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    Objectives: Upon completion of the chapter and exercises, the student pharmacist will be able to
  1. Identify the four elements of a medical word.

  2. Combine a prefix, root, and/or suffix to form a medical term.

  3. Given a medical terminology word, analyze the meaning of the word by defining the prefix, root word, and suffix.

  4. Identify words that are commonly used in pharmacy and medicine and have a basic understanding of why and how the profession uses these terms.

Patient Encounter

This patient has urosepsis. This is the first time that you as a student have seen that terminology. Based on the information in the following chapter, what is urosepsis? Is it just a UTI?

The attending physician assigns the student pharmacist to educate the nursing staff about the causes of urosepsis, and treatment.

You have the following information.

Patients with structural or functional obstruction, as well as those with biomaterials or foreign bodies in the urinary tract, are at greater risk for urosepsis.

Goal-directed resuscitation should be initiated within the first 6 hours after a patient presents with urosepsis.

Adherence to sanitary measures, early removal of indwelling catheters, and preoperative culture-specific antibiotics are some ways to help prevent urosepsis.

Sepsis is characterized by at least two of the following findings:

Temperature less than 36°C or greater than 38°C

Heart rate greater than 90 beats per minute

Respiratory rate greater than 20 breaths per minute or a partial CO2 pressure less than 32 mm Hg

White blood cell (WBC) count greater than 12,000/mm3 or less than 4000/mm3, or more than 10% immature neutrophils2

What terminology do you need to know to properly educate the nursing staff and student physicians on the team? What are the intricacies of understanding a disease state, once you know the terminology?



This chapter is included to assist you in understanding the medical terminology that you will be exposed to during classes and your experiences as a pharmacy student. As you start your introductory practice courses, you will be exposed to medical terminology as it pertains to disease states as well as words that are part of a medical vernacular that describes processes in medicine and pharmacy. Many of the medical words we use are derived from Greek and Latin languages. You do not have to speak either of these languages to understand the terminology spoken on a daily basis. Once you learn a few common root words, prefixes, and suffixes, you will be able to sound out a word for pronunciation and determine its meaning.

This chapter is not meant to be inclusive of all terms; it is included to help you begin to find your way around medical terminology. This manual contains two tables, one listing prefixes and root words with their meaning and one that names common suffixes. Following the tables is a list ...

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