Course Description

Newly Updated - Become Versed in Medical Language and Terminology

The healthcare field has many exciting opportunities for skilled professionals. The medical terminology course at USD is designed to give current and prospective healthcare workers a comprehensive understanding of medical verbiage and language. With revised and updated lecture content, assignments and access to the DavisPlus learning lab, this course is based on the body systems method, and intended to provide students with an overview of the latest medical terminology. Topics covered in this online self-paced course include body systems, organs, human disease, medical terms, word parts, abbreviations, the health professions, cancer medicine and more!

Learner Outcomes

  • List, define and identify medical terms for different body systems, as well as the components of these terms
  • Identify the most common word parts for medical terms
  • Interpret important medical, diagnostic and laboratory abbreviations and terms
  • Construct medical terms using root words, combining forms, prefixes and suffixes
  • Distinguish between singular and plural forms of selected medical terms
  • Classify word parts for medical terms for numbers, positions and directions

Course Details

Who Should Attend?

Students who require a medical terminology course as a program prerequisite for programs such as pre-nursing, pre-medical and other pre-health professional tracks are excellent candidates for this course. Our medical terminology online course is also designed for current working medical professionals in positions such as:

  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Medical coders
  • Medical secretaries
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Surgical technicians
  • Occupational therapists
  • And more

How Learning Medical Terminology Can Advance Your Career

Medical terminology courses or certificates are usually a prerequisite for most graduate degree and/or certificate programs in the healthcare field. This is especially true for students whose undergraduate degrees are in a non-science field of study. For those already working in the medical field — such as medical records specialists, radiology techs, and even physicians — a refresher on traditional and new medical terminology can be helpful and may even be required for license renewal.

Course Materials

Required Text, Medical Terminology Systems: A Body Systems Approach by Barbara Gylys and Mary Ellen Wedding available at Amazon.com or your local bookstore

Experienced Faculty Instructors

The USD online medical terminology course is taught by Susan Mattox, MS, BSN, RN.

Mattox received her BSN in 2012 and her MS in Nursing in 2015. Her relevant experience includes teaching, nursing management, clinical informatics and quality management. Mattox also volunteers her time with her local hospice care facilities. She is passionate about providing a safe and reliable patient care experience as well as promoting nursing professional practice and excellence in documentation standards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) 

Q: How long will this course take me to complete?

A: This course has a maximum of six (6) months from the date of enrollment to complete the course. Students are recommended to allocate a minimum of two weeks (14 calendar days) per semester unit to complete a course; this time frame allows for instructor interaction and feedback between assignments.

Q: How is this course accessed?

A: This course is taught in a Learning Management System called Blackboard, and can be accessed at https://ole.sandiego.edu. Students will have full access to the course within two hours of registration.

Q: When can I order transcripts?

A: Once all course work is submitted, a final grade is submitted by the instructor. The grade is then approved by the office and posted.  Once a final grade is posted, official transcripts can be requested. Learn more about transcript requests here.


The University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Online Learning Information

This is an online self-paced course, students will have access to interactive lectures, practice activities, and quizzes and assignments. Learn more about recommended browsers and additional technical requirements, here.



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Course Format
Course Fee(s)
HLTH PD - $399 credit (2 units) $399.00
Available for Extension Credit
2 units
  • Susan Mattox
Section Notes

Once you have enrolled in your course, log in to your account to access the course Welcome Letter, which includes directions on how to access the Online Orientation and your online course.

Online Self-Paced courses are designed so that you can work at your own pace, on your own schedule. You have a maximum of six (6) months from the date of enrollment to complete the course.

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