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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

As a long time user ... let me clear the air on this

Posted By: Snow Buny on 2005-08-14
In Reply to: Does anyone work with speech recognition? sm - ruff

Speech recognition (i.e. Dragon) is not for everyone.

If you are an expert at templates and programs such as ST and IT (IOW, you have the capability of memorizing thousands upon thousands of abbreviatons), and you're a reasonably fast typist, then I'd recommend against using speech recognition software unless you have to (i.e. CTS, broken wrist). When the need arises, the program can make the difference between making a decent salary and making practically nothing. Otherwise, keep doing what you're doing.

However, there are those of us who don't understand how to create templates with pop-up boxes, who don't have the capability of remembering thousands of abbreviations (AutoCorrect is about the limit for us), and who don't fly across the keyboard "with the greatest of ease." For us, speech recognition (SR) can boost our production to a level higher than what we would with a keyboard.

I feel that those who give the thumbs down to SR have not been sufficiently trained on the proper use of the product (i.e. how to speak correctly, the proper way to correct errors, using the global commands features), and/or the department utilizing the program has not used the features to allow the product to learn enough about the terminology and context of phrases (out of box, into computer, and off you go). NOT!!!   

I've been working with SR consistently since November 2001. Some days I use it all day and other times just for a specific specialty, It all depends upon my mood - whether I would rather vocalize more to produce more or prefer "The Sounds of Silence" and would rather keep my fingers limber and type, even if it means a lower production.

Either way ... I rarely have more than two errors per page, and sometimes even less than that. And for the record, I'm doing acute care reports with a wide variety of dictators and specialties.

So, if you want the "real story" behind SR, I think you need to speak with more people who have been successful with product and compare their stories against those who chastise the product ... and find out the specific differences. I'll guarantee you that it's not the product that is to blame.

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As long as you have a clear view of the
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It's been a long, long time since I've used a C-phone, sm
but I do think jobs can be paused.
I had a problem with this for a long, long time sm
I have always worked days, like from 6-3. Over the last few years, it didn't matter how much sleep I got, I became real groggy between 7 and 11. Really shoots the day. Talked to my doctor and he said my blood pressure pills were the culprit but he refused to change me to another brand or dosage since I have multiple aneurysms (2 in the brain). My BP has been stable for a long time and he wants to "keep it on the low side". I tried taking them before I went to bed instead of early in the morning, but then I had headaches all day. So, I am changing to a night shift for a few months so I can sleep when those pills kick in and so far it is working pretty good. I stay mostly awake during my shift and die when I hit the bed from 6 am to 10 am, then I lay down again later in the afternoon for 2-3 hours. I still get 6-7 hours of sleep, it's just split up during the day, plus I am mostly awake now when I sit down to type. I don't have to deal with the heat in my office, either. It tends to warm up real fast in here with the south sun on the house and 2 pc's running all day, even with the air conditioner on.
Way back when, a long, long time
ago and in a galaxy far, far away, I had my own accounts also and some years cleared $75,000.  Yes it can be done, but you need to have your own accounts.  Also lots of delivery, and other duties involved.  I work for a large national now and make much less, but I got tired of accountants, having to deal with hardware problems, deadlines, driving deliveries, printing, printers, etc.  So I decided to simplify my taxes and stay home and just type.  Don't have to worry about computers either, because the company will just send me a new one. 
I've been doing this a long, long time...

I used to make $70,000 and up a year and did so for most of the late 80s and 90s (one girl used to make six figures a year working 7 days a week!)  Because we were making more money than the supervisors and Medical Records Directors in hospitals, they began to switch to transcription services which were sprouting up all over the place.  Plus AAMT came into existence and even though in the beginning it claimed it was to fight for transcriptionists (although assured us it was NOT a union), they eventually morphed into an organization that was more management friendly.  They developed the "guidelines" and the 65-char line.  That was the beginning of the end for those high-end wages.  Then all those mickey mouse transcription schools popped up, and now outsourcing overseas.  YES, we're complaining. 

Been in this biz a long, long time, 30+ years and....sm
I love/loved MTing. However, things have changed so much during these years. The job definitely gets easier; don't have to look up much, can decipher ESLs much easier, in other words, you get pretty comfortable with things and you have confidence in yourself. The more experience you have the easier the job, but....

I actually made more money 10 years ago!! We didn't have speech recognition and you actually got paid for headers/footers, demographics, carbon copies, etc., you got paid for what you did fairly; today, I am not so sure.

You will feel burned out at times, but that passes and you find you like your job again.

Good luck to you!!
Start>Control Panel>User Accounts>Turn User Account Control OFF
A long, long time ago, I was going thru
a really bad time emotionally and physically. I was suffering, and my transcribing suffered. I assure you - if you are to the point of not paying your rent, literally, and needing food stamps, there is something else going on in your life than current transcription rates. We are all in this industry and many are thriving, most getting along comfortably. If you are literally to the point of food stamps, you honestly would be a fool to continue. I blamed it on my job, on my line rate, on everything but the honest truth that I was ill and was NOT working as I should or could. It is a really sad thing that you keep spreading this propaganda that MTs in our culture are doomed and now destined for food stamps. Food stamps are not something to toss around lightly, as you would know if you ever had to use them. Please let's not be quite so dramatic. Again, if you are really in those dire straits, you really need to face that MTing is not the fit for you, personally, and do something about it rather than blame our industry. You dwell on the past, but we can't do that. While you may have made other wages 20 years ago, may I remind you that we were pounding away on IBM Selectrics using layers of paper and bottles of white out, going crazy trying to rewind tapes over and over to get that dang word, with no idea what an Expander was. Technology is fantastic. Things have changed, but things are still great in this industry, and in this world. Those who change and can adapt will be fine, but you need to recognize that most of us are not ready for food stamps.  
long time - nm
long-time MT
I MUST do it this way. I don't trust myself otherwise. I've transcribed on typewriters, etc., and I just don't trust my eyes anymore. I'd rather take the cut in pay than trust my own document to be error-free. I also must read the report OUT LOUD to myself, otherwise I just don't catch the mistakes (grammar, etc.). We're talking some 4 and 5 page reports/documents the docs are transcribing, so I have to heavy proof myself. It's just that way anymore. I'd rather do that than some VR machine doing my job!
Yup, and have been for a long time (not me). nm
Did take a long time to get used to it? sm

And, I must confess to a bit of stupidity ....... the description talks about foot switches or whatever -- what's that about? 

Thanks for sharing! 

Now that was a long time ago

wow that's a long time on QA (m)
My daughter was a newbie, went to work for a company and does only private offices. She was off QA in a very short time.

I think you could ask when you might be off QA but if they want to QA you, let 'em. Who cares?
THANK YOU! A long time ago I
somehow shrunk my font using the internet, but had no idea how. It stayed that way. I can barely read certain pages. It is now fixed. Thanks! :)
I have been at this a long time

I try to encourage new MTs to learn as much as they can from their experiences.  The reason that companies do not hire new MTs is because they worry about production and having to utilize their QA staff.  I know it is a catch 22, but that is why it is best to try to work on-site for at least a year to gain some experience.  Most companies require a certain line count each and every day, which can be tough on a new MT that has to research and look things up.  I'm with you, not against you, and wish you all the best.  With anything, take the good advice and leave the bad advice alone. 

That is how it was for a long time, then someone
came up with this and we all got scr#wed. That's where the pay cuts started. Then came the slave labor competition (overseas workers who can't speak English to save their lives but apparently good enough to type our medical records! But ever read any? LOL) and speech recognition (so easy even a computer or data entry person can do it! Again, ever read any?). Bottom line is this is no longer considered a profession and nobody gives a rat's behind about the quality of medical reports as long as they're done quickly and inexpensively. But I guess that's what happens when a bunch of suits are in charge that wouldn't know a salpingo oophorectomy from a slapping pooperectomy (stole that one from an ASR Editor on this board - HA!) It's pretty scary, isn't it?
A long time ago I did

I was working for an attorney and he wanted me to get into court reporting so I would be able to travel with him as his private court reporter in his cases. I checked around and there was only 1 school in my state. It was a 3 year course and cost $10,000. Of course, I had to say no, as I couldn't afford it.

I had also checked at our county courthouse for transcribing the tapes and they showed me the ins and outs. For a job there, I didn't need schooling, just the smarts, was told that type of job is solid once you get in the door, but not to depend on it (waiting), as nobody quits. They retire...and the girls I talked to were my age, so that bummed me out, too. Gave up that idea, too.

MT was my 3rd choice. It's okay, but too stressful anymore.


That's what i use too (v. long time MT)
been doing MT for a long time!!
I still love the world of medicine and the language of medicine. I think if you don't have that love for it, you will not be able to suffer through the highs and lows of this field, and there are plenty. I am in my 16th year and have done everything from MT to QA to teach, to supervising, and I still love to sit down and transcribe. If you have a good company or a good hospital to work for, there's always plenty of work which makes for the ability to make plenty of money. You will get faster and faster as the years go on, and if you don't have a ShortHand program yet, get one. You'll never make money without one.
it has been a long time since I used sm
a C-phone (dictaphone) and it seems to me that the setting depended on what the platform had set up or something. I know I had a couple different accounts and depending on which one, the setting was different. I can't remember either one right now though.

Depending on your C-phone, sometimes you can go on line and do a search for an owners manual for that particular C-phone.

Sorry I can't help further!
I guess we can assume you only answered it to be able to put down the original poster? I hope you get the same one day, I really do. Wish I could see it happen. You are hateful.
Then how is it that you have time to post here all day long?
so transparent
I hear ya long time-MT

My cuz kept telling people to call me because I worked from home...they would ask how easy it was to make 2300.00 partime from home (you know all those ad's all over the place).Grrrrrrrrrrr.

I finally just got fed up and when folks would ask what I do I'd tell them that I was a medical language interpretor!  ha shut a lot of them up caus they can't scratch their heads and be rude at the same time.

That's a long time! That's excellent.
I had been a "chicken only" eater for years, but 2 years ago I read something from PETA that completely changed that, needless to say! It's been great eating new and exciting dishes that I never even thought of before. Could you tell me how the Tofurky tastes (I think that is the name?) Last year I just ate sides, no substitute for the meat. By the way, the new issue of Vegetarian Times has some excellent Thanksgiving recipes in it.
ick ... I have used the name long-time MT, and this is not me ... I would gladly help anyone sm
in any way I can for no charge.   Thirty-some years ago when I was starting out, people helped me ... it's great to give back.  To charge is kinda slimy, I think.  Just my opinion
There was a thread a long time SM
ago from some people who worked through them as traveling transcriptionists...apparently K-Force had their share of pay problems, reimbursement problems, travel issues and most interestingly, they had a bunch of criminals working for them (drug/petty criminal activity).  I have no idea how things are now.
My boss always says "I'd rather you take the time to get well because we need you for the long
I understand, I feel the same whenever I am sick. But I too would rather get better so I can produce quality as well as quantity work. When you are ill, that just doesn't happen. I have a great account and great business relationship with my account. So,when I am down and out, I take the time to better. I am no good to anyone, even family, when I am sick.

My advice to you is to take the day off when you are ill. It pays high dividends in the end.
In my case, I have been an IC for a long time
addition.  I asked my tax guy if I needed to report the Avon income, and he said as long as it was not more than $500.00 then, no I did not have to report it.  My tax guy is a professional and has his own business.  He is reputable, and a lot of his clients are state police officers (just to give a little background).  I do not do my own taxes.  No offense to Patti, but she has stated before that she does do her own taxes, but just uses the previous year as a guide.  My tax guy goes to seminars and forums each year and also sends a letter each year with all of the new tax laws with instructions on how to prepare for our meeting when the time comes.  My advice would be if you are not sure, seek a "tax professional" not a message board forum for the correct tax information.  I am not so sure that any of these posters are actually "tax professionals", they are simply independent contractors who do their own taxes.  I would definitely take that into consideration when reading these posts. 
I did that a long time ago. I turned it over sm
and let it sit overnight, and the next day it worked fine.  I think as long as it wasn't anything sticky like a soda or something, you should be okay.  It just has to dry out.  Of course, I'm not that technically oriented, so I don't know, but I'll certainly cross my fingers for you. 

Long time passing..nm
I currently have 2 jobs and have had for a long time....sm
I work days from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. then work the night job from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. I have off Sundays, but work Monday through Saturday. It is gets very old, but I am the breadwinner in my family and am trying to get debt free by the end of the year except for the house and if I have to work like this to accomplish it then so be it. I have tried 3 jobs before, but that just gets to confusing, as all three companies had different account specs and style rules and such and I got to where I could not remember which was which. Good luck to you.
looked into a long time ago..
I actually started taking a course a long time because it has actually been my "dream job". I had to put that to side when I had my daughter but just recently saw a college around here is having an "open house" night to talk about the courses needed and what not. I have always been fascinated by the people you see sitting in the courtroom picking away at the machine. I actually took the first machine course and found it so incredibly interesting. It truly is not as hard as people would think. I think the machines have come around a bit since 10 years ago when I took the course but it was fun and from what I understand, the money is rather good! Good luck to you if you choose this route!
As long as they are talking the whole time sm
I hate it when it is 25 minutes and 15 of those are "umm", and shuffling of papers looking for information , and going back to correct things that they dictated incorrectly.  That is a waste of my time. 
Okay I have been out of school for a long time, but.....sm

am I reading this right as 1 cent per line??

"For all other states we offer IC status only and a competitive line rate for ICs up to $0.010 cpl."(From the All Type Inc position on the Job Seeker's Board)

I am assuming it is a typo on the job post, but you never know....it made me laugh

Currently #5, but been MTing a long time
and have been #6 in the past.
It CAN take a long time, especially with lots of MQ
Long time, I hear you...
10 years (probably longer) till I can retire and often think seriously about walking up to the corner Walmart and applying for something there. No, I sure don't love Walmart and doubt I'd be deliriously happy there, either. I'm also nearby a hospital, a Manpower and several schools that offer courses as pharmacy tech and such like. Wish I was truly interested in actively pursuing something different that pays at least what we make. I even live within walking distance of a hospital and thought about applying there for whatever, housekeeping, cafeteria help, anything but what I'm doing now, though I know it's not the answer. Every year when Social Security sends out that report that tells you what you can expect to receive monthly when you retire, I look at it and see how much I used to make in the past and how it appears to be shrinking yearly. Lord knows I work daily as hard now as I ever did. I just believe my industry is changing for the worse overall. Then I have to stop and realize I'm lucky to be working from home, some days are worse than others, but I still enjoy the reports, just don't like how things are managed these days and know things will never return to the old days/old ways. If you guys stumble on anything you find fascinating and not too demanding brainwise, ha-ha, please email me.
long time MTs opinion on BOS sm

I would like opinions from everybody but especially those that have 20+ years experience in MT.  What are your opinions on the Book of Style?

This is my opinion.........I think its a bunch of crap!  Seems to me a few people got together and decided to come up with this BOS and then put it on the market as "the law" of medical transcription. Of course they make money from it.  I have wondered who gave this author or authors the authority that everything they say to do is correct and anything that deviates is incorrect?  

On top of that, every now and then they decide to change it MTs learn this baloney all over again, thus more money for them.  I see so many questions and comments on here about the BOS that it seems to me it has become the
"end all, be all" in the medical transcription profession.  Horse puckey!

I literally have seen companies especially the BIG ONE let excellent MTs get away simply because their test scores were not what the "X" wanted with the reason being a comma here and a comma there when the content was EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!

If I were hiring folks again, that BOS would go out the window and I would take an MT based on their MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION SKILLS!  The preferences for punctuation and other things can be learned on-the-job.  Not all companies think the BOS is the BIBLE of Medical Transcription.  Personally I think BOS is a crock!.

I forgot though, AAMT started all this and they are not AAMT anymore.  That tells me a whole lot too!  Money, money money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, had that fixed a long time ago!

No CAD for me, will buy my own CABG. 

I have been a MT since 1985. They have been here a LONG time and not going anywhere!

Maybe so. I hadn't heard it in a long time, but
I reached that point a LONG time ago
The only thing that has changed is the fact that we hear about it more now. The monsters were there forever ago and will be here forever. Thankfully the reporting IS more intense and parents are more aware.

I was molested by a next door neighbor. Never said a word to anyone.

I raised my children in the same home as I was raised (my parents moved and I took over the home). The whole neiborhood was different and my next door neighbor was gone. My mom told me to never let the kids out of my sight because the neighborhood was "not the same as it was" when I was a kid.

It had become more ethnic; therefore, it was "not the same" to her.

Little did she know that because of my experience back when the neighborhood was "good", I would NEVER trust my children to ANYONE (sadly including her) nor roam the neighborhood. Not just because of what happened to me, but because I knew I was responsible for my kids.

This is not to say that parents should be to blame for any evil that occurs. Evil people are to blame. But I was going to do my best to harbor them from as much evil as possible and hopefully I did.

They are grown now and to the best of my knowledge, never fell prey to what I did. But.. nothing has changed. The preditors will be there until the end of time. We must protect our children the best we can.

No, we should not let them out of our sights. If you had a diamond that was the size of a salad bowl, who would you trust it with? Children are precious and cannot be replaced.
One of my long-time friends works on the same
account and she can't wait for me to get started. She is overwhelmed with work and types a little 20,000 lines per payperiod. I've been assigned to her account. So, I guess there IS work.

If it turns out there isn't, then I will move along.

What I will NOT do is trash the company on the boards and join this really sad crab club on here. That's too far down in the bucket for me to go.

Good bye and so sorry for you.
As long as she is using her own equipment on her own time, it is none of your business what she does
Not me. But I've waited for this for a long time.

Been through the daily grind for over 20 years.  At one point I even had all four of my kids in different schools, having to drop them off before leaving for work.  I don't miss it one bit. I still laugh when I'm lying on the couch in my pajamas reading the morning paper while all of the commuters are fighting for a place in line at Dunkin Donuts.

But with 4 kids, 3 still at home, my house has always been like Grand Central Station. I have never been able to complain about the quiet for sure. Hubby works nights so is here during the day and starting early afternoon there is an endless stream of hungry teenagers in and out as well as messy little grandkids.  I don't remember the last time that I was completely alone for more than an hour.  I wouldn't know what to do.

Not as long as the virus does not mutate. At this time, there is no
case in which this virus has been passed from human to human, only from bird to human.   Should the virus mutate so it can be passed from person to person, we may have a problem. 
I don't think it is a waste of time, nor do I find it long to do at all

Those would probably be the LAST words out of her mouth for a long time
Haven't worked for SS for a long time but they do have the best
sound files of any company I have ever seen. They have a very decent platform, as well. I think it is just management is a little off-balance at times.
I think it's the stupidest thing on TV in a long time.