4 Engaging Medical Terminology Games to Boost Student Motivation (2023)

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When teaching difficult concepts such as medical terminology, health science teachers can feel overwhelmed and frustrated. You want your students to engage with and memorize important material, but you might be uncertain about how to keep your students focused and energized. Worse still, you fear that your students may be bored and unable to master vocabulary that will be a part of assessments and certification exams.

We've seen thousands of teachers like you struggle to keep students engaged, which is one of the reasons we created our HealthCenter21 digital curriculum system. HealthCenter21 helps teachers save time while keeping learners focused in an engaging way. But sometimes you are looking for supplemental games and activities to boost your existing medical terminology lesson plans.

In this article, you will find four different medical terminologygames that you can use in your classroom to help your students better understand the language of health science.

Learning games are great tools to use in any classroom because they rely on active, instead of passive, learning. These interactive activities are a fun way to prompt students to make daily contributions which encourage them to pay attention, memorize, and even study critical classroom content.

Video: 4 Medical Terminology Learning Games to Increase Engagement and Information Retention

Activity 1: Medical Terminology Pictionary

4 Engaging Medical Terminology Games to Boost Student Motivation (2)

The classic drawing game of pictionary can be a great way of introducing visual learning to your classroom. Visual learning methodology is fundamental in reaching students who may struggle with more conventional memorization methods, such as students with dyslexia or English Language Learners (ELLs).

Medical terminology games geared towards visual learners are the perfect way to reach these students and benefit the entire classroom by promoting active learning. Identifying medical terms through images can help students commit key words and phrases to memory and create a sense of friendly competition in the classroom.

How to Play Medical Terminology Pictionary:

An easy way to play pictionary is to supply students with cards with a medical term or phrase. One at a time, students will go to the board and draw a picture to represent the word on their card. Once a classmate correctly guesses the term, the student can add the medical abbreviation below the image.


4 Engaging Medical Terminology Games to Boost Student Motivation (3)For example, if the medical term is "fracture," the students draws something to depict a fracture. After a student guesses the correct term, the drawer will write the abbreviation "fx" on the board.

Pictionary is perfect for reviewing medical abbreviations and can be used virtually any time during a course when you might like to teach lessons differently.

You can add to the fun by choosing a best or favorite drawing and leading a discussion on how it relates to the medical term it represents.

Helpful Hint: Ensure your students are coming up with the correct answers themselves, rather than relying on the teacher to refresh their memories.

Activity 2: Medical Terminology Relay Race

4 Engaging Medical Terminology Games to Boost Student Motivation (4)

While pictionary is excellent for reaching students through visual learning, classroom relay games are a fun way to connect with kinesthetic learners in your classroom. When the weather is nice and students need a break from their seats, relay games are a great way to get students outdoors and moving around.

How to Implement a Medical Terminology Relay Race

An easy way to implement a relay game is to set up a course with three stations, each with a designated caller. At each station, the caller holds flash cards containing both the term and its definition on the same side.

The caller gives the definition of a term, and another student, the runner, must define the term. Once the caller confirms the answer is correct, the runner runs to the next station. The runner then tags another student, who becomes the new runner and listens for the next term to be called.

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The relay continues in a triangular fashion until all students have defined terms and completed the course.

4 Engaging Medical Terminology Games to Boost Student Motivation (5)

To maximize the number of students participating simultaneously, teachers can consider setting up a second course and have two teams of students competing to be the first to complete the course successfully.

Students enjoy this medical terminology game because that allows them to become active in the classroom and compete with their peers. When learners are told in advance of the activity the words and phrases they need to memorize, they often choose to study the terms to do well during the game.

Kick It Up: To add dimension to the game, ask your students to put on silly clothing or accessories before running their relays. We recommend items such as swimming goggles, inflatable tubes, or armbands that can be cleaned and shared safely.

Activity 3: Funny Stories with Medical Terms

4 Engaging Medical Terminology Games to Boost Student Motivation (6)

For a writing-oriented activity that is great for small groups, you can facilitate a game of funny stories using medical terms. Medical terminology often involves a wide array of abbreviations, which can be difficult for students to learn and memorize.

Students who learn best through writing will appreciate the opportunity to craft sentences and short stories which allow them to memorize and play with abbreviations to reinforce their learning.

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How to Run the Funny Stories with Medical Terms Game

Using a computer or pencil and paper, learners can write out sentences that include health science abbreviations in place of the full words and phrases they represent. When students present their work to the class, their classmates will decipher the abbreviations in order to understand the story.

Here's an example of a funny story with abbreviations: “Charlie had to be Pt q.am. while his wife put exactly the right t. of coffee grounds in the machine to make his coffee. If he had his way, he would have had it IV. He also liked a lot of sugar in his coffee but his wife said they had to d.c. that or their wt could get out of control. All he could think was QNS! He needed coffee and sugar stat or the world could just forget about him getting OOB!”

Medical term storytelling is adaptable and perfect for small groups, where students can work together to creatively craft sentences and commit terms to memory. Once students gain experience with the activity, teachers can even use it in lesson plans for a substitute teacher.

Add Some Fun: Teachers can incentivize this activity by introducing a class trophy for students to compete for by composing the most creative story in the class. Making a silly trophy out of knick-knacks or recycled objects would fit the theme. The trophy can become a classroom tradition awarded to different students or groups over the course of the school year.

Activity 4: Medical Terminology Candy Toss

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Few classroom incentives are quite as popular as an old-fashioned candy toss. The prospect of a sweet treat during the school day can be surprisingly successful in motivating students to study and come to class prepared.

Candy tosses are a reliable motivator when students are the most fatigued or least motivated to participate, such as on Fridays after a long work week. They are also a great incentive to coincide with significant review periods before unit exams or certification testing.

A candy toss does not have to be expensive. Teachers can find a wide selection of sweets and “penny candy” at dollar stores, discount retailers, and wholesale clubs. When there is candy on the line, teachers have found that students are willing to study harder and pay more attention during class periods.

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Bring Your Energy: The best way to make reciting terms in class engaging is to infuse them with your own enthusiasm. The more fast-paced excitement a teacher brings to the candy toss, the better the response from students.

Boost Student Engagement and Understanding in Your Health Science Classes

Mastering medical terminology is one of the most critical challenges students face in their health science courses. Thankfully, you can enhance your learners’ understanding by regularly incorporating medical terminology games and activities to foster a balanced, blended learning environment.

Want more ideas to boost engagement in your classroom? Download the free 25-page eBook on, “Keeping Students Engaged in CTE.” In the eBook you’ll find dozens of tips and tricks from instructional designers, students, and educators like you:

4 Engaging Medical Terminology Games to Boost Student Motivation (8)


What are some examples of game-based learning? ›

Examples of game-based learning include card games, video games, and board games.

What exercises can you do to continue learning medical terminology? ›

7 Ways to Learn Medical Terminology
  • Get your Greek (and Latin) on. Nearly all medical terms come from Greek or Latin words. ...
  • See the patterns in words. ...
  • Use Acronyms. ...
  • Imagine it. ...
  • Flash cards. ...
  • Medical Term Bingo. ...
  • Slow and steady. ...
  • Start Your Healthcare Administration Journey Today.

How do you make medical terms fun? ›

Medical Terminology Pictionary - Students draw pictures and try to identify the correct term. Medical Terminology Relay Race - Learners correctly identify medical terms before running to the next station. Funny Stories with Medical Terms - Students learn common abbreviations by writing short stories with med terms.

How a game can enhance teaching and learning? ›

According to research, using games in teaching can help increase student participation, foster social and emotional learning, and motivate students to take risks. One study of the popular multiple-choice quiz game Kahoot found that it improved students' attitudes toward learning and boosted their academic scores.

How does game-based learning help students? ›

Game-based learning offers students the opportunity to explore and experiment with new research skills without fear of failure or bad grades. It also offers opportunities for increased student engagement by adding a sense of fun to their library instruction experience.

Why game-based learning is important? ›

Game-based learning makes learning and instruction fun and immersive. Games give experiences meaning, they provide a set of boundaries within a safe environment, to explore, think, and try things out. They provide the motivation to succeed and reduce the sting of failure.

Why learning medical terminology is important? ›

Medical terminology allows all medical professionals to understand each other and communicate effectively. When everyone understands what a condition, medicine, or procedure is, they are able to fulfill their roles accordingly, whether that is delivering medicine or billing for a medicine.

What is an example of medical terminology? ›

Morphology of medical termsMedical terms are created using root words with prefixes and suffixes that are Greek or Latin in origin. For example, “pericarditis” means “inflammation of the outer layer of the heart.” The three parts of this term are: peri – card – itis. The prefix is “peri” and means “surrounding”.

How do I teach medical terminology to high school? ›

Medical Terminology Teaching Tips
  1. Develop chapter pretests. ...
  2. Encourage students to pronounce terms out loud in context. ...
  3. Offer multimedia-rich course materials. ...
  4. Use flashcards for memorization. ...
  5. Let students teach. ...
  6. Customize the curriculum to student learning.
8 May 2019

In what ways is learning medical terminology like learning a new language? ›

Medical terminology is a specialized language used by health care practitioners. And, just like a foreign language, it has its own vocabulary and ways of stringing together words in an acceptable, i.e., understandable to everyone, format.

What are some terms that you feel are most important to always remember in medical terminology? ›

Top 25 medical terms to know
  • Benign: Not cancerous.
  • Malignant: Cancerous.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Reduces swelling, pain, and soreness (such as ibuprofen or naproxen)
  • Body Mass Index (BMI): Body fat measurement based on height and weight.
  • Biopsy: A tissue sample for testing purposes.
  • Hypotension: Low blood pressure.

What is the fastest way to learn medical terminology? ›

Tips for Learning Medical Terminology Fast
  1. Develop Good Study Habits. Discover Your Study Style. ...
  2. Ask Your Instructors Questions.
  3. Take Excellent Notes. Create Mind Maps. ...
  4. Learn Your Latin/Greek Roots.
  5. Play Games and Download Medical Apps. Med Calc. ...
  6. Stay Organized.
  7. Consider Applying to Med School in the Caribbean.

What are the skills that can be developed in playing games? ›

Playing video games has also shown to develop problem solving, spatial and hand-eye coordination skills, as well as vision and speed skills. Adolescents that played role-playing and strategic-based games show increased problem solving skills. Children playing any type of video game show with increased creativity.

Why is interactive games important? ›

Interactive games help children to work out how to gracefully accept both losing and winning, they form a sense of sportsmanship and discipline. It provides a platform to teach them how to interact with both adults and children – learning how to successfully form relationships as they go.

What is the importance of playing games? ›

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.

What are game-based activities? ›

Game-based learning is a teaching method that uses the power of games to define and support learning outcomes. A GBL environment achieves this through educational games that have elements such as engagement, immediate rewards and healthy competition. All so that while students play, they stay motivated to learn.

What are games as a teaching method? ›

Upon analysis of the definitions made by the said educators, the didactic game can be understood as a teaching method facilitating the acquisition of knowledge and skills, containing components of play, based on observance to strictly set rules and allowing the student to learn how to win or lose.

What is the importance of game-based learning and gamification in education? ›

Games can introduce goals, interaction, feedback, problem solving, competition, narrative, and fun learning environments, elements that can increase learner engagement and sustain motivation.

What benefits did you gain from the games? ›

Benefits of video games for both children and adults include: Healthy brain stimulation. Development of problem-solving skills. Stress relief.

Do students learn better with games? ›

Interaction and opportunities to make choices are among the virtues of the new generation of educational games, experts say. Games help us develop non-cognitive skills, which are as fundamental as cognitive skills in explaining how we learn and if we succeed, according to the panelists.

How do you develop game-based learning? ›

Have a look.
  1. Focus On An Impressive Start. As mentioned before, you need to capture the learner's attention right from the start. ...
  2. Base The Game On Adult Learning Principles. ...
  3. Use Game-Elements To Motivate. ...
  4. Add In The Element Of Risk. ...
  5. Ensure That The Game Is Challenging.
27 Dec 2019

Why is it important to be familiar with medical terminology? ›

The importance of medical terminology in the healthcare industry enables those involved to use medical terms that are abbreviated so that they appear simpler to those involved. This standardised use of medical language helps to avoid errors especially when documenting a patient's condition and medical needs.

What are the objective of medical terminology? ›


Recognize and understand basic medical terms. Identify and decipher medical abbreviations. Spell and pronounce basic medical terminology. Analyze unfamiliar terms using the knowledge of word roots, suffixes and prefixes gained in the course.

How can medical terminology be an advantage in my personal life? ›

By studying Medical Terminology, you'll gain really important insights about the function of each system of the body. Better yet, your knowledge of medical terminology will have very practical applications in your own life, such as how small lifestyle changes can affect your entire health.

What are the 5 basic word parts of medical terminology? ›

Medical terms are built from word parts. Those word parts are prefix , word root , suffix , and combining form vowel .

What are the basic concepts of medical terminology? ›

Most medical terms consist of three basic components: the root word (the base of the term), prefixes (in front of the root word), and suffixes (at the end of the root word). When combined, you can define a specific medical term.

What's the most important rule to remember in analyzing medical terminology? ›

The most important rule to remember when analyzing medical terminology is to begin at the end. If a medical term is long enough to break down, it usually describes either a condition, an action, or a relationship.

What is medical terminology in high school? ›

Medical Terminology is designed to introduce students to the structure of medical terms, including prefixes, suffixes, word roots, combining forms, and singular and plural forms, plus medical abbreviations and acronyms.

What does ETI o mean? ›

eti/o. Prefix denoting cause or origin. Etiology. The study of causes, as in the causes of a disease or an abnormality.

Why is it important to break down medical terms into component parts? ›

Medical terminology can look and sound complex, but it's important to be able to break words down and understand their roots, prefixes and suffixes to prevent any misunderstandings or errors. Mistakes and misunderstandings can be life-threatening, that is the importance of medical terminology.

How do you say medical terminology words? ›

Medical Terminology, Shortcuts for Pronunciation - YouTube

When pronouncing medical terms one should remember? ›

When pronouncing medical terms, one should remember that words that begin with the letters qu, c, or ch may have the "k" sound. When pronouncing medical terms, one should remember that words that begin with the letters pn or kn may have the "n" sound.

What is common daily terminology used in practice of medicine? ›

Abbreviations and acronyms

AC: Ante cibum, or "before meals," indicating when a patient should take medication. ADR: Adverse drug reaction. ALOC: Acute loss of consciousness. BMI: Body mass index, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

Why do we need to know the basic medical terms and acronyms even if we are not working in a medical field? ›

Medical terms are used to accurately describe the condition of the patient and the treatment that they need to undergo. Without proper training and knowledge, the communication between healthcare workers may get confusing and the patient might not get the proper treatment at the end.

What's the importance of medical terminology to accurate patient charting? ›

Better Patient Safety

For example, if the doctor can clearly read a patient's chart, it helps the doctor provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. If the wrong medical terminology is used, it can drastically change the care the patient receives.

What are 3 sources of information that may be used to check on medical terminology? ›

Common medical terminology resources include: Multi-media tutorials and online medical dictionaries. In-depth online courses. For-credit and career certificate courses offered by colleges and universities.

What is the best way to learn medical terminology quizlet? ›

What's the best way to learn and study medical terminology? Students who have the best success in the medical terminology course review the medical terminology word parts daily, even for just a few minutes at time.

What are two methods of learning proper terminology pronunciation? ›

What are two methods of learning proper terminology pronunciation? Saying the word out loud and checking a medical dictionary to see how is spelled phonetically are two ways to learn how to spell a word correctly.

What resources can you utilize to learn medical terminology as well as anatomy physiology? ›

Here are some resources that will help you find more in-depth information on the medical topics and terms you will be covering in your studies.
  • Merck Manual for Health Professionals. ...
  • Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary. ...
  • OpenMD.com Medical Terminology Dictionary. ...
  • Free Online Dictionary.
27 Sept 2022

How was exercise define in the context of health? ›

Exercise is a subset of physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive and has as a final or an intermediate objective the improvement or maintenance of physical fitness. Physical fitness is a set of attributes that are either health- or skill-related.

In what ways is learning medical terminology like learning a new language? ›

Medical terminology is a specialized language used by health care practitioners. And, just like a foreign language, it has its own vocabulary and ways of stringing together words in an acceptable, i.e., understandable to everyone, format.

What are some terms that you feel are most important to always remember in medical terminology? ›

Top 25 medical terms to know
  • Benign: Not cancerous.
  • Malignant: Cancerous.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Reduces swelling, pain, and soreness (such as ibuprofen or naproxen)
  • Body Mass Index (BMI): Body fat measurement based on height and weight.
  • Biopsy: A tissue sample for testing purposes.
  • Hypotension: Low blood pressure.

What do you learn from medical terminology? ›

Medical Terminology is the study of the words used to describe the human body. It helps you learn the proper terminology for major diseases and pathological conditions as well as each system of the body.

What physical activities do you engage in to maintain and improve your fitness? ›

Examples include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and biking. Strength, or resistance training, exercises make your muscles stronger. Some examples are lifting weights and using a resistance band. Balance exercises can make it easier to walk on uneven surfaces and help prevent falls.

What is the main purpose of exercise? ›

Exercise boosts energy

Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.

Why is it important to engage yourself in A moderate to vigorous physical activity Brainly? ›

Increasing MVPA in PE has the greatest potential for increasing health benefits for most students as it generates more energy expenditure; contributes to obesity prevention and muscular and bone development; reduces anxiety and stress; improves self-esteem, mood and concentration; and reduces the risk of chronic ...


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