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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

HLTH 1981: Medical Terminology

This course uses a systematic approach to teach medical terminology to those who plan to be involved in or are already engaged in the medical, dental, nursing, veterinary, allied health fields. It also gives the student a basic understanding of body systems, anatomical structures, medical processes and procedures, and diseases.

Please note that credit for this course does not count toward the requirements of the Bachelor of Health Science degree.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe the basics of building, defining and pronouncing medical terms.
  • Define the terms "levels of organization," "anatomical position," and "planes of the body," and understand directional terms and abbreviations associated with the whole body.
  • Identify the components of the major body systems and describe their functions.
  • Identify the major organs, structures and accessory components of the special sensory systems and describe their functions.
  • Describe common pathologic conditions and laboratory tests associated with the major body systems.
  • Recognize and define terms related to the major body systems.
  • Identify common medical laboratory abbreviations and acronyms.
  • Identify common System International (SI) and metric measurements used in the medical laboratory.

Course topics

  • Module A: Basic Elements of Medical Word Building
  • Module B: Terms Used to Describe Body Structure
  • Module C: Integumentary System
  • Module D: Digestive System
  • Module E: Respiratory System
  • Module F: Describe the Cardiovascular System
  • Module G: Blood, Lymphatic, and Immune Systems
  • Module H: Musculoskeletal System
  • Module I: Urinary System
  • Module J: Female Reproductive System
  • Module K: Male Reproductive System
  • Module L: Endocrine System
  • Module M: Nervous System
  • Module N: Special Senses
  • Module O: Terms of Measurement Used in the Medical Laboratory

Required text and materials

The following material is required for this course:

  1. Glylys, B.A., Wedding, M.E. (2023). Medical Terminology Systems: A Body Systems Approach (with access code) (Updated 8th edition). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 9781719648899


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve 50% or higher on the course overall, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory examination.

Students applying this course towards any TRU Health Care program may be required to obtain a minimum 60% on the course overall to meet program requirements.

Midterm 1: Modules A and B 20%
Midterm 2: Modules C, D, E, F, G and H 20%
Midterm 3: Modules I, J, K, L, M and N 20%
Final Examination (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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