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Medical terminology errors are a key instrumental tool to many hospital mistakes which affect the health of people and can even lead to loss of lives. More than 400,000 people die every year in America. The deaths are caused by a number of reasons of which the medical errors are inclusive. Using of medical terms that are similar and wrong abbreviations are some of the medical terminology errors.
Learning medical terminology is not that easy. It can be equated with learning new that is not easy to grasp. In most cases, the use of incorrect medical terminology is inevitable to many users (Bardelli, para. 1). Errors in the use of medical terminologies can be attributed to the construction of the medical terms. Notably, these terms have a root word and a prefix. In some instances, the term may include two prefixes.
Some of the prefixes used include Epi. This refers to “above”. The other one is Hypo, which refers to “below”. Endo is a preface that refers to “inside”. These prefixes are used with the word “gastric” to refer to various parts of the stomach. Any confusion in these terminologies can lead to incorrect medical prescription.
This is very risky as in, if the medical health care worker writes down that the surgery is to be performed epigastric instead of hypogastric it means that the patient will be attended wrongly by receiving a surgery on the wrong part of the stomach (Bardelli, para. 2).
While charting, nurses write down the problems with a care plan for residents, descriptions of interventions in the care plan noting if they are effective and the progress made by the resident which is a care plan’s goal oriented. Errors made in charting are not erasable and cannot be corrected. Various aspects such as incorrect medical terms, misspelling, wrong abbreviations and other mistakes related to medical terminology are very common.
This language of medical terminology may also be confusing when two words, which have a completely different meaning, appear and sound the same. Such words include dysphasia and dysphagia. These two words and the other words that resemble them may lead to confusions in medication hence a threat to the health of patients (Bardelli, para. 3).
Using wrong medical abbreviations
The use of abbreviations is sometimes vital as it breaks the lengthy terms of medical terminology hence making the work of doctors and nurse easier and quick.
In most cases, abbreviations are very instrumental for many mistakes made in healthcare centers. They cause dangerous misinterpretations. Ambiguous abbreviations should not be used especially when there is a better alternative. For example, AD means right ear, and AU means both ears. A slight confusion may lead to performing an operation or procedure on the wrong side of the body (Bardelli, para. 4).
Wrong abbreviations may also lead to wrong prescriptions, which may include; Wrong prescriptions may include; wrong dosages, lack of instructions and poor monitoring of patients in consuming dangerous drugs. A prescription is required by doctors and nurses. There are incidences in which wrong prescriptions have been given by doctors due to errors while writing the medical terminologies.
It is advisable for one to ask questions while receiving or giving medication, especially when it is time for surgery. Not only by using a policy that rejects the use of words, misspells, abbreviations and other errors, enhancement of proper information dissemination and health care education should be encouraged to the health care workers.
Bardelli, Rebecca. Does Medical Terminology Contribute to Hospital Mistakes? 2011. Web.