Medical Terminology & Healthcare Careers » Program Syllabus and Recommendations

Program Syllabus and Recommendations

Medical Terminology & Health Careers Program

Interested in pursuing a career in healthcare? Whether you have a specific healthcare career in mind or are still exploring your healthcare career options, start preparing now -- and get a step ahead of the competition! 
Admission to college healthcare programs (i.e. medical assisting, nursing, radiology, surgical technology, occupational or physical therapy, and many others) is very competitive.  Many colleges require a biomedical terminology course as a prerequisite to admission to such programs. With an opportunity to earn high school as well as college credit for a comprehensive biomedical terminology course and an overview of health science pathways & careers, this program can be your head start!*
* Students must meet specific criteria to earn college credit.

What will my classes be like?

You will learn extensive biomedical terminology as it relates to each body system and to healthcare careers and medical specialties.  Classes are taught by a licensed registered nurse, and guest speakers may include other healthcare professionals.  You will use and apply your knowledge through a combination of audiovisual presentations, interactive SmartBoard activities, medical reports & case studies, word games and other multimedia activities. In addition, students will strengthen their skills in science, math & language arts, and learn employment and job-seeking skills.
The knowledge and skills gained here can increase your likelihood of success as you continue your healthcare education -- and the college credit you can earn may put you a step ahead of the competition as you pursue your dream!

Course Goals/Objectives

Biomedical Terminology
  • Decode, understand, use and apply medical terminology based on an understanding of word components (roots, prefixes, suffixes).
  • Develop the ability to read, understand, spell, & pronounce medical terms related to each body system, medical specialties, and medical procedures & tests.
  • Translate and appropriately use/apply medical and surgical abbreviations.
Healthcare Career Exploration
  • Describe and compare/contrast  careers in the health science pathways (diagnostic, therapeutic, health informatics, biotechnology research & development, & support services pathways)
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively research healthcare career options and utilize tools to assist in career decision-making

Course Outline

The biomedical terminology content is covered over the full year of the program.  Each unit builds on knowledge and skills gained in the preceding unit.  Careers are introduced as they relate to the units in the biomedical terminology coursework.  (For example:  EKG technician might be studied while studying medical terms/abbreviations related to the cardiovascular system.)   Students who attend the program for less than the full year are not eligible for the college credit opportunity.
Biomedical Terminology (content spans full year)
  • Basic word structure
  • Terms pertaining to the body as a whole
  • Prefixes
  • Suffixes
  • Digestive System
  • Digestive System (Procedures & Tests)
  • Urinary System
  • Female Reproductive System
  • Male Reproductive System
  • Nervous System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Respiratory System
  • Blood System
  • Lymphatic & Immune Systems
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Skin (Integumentary System)
  • Sense Organs (Eye/Ear)
  • Endocrine System
  • Cancer Medicine (Oncology)
  • Radiology & Nuclear Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry
Survey of Health Care Careers (content spans full year)
  • Career Decision-making
  • Career Research
(Overview and compare/contrast a variety of careers in each of the 5 health science pathways)
    • Diagnostic
    • Therapeutic
    • Health Informatics
    • Biotechnology Research & Development
    • Support Services
Assessment Standards/Grading Practices
B= 83% - 92%
C= 73% - 82%
D=60% - 72%
F= below 60%

College Credit Opportunities

  • Biomedical Terminology*
  • Survey of Health Care Careers*
*  Articulation agreements are subject to change and are based on College of DuPage approval.  Students must attend a full year to have opportunity for college credit.

Field Experiences/Competitive Opportunities

TCD supports Skills USA.  Highly motivated students interested in competition can choose to engage in self-directed learning during their off-school hours to prepare for a variety of competitions focusing on healthcare and/or job skills.

College and CareerPathways

Prerequisite for healthcare programs of study -   A course in Biomedical Terminology is often a pre-requisite for admission to many college healthcare programs of study.  Successful completion of biomedical terminology for dual credit may assist students in meeting admission and prerequisite requirements for college.
  • The survey of healthcare careers assists students with career decisions and offers students an opportunity for college credit.
For sample occupations and postsecondary educational requirements, visit: and click on“Career Clusters & Pathways”

Placement Guidelines/Recommendations

We are confident that the Technology Center of DuPage experience is a positive and productive learning opportunity for DuPage County students. With this in mind, the following academic guidelines are recommendations intended to assist in scheduling students for success. If a student considering the Medical & Health Care Careers Program does not meet one or more of these guidelines, contact  a guidance representative from the home high school to clarify individual situations.

Academic Readiness

Attendance: Regular attendance is essential as this is a fast-paced and challenging curriculum.  To earn college credit, student must be in attendance a minimum of 73% of days in which each college course content is covered.
Reading/Writing: Learning medical terminology is very similar to learning a second language.  Therefore, strong reading and decoding skills are recommended for success in this program. Good writing skills are helpful.

Professional Skills

Medical & Health Care Career students are also expected to effectively display the following attributes:
Time Management: Students in this program should have good time-management and organizational skills in order to keep pace with the college-level curriculum.
Personal Motivation:Students who are able to self-motivate and self-direct are more likely to be successful in this program.
Problem-Solving Ability: Problem-solving and critical thinking are essential skills for students intending to pursue a career in healthcare.
Reliability/Dependability: Reliability and dependability are essential skills for students intending to pursue a career in healthcare.
Ability to Work with Others: Teamwork and cooperation are essential skills for students intending to pursue a career in healthcare.