As one of the most versatile fields in healthcare, medical billing and coding is equal parts challenging and rewarding. One of the foremost challenges facing both students and professionals looking to advance their careers is the volume of medical terminology to learn and digest. With the proper mindset, smart study habits, and a few handy online resources, you can learn even the toughest medical vocabulary and concepts and earn your standing as a medical coding and billing professional.
Reference a Medical Dictionary
The Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary has been the go-to reference book for medical students and professionals for decades. You can find tens of thousands of entries spanning dozens of medical fields from psychiatry to pharmacology and everything in between. The accompanying diagrams and drawings can help you conceptualize difficult terms and commit them to memory. You can use this medical terminology dictionary for free online, which also lets you listen to audio pronunciations. You might also want to invest in a physical copy in which you can highlight entries and write notes and comments.
Videos posted on YouTube or medical billing and coding websites can be extremely helpful when it comes to picking up medical terminology. Many videos teach you the roots behind the terms and how to decipher meanings by looking at prefixes and suffixes.
Use Medical Apps
Thanks to the mobile revolution, there are many apps designed for medical students. For example, the Eponyms app provides easy-to-understand descriptions of more than 1,700 common and obscure medical eponyms. Many of these apps let you find and add terms to a study list and organize the terms by name, category, etc. Some apps, like Medical Terminology Flashcards, let you create your own flashcards for self-quizzing. You can also find medical reference apps that don’t require a data connection, which can come in handy if you spend most of your day in an area with a weak signal.
Take Practice Tests
Many websites allow you to take a free medical terminology quiz. You can use these to gauge your progress and identify areas for improvement. You might also consider enrolling in a medical billing and coding certification program, which often provide in-depth practice tests and lessons designed specifically to help you learn terminology for your certification.
Make Studying a Habit
How you study is as important as how often you study. Pick a quiet room, block out all distractions, and devote a daily block to learning new medical terms or reviewing concepts that give you trouble. You can even try capping off every study session with a practice test. But don’t burn yourself out – take breaks to refresh your mind, and get plenty of rest to keep your mind at its sharpest. With perseverance comes success!
Considering a career in healthcare? Learn medical and health skills online through one of Penn Foster’s nationally and regionally accredited career programs.