Medical Terminology Courses and Certification Programs

Medical terminology forms part of the coursework for many types of healthcare degree programs. Explore what you'd learn in a medical terminology course, and review some of the careers that require knowledge of a medical vocabulary. Learn about healthcare certification exams that may include a medical terminology component. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Medical terminology is a vocabulary commonly used by health care workers to describe the workings of the medical field. Health care professionals who are proficient in this skill understand how to interpret and analyze health reports and record patients' medical histories. Medical terminology courses are included in a variety of healthcare-related postsecondary programs.

Programs Undergraduate certificate and degree programs in fields such as medical office technology, medical billing and coding, medical laboratory technology, and nursing
Courses Introduction to medical terminology, basic medical science, circulation, blood and immunity, disease and treatment
Certification Specific certification in medical terminology is not available; however, many certification exams for healthcare positions require knowledge of medical terminology, such as those for the Certified Medical Assistant, Certified Professional Coder, Certified Inpatient Coder and Certified Outpatient Coder credentials

Where Can I Find Courses in Medical Terminology?

You can find medical terminology courses through a certificate program at a vocational school or as part of a degree program at a university. Some institutions might offer free medical terminology courses as a means of improving students' understanding of the administrative aspect of health care. Some of the areas you might study in these courses include:

  • Disease and treatment
  • An introduction to medical terminology
  • Male and female reproductive systems
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Endocrine and nervous systems
  • Blood, immunity and circulation

How Is It Incorporated Into Programs?

Medical terminology courses form part of the degree programs that prepare students for medical administrative professions. For instance, administrative medical assistants who electronically record patients' medical records often earn an associate's degree in medical administration, which includes medical terminology as part of the coursework. Medical terminology is also part of medical laboratory technology degree programs, as well as in programs that prepare students for careers in medical billing and coding. Nursing certificate and degree programs also include medical terminology as an introductory course to prepare students for advanced courses in the field.

What About Certification?

There isn't a specific certification in medical terminology. However, just as courses in medical terminology are used in medical certificate and degree programs, many examinations to become certified in health care professions include medical terminology content. For instance, the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) certifies coders who can pass an examination that includes questions on medical terminology (www.aapc.com). As a recommended means of preparing for this examination, the AAPC offers an online medical terminology course.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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