Confusing English words in OET Writing
The English language is always confusing. It’s essential to understand the difference between commonly confused words. A lot of words are similar but have different meanings; as a result, it is almost impossible to avoid making mistakes in English. Some English words have multiple meanings. They are confusing and sometimes quite funny. The English language has challenging words that often create ambiguity for learners. It has Sometimes unusual spelling or an irregular verb that takes an unexpected form. It has many complicated words. Some of them sound alike but are either spelt differently or has different meanings altogether. Most people misspell or mix two adjectives when writing due to their similar spelling.
The medical professionals need to have command over both general English and medical English. You need to speak with the patients and colleagues in a professional place, so you will have to be good at properly using both general English and medical vocabulary. These words aren’t interchangeable, and a medical mistake could endanger your health. The Occupational English Test is an English proficiency test of healthcare professionals. So, it is very evident that the content of the test will mostly be medical. The four sub-tests of OET in reading, writing, listening and speaking will reflect the healthcare scenario. It includes topics on skin diseases, technology in medicine, preventive measures, ethical medical practices etc.
Commonly confused Medical Terms
You must Get Every Medical Term Right. Medical terms and expressions are often confusing; some words sound alike and words that seem interchangeable. In most situations, most people can get away with misusing, mispronouncing, or misspelling a phrase or two. As a healthcare professional, you must have a good grasp of medical terminology. A single mistake can put your patient’s life in danger. It’s one of the many reasons why OET is strict when it comes to applying healthcare vocabulary. So, expand your medical vocabulary.
Here are few tricky and confusing medical terms that often get mixed up by patients and healthcare professionals alike.
1. Diastasis and Diathesis
Diastasis refers to the dislocation or separation of two bones
Diathesis refers to the body’s constitution that predisposes it to certain conditions.
2. Prostate and Prostrate
The prostate is a noun and an adjective, as in “prostate gland.”
Prostrate is an adjective that describes someone or something lying stretched out on the ground; never confuse these two terms.
3. Apparent and Aberrant
Apparent describes something visible.
Aberrant represents something that deviated from the norm.
4.Viscous and Viscus
Viscous describes something that has a thick and sticky consistency.
Viscus, on the other hand, refers to an internal organ.
5. Enuresis and anuresis.
Enuresis refers to bedwetting or involuntary urination.
Anuresis refers to the total lack of urine or the inability to urinate.
Examples for Commonly Confusing Terms Used in the medical scenario
- ‘Breath’ and ‘breathe’
Breath is a noun. It is also the air that goes in and out of your lungs.
E.g.: Jack held his breath the longest among all the competitors.
Breathe is a verb that means to exhale or inhale.
E.g.: Sheila forgot to breathe in the middle of the contest.
- “care home’ and ‘Homecare’
care home – sometimes known as an aged care home or aged care facility, is a residential facility for the elderly who can have a range of health needs.
E.g.: The building is now a private care home for the elderly.
Home care – is the support provided to a patient within their own home.
For example, help with their activities of daily living wound care etc.
E.g.: Home care started for patients with coronavirus disease.
- ‘Advice’ and ‘Advise’
“Advice” is a noun referring to the recommendations given, while “advise” is the verb form that means to give such a recommendation
· The patient was advised to avoid heavy lifting.
· Jim was given some advice by the on-duty nurse.
- ‘Than’ and ‘Then’
“than” shows a comparison between things, while “then” shows an order of events.
· He was checked for signs of concussion and then given an MRI.
· The morning dose should be greater than the evening dose.
- Affect and Effect
“affect” is the verb form,
“effect” is the resultant noun.
· The drug treatment has had no effect on him.
· He claimed not to have been affected by an accident, but his wife has noticed changes in his behaviour.
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