Medical English Vocabulary for Healthcare Professionals

In the dynamic field of healthcare, effective communication is crucial. For healthcare professionals who are non-native English speakers or those looking to improve their medical English, understanding and using the right vocabulary can make a significant difference in patient care. Here is a list of essential medical English vocabulary along with definitions and example sentences to help bridge the communication gap.

Anatomy
Refers to the study of the structure of the body and the relationship between its parts.
During the anatomy class, they studied the different muscles of the human body.

Diagnosis
The identification of the nature and cause of a patient’s symptoms.
The doctor made an accurate diagnosis of the patient’s illness after the blood test results came in.

Symptom
A physical or mental feature indicating a condition of disease, often noticeable to the patient.
The primary symptom he experienced was a persistent cough.

Treatment
The management and care of a patient to combat disease or disorder.
The recommended treatment for her infection includes antibiotics and bed rest.

Prescription
An instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorizes a patient to be issued with a medicine or treatment.
Please take this prescription to the pharmacy to get your medication.

Prognosis
The likely course of a disease or ailment.
The prognosis for patients with early detection of the disease is generally favorable.

Chronic
(of a condition) Long-standing, persistent, and not easily resolved.
She has been suffering from a chronic backache for several years now.

Acute
Describes a condition that has a rapid onset and gives severe symptoms.
His acute appendicitis required immediate surgery.

Infection
The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are not normally present within the body.
The patient was isolated to prevent the spread of infection to other patients.

Immune System
The body’s defense system which protects against disease and foreign bodies.
Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to fight infections.

Surgical
Related to or used for medical operations.
The surgical instruments must be sterilized before the procedure.

Anesthetic
A substance that induces insensitivity to pain.
The patient was given a local anesthetic before the minor surgery.

Therapy
Treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder.
The doctor suggested speech therapy to improve his language skills after the stroke.

Vital Signs
Clinical measurements that indicate the state of a patient’s essential bodily functions. These typically include temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate.
The nurse checked the patient’s vital signs every two hours.

Pathogen
A bacterium, virus, or other microorganisms that can cause disease.
The laboratory is conducting research on the pathogen responsible for the recent epidemic.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
A special department of a hospital that provides intensive treatment and monitoring for critically ill or injured patients.
After the surgery, he was moved to the ICU for close monitoring.

By familiarizing themselves with these terms, healthcare professionals can enhance their medical English skills, promote better understanding with patients and colleagues, and contribute to more effective healthcare delivery. Whether you are a doctor, nurse, or allied health professional, this vocabulary serves as a foundation for clear and precise communication within the medical field.

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