Unlocking Medical Terminology
Bruce D. Wingerd, Edison State College


VSPN Review by Brandy Sprunger, CVT, RVT Star
(Click on stars for an explanation)


This is one of the largest medical terminology books I have ever seen. It is designed more for the human medical field than the veterinary medical field, but anyone could get good use out of it. From the inside of the front cover, you can tell this is going to be a very interactive textbook. There are seventeen chapters, each of which discusses a specific topic, such as Cells, Tissues and Cancer, The Special Senses, and The Urinary System.

The illustrations are amazing throughout and the reader is even directed to the illustrators’ website for more information. There are some photographs used as well, but the majority of the pictures are wonderfully drawn medical graphics. Included in the textbook is 12 months of access to the website myhealthprofessionskit.com, which is stated as being an online study companion. For those who enjoy online learning or need more visual stimulation to understand a concept, the website is a great addition and was very fun. The reader develops an avatar, and enters a virtual hospital where every floor coincides with a chapter in the book. There are even “announcements” over the hospital intercom, the sound of people walking, conversing and even coughing, and you even get to “ride” in an elevator- it’s as though you are in a real hospital! There are a multitude of online games you can play to maximize your learning.

In the book, each chapter is broken down into a Word Part Focus, which explains the prefixes, suffixes and combining forms for that chapter’s topic. There is then an Anatomy and Physiology section in each chapter to give some background to the words that are being learned, and this is the area where the illustrations really shine. There are also sections on Symptoms and Signs, Diseases and Disorders, Treatments, Procedures and Devices, and Pharmacology and Abbreviations. Each section within the chapters has its own set of quizzes. At the end of each chapter is a Chapter Review with even more ways to quiz and test yourself, from short answers, picture labeling, and crosswords to word scrambles, case studies and critical thinking questions.

Throughout the chapters, there are little tidbits of information on word history or critical thinking questions to make sure the information is retained and understood. There are also entire pages dedicated to a Clinical Case Study related to the chapter’s topic with a built in quiz to maximize the learning available from that particular chapter.

The best part of this book is the use of the decoder that is included to help with the numerous quizzes throughout the chapters. The answers are always to the left of the question, but hidden behind the red coding to prevent cheating. When the decoder is held over the red coding, the answer magically appears, much like the decoders we used to see on our cereal boxes! Having the answers accessible, but not obvious, saves time and book wear by not having to constantly flip to the back for the answers. It also makes it easy to quiz and study with other people. This textbook has more for the student to DO rather than to READ, which is great for hands-on, visual learners like me.

For the technician student needing more hands-on learning, this textbook is perfect. Not only would this be a good textbook for students and instructors to use, but also for any experienced technician to use to brush up on terminology. Learning medical terminology is much like learning a foreign language, so teaching in a visual or hands-on format can be a bit difficult. This textbook figured it out with its use of decoders, multiple quizzes, lengthy Chapter Review sections, and the access to the website. If you like to write, fill out forms and quizzes, or play games to help you learn, grab your laptop, a pen and your secret decoder and be prepared to learn the language of Medical Terminology. The value to a clinical practitioner is minimal; however, some veterinary students may find the text useful at the start of their career.

Publisher: Pearson Education, Inc., 2011

793pg. Softcover

ISBN: 978-0-13-514988-1

Table of Contents
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Alternative Medicine
Animal Welfare
Client Education
Cytology / Hematology / Histology
Emergency Med
Food Animals/Livestock
Handling & Restraint
Human-Animal Bond
Imaging & Radiology
Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
Laboratory Medicine
Practice Management
Rabbits, Rodents & Ferrets
Shelter Medicine
Veterinary Education
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Veterinary Medical Terminology Guide and Workbook (VSPN)
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* Medical Math.
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*Tasks Vet. Asst. 2nd Ed.
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*Veterinary Med. Team
Wildlife-Zoo Animals

Date Published: October 20, 2010

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