Introduction to the Medical Language

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIT 103

       Course Name: Introduction to the Medical Language

       Credits: 1 (1 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers brief overview of medical terminology suitable for developing basic vocabulary. Content includes deciphering, building and understanding medical terms by studying their parts. (Course does not substitute for HIT 104.)

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the meaning of medical terms by dividing them into component parts.
  2. Practice the correct spelling and pronunciation of medical terms.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of standard abbreviations, and become familiar with diagnostic tests and procedures.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Basic Word Structure
    1. Analysis of term components
      1. Combining forms
      2. Suffixes
      3. Prefixes
  2. Organization of the Body
    1. Body systems
    2. Body cavities
    3. Divisions of the back
    4. Planes/directional terms of the body
  3. Suffixes
    1. Combining forms with suffixes
  4. Prefixes
    1. Combining forms with Prefixes
    2. Combining forms with Prefixes and Suffixes
  5. Medical Specialization
    1. Medical specialists
    2. Medical specialties
    3. Understanding case studies
  6. Body Systems
    1. Cardiovascular system
    2. Digestive system
    3. Endocrine system
    4. Female reproductive system
    5. Lymphatic system
    6. Male reproductive system
    7. Musculoskeletal system
    8. Nervous system
    9. Respiratory system
    10. Skin and sense organs
    11. Urinary system

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of presentation include lecture, class discussion, and exercises that demonstrate the student’s perception of medical terms.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attend two class sessions per week of lecture and discussion.  Complete exercises, readings and participate in class discussion.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Chabner, Davi-Ellen, Medical Terminology: A Short Course (4th edition) 2005.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods will include completion of exercises, quizzes and exams to assess student progress and maintain feedback in determining student needs.  A final exam will be given.  Quizzes and exams will not be cumulative.

Final Class Grades will be determined on a cumulative point basis as follows:

A = 100 - 90%
B = 89 - 80%
C = 79 - 70%
D = 69 - 60%
F = Below 60%

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance:  Attendance is required.

Code of Student Conduct:  Refer to college catalog.

Make-up of Exams - There will be only one exam make-up allowed and only when the student contacts the instructor prior exam being given.  Make-up exams must be taken before the next class session.  There will be no make-ups allowed for quizzes.

Incomplete Grades - It is the student's responsibility to initiate requests for an incomplete and to follow through with the procedures to remove the incomplete grade.

Late Assignments - It is expected that assignments will be turned in on the due date.  If a late assignment is accepted by the instructor, it must be turned in prior to the next class session.  The grade on late assignments will be reduced by 7%.  No late assignments will be accepted after the next class session.

Cell phones: Cell phones may not be used in the classroom.  They must be turned off while class is in session.

Recording Devices: Recording devices are not allowed during class unless special permission is granted.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.