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Reference Book Questions

Posted By: Angie on 2007-06-01
In Reply to:

I am a new MT, I am in the process of purchasing MT reference books. I have heard that Greggs and Stedmans are good reference books. I wanted to find out the books that are used the most, please let me know which books that you use so I can make a good decision on how I spend this money on books.

Thank you in advance




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Reference book
We use Radiology Imaging Words & Phrases by Health Professions Institute as one of our references - this is a great book and covers all modalities. 
reference book
I'd suggest Tessier's Surgical Words. The best book for op notes in my opinion.
oncology reference book

I don't do radiology, but for oncology I highly recommend Stedman's Oncology Words. 

Drug Reference Book
I love Drake & Drake Pharmaceutical Word Book.
reference book advice
I need to update a couple of my books, namely surgery and equipment words and lab words. I have never used an electronic reference and wondering if anyone has and find it easier to use. I just dread another "thing" I have click my mouse on, but wondering if that is actually quicker than looking up in a book.  Also.. I see there is some "wild card search" on Stedman's and has anyone used that and how does it work. Thanks!
Thank you so much for your very helpful reply. I do have and did look in my reference book but want
handling words with a combining 'o' not using a hyphen and was having trouble finding one. I have Stedmans Radiology 4th edition, which I scanned, circled the words, and faxed them to her. Her response was "The reference book I use is "Words of Radiology" by Kaye Atkinson" I did a Google and it is a 2nd edition book published in 1995, publisher no longer in business.

After re reading my OP I see that I spelled both incorrectly which is why they differed in Stedmans, but agree no hyphens.

Anyway, this QA person came with the clinic the company I work for bought, is related to every one in the clinic, sees all/knows all/does all. Her response is that is the way we have always done things. Sent a copy of our e-mails, her response, and my research findings to my manager. Will see how she wants to handle this in the morning.

Thanks to the others who responded below.
Tessier is not a very good reference book. I have one but
haven't used it in years.  I would suggest getting a Stedman's.  I believe they just had a new one come out either this year or last year.   There is new equipment all the time, so an updated book would save you lots of time from searching on-line. 
Agreed--great little reference book!
It's one of the thinner books but sure packs a whallop when it comes to saving research time!  
prosthetics/orthotics reference book needed

Does anybody have one for sale or know where I can get one for a reasonable price? I've just started doing occasional notes for Prosthetics and I'm not having much luck finding reference materials.  I've checked Barnes and Noble and ebay and have Googled like crazy, but I really don't have $150.00 to spend on a good reference book, especially as I only do this account occasionally.

Thank you!

Just started podiatry, need good reference book.
Stedman's has a plastic surgery reference book. If

you are just going to be doing plastic surgery you might could get by with that and a drug book.  I use an electronic version of Quick Look and I like that, not sure how different the book might be, but either Quick Look or Drake & Drake are good drug books. 

The drug books are updated every year, though I only get a new one about every other year.  I believe the plastic surgery book has been updated within the past year, so should be a good resource.  You can check the classified board here and e-bay and you might be able to find books cheaper, just be sure you are getting the most current edition.  You can go to Stedman's website to verify current edition if needed. 


I have never needed another reference book since discovering GOOGLE. No joke.

And I am a nut about getting things right.  And I had many many books.  Don't need them.  I got a Quick Book Drug Book and loaded it on my computer......and add to it when I need to add a new drug which is just about every day.  And I got a Steadman's Dictionary........same thing.  I add to it when I need to.  They are the foundation of a notebook to add words to.


Updating surgical references - new Stedmans Word Book, Tessier Surgery Book or others - best one in
Meditech questions and Cerner questions. Any input is appreciated. SM

I just recently went back to work in the office at a local hospital. We type in both Meditech and Cerner, depending on what you are typing, i.e. Medical Records reports versus Radiology.  We are currently typing blindly in Meditech, meaning we do not have access to our line counts and must depend on management to give us our totals.  In Cerner, we are able to run a line count report and print out a hard copy of our line counts at the end of the day.

We are finding that 800 lines in Cerner equals about 500 lines in Meditech.  We are not paid per line nor do we have an incentive plan, but we have a new HIM Director who would like to institute an incentive plan and the administrator over our department has laid down the law and decreed that all transcriptionists not making minimum in the department will be written up.  Problem is according to Meditech line totals that we have been given, that would be about half the department.

The transcription supervisor has taken our concerns to the new director who told the MT Supervisor to hold off on writing people and has taken home all the line counts from the last month and she is going over them with a fine tooth comb this weekend.

I am not a very trusting soul by nature, so I am doing a little research on my own.  I've been in this business for about 15 years.  I started out in a hospital and have worked for a few services at home and am now back in the hospital setting.  So I know a few things about line count and I consider myself to be pretty well informed on trends and technology in the industry.   I would like to walk into our next department meeting armed with as much knowledge as possible.  So I have come up with some questions that I would like some fellow MTs to answer, give opinions, and maybe even direct me to websites or individuals who could give me a better understanding of Meditech and Cerner.  Here are my questions:


  1. Is it possible for an MT to have access to her line count in Meditech or is strictly a management function?  Any MTs that work in Meditech on this board, do you currently have access to your line counts and if so, how do you check them?  Is it an option on the main menu after you log into Meditech?

  2. How is a line defined in Meditech?  (i.e. 65 cpl, with spaces, without spaces)

  3. How is a line defined in Cerner?

  4. What abbreviation Expanders work with both Meditech and Cerner?

  5. Examples of incentive plans (if anyone would like to share that with me that would be great, if not I completely understand).

  6. Measuring productivity by minutes of dictation versus typed lines.

    1. What would be the minimum minutes required for an 8-hour day?

    2. How would one structure an incentive program based on minutes?

I was thinking of presenting the idea that we keep track of productivity using minutes instead of lines since there is such a discrepancy in Meditech.  I also worry that if an incentive plan is put into place and we are still typing blind into Meditech, what's to keep management from shaving off a few lines here and there?

Feel free to email me or post here any responses.  Either is fine.  I really appreciate any input, comments, or just plain old supportive posts would be nice too! 

Just make a note in your book and go on. Every book I read you can find an error
or 2. Nobody is perfect. Lucky you only paid $60. New it is $80 or more.
I would buy book by Dog Whisperer. His TV shows covers things like this and would think his book mi
Quick Look Drug Book (book & CD/ROM)..sm..

Does anyone use both.  I'm definitely getting the CD/ROM and am debating about buying both.  I don't see any reason to have both but there could be something I don't know. 

I noticed CD/ROMs are on backorder but they're selling downloadable versions.  I can handle that.

The Sted's Ortho & Rehab Words is probably my most used book and then the Lab Words book. GL! nm
Medical Word Book by Sloan, Surgical Word Book by sm
Tessier, Dorland's dictionary, BOS, and my very fave I think is now out of print but called Spellright by Rice.
In reference to rad pay below...

I do both basic 4 and radiology for a small hospital and get paid by the minute of dictation for all. Radiology is a third to half of the dictation I do a day.  I am thinking about going to just radiology.  Many of you have stated a per page or per report rate, but what is the average per line rate for radiology.  Is it different from the basic four dictation rate? 

There are only two radiologists at this hospital, both fairly easy to do except one is slow and one is fast, so fast, if I got paid per report, I would make four times what I make now per minute of dictation.  The slow one is going to retire soon and I will be stuck with the fast one and a new doctor which I probably will not have a problem with unless he is fast too and I would be making less money. 

Thanks for the reference SM
Interesting site! Unfortunately, it states that "today the period always goes within the quotes" so I can't use it as a reference, only as a "the way it used to be."
thanks for the reference nm
THIS is the best reference (sm)
Forget all those books -- they're out of date a year before they're published.

This site automatically indexes biomedical acronyms from Medline.

Try it and tell me whether you aren't ready to throw away all your outdated, useless references!
I'm a rad MT and have been for about 6 years. The ONLY book I have on my desk is Stedman's Radiology Words. I use it all the time.
I have a reference for you...
Check out About.com and go to the Frugal Living site. There are the vinegar pages that detail all the varied uses. One newsletter talked about a family re-occupying and cleaning up after Katrina and how vinegar saved their home and made it habitable again.


Both! I can't do without some of my reference (sm)
that only come in book form and use those religiously, but if I could only buy one form, definitely CD!! Keep in mind, I don't use Stedman's Medical Dictionary CD much but do like their others. I use Dorlands CD that I got cheap and prefer it over the Stedman's CD. Love, love, love the Quick Look Drug Reference CD.
I like drugs.com. You can look by the first letter of the drug.
I use Way in reference.
this is in reference to below...
extremely interesting reading...

from the link: http://www.medrecinst.com/News/News.php?article=1

While documents (transcribed and otherwise) will continue to be predominant in healthcare for some time to come, there is the beginning of a move away from story telling (sentences, paragraphs, reports), which results in documentation that requires searching for and pulling essential data, toward documenting the data directly, and then when documents are needed, using the data to populate consensus-designed templates. Though not initiated in response to this shift from a “documents then data” to a “data then documents” approach, the collaborative work being done by AHDI, AHIMA, and MTIA with HL7 to standardize the most common clinical documents12 will be especially helpful in facilitating the transformation of recorded data into standard formats for H&Ps, consultations, operative reports, etc
try www.fda.gov in the future, great help for all FDA approved meds
need some reference web pages?

Hi all,

If you would like some web pages to add to your "favorites," feel free to visit my website at:





drug reference

I always use Drugs@FDA.  I have it in my favorites:  http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/

You can look up drug names by using as few as three letters.  I find it's quick and efficient, and it's free, and because it's the FDA it's the latest info on drugs.

The reference I handle THE MOST - sm
is my Medical Phrase Index - I happen to use the 4th edition and I mean I use it often. It really comes in handy for mush-mouthed docs and ESL docs.
Reference books

I use my pharmaceutical word book most often, then Stedman GI/GU & Stedman Equipment.  I have a used 2004 Pharmaceutical word book (Drake & Drake) if you would like it.

Prescribing Reference nm
reference material

I was wondering what reference materials would be the best to use while working out of my house. I have some, but I am getting a new job and I need more. Thanks so much for your time. Julie
What a great reference!!!!
I would and have out of respect and to use as a reference, but...
I'm sure there are exceptions. I don't know your situation.  Put yourself on the side of the MTSO and it sure would be nice to have two weeks to replace you.
Reference Books
Good reference books (and abbreviations book!) are a must also. I Google a lot, but I really verify with my BOS and my Stedman's reference books. Agree with other posters. Stedman's Medical Speller a definite must have for me.
NP Address Reference


The link is for the State of Texas, but you can change to any state at the bottom.  This includes all docs and NPs, including chiropractors.  Hope this helps!  Have a great day....  

For future reference

eScription increased my time out value and that fixed it.

Reference books
I have many, many books, but use fewer and fewer of them as I find good internet sites - it is much faster for me to look up something on a website than to pull out the books all the time. I would say that I use my Dorlands and my Webster medical word books more than any others, though.
Question about reference?

Hello all!

I am interested in getting Stedman's but am unfamiliar with the various types so I am looking to you experienced folks for help! What is best, computer-based CD or an actual printed reference book?

Also, are there different Stedman's references available for either acute or clinic? I will be doing clinic work and, as you can tell, am new to the work-from-home scene.

Any advise or help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, and sorry to be so CLUELESS!


new reference books
I am in need of reference books and looking at Stedmans Medical and SUrgical equipment book. I see the fifth edition is out, that must be the newest edition?

Also looking at Stedmans Ortho word book, fifth edition but dated 2005. Is this too old to consider purchasing? How do you know when a new edition will be coming out?

reference to alien
if this is in response to my post about not calling illegal immigant "aliens."  My point is that it is meant to add further insult.  If the term "illegal" doesn't cover it, not sure what will - remember they are illegal as opposed to legal.  Get it.  And like I posted earlier, even the media has stopped using this term.  It's nonsense. 
reference books
When I look up a term in a reference book I use a highlighter pen to highlight the term in the book. Like Lucy said, the act of just doing something like writing it down or highlighting the term helps me remember it.
What are the must have reference books?
I'm wondering what the must have reference books would be to start out with.  What are your faves?
drug reference

Another terrific site to look up drugs is "drugs.com"  Hardly ever have anything I can't find any more due to their wonderful search engine

Best reference books to get

I am going to buy some reference books to have.  Can you all help me in getting the ones I need.  I will doing a variety of reports...cardiology, radiology, emergency departments ect....

I appreciate it!!!!  :)

Do not put down your supervisor as a reference (sm)
Do not put down that supervisor as a reference. In other words, use your professional references outside your former, problem company. Hopefully your former company is not a small company, so that you can list an HR contact with a note "for employment verification only." And be upfront with recruiters about your situation and the fact that this happens to many employees (not just MTs) from time to time, that you are an excellent professional employee, and unfortunately your former employer has decided to handle it unprofessionally, and so on. A word of caution - do not omit that employer from your resume because the MTSO community is small and recruiters move on to and someone can somewhat easily find out whether you have omitted the employer.

And if you can prove that your former employer is blackballing you, handling employment verification unprofessionally and perhaps even illegally, then confront your former employer about it via a letter that is very serious yet nonthreatening. It's a federal law that former employers are not supposed to tell prospective employers or do anything to let them know that an employee was fired!
Useful reference site

Hi all,

Stumbled on this site on Google search. Lots of useful word lists in there, including some really handy op samples. Check it out.