Understanding Medical Investigations

Medical Terminology Course NHSThe Understanding Medical Investigations course is designed to enable delegates to better understand the purpose of test investigations and their results.

There are thousands of medical tests used to diagnose, measure the progression of a disease or condition, or measure the effectiveness of treatment. But they all have some basic truths about what they mean, and how they are best interpreted. The results of the test may be simple and straightforward—say, positive or negative—or be more nuanced or open to interpretation

Patients are often given a medical test that shows relative results, usually in the form of a number (value). A relative value test is one that measures specific components of blood, urine, or other lab samples and compares those values to what would be expected in a normal, healthy population. It is important to know what those results mean and how they compare to previous results. These values can ascertain whether a treatment is working or a disease or condition is progressing. The range of values can sometimes vary based on age, sex, and other factors.

Medical investigations are done for a variety of reasons, including

  • Screening
  • Diagnosing a disorder
  • Evaluating the severity of a disorder so that treatment can be planned
  • Monitoring the response to treatment

Sometimes a medical investigation is used for more than one purpose. A blood test may show that a person has too few red blood cells (anemia). The same test may be repeated after treatment to determine whether the number of red blood cells has returned to normal. Sometimes a disorder can be treated at the same time a screening or diagnostic test is done. For example, when colonoscopy (examination of the inside of the large intestine with a flexible viewing tube) detects growths (polyps), they can be removed before colonoscopy is completed.There are different types of medical investigations but the lines that separate them often become blurred. For example, endoscopy of the stomach enables the examiner to view the inside of the stomach as well as obtain tissue samples for examination in a laboratory .Delegates will be able to identify the normal values of common haematological investigations, decipher the more common pathology and radiology reports and recognise associated jargon and abbreviations.

Course objectives

The objectives of the Understanding Medical Investigations course are to enable delegates to be able to:

  • Describe the physiology of blood
  • Explain frequently requested blood tests and the conditions or diseases which may be associated with them
  • Demonstrate knowledge of male and female screening including cytology
  • Describe common gastrointestinal and cardiology investigations
  • Identify common normal values
  • State the meaning of common investigation abbreviations

All delegates will be provided with a course manual and will be issued with a certificate upon completion of the course.

This course is delivered through our partners Medical Services Training