Hello reader! Amanda with EMS University here with another helpful blog to make you better at all things EMS. This blog is a more useful one you can print out or screenshot.

Everyone agrees, medical terminology can be hard to pronounce and even harder to understand. Luckily, knowing common abbreviations simplify the confusion. Learning easy prefixes and suffixes can help you as an EMT student and as an EMT professional. Knowing these terms will help you make good choices on the NREMT and assist with important documentation when you’re out on the field. Using prefixes and suffixes will make it easy to communicate with dispatch and your partner. And it’s 2023…who doesn’t love shortening already short words? 😉 I know, I play too much…

Here are a few common abbreviations that will save you time (and a headache)!

Ante- Before
Antepartum- Before Birth
Brady- Slow
Bradypnea- Slow Breathing
Cephalo- Head
Cephalohematoma- hematoma of skull
Dysplasia- abnormal
Dysphagia- difficult
Dysfunction- impaired
Dyslogistic- bad
EPI- above
Epigastric- above the stomach
Hema/hemo- blood
Hematuria- blood in urine
Hematoma- blood above/outisde the vessels
Hypotension-low blood pressure
Hyper- above
Hypertension- high blood pressure
Hyperventilation- rapid/high breathing
Intra- within
Intravascular- within the vessels
Nephro- Kidney
Nephritis- Inflammation of Kidney
Ectomy- Removal
Hysterectomy- Uterus removal
Itis- inflammation of
Pancreatitis- inflammation of pancreas
Colostomy- opening of colon
Phagia- eating, swallowing
Dysphagia- difficulty eating, swallowing

Those were a few abbreviations to help you study and be better at EMS. Let us know what prefixes or suffixes are essential to know in the world of EMS.

The list is endless and we can’t wait to hear what you have to share. We’ll gladly make a pt.2 to this series if you let us know what we’re missing.

As always, thanks for reading and stay awesome.


EMS University