Health Sciences 1101

Medical Terminology


Course Description

A comprehensive overview of medical language. This course takes a body-systems approach to presenting the medical terminology associated with anatomy, physiology, diseases and treatments. Designed for all students interested in health sciences or a career in medicine.

Required Materials

Connect/Learnsmart Access

This course makes use of interactive online resources known as Connect and Learnsmart. These resources allow you to read the textbook, answer questions to assess learning, practice important concepts and complete assignments that are worth points towards your final grade. The access code you are required to purchase gives you unlimited access to all the resources associated with the textbook for this course. If you want an actual copy of the textbook, you may order one directly through Connect, although there is a nominal fee for printing and shipping.

The resources are all tied to the textbook, which is Acquiring Medical Language, by Steven Jones and Andrew Cavanagh. You will purchase the Smartbook version of the text, which will give you full access to the content and all activities used in this course. This purchase is taken care of through the WSU bookstore or ordering directly through McGraw Hill is available for $85. A two-week courtesy access is available for those who need a couple more days to obtain the book. Be careful of textbooks being sold through other websites as they often include the book, but not the access code, which is required for the course.

Web capable smartphone, laptop, tablet or other device     

Campus student will need some sort of device that is capable of connecting to the online resources for this course. Assignments will be completed in class for points using these devices. If you do not have access to such a device, please contact your instructor immediately so arrangements can be made.

Online students will need access to a computer with reliable internet connectivity. All assignments and activities will be done online through the Connect/Learnsmart systems.

Purpose and Rationale

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a solid foundation in the technical language of medicine, Medical English. Medical English is an international language that is used in almost every clinical setting. A firm grasp of medical terminology is essential for any individual to be successful as a healthcare professional.

Course Objectives

In addition to mastering the individual objectives for each chapter, students who are successful in this course will be able to:

  1. Build and breakdown medical words using Greek and Latin prefixes, suffixes, word roots and combining forms using the system introduced by the authors of the textbook and your instructor.
  2. Identify and define medical terms, symbols and abbreviations.
  3. Spell medical words correctly.
  4. Pronounce medical words correctly.


There are 550 possible points in this course, 250 points from module activities and 300 points from exams. Each module corresponds to a chapter in the textbook/online resources.

Module 1: Introduction to Medical Language 20 Points
Module 2: Introduction to Health Records 20 Points
Module 3: The Integumentary System 20 Points
Module 4: The Musculoskeletal System 20 Points
Module 5: The Nervous System 20 Points
Exam 1 (Covering Modules 1-5) 100 Points
Module 6: The Sensory System 20 Points
Module 7: The Endocrine System 20 Points
Module 8: The Blood and Lymphatic Systems 20 Points
Module 9: The Cardiovascular System 20 Points
Exam 2 (Covering Modules 6-9) 100 Points
Module 10: The Respiratory System 20 Points
Module 11: The Gastrointestinal System 20 Points
Module 12: The Urinary and Male Reproductive Systems 20 Points
Module 13: The Female Reproductive System 20 Points
Exam 3 (Covering Modules 10-13) 100 Points
TOTAL 550 Points

*There is a 10-point buffer in the total points to allow a student to miss one in-class activity.

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of and adhere to the course schedule, grading policies as well as the department and university code of conduct. Although unlikely, it is possible that changes will be made to the semester schedule. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of these changes by regularly attending class (campus students) or regularly logging into Canvas (online students). All students can view their grades online by going through their eWeber portal or directly to WSU Online.

Grades will be determined using the points listed above and the following scale:    

A = 93-100% A- = 90-92% B+ = 86-89% B = 83-85% B- = 80-82% C+ = 76-79%
C = 73-75%    C- = 70-72% D+ = 66-69% D = 63-65%  D- = 60-62% E = <60%

There are no extra credit points or makeup assignments for this course. Please be respectful and do not ask your instructor for opportunities to make up lost points. Students who do not complete the course should officially withdraw by the withdraw deadline. Failure to officially withdraw from the course will result in a UW grade.


The three exams will be taken on Chitester at a WSU testing center or through an approved proctor. It is the student’s responsibility to make all testing arrangements prior to the due dates for the exams. Please be advised that a photo ID (student Wildcard, drivers’ license, military ID etc.) is required to take any exam. Please also be aware that testing center hours and availability may change throughout the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to know the hours of operation for the testing centers or proctors they wish to use. “The testing center was closed when I got there” is never a valid excuse for missing an exam.

Should a student fail to take an exam by the posted due date, they may take the exam up to one week late with a 10-point deduction. This is a department policy and no exceptions will be made. Please plan your time accordingly. The third exam may not be taken late. All exams may be taken early.

Module Assignments

Each module has 20 points worth of activities that will be done through the Connect or Learnsmart systems. The due dates associated with these assignments are not flexible as they are in place to allow your instructor time to analyze the areas that need the most attention prior to class. Work will not be accepted after the due dates posted. Some assignments will be completed in class. There are a total of 13 in-class assignments worth 10 points each, however, the total points for these assignments is 120 to allow students to miss one activity without it negatively affecting their grade. Missed classes beyond this one allowance will result in a loss of the 10 points for the in-class assignments missed. Please do not ask the instructor to allow you to complete in-class activities that you missed.

Health Sciences Cheating Policy

WSU Health Sciences Department treats all instances of cheating with the utmost level of seriousness and recognizes all WSU students as adults pursuing their education, and as adults, students are considered responsible for their actions. Students are subject to the cheating policies, codes, definitions, and sanctions established by Weber State University (PPM 6-22), by the Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions, by other departments, and by the Health Sciences Department. The Health Sciences Department has full right to investigate any work given for credit if they suspect a cheating incident has occurred, usually emphasized by extensive test taking time, or any proctor (remote or local) concerns. Specific Health Sciences sanctions typically apply to cheating during a test or cheating on class assignments. For additional definitions of cheating by the Health Sciences Department standards, please see

Know, that the cheating policy will be enforced by the Department of Health Sciences and the University as follows:

  1. Warning - If a student is suspected of cheating, a warning may or may not be given, in verbal or written form, to the student(s) that his or her conduct is in violation of Weber State University rules and regulations; and that the continuation of such conduct or actions may result in further disciplinary action.
  2. Failure of the Course - A student found cheating will receive an "E" (failure) and no credit for the course will be given. In addition, a report of the student's name, class, behavior, action, and resulting disciplinary measures will be sent to the Dean of Students to be included in the University's database; and a report will be sent to the departments connected to the student(s) within the Dumke College of Health Professions and the University.

The simplest and best policy is DO NOT CHEAT! In the world of medicine and healthcare, there is no tolerance for unethical behavior of any kind. It is the Health Sciences Department goal to prepare students for work in the medical field. Therefore, the Department's treatment of unethical behavior is severe and will most likely limit students' chances of pursing healthcare programs.

Content Advisory

You are enrolled in a health sciences course in which mention may be made of AIDS, birth control, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and related issues. In addition, digital videos of medical surgical procedures may be used in which sex organs may be visible for brief periods of time. The Health Sciences Department strives to present this type of information in a professional manner. This course material is required for all professionals in health care fields.

Student Services

Any student requiring accommodations or services due to a disability must contact WSU Services for Students with Disabilities. All materials are available in alternative formats if needed.