FAQs specific to online course format

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

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

The 60-hour course also gives students the prerequisites they need for such programs as Camosun's Hospital Unit Clerk Certificate Program. Also, Medical terminology is a prerequisite for employment in many healthcare positions, and is beneficial for those pursuing further education in medically related fields.

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 with a minimum 72% grade.

What will I be able to do with this course?

This course prepares students to write the Island Health Medical Terminology exam. It is beneficial to those intending on working for Island Health or in a medical clerical capacity anywhere, or for those planning on furthering their education in medically related fields. Meets prerequisite for Nursing Unit Assistant (also referred to as Hospital Unit Coordinator), Medical Device Reprocessing Technician (formerly called Sterile Supply Technician), and Medical Office Assistant Certificate programs.

How much homework will I have?

This is an intensive course. Be prepared for up to ten hours of homework per module.

Do I have to attend every class?

Attendance is a crucial component of the Medical Terminology course. 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?

The Language of Medicine, 13th Edition with Med Term Online Course Access code and Adapting quiz (with user guide, course access code, access code to Evolve resources and textbook), by Davi-Ellen Chabner. 

You can buy the textbook online through the VIU Campus Store (Nanaimo). Make sure you pick up the online course edition. This textbook bundle includes 2 access codes:

  1. access code to supplementary online resources (value $150) 
  2. the course access code for the instructor-led course  (value $90)

If you need the text delivered to another VIU campus store, please contact the store at your location campus at least 2 weeks before your course starts.

If you buy the textbook (online course edition) somewhere else, be sure you have the textbook bundle which includes both access codes. 

You can also purchase the course access code separately at the Evolve website for approximately $90. If you have access to a used textbook, this option works too.

You can purchase an e-book (approx. $120) and course access code directly from the Evolve website where your course takes place.

Recommended: a recent medical dictionary (3 years old or less) such as Tabers Medical Dictionary “Plain” or Stedman's Medical Dictionary. Note: Tabers Medical Dictionary is available online - current annual subscription fee is $29.95 USD.

How much do the course texts cost?

Course textbook bundle at VIU campus store is approximately $226 (subject to change) as it includes the textbook, access code to its supplementary online resources, and the course access code for the instructor-led course/class.


Course e-book at Evolve website is approx. $120, and the access code $90.

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 Island Health Medical Terminology test?

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

The Island Health Medical Terminology Assessment is comprised of 50 multiple-choice questions. The minimum requirement to be considered for employment within Island Health 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 Island Health Medical Terminology Assessment.

To take the Island Health 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 250.7557615, 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 Island Health employees can set up their test by calling Island Health 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 Island Health: Taking and/or passing this medical terminology assessment in no way guarantees employment with Island Health. 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?

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

How do I troubleshoot login issues to access my online course?

If you are unable to access the Evolve website or have any trouble, please contact the Evolve help desk. You can click the Help tab at the top-right of the Evolve website and scroll to the bottom for direct email, chat, or phone options.

Evolve Support

Phone: +1.800.222.9570 (Monday-Sunday, 6 - 12 am CST)