Teaching ESL Medical Vocabulary: Hospitals & Doctors

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

This lesson will provide teachers of English as a second language (ESL) students with common medical vocabulary related to doctors and hospitals. Additionally, in this lesson, teachers will learn activities for implementing the vocabulary into instruction.

Learning About Hospitals

Most people will visit a hospital at least once in their lives, whether as a patient or visitor. It's important to teach your ESL students common vocabulary words associated with hospitals and doctors in order to successfully prepare them for life in the U.S. The following are some vocabulary words you may want to introduce to your students.

Around the Hospital

  • Room
  • Floor (first, second, third)
  • Wing
  • Ward
  • Waiting area
  • Elevator
  • Cafeteria
  • Gift shop
  • Bathroom
  • Emergency Room (ER)
  • Pharmacy

People at the Hospital

  • Patient
  • Nurse
  • Doctor
  • Lab technician
  • Physician
  • Surgeon
  • Visitor
  • Pediatrician
  • Anesthesiologist

Medical Supplies and Equipment

  • Bandage
  • Stitches
  • X-Ray
  • Thermometer
  • Stethoscope
  • Ointment
  • Syringe
  • Antibiotic
  • Medicine
  • Stretcher
  • Tongue Depressor
  • Cast
  • Wheelchair
  • Pain killer

Illnesses and Symptoms

  • Injury
  • Illness
  • Ache
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Pain
  • Temperature
  • Wound
  • Headache
  • Infection
  • Sore
  • Itchy
  • Stomach-ache
  • Disease
  • Bruise
  • Weakness
  • Inflammation
  • Vomit
  • Blood pressure
  • Pulse
  • Dizzy
  • Allergy


You can help your ESL students practice their new vocabulary by incorporating some of the following activities into your instruction:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account