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Go ahead and invest......SM please

Posted By: Me on 2005-10-21
In Reply to: Anybody know of any free foot pedal/transcription software besides Express Scribe? TIA. nm - babs

Go ahead and pay for a decent program so you'll be set up. In all honesty (my opinion) you do not get the same kind of quality sound with these freebies as you do with the others. If you intend to do this job, at least get proper equipment.


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If I boil mine ahead of time, I go ahead and peel off the shell after they have (sm)
been sitting in a pan of cold water for about 30 minutes.
You are so right. Maybe we should all invest in our own....sm
SR program. I think the focus is wrongly placed on the doctor's end. We should listen and dictate to our SR program, editing along the way as usual, thereby producing a better more accurate document with less physical stress. Us old guys with all the experience are starting to get arthritis and it would be nice to figure out a way to make VR work for us instead of against us.
If they want to invest a lot of their own money,
and absolutely LIVE the program 24/7 then they could try, but chances are they won't be happy and they'll be out any money they invest.
gee, I don't know, if you aren't willing to invest in
what makes you think you would have the business savvy to do something like this?
Invest in some wrists splints soon. ;) nm

Invest in an athletic supporter!
Invest in Instant Text!
This has increased my line count ~30%. No need to remember all those little shortcuts and can have duplicates. Example:

The patient states she has
The patient states she had
The patient stated she has . . .

All have shortcut of tpssh--and it's right before your eyes to choose which one.
Need to invest in a new drug reference
Hey there, I have the Saunders Pharmaceutical Word Book and CD-ROM, I love it...You can look up medications on the CD-ROM by using the *if you can here the first part of a medication or the ending of a medication...you just put in the * at the beginning or end and just 3 letters and it will bring up every medication close to that...it is great!!!!!
Yes, invest in a better expander. It will be worth it.

Invest in a dictionary - "alot" is not one word
I also like to use online references, which by the way I invest in by paying my monthly fee
for high-speed internet service. Why knock someone's way of doing something just because it isn't your way? I personally find it much quicker to find something online than to finger through a bunch of books, which by the way are outdated quicker than you can get them delivered.
I need something on a trial basis for now...if it works out, I will invest later...Can't afford..

to invest in software unless it is a sure thing.  Thanks

Needing to invest in a new Drug reference... what do you recommend? THANKS! nm
Invest in a really good sound card - makes a huge difference
Don't do anything, just tell him to go ahead and do what he
has to do. If he's not for real, the threat has been not worked. If he is for real, he MUST have documentation to prove his case, or even then it's no use taking it to court. He will file in small claims probably, if less than $5000. He must prove his case, and you don't have to do anything, bottom line.
Don't get too ahead of yourself..
You may certainly have a valid argument, but don't base it on the "fact" that rad reports are all paid by report.  I have been doing rad for over 12 years now, and have yet to be paid by report.  Most are by the line, and any MTSO I have worked for, rad is one of the lowest line rates compared to other work type accounts.  Yes, there are companies that pay by the report, but, I surely wouldn't go so far as saying that is the "norm". 
Then go ahead. Not me.
Go ahead
post it! You will feel so much better and be able to continue knowing you got your two cents in. Sometimes it makes you wonder about American standards for the practice of medicine, does it not? Doesn't it make sense that in America doctors should be able to communicate properly and have a handle on the language? Accents are not what I am talking about either. I am talking about vocabulary and grammar that can possibly cause a change outcome. This is a very serious business, medicine. Those who dictate should be qualified to dictate. Amen.
So how would you know ahead of time if
problem with drinking? Don't mean to get off the subject but just wondering.
Ah, go ahead...don't be ashamed...

No one will laugh.  And, most likely no one will slam you for it either.  There are only a few really nasty, jealous people here.   

that should say *ahead of time*
Go ahead, tell us, what is abortion then?
go ahead rant!
One of my dictators smacks gum in my ear constantly and it drives me crazy because it is rude!!
thinking ahead
Yes, you are so right, be cordial and that's it. Her problems are not mine and she is very manipulative. My concern is mainly how this will affect my friendship with Patty who happens to be a very close friend of mine. Also, thinking ahead to the future, H's daughter is getting married. Wait! Before I get into this... H's daughter moved out yesterday. They had a huge fight and H kicked her out of the house. The daughter is now living with the fiance's family!!! I know they will patch it up probably in the near future... so here is my problem. About a month ago, H called me and said she is having a shower for her daughter on July 29 at 1:30 and I should mark the date. I said "I'm busy that day" and I was joking, but I wish I was busy. First of all, I hate showers and I hate Pampered Chef parties which she is also always having...and I never go !!! :)
I don't go to those. Secondly, I want to backpedal from this family as much as possible. H is the type who will never speak to me again if I don't go to the shower. All advice is appreciated. I guess if she isn't talking to me maybe she will not send the invitation... but I can't count on that.

Go ahead, argue with me on how you all think

Lets see the moral ethics flow. 

Paying below poverty... minimum wage is POVERTY, yet, below that.. what a joke.


So many drs, so many specialites, can't get ahead!

Ugh, I've been working for a National for about a month now, and they keep throwing new drs and new specialities at me everyday, and it's so frustrating.  My line count gets lower it seems, instead of higher.  Is this normal?

I've been an MT for 10 years, but worked for a local small company until they went out of business.  This national thing is completely new to me, and I'm not liking it so far.  Just when I was getting comfortable about 2 weeks ago, they threw new docs and new specialities at me, and I can't seem to keep up.  Very frustrating!!


go ahead girl
I know it is very fustrating when you are spending your time which you aren't paid for trying to make sure that the report is right by researching extensively. And some of the dictators are so inconsiderate like when they decide to eat while dictating and talk with the food in their mouth so it makes it hard to make out what they are saying and sometimes they arent eating anything just dont have the courtesy to make the dictation as clear as they can. I have a clinic account where some reports have to be sent back with a blank name for a cc or letter to referrring physician because there are more than one doc. with that same last name in the same city and they think you should know who they are talking about. And sometimes they may both be just general practioners so you have no idea based on their specialty either. We definitely don't get paid enough to do their research. It does make you want to just throw the reports out to get the line counts and leave blanks and let them figure it out.
you go ahead and demand that $75K
That will leave your position open for another person who doesn't think they are the MT queen. That "level of expertise" has been achieved by many hard-working individuals. They are out there with excellent skills and might be happy to take your place. Then you can spend your time pursuing something that will make you happy and allow you to feel fulfilled. I feel sorry for you that you are so bitter about your choice of employment. You still do not need to go out insulting other people and calling someone stupid. You do owe her an apology.
I would think just go ahead and apply.
If you've done acute care, you should be fine with radiology.  I've never done pathology, but I would think it would be pretty similar to radiology in that they use certain tests for certain specimens.  I think there's a touch of radiology and pathology in acute care reports.  I do a lot of clinic and also have worked full-time radiology, and they are seem to intertwine.  I would say either let your current employer know you're interested and see what happens. 
Listening ahead

I am just wondering if you listen ahead regardless of the length of the dictation?

I do need help increasing productivity and appreciate all suggestions. It just seems wasteful to listen for 5 minutes without doing any work. (Maybe not......others have more experience.) Feedback?

As always my thanks

On listening ahead
Listening ahead doesn't mean to listen without typing or to listen to the whole dictation first.

Older MTs transcribe this way because they had to use older transcribers which typically did not have that little backup or "instant rewind" feature. They didn't stop on a dime, either, but slowed to a stop. During the stop and start, you could lose an entire word or phrase.

MTs thus learned to stop in the pauses between sentences. They listened to the first part of the sentence, began typing after the first couple of words, then paused only to get PARTIALLY caught up. They listened ahead and typed AT THE SAME TIME.

This is a lot more efficient than the hear-a-word/type-a-word method.

It also helps to type slowly enough that you do not make any typos at all. That way, you do not have to stop and correct them. That alone saves huge amounts of time.

I Think I Listen Ahead
I'm old enough that I started transcribing on a typewriter. It was a Selectric, which was state-of-the-art at the time, and was much faster than a machine with a carriage. :)

My stepmother was a court reporter, and I started out transcribing court transcripts. I was thinking just the other day that I can't remember how on earth I managed, what with a baby crawling around while I was typing all day and the fact that errors were a nightmare to fix!

In any event, I had never thought about it until I read this thread, but I guess I listen ahead as I'm typing. I'm not sure what "word-for-word" means, though. Can you explain?
I would go ahead and apply...
If you apply and they pull up your *record* and decide not to hire you, you'll have your answer as to whether that'll affect your ability to get a job. If you get turned down, it's not as if you get put on a list somewhere - this is just a company who will put your file in a drawer somewhere and that's it.

If you do get called back, don't mention it in the interview. That record has been marked as *no conviction* and that's exactly what it means. You don't get treated the same as those *with* convictions.

Also, I had a dispute with a telephone company once and was looking up the situation online and came across several lawyer sites that can answer questions like yours, i.e. whether a record under the first offender act needs to be mentioned on an employment application.

My sister was arrested for shoplifting 30 years ago and she finished nursing school, married a doctor, and with the kids gone now, is back being a scrub nurse, so I don't think you'll have a problem.

Good luck
Way to go!!! Hope I am ahead of you! nm
Sure, go ahead and apply and

do testing if you can't find an employee position that you like.  Don't buy any equipment except a USB pedal though.  A pedal would be a good investment.  Even if the company is a small one, they may still provide equipment you need, or rent it to you if it is a Lanier or C-phone.  A lot of companies have you logging into the hospital's system directly so you may not even need a new version of Word.  Be prepared to arrange for unlimited long distance if you don't have it already.  It looks like lots of places require that.  If you have internet cable that should not be a problem; just get internet phone service also and you will have your unlimited long distance.

Good luck with your search.  It's a jungle out there. 

Sure, go ahead and apply and

do testing if you can't find an employee position that you like.  Don't buy any equipment except a USB pedal though.  A pedal would be a good investment.  Even if the company is a small one, they may still provide equipment you need, or rent it to you if it is a Lanier or C-phone.  A lot of companies have you logging into the hospital's system directly so you may not even need a new version of Word.  Be prepared to arrange for unlimited long distance if you don't have it already.  It looks like lots of places require that.  If you have internet cable that should not be a problem; just get internet phone service also and you will have your unlimited long distance.

Good luck with your search.  It's a jungle out there. 

Eh, I am going ahead with the BS degree.
I can always take electives for x-ray tech. This program has a lot of identical courses, so it would not be hard to switch to another discipline like x-ray. X-ray pays less, but either of these careers is more than what we get as MTs these days... and in 18 months from now, hospitals and clinics will still need on site techs like this, unlike transcription which can unfortunately go poof gone any day now. It's going to be hard, but I am going for it...gotta get out of this business I am sad to say of Mting.
Okay, I apologize ahead of time for this
Addendum: But ya'll go ahead! :)
You go ahead and live your lifestyle--
I don't care what you do as long as you do it in the privacy of your own home and leave the rest of us out of it.
Sent you an e-mail, went ahead and bought some.
I just ordered the Noisebuster headphones. They'll be here in two days. We'll see! :o) Thanks for info!
I go ahead and leave blanks

They can't have it all if they won't let me have it all, IMO.  If they want to block the site where I could look up the doctor's names, then they'll get a blank if I can't spell it.  Let them waste their own time vs mine until the light dawns on their end, I'm not losing money because they force me to be less efficient.

Poll regarding listening ahead.......sm
I am just curious how many of you listen ahead and listen word for word or character by character?  I learned word for word in my training and I do think that helps my speed but was just wondering how everyone else does it.  I still do word for word but I have one dictator whom no matter how far ahead I listen, they still will change an entire sentence! 
"Listening ahead" doe NOT mean "stopping."
I'm not sure what you mean by "listening ahead," but if it's the listening ahead mentioned elsewhere here as one of my recommendations, it does not mean you stop dead and listen, then rewind and type. It's not even listen-then-stop-and-type. That would be a waste of time, as well as unnecessary.

It means that you listen to the upcoming dictation WHILE YOU TYPE what you just heard. You listen far enough ahead (about half a sentence) that you can understand the context and can catch changes.

It is much more efficient to transcribe it correctly the first time. By listening ahead, you avoid typing the nonsensical material that typically results from listening and typing one word at a time.

Older MTs working on typewriters with carbon packs with old Lanier transcribers that had no auto-backspace were forced to avoid any errors at all due to the difficulty in changing anything. Literally, the entire page would need to be retyped for anything more than a small error, and you did not want to be unrolling the carbon pack in order to scrape the errors off every page. (You had to use a scalpel or a very sharp knife.) You also had to listen far enough ahead to stop in a pause in the dictation, because every time you stopped, a few words would drop out between where you started to stop and where the tape finally got going again.

When computers and digital transcribers came along, it was so easy to correct errors and so much easier to transcribe without those words falling out that MTs began learning to transcribe in an inefficient manner. Now, it's very common and it looks as though people are teaching it that way.

I am not old enough to have learned on typewriters, but I did have the unhappy experience of having to use a ancient Lanier transcriber for a while. The light dawned on me when an employer installed an electronic document system that had no medical spellchecker, would not allow use of my productivity software, and which took an ridiculous amount of time to make even the smallest correction. It cut everyone's line counts in half. The facility did not adjust our productivity one whit to compensate. In self-defense, I decided to try to learn to listen way far ahead as I'd known some really ancient MTs to do and to type so slowly that I made NO errors and thus had to make no corrections.

Within days, I had not only returned to my former productivity, but had increased it by 200-400 lines per hour . . . without an expander. I was typing at a leisurely, relaxed pace, too.

A lot of MTs have tried this and most report that it helps them.

Slowing down and listening ahead
These are two different things. You have to practice them separately, then eventually merge them.

As for slowing down, that should be the easiest. It means to key at a speed slow enough that you make no typos. None whatsoever--not even one.

Just practice typing one sentence until you can key it correctly without a single error. Go on to a paragraph. You'll settle on a speed that works for you.

You may feel that you are typing s l o o o o w l y, and this may frustrate you, but bear with it for a bit. Practice this every day, slowly and smoothly, giving each letter the same amount of time. No machine-gun rat-a-tat-tat. No speeding up and slowing down.

Your goal is to maintain the same boring, monotonous rate on and on and on. It shouldn't be tiring at all. You'll find it easy and restful, but you'll make better progress because you won't have to stop to fix anything.

To learn to listen ahead, you'll need to pretend that you're working on a typewriter. If you have an actual typewriter, use that. Otherwise, just assume that you CANNOT correct anything. What you type has to stay on the page forever, so it had better be right the first time.

Take a practice report. Listen to the first entire sentence without typing anything. Hold it in your head. Now type it from memory. Do the whole report that way.

You'll have trouble with whole sentences at first. You might have to do just phrases, then longer phrases, then work up to sentences.

Practice that perhaps an hour a day for a week or so. At some point, the process may click for you and you'll figure out the point behind it.

Once you can do whole sentences, you can start typing while listening. Listen to the first sentence, but this time start typing it when you have heard half or all of it. You can pause the tape momentarily at the end of the sentence if you need to, but you should be able to type continuously.

Listen listen listen . . . listentype listentype listentype type type type listentype listentype listentype type type type, etc.

It takes practice, but it's worth it.

go ahead. i don't feel supervising is any different than pressure of MT or any other job.
so you must transcribe, listen to excuses and have patience. i do that now while transcribing. i listen to excuses why there are no pay increases or why there is no work. i am patient while waiting for work and being told to cut back on work as there isn't enough or work more cause there is too much. i am quite sure i know as much as my supervisor as far as common sense and logic.
Envision this - you are employee w/no work. That's what's ahead

You are allowed to once a year change to "Employee" status.

You are right to be looking sideways at that letter.  And yes it only specifically talk to PT and FT employees.

They don't put in writing so far anywhere that they offer SE.  I sure haven't seen it. 

So does that mean you again work without a contract if you do SE for them?

I don't understand why they have to be so slippery about everything and frankly I think it puts a horrible aroma on their whole being.  If they think it looks good to clients or potential employees they need to fire their PR company who came up with this approach.

If I were you I'd have another place to go real soon because reading what we can expect from them doesn't look all that appetizing.

I make lunch ahead of time and

my child has never complained about the bread being hard.  Maybe because we use 100% whole wheat and it is already kind of dry?  I have just never heard that complaint from anyone

I make lunch right after clearing up dinner and that way if we all oversleep by accident, at least its one less thing to have to worry about.  We have enough stress in the morning.


Go ahead and post stuff about your cars
but I doubt many people are interested in it, who knows, but I am sure that many many people want to talk about their animal companions, so if it does not interest you, SKIP it. That is why this is called the main board, many other boards on the left for you to get information on MTing, other than just the main board.
That one dies out as you get older and wiser and never get ahead anyway. nm
You seem like a person who can look ahead and do analysis of situations...

you definitely should take the at home job. You will make significantly more money as long as you actually are on the keyboard. I think it's a surprise sometime as to how much time is actually spent transcribing and how much is wandering around. If you time yourself at home, just to take the laundry out of the dryer can add up to 10 minutes in no time. So take that into consideration. You won't get paid for 8 hours - you'll only be paid when your fingers are actually making contact with the keyboard.  Check your line production at work if you can to get an idea of how many lines you are actually cranking out in a day.

Now, that being said, you need to take a good long look at what is coming down the pike for MT. In all reality, MT is not going to last until you retire. Don't forget, what is left of MT is going to have to be either a) spread around amongst all of us or b) competed for by all of us. When there are more MT's than MT jobs, you can bet pay and working conditions is going to go down. So right now, while you have a job, you need to be thinking and planning where you are going to be when you lose your MT job and can't find another - or at least another that pays decent...Ask yourself, what would I do if next year I lose my job? and start exploring options that way. Me - I'm enrolled full time in nursing school for a BSN. I wasn't sure I could go back to school at 46, but I am and doing it quite successfully, no less. I still have at least 15 more years to work before retirement...so just plan ahead...