Essential English for Healthcare Professionals

Basic English for Healthcare Professionals


Subject-Verb Agreement

Do: I, You, We, They

Does: He, She, It

Telling Time

  • It’s a quarter past six – 6:15
  • It’s six o’clock – 6:00
  • It’s a quarter to seven – 6:45
  • It’s half past six – 6:30
  • It’s ten past six – 6:10
  • It’s five to seven – 6:55
  • It’s three minutes past six – 6:03

Hospital Vocabulary

Objects & Equipment

  • Crash Cart: Carretilla
  • Blood Pressure Cuff: Tensión
  • Syringe: Inyección
  • Bedpan: Orinal
  • Stethoscope: Corazón
  • Bandage: Venda
  • Patient’s Cart: Ficha paciente
  • Drip: Goteo
  • X-Ray: Rx
  • Examination Couch: Mesa de exploración
  • Scalpel: Bisturí
  • Trolley: Camilla
  • Treadmill Machine: Caminadora
  • Medicine: Medicina
  • Wheelchair: Silla de ruedas
  • Bandaid: Tiritas
  • Stationary Bike: Bici
  • Microscope: Microscopio
  • EKG Machine: Electrocardiograma
  • Scale: Escala

Illnesses (Have: Tener)

  • Headache: Dolor de cabeza
  • Lost Voice: Perder la voz
  • Burnt Hand: Mano quemada
  • Broken Arm: Mano rota
  • Toothache: Dolor de muelas
  • Earache: Dolor de oído
  • Black Eye: Ojo morado
  • Sick/Vomit: Vomitar
  • Cold: Resfriado
  • Chest Pain: Dolor de pecho
  • Swollen Ankle: Tobillo hinchado
  • Flu: Gripa
  • Cough: Tos
  • Stomachache: Dolor de estómago
  • Cut Finger: Dedo cortado
  • Fever: Fiebre
  • Backache: Dolor de espalda
  • Knee Pain: Dolor de rodilla
  • Sore Throat: Dolor de garganta
  • Sprained Wrist: Mano torcida
  • Rash: Erupción


  • Knee Sleeve: Manga rodillera
  • Knee Brace: Rodillera
  • Sling: Cabestrillo
  • Cast: Enyesado
  • Elastic Bandage Wrap: Vendaje
  • Bandaid: Tirita
  • Arm Splint: Cabestrillo


  • Get Bed Rest: Reposo
  • Have Surgery: Tener una operación
  • Put a Heating Pad On: Poner calor
  • Put an Ice Pack On: Poner frío
  • Take a (Capsule/Tablet/Pill/Antibiotics): Tomar un antibiótico
  • Get an Injection: Poner una inyección
  • Put Some Ointment On: Poner crema
  • Put Eye Drops In: Poner gotas dentro
  • Drink Lots of Fluids: Tomar líquidos
  • Eat a Bland Diet: Dieta

Hospital Admissions

  • Specialist: A doctor who has received additional training in a specific branch of medicine (cardiology…).
  • Triage Nurse: A healthcare professional responsible for evaluating the seriousness of a patient’s condition and determining treatment priority.
  • Patient Record Form: A document which must be completed with important information about a patient’s lifestyle and medical history.
  • Waiting Room: A space in a public building where people sit and wait for their turn to see a doctor, a dentist, a lawyer, etc.
  • Discharged: When a doctor decides a patient can leave the hospital to return home.
  • Ailment: Refers to mild illnesses or diseases.
  • Hospitalized: To be placed in a hospital or clinic for medical treatment, care, or observation.
  • Emergency Department/Room: Alternative terms for A&E (Accident and Emergency).
  • Emergency Services: Official organizations dedicated to helping people in emergency situations.
  • GP Referral: When a GP sends a patient, who needs specialized medical care, to see a specialist.
  • In Charge Of: The same as responsible for.
  • Initial Assessment: First evaluation.
  • Inpatients: Ill people who need to sleep in the hospital for at least one night to receive continual medical care.
  • Life-Threatening Conditions: Serious medical problems which must receive urgent medical attention, or else the patient may die.
  • Next of Kin: Closest living relative.
  • Outpatients: Ill people who visit hospitals to see specialists but do not sleep or stay there for prolonged periods of time. They usually have appointments, and their medical problems are often chronic rather than acute.
  • Walk-Ins: People who walk into a place without having an appointment.
  • Follow-Up Treatment: Additional medical care.

Medical Professions

: A PAEDIATRICIAN: Treats children, A Midwife: treats pregnant women and delivers babies, A CARDIOLOGIST: specializes in heart illnesses & blood vessels. A PORTER: moves patients and equipment. A radiologist: takes x-rays. A SCRUB NURSE: assists surgeons in the operating room. A PHARMACIST: prepares medicines. A PARAMEDIC/EMERGENCY TECHNITION (emt): responds check in to the hospital and files medical information. A SURGEON: performs operations/surgery. A LAB TECHNICIAN: analyses samples and tissues under a microscope. A MEDICAL ADMISSION CLERK: Helps patients check in to the hospital and files medical information. AN ANAESTHESTIST: gives anesthetics to patients. A CONSULTANT: is a hospital doctor of the highest rank who is a specialist in a particular area of medicine. A SISTER: is a senior female nurse who is in charge or a medical ward. A NURSE AIS/NIRSING AUXILIARY: assists and looks after patients and is supervised by nurse. A GENERAL PRACTIONER: a doctor who is trained in general medicine and who treats/examines patients in a local community rather than at a hospital. A PHYSICAL THERAPIST/PHYSIOTHERAPIST: helps a patient reduce pain and improves or restore mobility. A RECEPCIONIST: make appointments.