University of Technology Sydney

96202 Language of Healthcare

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


This subject provides students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge necessary to understand information included in medical records. Within each body system, students are introduced to terminology used to describe the disease processes; their associated diagnostic and therapeutic procedures; and their correct English spelling and Australian pronunciation. Through working with de-identified medical records, students are provided with the opportunity to develop the ability to analyse, interpret, evaluate and communicate information extracted from health records.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology, disease processes and treatment, including pharmacology, pathology, radiology and other clinical investigations, to understand information presented in a medical record
B. Apply knowledge in medical term construction to correctly pronounce and spell medical terms used by medical specialties in the diagnosis, treatment and management of health conditions
C. Analyse and interpret information presented in medical records
D. Evaluate the quality of information about the human body and functioning as recorded in a medical record
E. Apply knowledge of medical vocabularies and clinical terms to extract, investigate, evaluate and communicate health information to a target audience in order to develop insight for service improvement

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Are reflective, critical thinkers who influence practice, policy and research to achieve clinical excellence and transform healthcare services (1.0)
  • Critique, interpret and synthesise data and research findings to develop safe, effective and evidence-based solutions to healthcare challenges (1.1)
  • Justify and demonstrate appropriate leadership styles and skills necessary to manage, evaluate and innovate healthcare services utilising contemporary local, national and international perspectives (2.1)
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately in challenging, complex and diverse situations (4.0)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

1. Critical thinking:
1.1 Critique, interpret and synthesise data and research findings to develop safe, effective and evidence-based solutions to healthcare challenges

2. Leadership:
2.2 Develop and contribute to research and quality improvement activities in order to maintain knowledge currency and influence healthcare practice and policy

3. Accountability:
3.2 Validate the importance of integrating stakeholder partnerships in all healthcare decision making activities

4. Communication:
4.1 Value and choose highly effective and sensitive communication with diverse populations to enable positive and sustainable change in healthcare practice, policy and research at an advanced level

Teaching and learning strategies

Online strategies
This subject benefits from online delivery and access to resources via Canvas, including podcasts, videos and learning resources. Online modules provide a variety of interactive activities for each topic that allow students to learn the meaning and spelling of medical terminologies, and the correct Australian pronunciation. Students will get immediate feedback on the activities they are completing online and opportunities to revisit concepts that proved challenging. Online discussion boards and forums are also provided to facilitate the exchange of information and the sharing of ideas. Students will get the most value out of such activities and inactions with their peers by ensuring they are prepared for these sessions by completing the assigned topics and modules.

Zoom meetings
Four, one hour ‘zoom’ meetings have been organized for weeks 1, 4, 6 and 9 to provide opportunities for feedback and interaction with peers and the subject Coordinator. These zoom meetings allow students to ask questions and get feedback about content and assessment tasks.

Case based scenarios and collaboration
Modified discharge summaries, referral letters and medical reports will be used as summative learning tools. Students will collaborate and use these scenarios to learn concepts and the meaning of medical terms. Case studies allow students to apply this knowledge in understanding and evaluating information presented in a variety of modalities throughout healthcare including electronic and hardcopy medical records, as well as health websites and electronic data repositories. Self, peer and teacher feedback is provided during the sessions to develop students’ judgement.

Assessment range
Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment modes, including a series of quizzes, a brochure, and a report of medical record review. Feedback will be provided on assessments to ensure students can identify areas for development and areas of sufficient expertise. Students are encouraged to use contemporary educational technology.

Early low-stakes feedback will be provided via two methods:

  • during the on-campus sessions, where students discuss material raised in the sessions, and ask questions of their peers and lecturing staff;
  • results for the first quiz (part of Assessment Item 1), worth 10%, will be received prior to the census date.

Continual feedback will be provided via four methods:

  • peer communication;
  • individual and lecturing staff contributions to the session discussions;
  • assessment tasks, worth 30%, 30% and 40%.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction to medical terminology
  • The body as a framework
  • Internal workings of the body
  • Systemic conditions


Assessment task 1: Online multiple choice quizzes


These quizzes are designed to assess students understanding of the content delivered in the lectures and tutorials.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1 and 2.1

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

40 minutes per quiz

  • 50% Examine the structure and meaning of medical terms
  • 50% Analyse and interpret information presented in medical records

Assessment task 2: Presentation on a mental health disorder


This assessment provides students with the opportunity to investigate mental health disorders and interventions in depth, and to present this material to fellow students. By undertaking a literature review on an allocated mental health disorder, students will gain a full understanding of the condition, its prevalence in Australian society, and contemporary approaches to its treatment and management. This will afford them the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills in interpreting clinical data, as well as observing how medical terminology is applied in the context of scientific research and clinical practice. By presenting this material to classmates, students will also have the opportunity practice their pronunciation of medical terms.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 1.1 and 4.0

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

10 minutes

  • 30% Comprehensive description of the mental health disorder, its history and background, the disease process, contemporary treatment and management
  • 30% Identification of its incidence in Australia and its impact on the patient and wider society
  • 30% Application of health literacy skills in terms of defining terms, expanding abbreviations, building/breaking down terms, correct spelling and pronunciation
  • 10% production of professional presentation that meets the information needs of the intended audience

Assessment task 3: Health Information Resource Guide


This assessment task intends to provide students with the opportunity to conduct research into a chosen topic, identify and discuss data quality issues associated with medical information, and effectively communicate this information to a target audience. In this assessment task student will have the opportunity to apply their research skill as well as their knowledge in disease processes and associated treatments to matters relating to the medical record.

This assessment task also intends to provide students with the opportunity to research topics that will be covered in subjects in following semesters. This will provide students with a major-wise scaffolded learning experience.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1, 2.1 and 4.0

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

1000 words

  • 60% Thoroughly researched and integrated patient information brochure that provides health information related to the disease, treatment and health outcomes that is clinically accurate, contemporary and relevant, and which will enable patients to give informed consent for their treatment
  • 20% Well organised patient information brochure that is pitched appropriately for its intended target audience i.e. patients and carers, and which demonstrates logical sequencing of information, understandable language, appropriate tone
  • 20% Appropriate use of visual aides, graphics and design techniques to convey health information to patients in an effective and aesthetically appealing way

Required texts

Mastering Medical Terminology Australia and New Zealand (2nd edition) by Sue Walker, Maryann Wood and Jenny Nicol, ISBN 9780729541114 (hard copy) ISBN 9780729581110 (ebook).

Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions 3rd (ANZ) edition, ISBN 9780729541381.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.