I have been very reluctant for pretty well the entire time that I’ve been studying medical transcription online, to write very much about it. This is for a few reasons, actually, the reasons are questions, because I couldn’t seem to answer, ‘How do I make typing all day interesting to the blog reader if nothing new or interesting happens?’, which led to the question of ‘How much can I safely share without infringing on the privacy of the school, if I give a lot of detail, will that reveal anything that the school would not want to be shared? Strange question, I know, but I thought about that because the school uses some great technology and methods to help the student study online, and it may be proprietary technology or their trade secret or something…I don’t know…I just didn’t want to stir up trouble.
Other questions I asked myself are, is it possible for me to share too much, or too little, (Well, yes, I have shared way too little, that is painfully clear for me to see, and I do apologize.) if I share about things I’ve learned, will I border on the lines of copyright infringement, will I come across as a know-it-all in my excitement to share, and other silly notions. But my biggest question to myself was, how do I make my learning experience interesting to the reader, without infringing or stirring. Today, I decided it is well overdue time to write something about some of the the things I’ve learned in MT school, that were interesting to me, and stuck to me once I got them. It may give you a little glimpse of the sort of thing you’d be learning if you are considering becoming a medical transcriptionist. It’s interesting to me; hopefully you’ll find it interesting, too.
This thought just came to me, if you happen to be a reader that has a question about studying medical transcription online, why don’t you drop a comment below and ask what you’d like to know. I can speak according to my own experience as a student, which you might be looking for. If you’re not looking for that, any questions you have that you would like from a professional, please look up the medical transcription school you think you’d like to hear from, and give them a call. That’s actually what I did last year when I finally decided to seriously consider medical transcription. Personally, I think you should call CanScribe, but I am biased for good reason, and of course, when researching, never go with biased opinions–find out for yourself.
Things I’ve learned in medical transcription school
I have been mulling in my head about things I’d like to share with you that I have learned in MT school. These are things that you might know, but I sure didn’t, and some of them were pretty tricky to get my head around. In fact, I’m still trying to get one of them perfect every time, which, I have been told, I need to stop focusing on that alone, and concentrate more on medical terminology, which I am attempting to do.
- Always in medical transcription, always, the punctuation mark goes inside the quotes. I think I learned and mastered that one in high school, but after being out of school for so many years, and for lack of writing anything but lists in the meantime, (Thank you so much, my dear children.) I had forgotten this one, and was embarrassed when I saw that I got that wrong. This by far for me, was the easiest rule to remember after I relearned it. In medical transcription school, you will learn that for nearly every rule, there are exceptions.
Exception: Semicolons should be outside the quote mark. Alternatively, it is suggested to use different punctuation, like a period, inside the quote mark.
Another exception: If your entire sentence is a question with a quote within it, then you would place the question mark way on the outside of the entire sentence like this, and the same applies for quotation marks,
Didn’t I just tell you, “Do not do that right now”? (That’s my mother-to-noisy-son voice.)
- Followup and follow up are different parts of speech. They can be one of three things. A noun, an adjective or a verb. I learned that one of them can serve as either a noun or an adjective and one of them is a verb. Can you guess which one is the verb? In the beginning of my course I got these mixed up quite a bit. A fun little trick I learned from the excellent instructors at this school that helps me to figure out which one it is, is to place another verb such as ‘eat’ in place of it. For example: “The patient will follow up with me in three months.” Sub in: “The patient will eat with me in three months.” If it makes sense, then it’s a verb. If it does not make sense, as in: “The patient has a follow up appointment in three months.” Now, substitute “eat:” “The patient has a “eat” appointment in three months.” Well, it’s obvious that “eat” doesn’t work in there, so then follow up in this case is not used as a verb, it is being used as a noun or an adjective, so we need to use “followup” here instead of “follow up”. Learning that made things MUCH easier and made it fun! This word is used in MT work very often, so it’s an important one to know. Glad I learned it. Thanks instructors!
- This one threw me, until an invaluable instructor led me to look at the smaller words in front of a compound modifier, which I was ignoring. If she hadn’t led me to take a way closer look at those tiny prepositions, I would still be having way more trouble hyphenating a compound modifier correctly. Compound modifiers are to be hyphenated when they come before and modify a noun or a pronoun, NOT when they come before a preposition such as of, via, in, inside, into, by, at, as, etc. (There are literally many prepositions, these are just a few examples similar to what I was ignoring.) When she led me to realize that there was a preposition in front of my compound modifier, she made the light go on in my head, I literally felt it, and if I’m not mistaken I’m not making that mistake as often as I once did. At least I hope not. I do still miss more hyphens than I would like to, but it will come.
- There is a list in the medical world called ‘dangerous abbreviations’. Sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it? How can an abbreviation be dangerous? Images of yellow and orange signage popped into my head when I learned about this one. There is a very good reason for this. It’s a list of abbreviations and symbols that should never be typed as an abbreviation in the medical record. In fact, these abbreviations are to always be typed out in their long form, for the safety of the patient. A few of these abbreviations are; µ, because it can be mistaken for the abbreviation ‘mg’, instead, in the medical world ‘mcg’ is used; D/C meaning discharge or discontinue, can be mistaken because the intent of that abbreviation could be misinterpreted for the other, so a patient could be discharged instead of their medication being discontinued, or vice versa, instead type out the full word; U or u, which stands for ‘unit’ could be mistaken for or added to the numeral 0 or 4, and could cause a major overdose in the patient’s medication, instead type out the full word. There are many more examples, and each one of them could result in a terrible experience for the patient, and this is why such a list exists and is necessary to learn, and have close by for reference.
- The system review. The system review is one review, but can contain many different items that the Doctor reviews about the patient. It is so easy to assume that the tense in the following sentence should be plural, however I learned, there is 1 system review. The tense should be singular, even if the Doctor pluralizes it. For example, you will often hear something similar to this:
‘The remainder of the system review, general, HEENT, cardiovascular, lungs, psychiatric and skin are normal.”
The correct way to type this in is:
The remainder of the system review, general, HEENT, cardiovascular, lungs, psychiatric and skin is normal.”
These are just a few of the interesting things one learns in medical transcription, and this doesn’t even put a scratch in how much you can learn! There is just so much to learn about how to do this job right. The more you learn, the more you realize how much of a rewarding career you end up being in, where what you do makes a difference in people’s lives. It all boils down to caring for someone. All of the things you would learn in MT school, equips you to make a very important contribution to the health and well being of someone who is somebody’s son, daughter, mother, father, or other cherished relative. Someone behind the scenes in the medical industry types your doctor visits, your medication and dosages, documents your surgical procedure, and those of your family members. The training, though some phases are very difficult, is often fun, and is well worth it.