Medical Terminology FAQ

Medical Terminology (Anatomy & Physiology)
60 hours
Frequently-Asked Questions

What does this 60-hour Medical Terminology course prepare me for?
What do I receive when I finish this course?
What will I be able to do with this course?
How much homework will I have?
Do I have to attend every class?

What textbooks do I need to buy?
How much do the course texts cost?
What is the weekly schedule of the course like?
Where do I get more information about the course?
Where do I get more information about the VIHA Medical Terminology test?

FAQs specific to Online course format:

How does the online classroom work?
Do I have to be online at given times to take this course?
How is the final exam delivered for online students?
Is this a self-study course?
Can I do the coursework at any time, or is there a schedule?
What if I'm out of town, how does that work?
Can I work ahead?
What are the minimum system requirement to take this online course?

What does this 60-hour Medical Terminology course prepare me for?

This course prepares students to write the VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) Medical Terminology exam, which is a requirement for those applying to VIHA for clerical jobs related to health care. It is a prerequisite for the Medical Office Assistant program, the Hospital Unit Coordinator Certificate program, and the Medical Device Reprocessing program (formerly called the Sterile Supply Technician program).

The 60-hour course also gives students the prerequisites they need for such programs as Camosun's Hospital Unit Clerk Certificate Program.

What do I receive when I finish this course?

You will receive a Statement of Course Completion (along with your grade information - by regular post) when you complete this course.

What will I be able to do with this course?

This course prepares students to write the VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) Medical Terminology exam. It is beneficial to those intending on working for VIHA or in a medical clerical capacity anywhere, or for those planning on furthering their education in health care. It is a prerequisite for the Hospital Unit Coordinator and Medical Transcription programs.

How much homework will I have?

This is an intensive course. Be prepared for up to 8 hours of homework per week.

Do I have to attend every class?

Attendance is a crucial component of the Medical Terminology course. If you are taking the course in class, attendance will be taken at every class. If you will be unable to attend a class, or if you need to leave early or arrive late, please advise your instructor as soon as possible. If you are taking the course online, the attendance requirement is monitored through your involvement in online course activities and discussion forums, which are mandatory.

What textbooks do I need to buy?

Online course:
"The Language of Medicine", 11th Edition (with user guide, access code, and textbook), by Davi-Ellen Chabner. ISBN: 978-0323-370912.

Note: If you are taking the online course, make sure you pick up the online course edition that includes the access code, or you will not have access to the online course content. It is not a good idea to purchase the used version of the textbook, since most used textbooks do not include a valid, unused online course access code.

Texts can be purchased online through the Vancouver Island University Campus Store (Nanaimo)*

*If you need the text ordered into another VIU campus store, please contact the store at your location campus at least 2 weeks in advance of your course start date to ensure that the texts are transferred to your local campus store.

In-Class Course
"The Language of Medicine", 10th Edition, by Davi-Ellen Chabner. (ISBN-10: 1455728462; ISBN-13: 978-1455728466).

Texts can be purchased through the Vancouver Island University Campus Store (Nanaimo)*. Campus Store phone # is: 250-740-6200 / 1-866-965-2665 toll-free (campus-store@viu.ca)

*If you need the text ordered into another VIU campus store, please contact the store at your location campus at least 2 weeks in advance of your course start date to ensure that the texts are transferred to your local campus store.

How much do the course texts cost?

Course text for online is approximately $200 as it includes the textbook and online access code. Course text for in-class is approximately $150.

What is the weekly schedule of the course like?
How do I get more information about the course?

The course schedule, along with grading information and other course details, is available from the course syllabus:

Where do I get more information about the VIHA Medical Terminology test?

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) requires a Medical Terminology Assessment test to assess candidate knowledge of Medical Terminology for positions requiring that knowledge. If you are applying for a VIHA position that requires Medical Terminology, the results of this test must accompany your VIHA Application for Employment. (A copy of the VIHA application form can be picked up at any VIHA acute care site, or can be printed off the VIHA website.)

The VIHA Medical Terminology Assessment is comprised of 50 multiple-choice questions. The minimum requirement to be considered for employment within VIHA is 72% (36/50). All test questions are based on 'The Language of Medicine' text used our in-class and online 60-hour Medical Terminology course. You can take either the in-class or online 60-hour course to prepare for the VIHA Medical Terminology Assessment.

To take the VIHA Medical Terminology Assessment, students must pre-register for one of the sessions (seats are limited):

  • in Nanaimo, external applicants can be tested in Nanaimo by calling (250) 755-7615, select Option 1
  • in Central and North Island, external applicants can be tested in Nanaimo by calling toll-free 1-888-758-7615, select Option 1
  • in Victoria area - applicants must pre-register through Camosun College by calling (250) 370-3550
  • existing VIHA employees can set up their test by calling VIHA Employment Services:
    • Victoria area (250) 370-8522 - Option 1
    • Nanaimo area (250) 755-7615 - Option 1, Extension 3026

You must arrive at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start assessment time and will be required to provide VALID PHOTO ID prior to taking the test. You will be provided with a written copy of your assessment score upon completion of the test.

Important note from VIHA: Taking and/or passing this medical terminology assessment in NO WAY guarantees employment with VIHA> Results are NOT currently recognized by other employers.

How does the online classroom work?

Students will receive their username and password, along with course access instructions, via email just prior to the course start date. The online classroom is not available to students until the course start date.

Students can log in at any time day or night to access the online materials and interact (via the online discussion forum) with their instructor and other students.

Quizzes are released for each module. Quizzes are normally released with the modules each Monday morning. One or two quizzes are released each week (depending on the modules to be covered for the week). Students can complete the quizzes when it's convenient for them to do so, but they are encouraged to complete the quizzes by the following Sunday night prior to the release of the next module(s), so that they keep up with the rest of the class.

Do I have to be online at given times to take this course?

You do NOT need to log into the online classroom on any specific dates/times. Lessons are released weekly, and assignments are usually due on Sunday nights, to give students time over the weekend to complete their assignments.

How is the final exam delivered for online students?

Online students must arrange to have the final exam invigilated, either at a Vancouver Island University campus, through their local college or university, or through a qualified proctor. Details regarding the invigilation process are available here.The final exam is computer-based and consists of 160 multiple choice and matching questions worth 100 points (some questions are multi-part questions). The final exam is worth 40% of your grade. It is a closed-book exam. Student have 2.5 hours to complete the final exam. Specific questions about the final exam should be directed to the instructor.

Is this a self-study course?

The students in this course are not 'self-study' students - we have a qualified instructor for this course (Shelley Trimblett) and this course is conducted as a cohort group (within a specific time frame and with other students and the instructor).

Can I do the coursework at any time, or is there a schedule?

While you do have the ability to log on and do the coursework at any time that is convenient to you, the weekly modules will be released each Monday so that students can interact on the discussion board while working on the same modules, and so that all students take the same modules (with related activities and quizzes) during the same time period and work through the course at approximately the same pace.

What if I'm out of town, how does that work?

If you are going to be out of town, but will still have an internet connection (and computer) available to you, you can access the course online from anywhere, and do the coursework as you would at home. If you are not going to have access to a computer for a period of time (more than 3 or 4 days) and you feel that you may be falling behind, it's a good idea to contact your instructor to let her know. The instructor will work with you to help you to catch up if you fall a bit behind.

Can I work ahead?

You do have the opportunity to read ahead in your textbook and work on the textbook and CD-ROM exercises at any time, if you find that you want to move ahead. The course syllabus, with information on chapters and activities covered each week, is posted in the online classroom under the Tools tab.

We think you will find that after the introductory week, there will be more than enough coursework to keep you busy during each week.

What are the minimum system requirement to take this online course?

Note that for the Medical Terminology online course only, we do recommend that you use the Google Chrome.

On the Job Training (online)

Email: erin.johnson@viu.ca | 1-877-888-8890 (Toll free) | (604) 485-2878 (Powell River) | (604) 485-2868 (Fax)

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