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HealthCenter21: Medical Terminology

This module provides an introduction to the language of health care workers including root words, suffixes, prefixes, abbreviations, and body planes, directions, and cavities. Students learn to add prefixes and suffixes, form phrases with abbreviations, and interpret medical terms.

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The Medical Terminology module is designed according to the AES course framework, which includes four phases:

  1. Explore
  2. Learn & Practice
  3. Reflect
  4. Reinforce

Below you'll discover how AES can help you teach your students about medical terms according to these four phases.

Phase 1: Explore


Activity: Word Search Puzzle

In this activity, students are introduced to the topic of medical terminology by having them complete a word search.

Phase 2: Learn & Practice


Unit 1: Word Parts: Roots

In this unit, students will learn about: the importance of having a strong knowledge of medical terms and medical term word parts as they explore and pronounce common word roots grouped by body system. 

  1. Word Parts 
  2. Word Roots 
  3. Study Material 
  4. Review Challenge 
  5. Quiz

Unit 2: Word Parts: Suffixes and Prefixes

In this unit, students will learn about: common suffixes and prefixes used in the health care setting as they learn to use suffixes and prefixes with word roots to form and decode medical terms. 

  1. Suffixes 
  2. Prefixes 
  3. Combining Word Parts 
  4. Study Material 
  5. Review Challenge 
  6. Quiz

Unit 3: Abbreviations

In this unit, students will learn about: common abbreviations specific to the health care field as they learn general and body system specific medical abbreviations, use abbreviations, and take precautions to avoid misunderstandings. 

  1. General Abbreviations 
  2. Body System Abbreviations 
  3. Study Material 
  4. Review Challenge 
  5. Quiz

Unit 4: Anatomic References

In this unit, students will learn about: medical terminology used to reference areas of the body as they identify body planes, directional terms, body cavities and contents, and abdominal regions. 


  1. Body Planes and Directions 
  2. Body Cavities 
  3. Study Material 
  4. Review Challenge 
  5. Quiz

Phase 3: Reflect


Activity: Reflection Questions and Discussion

In this activity, students will journal about the difficulties and importance of communicating using appropriate medical terminology for health care workers. A class discussion can follow.

Phase 4: Reinforce


Activity: Worksheet and Crossword Puzzle

In this activity, students must complete a crossword puzzle or definition worksheet.

Activity: Current Event

Students will review articles for information related to a topic in the module. Once an article is found, students complete a Current Event form.

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