Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Handy Supplement Helps Students Master the Lingo of A&P

In my two previous posts, I explained my rationale behind providing tools for A&P students to easily master the language of A&P.  In Word Lists Help Students Build Their Mental Lexicons, I discussed a proven method to help students improve their reading comprehension using chapter word lists. In Word Parts Help Students Master the Language of Science, I discussed how word-study strategies can help students learn their terminology easily and permanently.

In this third installment, I'd like to give you a tour of the supplement Quick Guide to the Language of Science and Medicine—which I usually just call "the Quick Guide."

Packaged at no extra cost with Anatomy & Physiologythis handy guide complements the Language of Science and Language of Medicine word lists in each chapter of the main textbook. Think of it as the conceptual framework for using the word parts in those chapter lists. It's found along with the Brief Atlas of the Human Body inside the booklet labeled Brief Atlas & Quick Guide.

By the way, this booklet is also available as a separate piece, in case students who didn't get one with their used textbook want one. Just ask your Elsevier rep about how to get your bookstore to stock it.

What is the Quick Guide?  I'll get to the specifics in a moment, but in general it is a small set of tools that helps students along as they read and study A&P. It's sort of a Swiss army knife of handy little helpers that get students unstuck from problems using scientific terminology—or help set them on the right path in the first place.

What tools are included in the Quick Guide?  An annotated outline follows.

Learning and Using Scientific Terms (an introduction to general principles of terminology)
  • Most Terms Come from Latin and Greek
    • Sets the mindset of learning an new language
  • Terms Are Made by Combining Word Parts
    • Brief rundown of roots, prefixes, and suffixes
  • Some Terms Use Latin Plural Forms
    • Includes a table of common pluralizations (e.g., diaphysis/diaphyses, axis/axes)
  • Avoid Confusing Adjectives with Nouns
    • Explains why pectoral is an adjective and pectoral muscle is a noun with a modifying adjective)
  • Correct Spelling is Important
    • Promotes precision, which is important for safety in clinical settings.
    • Includes a table contrasting U.S. and U.K. spellings
  • Correct Pronunciation is Important
    • Emphasizes the need for clear and accurate communications
    • Includes how to find pronunciations and regional differences in pronunciation
  • Be Aware of Alternate Terminology
    • Explains why more than one alternate exists
    • Defines eponyms and their current usage
  • Practice New Terminology
    • Gives hints on how best to learn the terminology of A&P
Table 1  Word Parts Commonly Used as Prefixes
  • Defines word part and its meaning(s)
Table 2  Word Parts Commonly Used as Suffixes
  • Defines word part and its meaning(s)
Table 3  Word Parts Commonly Used as Roots
  • Defines word part and its meaning(s)
Table 4  Abbreviations Used for Anatomical Directions
Table 5  Common Eponyms and Equivalent Descriptive Terms
  • Gives the eponym, its descriptive equivalent, and its location in the body
Table 6  Scientific Symbols, Acronyms, and Abbreviations
  • Lists terms related to the basic sciences (not the clinical sciences)
Table 7  Medical Symbols, Acronyms, and Abbreviations
  • Lists terms related to the clinical sciences (not the basic sciences)
  • Mentions which symbols are now banned in clinical practice
Table 8  Chemical Symbols, Formulas, and Acronyms
  • Lists chemical symbols used frequently in A&P, along with their written form
Table 9  Greek Alphabet
  • A list of uppercase and lowercase Greek letters in alphabetic order
  • Helps students better understand the use of alpha, beta, gamma, delta, etc. in A&P terminology
Table 10 Roman Numerals
  • Helps students who never really learned Roman numerals, but need them understand cranial nerve notation and other terminology

There are also plenty of brief Hints scattered throughout the Quick Guide to help each student avoid common pitfalls in using scientific language.

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