Available Until 10/31/2028

Doctor Speak for Medical Librarians: An Introduction to Laboratory Tests, Medical Imaging, and Common Drug Types*

For more information or to schedule this course, please contact Jennifer Lyon <jalyon@cmh.edu>.

The purpose of this face-to-face course is to provide librarians with practical medical knowledge, focusing on information relevant to case histories, laboratory data, and medical team discussions. Understanding medical concepts improves the librarian's abilities to communicate with physicians and patients, to read and understand the medical literature, and to relate clinical concepts in constructing a literature search. This course will consist of several modular activities. Each module will include an introduction, the medical knowledge content, and a practice activity. The modules will cover: 1) common types of drugs, drug names, drug nicknames; 2) laboratory values including vital signs, basic metabolic profile, complete blood count, and urine analysis; 3) imaging techniques such as X-Rays, CTs, and MRIs.

Learning Objectives

• Learn about resources and methods for building their knowledge base in clinical medicine;

• Become familiar with the names (generic and trade), nicknames, and uses of some of the most widely utilized drugs in medicine today;

• Learn how to quickly recognize vital sign numbers and abnormalities including blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation

• Learn to recognize and understand the laboratory values in a basic metabolic profile, a complete blood count, and a urine analysis including normal ranges, abnormalities, and some of the clinical consequences of the abnormalities;

• Learn how to recognize common imaging techniques (X-Ray, CT, MRI) and common abnormalities on those images;

• Participate in practice examples and game-like activities designed to assist their recall of the provided information.

Agenda for 6 hour course

Part I: 2 hours (8-10am)

10 minutes: Introduction. This will discuss why building a medical knowledge base is important to health sciences librarians, discuss some of the types of resources that can be used and methods of training in a general way, and will ask participants to briefly discuss their own experiences and training needs.

80 minutes: Module 1: Common types of drugs and drug class names. This module focuses on understanding generic drug names and categories, trade names, and physician nicknames for certain drugs. Some drug categories included here are antibiotics, steroids, anticoagulants, NSAIDS, diuretics and beta-blockers. Includes a short exercise at the end.

20 minutes: Module 2: Vital Signs. This module focuses on understanding and recognizing abnormalities in the 5 standard vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, oxygen saturation). Includes a short exercise at the end.

Break: 10 minutes (at 9:50am)

Part II: 2 hours (10:00am-noon)

50 minutes: Module 3: Understanding and recognizing abnormalities in the basic metabolic profile (includes serum electrolytes, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, glucose). Includes a short exercise at the end.

40 minutes: Module 4: Understanding and recognizing abnormalities in the complete blood count (hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cell count, differential). Includes a short exercise at the end.

20 minutes: Module 5: Understanding and recognizing abnormalities in the urine analysis. Includes a short exercise at the end.

Lunch Break: Noon-1pm

Part III: 2 hours (1pm-3pm)

60 minutes: Module 6: Understanding imaging techniques and common imaging abnormalities including X-Ray, CT, and MRI. Specific examples include reading a chest X-Ray, viewing an abdominal CT, and viewing a spinal MRI. Includes a short exercise at the end.

45 minutes: 'Final Exam' - a game of "Medical Jeopardy" covering all of the material that will allow the participants to have some fun while demonstrating their acquired knowledge.

15 minutes: Wrap-up discussion - time to allow participants to complete evaluation forms and participate in general discussion on course content and brainstorming on future training ideas.

Agenda for 4 hour course

5 Min                     Introduction

55 Min                  Drugs

15 Min                  Vital Signs

15 Min                  Urine Analysis (UA)

5 Min                     Break

55 Min                  Basic Metabolic Profile

40 Min                  Complete Blood Count (CBC)

5 Min                     Break

40 Min                  Imaging

5 Min                     Wrap up/Evals

MLA CE credits: 4, 6