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How to Learn to Pronounce Medical Terminology

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For people who work in the medical field, whether as doctors, nurses, aides, transcriptionists or in some other capacity, it is essential to be able to pronounce medical terms correctly. Incorrect pronunciation can lead to confusion, errors and misunderstanding of essential information. There are different ways to approach learning these complex words, but it can be done and it is not hard once you get used to them.

Classes

Sign up for a medical terminology class. Do not take an online version, should one be available, but instead opt for a course in a classroom setting. These classes are often given at community colleges at a reasonable cost.

Attend class on a regular basis. The instructor will be familiar with proper pronunciation and meaning of the medical terms, as well as correct usage of words.

Practice using the words as often as you can. Do not be shy about the possibility of mispronouncing words, as long as you do not pretend to be an expert. Everybody makes mistakes when they are learning. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help with words or parts of words that you find particularly difficult.

Software

Buy medical terminology software, either for your computer or in the form of an app for your phone or other device. These programs are used by nurses, medical students and others to help them learn medical prefixes, suffixes, root words and terminology. You can find these programs in college bookstores and online. The library may also have them available for loan.

Work through the terminology by doing some every day. You will not be able to remember everything at once, but if you do some every day, the words will stick with you better.

Test yourself daily to make sure you are pronouncing the words correctly. Read the word on a page, say it to yourself, then listen to it pronounced for you, to make sure you are saying it properly. With enough practice, even the toughest words will become easy for you to say.

Tip

Ask a friendly doctor, nurse or other medical professional to help you. Be sure it is someone who knows the correct pronunciation of the terms, as there are some people working in medicine who may not always say the words correctly themselves. You can offer to help out in a busy office in exchange for some help while you learn. This not only gives you a chance to learn medical terminology, it also gives you a potential place to get a job once you are ready to work.

Warning

Do not try to use words you cannot pronounce, unless you make it clear you know the meaning but not the pronunciation of the term. It undermines the confidence of others in your level of ability and understanding.

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