAL SYSTEM .............................................................................................. 127
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE SKELETAL SYSTEM
128
FUNCTIONS OF THE SKELETON
129
TYPES OF FRACTURES
130
THE FIVE SECTIONS OF THE SPINE
133
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
136
NAMES OF SKELETAL BONES
149
GLOSSARY OF SKELETAL TERMS
151
MUSCULAR SYSTEM ........................................................................................... 155
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE MUSCULAR SYSTEM
156
HOW MUSCLES ARE NAMED
157
MAJOR MUSCLES OF THE BODY
157
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
161
NAMES OF MUSCLES
173
GLOSSARY OF MUSCULAR TERMS
175
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM............................................................................................. 179
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
180
FUNCTIONS OF THE DIGESTIVE ORGANS
182
PATIENT INFORMATION SHEET
185
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
192
GLOSSARY OF DIGESTIVE TERMS
202
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
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CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM ................................................................................ 207
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM
208
FUNCTIONS OF THE CARDIOVASCULAR ORGANS
209
ELECTROCARDIOGRAM (ECG)
212
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
215
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
220
GLOSSARY OF CARDIOVASCULAR TERMS
230
RESPIRATORY SYSTEM ....................................................................................... 233
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
234
FUNCTIONS OF THE ORGANS OF RESPIRATION
235
ASTHMA
238
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
244
GLOSSARY OF RESPIRATORY TERMS
254
NERVOUS SYSTEM ............................................................................................. 257
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
258
THE BRAIN AND THE SENSES
260
FUNCTIONS OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
261
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
266
GLOSSARY OF NERVOUS SYSTEM TERMS
276
ENDOCRINE SYSTEM .......................................................................................... 281
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
282
FUNCTIONS OF THE ENDOCRINE GLANDS
283
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
289
GLOSSARY OF ENDOCRINE TERMS
299
LYMPHATIC SYSTEM........................................................................................... 303
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
304
THE ROLE OF THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
305
FUNCTIONS OF THE LYMPHATIC ORGANS AND TISSUES
306
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
309
GLOSSARY OF LYMPHATIC AND IMMUNE TERMS
318
URINARY SYSTEM .............................................................................................. 321
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE URINARY SYSTEM
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
322
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HOW DOES YOUR BODY REMOVE WASTE?
323
URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS
323
FUNCTIONS OF THE URINARY ORGANS
325
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
329
GLOSSARY OF URINARY TERMS
338
REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM ..................................................................................... 343
INTERESTING FACTS ON THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
344
FUNCTIONS OF THE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS
345
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
350
GLOSSARY OF REPRODUCTIVE TERMS
359
RADIOLOGY ....................................................................................................... 363
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT RADIOLOGY
363
X-RAY
364
CT SCAN (COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY):
364
ULTRASOUND
365
MRI (MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING)
366
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
370
GLOSSARY OF RADIOLOGY TERMS
380
PATHOLOGY....................................................................................................... 385
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PATHOLOGY
385
NINE DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES OF PATHOLOGY
386
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ACTIVITIES
391
GLOSSARY OF PATHOLOGY TERMS
399
ASSESSMENT CRITERIA....................................................................................... 403
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 6
RESOURCES: HELPFUL WEBSITES
Professional Associations and Medical Standards

AGPAL Australian General Practice Accreditation Ltd www.qip.com.au

Australian Association of Practice Managers www.aapm.org.au

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency http://www.ahpra.gov.au/

Australian Medical Association (AMA) www.ama.com.au

General Practice Computer Standards http://www.racgp.org.au/yourpractice/e-health/cis/ciss/

General Practice Registrars Australia www.gpra.org.au

Health Services Commission http://www.health.vic.gov.au./hsc/

Medical Practice Act 1992
www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/mpa1992128/s167.html

NSW Rural Doctors Network www.nswrdn.com.au

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) www.racgp.org.au

State and Territory Doctors Health Advisory www.doctorshealth.org.au
Medical and Health Reference sites

National vaccine storage guidelines http://www.immunise.health.gov.au

Alcohol Awareness Site
http://www.drinkingnightmare.gov.au/internet/DrinkingNightmare/publishing.nsf

Australian Doctor Online Newspaper http://www.australiandoctor.com.au

Cancer Screening Government Site http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/

Department of Health and Aged Care www.health.gov.au

Department of Health, Victoria http://www.health.vic.gov.au

Doctors Reference Site www.drsref.com.au

Government Website About Health Issues www.healthinsite.gov.au

How Do You Measure Up
http://www.measureup.gov.au/internet/abhi/publishing.nsf
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 7

Infection Control Guidelines For a Health Setting
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/node/30290

National Skin Cancer Awareness www.skincancer.gov.au

Quit Smoking www.quitnow.info.au

Royal District Nursing Service www.rdns.com.au

Seniors Reference Site www.seniors.gov.au
Online Medical Dictionaries

Medical Dictionary and Abbreviations http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Medical Dictionary http://www.medilexicon.com/medicaldictionary.php

Medical Dictionary www.medterms.com

Medical Dictionary www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/medical_dictionary.asp

Medical Dictionary http://www.mydr.com.au/medical-dictionary

Spell Check www.spellex.com/speller.htm
Medical Abbreviations

Abbreviations http://www.medilexicon.com/medicalabbreviations.php

Acronyms www.drsref.com.au/acronyms

Health Thesaurus
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/healththesaurus.htm
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
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BSBMED301B: Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology Appropriately
About this unit
This unit provides participants with advanced medical terminology skills for general
practice, specialist rooms, hospitals and allied health environments.
Topics:
o Learn the structure of medical words
o Prefix/Root/Suffix
o Basic and advanced terminology
o Systems of the body
o Abbreviations and symbols
o Pronunciation of medical terms.
This unit will teach you the skills and knowledge to be able to:

Respond appropriately to instructions which contain medical terminology

Carry out routine tasks

Use appropriate advanced medical terminology in oral and written
communication.
About this book
This book is suitable for participants in a range of situations, from classroom based
learning to distance education learning.
The book is developed as a step-by-step learning guide. You are to complete each
chapter before moving onto the next section. Activities are provided for you to work
through, and once the relevant skills are developed then you can move on to the
next part of the book.
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 9
As this is a nationally recognised unit, the activities throughout the book will require
you to draw upon your experiences in life, and your mock experiences in a medical
environment. These exercises form the basis of your learning so you will develop the
skills necessary to meet the required competency for the unit. Competency in the
unit will be demonstrated through the completion of the various activities and
assessments as determined by your assessor.
Nationally Accredited Qualification: This unit is nationally recognised under the
Australian Qualifications Framework. Upon completion of this unit you will be
awarded competency in BSBMED301B: Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Appropriately.
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 10
BSBMED301B: Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology Appropriately
Description
This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to
understand and respond to instructions; to carry out routine tasks and communicate
with a range of internal/external clients in a medical environment; and to use
appropriate advanced medical terminology.
Performance criteria
Element
Performance Criteria
1. Respond
appropriately
to instructions
which contain
medical
terminology
1.1 Receive, interpret and document written and oral instructions using
medical terminology
1.2 Use checklists where appropriate
1.3 Ensure own understanding of abbreviations for specialised medical
terminology and associated processes
1.4 Ensure own understanding of and adhere to, the policies and
procedures of the enterprise
1.5 Seek clarification when necessary
2. Carry out
routine tasks
2.1 Use medical terminology correctly in the completion of routine
tasks
2.2 Seek assistance from supervisor or experienced staff member as
required
3. Use
appropriate
medical
terminology in
oral and
written
communication
3.1 Use appropriate medical terminology as directed, in oral
communication with patients, fellow workers and health
professionals
3.2 Use appropriate medical terminology as directed, in written
communication with patients, fellow workers and health
professionals
3.3 Present written communication to a designated person for
verification if required
3.4 Spell and pronounce medical terminology correctly
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 11
Introduction
Effective communication with staff and patients is important in any environment;
however it is critical in a medical environment as it underpins patient welfare. While
doctors talk to their patients in non-medical or layman’s terms, they use medical
terminology in records, reports and correspondence. Often a doctor will pass on
verbal instructions to employees, assuming there is an understanding of what these
instructions mean. For this reason it is an integral part of the medical office worker’s
training to be able to recognise and understand medical terminology. The time spent
learning this new language ensures you will confidently communicate with patients
and other medical workers.
A medical environment is among the busiest of all work environments. A medical
office worker is responsible for a wide range of daily tasks which includes scheduling
patient appointments, filing, handling payments, typing reports and letters,
recording information and maintaining an organised and safe working environment.
Medical terminology is embedded in each of these duties.
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 13
Specialist Areas of Medicine
What types of specialists do patients see?
Patients will see a variety of specialists, all of whom require a referral. There are
many different types of specialists. Below is a list of some of the more common
specialists and the area they specialise in.
Specialist Area
Study of…
Cardiology
The heart
Dermatology
The skin
Endocrinology
The glands and their secretions
Gastroenterology
The stomach and intestines
Gynaecology and
The
Obstetrics
pregnancy and childbirth (Obstetrics)
Haematology
The blood
Immunology
The immune system
Neurology
The nervous system
Oncology
Cancer
Ophthalmology
The eyes
Orthopaedics
The skeleton
Paediatrics
Children
Psychiatry
The mind
Rheumatology
The rheumatic system, including joints, muscles, connective
female
reproductive
system
(Gynaecology)
and
tissues, and soft tissues around the joints and bones
Urology
© Jennifer Atkins
The urinary system
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 21
Which specialist department do you think patients would be referred to for the
following conditions?
Physical condition
Specialist area required
Chronic intestinal pain
Chronic Back injury
Pregnancy
Stomach ulcer
Fibromyalgia
Chronic eye infections
Scarring caused by acne
Schizophrenia
Persistent urinary tract infections
Low iron stores
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 22
Learning Medical Terminology
Introduction
Learning Medical Terminology is similar to learning a new language. In fact medical
terms are based on Latin and Greek words. It is common to feel overwhelmed by the
number of new words and terms that are part of a medical environment. However
you will be pleased that even the longest medical word can be broken down into
components and learnt. The terms you will learn in this book describe common
conditions, diseases, and their diagnosis and treatment.
There are five basic parts to a medical word:

Root word

Combining vowel

Combining form

Prefix

Suffix
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 27
Root word
The root word is the basic building block of medical words. Most root words are
derived from Latin and Greek words. They give you the prime meaning of the
medical word which usually refers to a part of the body.
For example, cardi means heart. It is used in the word cardiopathy, which means
disease of the heart.
Other parts of the body have their own medical terminology, as shown below.
Body part
Medical term
Heart
cardi
Stomach
gastr
Intestines
enter
Nose
rhin
Muscle
my/muscul
Skeleton
skelet
Skin
dermat
Can you underline the root word for the following medical terms, and state the
meaning of the root word.
Note: You do not need to know the meaning of the whole word; only the meaning of
the root word.
Medical term (underline root word)
Meaning of root word
Dermatitis
Cardiologist
Rhinoplasty
Skeleton
Epigastric
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 28
Complete the following table to add the prefix to the joining word to make medical
terms. Use the table on the following page to assist. The first word has been
completed for you.
Prefix
Meaning
Joining word
Medical term
Meaning of medical word
Epi
Above
Gastric
Epigastric
Pertaining to above the
stomach
Micro
Small
Scope
Dys
Painful
Pnoea
Hypo
Below/Low
Tension
Complete the following table to add the suffix to the joining word. Use the table on
the following page to assist. The first word has been completed for you.
Suffix
Meaning
Joining word
Medical term
Meaning of medical word
Logist
Specialist
Cardio
Cardiologist
Specialist who studies the
who studies
heart
Tomy
Incision
Gastro
Ectomy
Removal of
Mast
Logy
Study of
Bio
Pathy
Disease
Gastro
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 36
Body Parts with Multiple Root Words
Because medical terminology is based on Latin and Greek words, it is possible that a
body part will have terms which are derived from both languages. One such example
is the nose. The Latin derived word for nose is nas/o and the Greek derived word is
rhin/o. Although both these root words mean nose they are not always
interchangeable, which means some medical words will use nas/o and others will
use rhin/o. For example:

Nasogastric tube - is a tube inserted into the stomach through the nose
The root word cannot be changed to rhin/o, as the accepted term uses the root word
nas/o. Therefore nasogastric is correct and rhinogastric is not correct.

Rhinoplasty - is a surgical repair of the nose
The root word cannot be changed to nas/o, as the accepted term uses the root word
rhin/o. Therefore rhinoplasty is correct and nasoplasty is not correct.
If you are unsure which root word to use, check your dictionary as it will display the
correct choice of term.
Which root word will you use for the following words?
(Use your dictionary to assist you)
Meaning
Possible terms (circle the
Correct root word
correct one)
Relating to the nose
(Nasal, Rhinal)
Visual examination of the nose (Nasoscopy, Rhinoscopy)
Study of the nose
© Jennifer Atkins
(Nasology, Rhinology)
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 38
Australian Versus American Spelling
For many words there are two ways of spelling them. It is important to be aware that
some spell checks will recognise the American spelling and not the Australian or
English spelling. American spelling of medical words do not acknowledge any silent
vowels, which means an ‘o’ or an ‘a’ that is not pronounced is not spelt. The other
major difference is with the spelling of words where the ‘c’ is pronounced as a ‘k.’
American spelling will spell it with a ‘k’ whereas Australian spelling is with a ‘c’.
Common examples are:
Australian / English
American
Oedema
Edema
Haematology
Hematology
Colour
Color
Anaesthesia
Anesthesia
Foetal
Fetal
Paediatrician
Pediatrician
Diarrhoea
Diarrhea
Haemorrhoid
Hemorrhoid
Leucocyte
Leukocyte
Oesophagus
Esophagus
Sulphate
Sulfate
Vaporise
Vaporize
Underline the part of each Australian/English medical word which is omitted or
altered in the American spelling.
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 44
The following words have been spelt incorrectly. To spell them correctly refer to
the previous table or look up each word in a medical dictionary.
American spelling
Australian / English spelling
Esophagitis
Edema
Tumor
Orthopedic
Hemostasis
Anesthesia
Hemoglobin
Leukopenia
Diarrhea
Behavior
Dyspnea
Hematologist
Anemia
Fiber
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 45
Integumentary System
Introduction
The integumentary system consists of the skin, its glands, hair and nails. Integument
means covering.
The skin is considered the largest organ of your body. This is because the surface
area of the skin on an average adult is 2 m2, weighs 3.5-4.5 kg, and represents 16
percent of your body’s total weight.
The thickness of your skin differs throughout your body. High use areas of your body
have thicker skin. For example, your skin is thickest on the soles of your feet, and the
palms of your hands.
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 103
Interesting facts on the Integumentary System
 An average adult's skin contains more than 18 kilometres of blood vessels.
 The skin releases as much as 11 litres of sweat a day in hot weather. The
areas that don't sweat are the nail bed, the margins of the lips, and the
eardrums.
 Body odour comes from a second kind of sweat—a fatty secretion produced
by the apocrine sweat glands, found mostly around the armpits, and genitals.
 Body odour is caused by bacteria on the skin eating and digesting those fatty
compounds.
 Globally, dead skin accounts for about a billion tons of dust in the
atmosphere. Your skin sheds 50,000 cells every minute.
 Breasts are a modified form of sweat gland.
 There are at least five types of receptors in the skin that respond to pain and
to touch.
 One experiment revealed that Meissner corpuscles—touch receptors that are
concentrated in the fingertips and palms, lips and tongue, and genitals —
respond to a pressure of just 20 milligrams, the weight of a fly.
Adapted from: http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/20-things-skin/
© Jennifer Atkins
4 February 2010
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 104
Skin Colour
The amount of melanin pigment in the skin determines a person’s skin colour
(called the skin phototype). The amount of skin pigment a person has can be
genetically inherited, due to various diseases, or due to the hormonal changes
that occur during pregnancy.
The Fitzpatrick Scale is used to classify skin complexion and response to
ultraviolet exposure. The table below displays the Fitzpatrick scale.
Skin Type Colour
Features
I
White or freckled skin Always burns, never tans
II
White skin
Burns easily, tans poorly
III
Olive skin
Mild burn, gradually tans
IV
Light brown skin
Burns minimally, tans easily
V
Dark brown skin
Rarely burns, tans easily
VI
Black skin
Never burns, always tans
Reference: Goldman MP. Shiffman MA, Mirrafati SJ, Lam SM, Cueteaux CG. Simplified Facial Rejuvenation. 2. Springer Berlin
Heidelberg; 2007:47-50.
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 106
Colours
Many medical conditions have symptoms which are denoted by colouration. Here is
a list of different colours and their combining forms.
Colour
Combining form
Example
Black
Melan/o
Melanosis
Blue
Cyan/o
Cyanosis
Green
Chlor/o
Chloroma
Grey
Poli/o
Poliomyelitis
Red
Erythr/o
Erythrocyte
Red
Eosin/o
Eosinophil
White
Leuc/o
Leucocyte
White
Albin/o
Albinism
Yellow
Cirrh/o
Cirrhosis
Yellow
Xanth/o
Xanthoma
Yellow
Jaund/o
Jaundice
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 107
Colour Activity
For the following medical terms, use forward slashes to divide the word into parts
and then give the meaning of the individual word parts. The first one has been
completed for you.
Medical term (divide using slashes)
Meaning
Albin/ism
White / condition
Chloropsia
Cirrhosis
Cyanosis
Erythrocyte
Erythrocytosis
Leucocyte
Melanoma
Melanosis
Xanthoma
Xanthosis
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 108
Labelled Diagram of the Skin
The diagram below is a microscopic cross section of human skin.
Hair
Epidermis
Sweat Gland
Sebaceous Gland
Dermis
Blood Vessels
Hair Follicle
Subcutaneous Tissue
Look up the medical terms in the Glossary of Integumentary Terms (found at the
end of this chapter), and write the function of each part of the skin.
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 109
Word Components
The following word components are commonly used in the integumentary system.
Complete the table by adding meanings and medical words for all word components.
Word component
Meaning
Example
Albin/o
Chlor/o
Cry/o
Cold, freezing
Cut/i
Skin
Cyan/o
Derm/a
Cyanosis
Skin
Eosin/o
Dermatitis
Eosinophil
Erythr/o
Hidr/o
Sweat
Jaund/o
Kerat/o
Horny layer of skin
Leuc/o, leuk/o
Melan/o
Myc/o
Fungus
Onych/o
Nail
Phyt/o
Plant
Pil/o
Hair
Onychomycosis
Poli/o
Py/o
Pus
Scab/o
To itch
Scler/o
Hard
Seb/o
Fat, sebum
Sub
Beneath, under
Trich/o
Hair
Vesic/o
Blister
Scabies
Xanth/o
Xero
© Jennifer Atkins
Dry
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 112
Medical Terminology Activities
A. Using your dictionary for clarification, spell the following words correctly
1. Celulitis
___________________________________________________
2. Dermatitice
___________________________________________________
3. Papula
___________________________________________________
4. Alopacea
___________________________________________________
5. Vitillego
___________________________________________________
6. Soriasis
___________________________________________________
B. Give the meaning of the following combining forms
1. Melan/o
__________________________________________________
2. Leuc/o
___________________________________________________
3. Dermat/o
___________________________________________________
4. Onych/o
___________________________________________________
5. Trich/o
___________________________________________________
6. Cry/o
___________________________________________________
C. Give the meaning of the following suffixes
1. –al
___________________________________________________
2. –auxis
___________________________________________________
3. –cyte
___________________________________________________
4. –itis
___________________________________________________
5. –logist
___________________________________________________
6. –lysis
___________________________________________________
7. –plasty
___________________________________________________
8. –rrhoea
___________________________________________________
9. –trophy
___________________________________________________
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 113
D. Give the meaning of the following prefixes
1. Auto-
___________________________________________________
2. Crypto-
___________________________________________________
3. Dys-
___________________________________________________
4. Hyper-
___________________________________________________
5. Hypo-
___________________________________________________
6. Intra-
___________________________________________________
7. Pachy-
___________________________________________________
8. Para-
___________________________________________________
E. Using slashes divide the following terms into parts and give the meaning of the
whole word
1. Epidermis
________________________________________________
2. Dermatologist
________________________________________________
3. Seborrhoea
________________________________________________
4. Onychodystrophy ________________________________________________
F. Complete the medical term based on its meaning
1. Extreme cold treatment: ________________________ therapy
2. Pertaining to beneath the skin: ___________________ cutaneous
3. Abnormal dryness of skin: ______________________ sis
4. Abnormal condition of nail fungal infection: ________________ mycosis
5. A cell that produces melanin: ____________________________ cyte
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 114
G. Match the term in Column 2 with its correct meaning from Column 1
Column 1
Column 2
1. Plant/fungus
________________________
Melano-
2. Reddening of the skin
________________________
Myc-
3. Dry
________________________
Onych-
4. Dark pigment
________________________
Phyt-
5. Skin
________________________
Erythem-
6. Nail
________________________
Adip-
7. Excessive flow
________________________
-derma
8. Fungus
________________________
-lysis
9. Break down
________________________
-rrhoea
10. Fat
________________________
Xero-
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 115
H. Choose one of the following medical words to complete the sentences below.
Note there are more words than sentences
Impetigo
Eczema
Tinea
Psoriasis
Scabies
Cellulitis
Acne
Onycholysis
Papule
Alopecia
Albino
Cysts
1. Chris has a scaly pink rash all over his knees and elbows, called
_________________
2. Dr Johnson has been treating his patient John, with symptoms of itchy skin
which is weeping, called ____________________
3. Heather has recently suffered from acute swelling of her lower legs with
heat, pain and redness, diagnosed as _____________________
4. Karen has ___________________ on her face, which has pustules and
associated blackheads.
5. Brett has ___________________, which means he has lost the hair on part of
his body
6. Julian was diagnosed with ________________________ which is a fungal
condition of his nails.
7. John has a condition where he doesn’t have any melanin, called
_________________
8. Jack has multiple sacks of fluid on his chest, and is relieved they are only
__________________
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 116
J. Unlabeled diagram of the skin
Label the diagram of the skin using the following terms:

Blood vessels, dermis, epidermis, hair follicle, hair, sebaceous gland, sweat
gland, and subcutaneous tissue.
All terms in defined in the Glossary of Integumentary Terms.
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 118
K. Case Study – Psoriasis
Read the following case study. Then (a) look up the listed words in the dictionary,
and (b) write the meaning of the words in the section provided.
Mr. Newman, a 43 year old man has a long history of erythrodermic psoriasis, the
most severe of all forms of psoriasis. He has attended various dermatology clinics
and seen many respected dermatologists in the past, with minimal success.
On examination, his epidermis is red and scaly. His scalp, face and hands are the
worst of all body areas. He sheds skin continuously and has a chronic case of
xeroderma. He also suffers from a secondary form of psoriasis affecting the body
folds and his genitals, known as flexural psoriasis.
As the psoriasis becomes more scaly and inflamed, I am concerned that it may be
developing into pustular psoriasis, which will cause him more pain than he is
currently in. He already suffers myalgia which causes considerable pain.
I am referring him for up to date pathology tests and have today taken a skin
scraping to look for the presence of inflammatory markers. I have requested urgent
results from microbiology.
Previously a biopsy of his skin was sent to histology for analysis by a senior
pathologist.
The cytological results of this were revealed under microscope; showing large
numbers of leucocytes.
(a) Look up the following words in your dictionary and write out their meanings:
Psoriasis
Inflammatory (inflammation)
Pustular (pustule)
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 119
(b) The following are the medical terms from the case study. Using slashes divide
the terms into parts and give the meaning of the whole word.
Erythrodermic
Dermatology
Dermatologists
Epidermis
Xeroderma
Myalgia
Pathology
Microbiology
Histology
Pathologist
Cytological
Microscope
Leucocytes
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 120
Additional Integumentary Activities
1. Seek clarification from supervisor
Rakib is a new patient at Summerhill Medical Centre. He has a specialist report
stating that he needs to bathe his skin in a certain solution. He asks you where he
can get this from. The report states he needs to use Ph neutral products on his skin.
He asks is this means he can use household soap.
You are not familiar with his condition, the skin product, or the Ph of soap. However
Susan, your practice manager is in the next office and you are able to seek assistance
from her. List the questions you would ask her?
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
2. Match the term in Column 2 with its layman’s term from Column 1
Column 1
Column 2
1. Baldness
_________________________
Verruca
2. Blackheads
_________________________
Naevi
3. Rash
_________________________
Pruritus
4. Birthmark
_________________________
Vesicle
5. Itching
_________________________
Urticaria
6. Hives
_________________________
Alopecia
7. Wart
_________________________
Comedomes
8. Blister
_________________________
Exanthem
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 121
Spelling List
The following integumentary words are listed in the Glossary of Integumentary
Terms. Spell each word three times in the space following the word.
Acne
Alopecia
Benign
Biopsy
Dermatitis
Eczema
Erbium laser
Erythema
Hyperpigmentation
Keratosis
Keratotic
Cryotherapy
Malignant
Melanoma
Onychomycosis
Pigmentation
Pruritus
Psoriasis
Pustule
Rosacea
Scabies
Tinea
Vesicle
Vitiligo
© Jennifer Atkins
BSBMED301B Interpret and Apply Medical Terminology
Page | 123
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