Medical Terminology and Abbreviations Flashcards for Nursing Students

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Learning and “decoding” medical terms enables you to:

Understand concepts faster

Improve your test-taking skills

Be better prepared for working in a healthcare setting.

This flashcard deck allows students entering in or currently enrolled in a healthcare-related program to build a strong foundation of medical terminology and abbreviations. 

This deck is divided into 4 main parts:

1. Medical Terminology:

  • This section contains the most common and important prefixes, root words, and suffixes you will see in medical terminology.
  • Related terms are grouped together in a practical, easy-to-digest way (vs. just an alphabetical list of terms).
  • The most important prefixes, roots, and suffixes are tagged with a magnifying glass. These are terms you will definitely need to know!
  • Examples are provided for each prefix, root, and suffix. We made sure to include common examples that you are likely to see in school and on the job.
  • Cool chicken hints are found throughout this section to give you helpful and silly ways to remember many of the terms.

2. Basic Anatomical Terminology:

  • Anatomical Landmarks, Directional Terms, Body Planes, and Body Cavities are included in this section.
  • This section will help you learn the proper way to describe body parts, positions, and directions in a healthcare setting.
  • Illustrations are provided to enhance your understanding of the terminology.
  • Cool chicken hints are also included in this section to give you silly or helpful ways to remember difficult-to-remember terms.

3. Medical Abbreviations:

  • The most common abbreviations used in the healthcare setting (and their meanings) from A to Z are provided in this section.
  • These abbreviations are used frequently in charting and communications, so being familiar with these terms will give you an edge as a healthcare provider.

4. Prescription Abbreviations:

  • Common prescription abbreviations and their meanings are provided, so you can easily “decode” prescriptions and understand what is ordered for your patient.
  • Error-prone abbreviations that are sometimes seen in medical practice, but are not recommended for use have been included separately. It is good to be aware of these high-risk terms, so you can clarify orders and advocate for safer terminology as a health care provider.

This deck comprises two hundred two (202) 3” x 5” flashcards plus cover cards and index cards. Each card is durable, with a glossy front and a matte back for easy note-taking.

This deck is for you if you are:

  • A Pre-Nursing or a current PN/RN Nursing Student
  • Any student in a healthcare-related field, such as: Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Radiology Technicians, Ultrasound Technicians, Medical Assistants, Surgical Technicians, EMTs, Respiratory Therapists, MRI Technologists, and Nuclear Medicine Technologists.


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Cool Chicken icon

The Legend of Cool Chicken

Have you heard the legend of Cool Chicken? It is our most memorable (and talked about) memory aide. As it turns out, nursing material is a lot more fun to learn when you make up silly stories to "explain" the concepts.

This wacky hint has its origin in our Pharmacology videos!

Colchicine is a medication used to treat an acute gout attack.

HINT: Colchicine kind of looks like 'cool chicken'.

Guy to his friend with a chicken: "Hey man, cool chicken. OUCH! Your chicken just pecked and cut my gouty toe!"

The Level Up RN community loved this hint, and it was the reason we started adding more hints to our flashcards.

The Cool Chicken highlights a silly memory device that makes it easier to learn the material you need to know!

See it in action