Importance of Using Correct Medical Collocations in OET

As a healthcare professional you will have to use English that is considered suitable. Here are collocations that are related to healthcare. 

In simple words collocations can be defined as words that come in pairs. These are the words that often go together. You shall not separate them. They do not look good when you replace the “word in a group” with any other word. 

For instance, we generally say, “The patient has a bad headache.”

“Bad headache” is a common word-group. But, instead of saying “bad headache” if we say awful headache or “afflictive headache” or “annoying headache” then these combinations may look not suitable. They are not more than an exaggeration of the condition. Therefore, these combinations are not recommended. 

However, “a very bad headache,'' “a splitting headache” are common as they are used frequently in medical situations. 

Similarly, we say, “The patient is discharged from the hospital.” 

“Discharge from hospital” is a word-group that we can refer to as collocation. 

When a patient leaves a hospital after treatment, the patient goes through a process and we call it hospital discharge. 

A hospital will discharge patients when patients no longer need care at the hospital.  Or that they are successfully treated at hospital. 

A hospital may also discharge a patient to send the patient to another hospital or a type of healthcare facility.  

Some of the common collocations are listed down (can you find them?)

  • He was treated in XYZ hospital. 
  • The patient was kept in the hospital overnight. 
  • She will be discharged from hospital today. 
  • It gives a headache  
  • The patient complained of dull ache which keeps her awake at night.  
  • The old man complained of a nagging ache in his back. 
  • You need to apply this gel and you will be relieved from muscular ache.  
  • She got a nasty cough after the flu.  
  • He has got a persistent cough.  
  • This syrup will help you get rid of cough.  
  • You do not have to come to the office if you have a heavy cold.  
  • The doctor prescribed her some medicine. 
  • You need to take this medicine twice.  
  • You need to give her medicine after her breakfast. 
  • She always forgets to take her pills at night. 
  • This makes me feel drowsy.  
  • The patient feels it difficult to swallow the pills.  
  • It was covered in blood. 
  • She lost a lot of blood in that horrible accident.  
  • You need to do some blood tests.  
  • Please, remove this bandage. 

Remember, you shall not try to innovate or create some new word groups. Most of the candidates do not score in OET, especially in OET writing sub-test and OET speaking sub-test because they do not focus on the use of right collocations. A little practice can help you a lot. Learn medical collocations if needed to improve your English. 

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