Medical Vocabulary for English Learners


Hello, my name is Emma, and in today’s video
I’m going to talk to you about medical vocabulary. So, this vocabulary is very good if you – it’s
very good to know if you like to watch TV shows or movies that have – you know, that
are about medical dramas or about doctors or about what happens in a hospital. I love those kind of TV shows, so these are
expressions that are helpful for that. They’re also very good for when you’re watching
the news or reading the newspaper because these expressions do come up a lot, or if
you work or are ever in a hospital. So, these expressions are great ones to know
when you’re talking about medical English. So, let’s get started with some of our expressions. The first I want to talk about is the word
“condition”. When we’re talking about medicine, we are
often talking about “condition”, okay? By “condition”, I mean how somebody is doing. So you might have somebody doing well, you
might have somebody who is not doing well, who is very sick, so when we’re talking about
how a person is in terms of their medical status, we can talk about their “condition”. So, I have a bunch of different expressions
that have to do with “conditions” when we’re talking about medical vocabulary. So, one condition we can talk about is “unconscious”. “Unconscious”. I want you to notice that we have “un” at
the beginning. “Un” means “not”, or it can mean “not” in
this case, it is “not”. “Not conscious”. Unconscious. So it’s three syllables and when someone is
unconscious, it means that they’ve been injured somehow, maybe something hit their head, maybe
they had a heart attack or a stroke, so something bad has happened to this person and their
brain is not working as it normally does. So, a person who is unconscious might seem
asleep, okay? Maybe their eyes are closed, but they’re still
alive, and they’re not sleeping, they’re just very, very sick. So, when you’re unconscious, you might seem
asleep but the difference is that when you’re sleeping, you can wake up. When you’re unconscious, you’re not waking
up, okay? So we often talk about unconscious. What’s the opposite of unconscious? Well, that’s “conscious”. Right now, I am conscious. I’m not unconscious. I’m moving, I’m talking, I’m alert, so I’m
conscious. If you’re watching this, you too are conscious,
so we have unconscious and conscious. Now, if somebody is unconscious and they are
very lucky and they start to get better, they can “regain consciousness”. So this means they can wake up from being
unconscious. They can become alert and they can become
responsive. So, so far, we have the words “unconscious”
and “regained consciousness” or “conscious”. What are some other conditions we might talk
about, or you might hear on a medical TV show for example? Well, you might hear about “critical condition”,
“serious condition”, or “stable condition”. So, what do those words mean? We use them a lot in English. If someone is in critical condition, it means
it’s very, very serious. They are very, very sick, okay? And there is a very good possibility that
they may die. So, if somebody is in critical condition,
it does not look good for them, okay? There’s a good possibility they might die
because they are very, very ill. So, in the newspapers, they often, after an
emergency happens, the newspaper will often say, you know, this person is in critical
condition, and it means they’re very, very sick and we don’t know if they will live. A little bit less serious than critical is
in “serious condition”. If someone is in serious condition, they’re
very, very sick, or very ill as well, but it’s… we don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe they’re going to get better, maybe they’re
not going to get better. We don’t know, because right now, they’re
very, very sick and it could go either way, okay? Maybe they survive, maybe they don’t. So in serious condition, it’s kind of more
of a question mark, okay? It could go either way. There’s a good possibility the person will
survive or not. So, “critical condition”, “serious condition”,
you might also hear about “stable condition”. Stable condition means that a person and their
sickness is not changing, okay? So, they are not getting worse. They are stable. So, they are not, you know, when emergencies
happen, you want a person to be in stable condition. That’s a good condition to be in, because
they’re not getting worse. We also have two expressions here, or three
expressions, about conditions. So, sometimes you might hear somebody talk
about “taking a turn for the worse”. What does it mean to take a turn for the worse? Do you think that’s a good thing or a bad
thing? When someone takes a turn for the worse, it’s
a bad thing. It means that you thought they were going
to get better, but they’re not, unfortunately. So, taking a turn for the worse means a person’s
condition is getting worse. It’s not getting better. And we use “take a turn” when we’re more surprised
about it, okay? So, you know, “How’s Peter doing?” “Oh, you know, he’s taken a turn for the worse,
unfortunately”, okay? Our next expression: “Going to make it”. So, we often say this to mean somebody’s going
to live, okay? So, after an emergency, if you say, you know,
“He’s going to make it”, that’s very good. He’s going to live. He’s going to make it. Now, the opposite of this is “He’s not going
to make it”. Not going to make it. “Not going to make it” means the person or
animal or whatever it is is going to die. So, “make it” means live, “not make it” means
death. So, in a hospital TV show, “going to make
it” is always a positive thing. All the doctors get really happy when they
see that, or the family does, and “not going to make it” is a way to say the person is
not going to survive. So, here’re some expressions. Now, let’s look at some more. Okay, so the next word you might hear in a
hospital, if you work there, or you’re watching a medical TV show, is the word “vitals”, okay? It took me a long time to understand what
vitals were because I heard the word all the time, but I didn’t actually understand what
it was. So, what vitals are is when we talk of vitals,
we’re talking mainly about four different things. We’re talking about a person’s temperature;
so do they have a fever, what’s their temperature? Are they too cold? Are they too hot? We’re talking about their breathing, okay? Are they breathing too fast, or too slow? You know, are they having problems with their
breathing? We’re talking about their pulse, okay? And we’re talking about their blood pressure. So these are the four things that we usually
are talking about when we are talking about vitals. So, in a hospital, you’ll hear about the nurses,
the nurses often will take a person’s vitals okay? So, they’ll take the patient’s vitals to make
sure that the person is okay. So, we’ve covered vitals. The next expression I wanted to cover, or
the next word, is “diagnosis”. Diagnosis, okay. So, what is a diagnosis? A diagnosis is what a doctor will tell you
is the problem, okay? Or the sickness, or the disease. So, when a doctor identifies what is wrong
with the person, the doctor is diagnosing them. So, for example, the doctor diagnosed me with
high blood pressure. The doctor diagnosed me with hypothermia. The doctor diagnosed me with a heart attack,
with cancer, with a stroke, okay? So, it’s the conditions a person has, what
the illness or disease is. And though we call that the diagnosis, so
if you’re ever in the hospital and you want to find out what’s wrong with you, you can
always ask, you know, “What’s the diagnosis?” and the doctor should tell you and identify
the problem. We also have a word that’s similar that means
something different and that’s “prognosis”. Prognosis. So what is the prognosis? When we’re talking about a prognosis, we’re
talking about the future and what the doctors think is going to happen, okay? So, do they think you’re going to get better,
or do they think you’re not? What’s the prognosis? What’s the future? So, when we talk about prognosis on TV shows
and medical dramas, you’ll often hear about oh, the patient, their prognosis is good. It’s going to be a good future for them. They’ll probably get better. Or you might hear the word “poor prognosis”. So the word “poor” here, it doesn’t have to
do with money, it has to do with – it’s negative, it’s bad. So, a poor prognosis means the future is not
looking good, okay? The person is going to get sicker and may
potentially die. So, “poor prognosis” is not good, and a “good
prognosis” is a good thing, okay? So we’re talking about the future outcome. So, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s lesson. We’ve covered a lot of different words. What I invite you to do is come check out
our website at www.engvid.com and there you can do a quiz to practice everything you learned. I also recommend you watch an English medical
TV drama. See how many of these words come up, okay? Or another thing you can do is look in the
local newspaper, okay, if it’s in English. How many of these words do you see? Do you see them talking about somebody in
critical condition, or somebody in stable condition? So, it’s really good when you learn these
words to actually apply them and be on the lookout to see where they come up. I also invite you to subscribe to my channel. There, you can find a lot of other great resources
on a whole variety of topics. So, thank you for watching and until next
time, take care.

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