Home     Contact Us    
Main Board Job Seeker's Board Job Wanted Board Resume Bank Company Board Word Help Medquist New MTs Classifieds Offshore Concerns VR/Speech Recognition Tech Help Coding/Medical Billing
Gab Board Politics Comedy Stop Health Issues

Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

No flame--commas & periods go inside quotation marks--ALWAYS.

Posted By: midwestmt on 2007-06-12
In Reply to: [sigh..] I know I'll get flamed for this, but - sm - 'Shroom

"right", they get "left".   Hate to see a good MT not do this correctly.

Complete Discussion Below: marks the location of current message within thread

The messages you are viewing are archived/old.
To view latest messages and participate in discussions, select the boards given in left menu

Other related messages found in our database

period goes inside the quotation marks. NOT OUTSIDE
quotation marks

The only time that I would transcribe these words were if they are a direct quote from the patient and then they would need to go in quotation marks.  I have always done this in this manner, but did find information on it in a MT guide book that I have on hand.

Do you know what quotation marks mean?? nm
Does this forum not allow quotation marks?
My previous post (right above this one) should have had a definition of dysphagia included in paragraph #3.

I would type the definition of dysphagia out longhand in the glossary entry.

Dysphagia = trouble swalloing

Dysphasia = trouble speaking

NightOwl, which definition did you really mean to type?

Then, after seeing my glossary print that all out, just by me typing out dysphagia, I would then go look to see which definition I meant.

It took about a week before I committed that one to memory and was able to delete it from the glossary.
You mean quotation marks? I wouldn't use them at all in this case. nm
If it's not a real word, I put it in quotation marks.
My best one says inverted comma for quotation marks.
Quotation marks must confuse a lot of people. sm

I even have a couple of doctors who dictate quotation marks incorrectly, over and over.  They'll say things like:  The patient said he quote feels better *quote period*

Transcribed, that would be:  The patient said he "feels better".   (Note the period outside of the ending quotation mark.  Doesn't it look... wrong?  It is!) 

It should be:  "feels better." (with the period, THEN the ending quotation mark) 

The rule (from my handy Webster's Grammar Guide) is that the period and comma are always placed before *ending* quotation marks. 

I see this mistake all the time on this board and in internal company memos, which really drives me crazy.  I hate to see it incorrectly because the more you see things done the wrong way, the more that way starts to look right!

Quotation marks confuse me sometimes too, because there are rare (IMO) times when the punctuation (like a question mark, for example) does go on the outside of the quotation mark, *depending on the material being quoted.*  But that's why I have a grammar reference book.  


I'd type in the "belch" in quotation marks...sm
the same way an SR program would pick up, since the suits/MTSOs are so enamored with SR.  When he/she gets to (maybe) read and sign the report, maybe they'll wake up.
I do believe that the quotation came from Edmund Burke, the English statesman, did it not?
If it is a quotation of the patient, I put it in ==sm
quotation marks. If it is not and just something the doc says, I try to change it without losing the context of the report. patient notes are no place for cuss words. I had a question about it one time and asked my supervisor. she said she wanted to know about it, so I flag it. I even had one doc cussing out the Transcriptionist during the dictation for misspelling a word on a prior document, which I thought was rude, because he has no idea which transcriptionist is getting his dictation. I told my supervisor about that too. He has not done it since.
Definitely use the periods.
e.g. and i.e. should have periods...sm

The patient takes anti-inflammatory drugs, i.e., Naprosyn, Aleve.


The patient takes several prescription drugs, e.g., Coreg, atenolol, Ambien, Valium.

There should always be a comma after the e in i.e., and after the g in e.g.

You really need to think about this comma situation. Grammar and punctuation are there to make a document readable. A medical document is a patient care and legal document.

I know the transcription companies and hospitals do not pay fairly and I really don't blame you for trying to do something to increase your line count, however, this is simply not an appropriate way to do it.

I think if you approach your supervisor with some contrition and try to make a conscious effort to not do this you will probably see some positive results.

Again, I don't mean this to criticize you, but doctors are really down on transcriptionists a lot because this sort of thing drives them crazy and I can see how it could.

Good luck to you and I hope your situation turns around soon.
Commas (sm)
I am from the old school where commas were essential for clarity in reports. I find in today's world there are far too many errors being made, both in and out of the medical field, because people have not been properly trained in the English language. I have requested copies of my medical reports for a serious medical problem only to find multiple transcription or dictation errors which are inexcusable. The hospital I requested these reports from is a large metropolitan research facility where people come from all over the world for treatment. Obviously they are sending their work out to the lowest bidder. They do not have a transcription department. Not only was my name repeatedly in the body of the report, but it was spelled incorrectly and not in harmony with the correct spelling of my name in the header. Commas were not used in the proper places and the report was horrendous. I have not brought this to the attention of my physicians because they could "care less" in my opinion as long as they were reimbursed. What a darned shame! I don't know where they got their QA people, if they have any, but there is no "quality" in any of those reports. Don't feel bad. Whether we are talking commas, periods, common sense, etc., it is all "out the window" and the cheapest price gets the job! Just venting (and pretty upset). This is MY body and MY serious illness. I am so sick and tired of those pompous "asses" who proclaim 98% accuracy. I once received a reply to an E-mail from one of those companies who told me I "scored high" on their testing and stated I would "here" from them soon regarding potential employment. It's all pretty disgusting to me.
maybe you should try using commas...
in all those compound sentences in your post if you are so big on grammar.
Thanks for the help!!!
BOS and commas
The day that a doctor can actually transcribe a complete sentence/thought with the correct noun/pronoun/subject/verb/adjective, I will then use appropriate commas. Run on sentences is what they do. Most transcription is verbatim. As long as the WORDS are exactly what the doctor says, the punctuation (other than a period) is not even important, has nothing to do with the body of the report. I don't profess to be an English major and whoever thought it needed to be applied to transcription needs their head examined. In this industry, nothing is forever. A few years from now they will scrap the nonsense and move on to some other idiotic idea some moron comes up with in the BOS.

I applaud accounts that refuse to use BOS. I wish they would all do it and put an end to the insanity.
commas and which
which and that are often used interchangeably. You must decide what the dictator intends.

That always begins a restrictive clause.

Which always begins a nonrestrictive clause.

Test: Do you need what is said after which to tell tell what is meant? If the answer is yes, no comma. If the answer is no, add a comma.

Restrictive: Essential to what precedes it - no comma.
The arm which was fracture was splinted.

Nonrestrictive: Place a comma before which.
The right arm, which was fracture, was splinted.

That begins an essential clause or phrase. That is always specific to what comes before it. Do not place a comma before that.

I hope this helps.

Transhealth, pay periods end on SM
15 and last day of month, you are paid 22nd and 7th, they don't hold a check back.
If it's Latin, it needs periods.
too many commas? Nope -
perfect punctuation - way to go!
...and someone who does not use commas. ROFL! nm.
Need quick answer please...should eg have periods or not?
we aren't even putting periods after...
Dr. or M.D. they have just given up on that here. i think the use of a period after dr is justified. we get paid hourly so it doesn't matter for us.
Quotation, good men to do nothing. Yes, it's from Edmund Burke. Thanks for the heads-up!
typing letter. Do my commas look oky?
She is a 66year-old white female who recently transferred to our practice with diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, who I refer to you at this time for further evaluation of anemia
Grrrrrrrrr Wrong COMMAS!!!

OK this doctor dictates things like this all the time...."He wanted to cry (comma) and appeared unhappy."


There is no comma there, right?  What should I do?  Pretty sure you need a subject on both sides of the comma.......that's what I thought.

BOS is a crock, but commas are still important!

Especially as demonstrated in the post above.  I think we all know (or should know) when a comma will change the meaning of a sentence.  I agree that is very important.  I believe in the AHDI BOS, Third Edition, it states that comma punctuation points are not deducted on audits because most of them are open to interpretation anyway.  Some sentences could take them or leave them, doesn't matter.

Somebody please tell me why these stupid hyphens are so important!!!!  How can they change the meaning of a sentence?  And another thing, who has the right to change the title punctuation in M.D. to MD.  We tried that on our account, HA, HA, HA.  Heard from those doctors right away and they did not like it one bit.  These things are why I say BOS is designed to cut an MT's pay, make more money for the MTSOs, and to give QA something to do! 

I still use 2. It looks better and doesnt get confused with abbr. periods.
I wouldnt change to 1 unless the AAMT Book of Style rules on it and I dont believe they have. I could be wrong on that. If anyone knows, please let me know.

Another thing I have noticed people doing is not putting a comma before the and in a list. I was always taught to use the comma but some people dont.

Me too, periods through 5 months. I know, TOTALLY ABNORMAL! nm
Wouldn't that make spaces after ALL periods like p.o. and b.i.d. etc?
Not familiar with this, so wanted to ask. Sounds like a great idea, I will check into it more though!

or they call them pock marks. nm
Over 200 views, it marks as HOT topic.
I, too, love commas! I was told by an English
teacher years ago to use a comma anywhere in a sentence where you want to pause, emphasize, or separate.  I worked for this one national where QA used to dock me all the time for my comma use.  However, I got out my college grammar/English book and scanned in pages to prove I was right.  Didn't matter.  It was, "Listen to your QA person."  She wouldn't even use a comma to separate two independent clauses with a FANBOY.  I couldn't unlearn 25 years of grammatical habits, so I quit.
I have frequent headaches, too. My coincide with my periods. Nothing OTC helps. SM
Any suggestions for me?
There are exceptions when Word won't cap after periods, like in numbers or after colons.
Helpful for me was to turn on paragraph marks (sm)
I was told that those are the "containers" for all the formatting codes. You can't see them, but sometimes if you have a tricky formatting problem, you can copy and paste a paragraph mark from one place to another and it quick-fixes problems.

Having the marks on there takes a little getting used to, but it didn't take long.
I can see your point about grammar, but using commas to pad line counts??!!
Please, tell me you're not serious, okay?

Did I use my commas correctly? Because I gave it a lot of thought, too much so to use it as a way to pad my line count.
What a crock. I've solved it by starting to put in commas
more Keystrokes for me, and hey - QA just LOVES their commas! The more the better, in their eyes.
slow periods, seek alternative extra cash? sm
Docs, like us, have busy family lives. I found that after Hannukah and Christmas (or sometimes with a break from family stuff) they "catch up" on dictation. Hopefully, this is what still happens. I have a son who is a professional and he likes to go in on Christmas Eve morning because it's so "slow" that he can get a lot of paperwork done. So hang in. Another aspect of today's world is that docs are carrying laptops now as is my family PCP and they are all doing their own notes. I think it's a "wait and see" thing, the world is changing and hopefully there is a survival tool for us somewhere. We are all being replaced by technology, sadly. Only time will tell. I was told several years ago that I should go into "scoping" which is kind of like editing, etc., you go into public stenographers machine gibberish and make sense out of it, kind of like making sense out of what comes back from India. I was offered this but refused to clean up someone else's "mess." Everyone should be thinking of alternative ways to get by, it's never easy. It's sad, as I have put a lot of time and $$$ into a profession that doesn't appreciate my knowledge. From your posts, Blondie, you have a good heart. I hope things get better for you. Try to have a happy holiday. How did you make out with those dogs you took in? Did the owner take them back or at least pay you? This may be an alternative few extra bucks for you. You seem to be an animal lover and a caring person.I don't live near you, but I would rather leave my Golden with you than some kennels around here. Thus, I do not go away if I can't take my dog. Hope things pick up for you work-wise.
My ASR accounts do 1 space after the periods, though the acct specifics want 2 spaces. sm
So does the company set up the VR specifics to include 1 space after the periods so they can pay just a little less? Does anyone take the time to put the extra spaces in, or do you just try to whip through the report just to keep going! Do the spaces after punctuation really amount to big difference in my pay? Just curious as to how all of you handle this situation. Let me know!
It's Keith Richards who has the pock marks, not Mick.


I also separate with semicolons--allows use of commas where needed within dose instructions. SM
I see the value of stopping each med with a period; but the voice rec programs I've worked with so far have been using commas (or nothing), and breaking the strings up with period+spaces+caps, etc. is much too time consuming. Plus, account instructions typically ask for either numbered lists or comma/semicolons anyway.
Get out the timer. You'll have to force yourself to work uninterrupted for periods of time.
Just keep in mind that you WANT the money. Best of luck!
I'd quit so fast I'd leave skid marks on my keyboard!

Google "Miscrosoft Word 2003" (use quote marks)
No flame from me.....
I agree.  Kids need to learn to seek out the proper people on  their own, with guidance  of course.  If the parents only allows controlled hand picked social contacts, how do you learn that skill?  People who homeschool for religious  reasons are the worst for this.  They only let their kids associated with like-minded people.  Unfortunately the world isn't like that.  I believe that the way to raise well-rounded children is to give them plenty of attention and supervision  at  home, train them about morals and make your expectations clear.  Then as they grow, they venture forth a little more as they get older, slowly separating from being under the  parental wing.  I think teenagers need a parent in the home almost more than little ones,and that is why I work at home.  A good education can be had  in almost any school.   It's there for the taking.  The real world doesn't cater to you, your  needs, your desires, or  your preferences.  A full-time job isn't finished in 3 hours (like the abbreviated day many homeschoolers boast about).   It's about being there on time, sticking to it even though you  may not feel like it, and  getting along with people  you may not care for, and avoiding those who are not good  for you.   Just my 2 cents.
Please do not take this as a flame, but
talking about 65-character count lines, and I believe hospital transcription. If I am not mistaken, you have said before that you count gross lines and clinic transcription, which is a whole different ball game. I too transcribe clinic dictation and count gross lines, and would much rather do this as it is much easier to produce and make money in this environment.
No flame taken
I have often tipped my hat to these guys, was just trying to put a little humor into things today.   I took one road and they took the other.  Have done the hosptital, teaching hospital and realize the complexity of it.  But I have worked hard to get my accounts and keep them also. 
What does the really (looks like a yellow flame) mean by the postings?