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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

learning another language

Posted By: blondie on 2008-01-06
In Reply to: I am bilingual. Please continue SM - please keep thinking like this

It isn't that I wouldn't like to learn another language if I had the time. I would. It would be neat to be able to speak another language, but I don't. And it makes me fustrated when immigrants come here and expect me to know their language when they are the ones who came here. They should know proper English. Or just decent English. If I moved to South America I would not expect them to understand me. I would take it upon myself that if I wanted to communicate I need to learn good Spanish. And if I had a job where I did something such as dictating, I would make sure I knew decent English and tried to make myself understandable. Some ESLs act like they don't care if you can understand them or not. There ARE some who try though.

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I think learning the language
and losing the accent are not quite the same thing... many of the ESL doctors speak English quite well, and may have been studying English for years in school.  After a certain age, the accent is very difficult to lose. Some people have more of a talent for this than others. I know, makes it hard for the MTs.. but part of the job. Not saying they shouldn't try to improve... I study another language, but I am always going to have an American accent.
I think learning the language
and losing the accent are not quite the same thing... many of the ESL doctors speak English quite well, and may have been studying English for years in school.  After a certain age, the accent is very difficult to lose. Some people have more of a talent for this than others. I know, makes it hard for the MTs.. but part of the job. Not saying they shouldn't try to improve... I study another language, but I am always going to have an American accent.
English may not be the official language on the federal level, but it is the NATIONAL language. sm
From Wikipedia:

Although the United States has no official language at the federal level, English is the national language.

In 2003, about 215 million, or 82 percent of the population aged five years and older, spoke only English at home. Spanish, spoken by over 10 percent of the population at home, is the second most common language and the most widely taught foreign language.[139][140] Immigrants seeking naturalization must know English. Some Americans advocate making English the country's official language, as it is in at least twenty-eight states.[141] Both Hawaiian and English are official languages in Hawaii by state law.[142] Several insular territories also grant official recognition to their native languages, along with English: Samoan and Chamorro are recognized by Samoa and Guam, respectively; Carolinian and Chamorro are recognized by the Northern Mariana Islands; Spanish is an official language of Puerto Rico. While neither has an official language, New Mexico has laws providing for the use of both English and Spanish, as Louisiana does for English and French.[143]

P.S. Miami may be one of the largest cities, but it is still just one city located in one small state. There are 49 other states. Miami is just a small speck when you compare it to the rest of the United States.
Go to tools, language, set language--nm
Always looking and learning
What is a marker, is it product specific or would shorthand have it? Sounds great
learning op
Try this book: Stedman's Medical Transcription Skillbuilders: Creating Surgical Reports. (also comes with 2 cds)
Learning radiology.....sm
You should definitely give it a try, but "only" if you let them know up front that you haven't done radiology.  You can say that you feel you have enough experience to adapt to it and hope they'll give you the chance.  After all, the more specialties you have under your belt, the better your chances are of staying in this field.  But I would not take the job without being honest.  The transition is not all that difficult, but it will take some time.  And besides, you always have your former skills to rely on if it doesn't work out.  Good luck.
Yes, I'll be learning DQS...
I have wireless internet so I can't imagine why I would need a modem. I'm hoping that's something that's just in the manual for people that are still on dial up.

The lady I talked to made it sound like I had to rent the computer, although she quoted a fee of $25 a month. Is it not something I have to rent? Honestly, I don't mind it for right now just because my computer has been doing some crazy things, but when DH gets my computer upgraded I'd much prefer to just use my own computer. I'd rather not use all the other stuff if I don't have to.

Is DQS hard to learn? My training is Thursday and Friday so I assume I'll learn it then but I'm also not the best at remembering every single detail right away. I just want to get through this. I'm excited because they're letting me do acute-care work even though I tested for clinic work. I've been wanting acute-care experience and am thankful to be getting it. I just feel so overwhelmed with these three huge boxes sitting in my living room when I was only expecting one. The enormous DQS manual is also adding to the anxiety.

Thanks again.

Learning to read...

Yes, that problem brings you right back to the lack of early stimulation, schooling success, etc.  You can offer the world, but just like the "horse to water", you can only do so much in getting people to accept education and work hard at it to be successful.  It is NOT a solution to have people work at McDonalds, and unless they are literate, other options are just not going to work.  I would guess that all states have vocational training in community colleges that provide tuition assistance, scholarships, and financial aid for those in need, but again, the ambition and dedication to finish something like that needs to come from the individual.  Also, chasing down dead beat "fathers" is fine, but maybe young girls/women need to be smarter about taking reproductive chances.  Nobody died not having sex.  Perhaps more education in that arena is something the government could do.  But again, you can only lead a horse to water, and people ultimately have to be responsible.  We need to stop sugar coating the facts in our society in fear of offending somebody.  The facts are that blacks are disproportionately more impoverished in America, but they also have babies at a 70% out-of-wedlock birth rate, and that is a problem.

Could not do without it. Small learning sm
curve, but worth it.
Looking to start learning soon
Hi all,

I found this board doing a Google on a company I hope to join soon. They will train me to work for them. I am excited to be able to finally get into this business.

I stared taking a course twice, but have been battling Diabetes. It was hard to find the motivation and keep the momentum going. Now my Diabetes (type 2) is better under control. I am also tired of working for someone else outside my home.

I have been looking at doing transcription work for 3-4 years now. I have researched positions I can take once I get some experience, and I don't mind trying to hustle up my own accounts.

I am posting here to keep my dream in front of me and keep me looking towards my own business. I plan to join AAMT and my local chapter once I get working. I am so excited!

Thanks for the information your board posted while I was researching the company to make sure it wasn't a scam. I am satisfied it is not and can't wait to start learning!javascript:editor_insertHTML('text',''); Thank you all!
Thank GWB for that. It is all about the testing, not the learning.
Learning MSWord - need help

Finally have given in and am switching from WP to MSWord. I work from home. If anyone has any encouraging words about MSWord, I certainly would like to hear them. So far, I am going crazy, i.e., I have put in "gray boxes" but when I enter my autocorrect short cut for the "shell", my cursor goes to the bottom of the page and I have to page up 2-3 times. I am missing something?

Any help would be so very much appreciated

Thank you.... bw...

learning word
There is a really good web site called MTwerks.  They also give really good tech support and have a news letter with helpful tips.
Learning the English would be
a big help!  They come here to make money and should learn the language.  Benny Hinn does a great job with the English language when he's asking for money!  so apparently it is doable.
Yes, but I have to use the mouse. But....am learning (sm)
more shortcut keys as I type!! Thanks!
I switched but still learning,too

I used SH for a year. To me, it was like AutoCorrect, which I used to love, but IT does so much more. I've been using IT for about a year. There are so many things you can do with it that you can't do with SH.

As the other poster said, check out the productivity website and you will fiind zillions of ideas.

Some have a different learning curve than others

I had an in-house job for 3 years, hired in off the street, no experience.  Three months later, another girl hired in, same situation.  Paid hourly, no ESL, and we had the opportunity to talk to the doctors in person about any issue.

By the time I left, I was the highest producer in the office.  She was still struggling with the simplest words and phrases, still asking the same questions she asked the week she hired in, still needing help from somebody else all day long. She would cry from frustration because she couldn't get her act together.  Other people that hired in after her got the hang of it much faster and were soon helping her too.  I asked management on many occasions why they just didn't show her the door, and they said I was being harsh and that some people just couldn't learn as fast as others.  I wonder why she didn't just go find a different kind of job instead of hanging around driving herself and everyone else nuts.

learning steno, et al.
Hi mt,

I looked into closed captioning many years ago here in San Diego, but it was not as good as it sounded with many problems both internally and externly, hard to explain in this forum, but I didn't want to get involved in that mess.

I started court reporting school way back in 1988 when we still had saber tooth tigers running around. I started the program at San Diego's City College. The first semester was learning theory which taught the steno language and the keyboard. We used the old manual machines, which are still available for students. The second semester and thereafter was all about the dreaded speed-building classes. We finished the first semester at 60 words a minute. Speed-building is a very personal matter. It can take years and years or less time, depending on the person. It took me 2 more years to reach 225 words per minute which qualified me to take the California state board test for licensure. I passed the academic portion the first time but not the machine portion. So I took it another 6 times, never passed that damned thing! Nerves got the best of me each and every time, so I could not go into the court reporting field (something I don't regret in hindsight). Instead I opted to enter our wonderful field of MTing.

I'm using my machine to write this message. I really like using the machine a lot. Each stroke produces either one word several words or phrases or parts of words that have many syllables. It all depends on how you have your dictionary defined.

Today's steno machines are electronic and computerized allowing us to interface with any word processing program.

I hope more people learn this skill and start using it for medical reports so we can get rid of this rotten ASR chap which has reduced my income way more than I can live with. I need a firm that will appreciate my skill and recognize its value in this field.

BTW, it would only take about 10 months to a year to become proficient enough on the machine to start using it for MTing, maybe even less time depending on the person. I didn't work during 3 years of my early training as I had financial help at the time (which I had to pay back, of course, $30,000 - it's paid back now).

It's like learning MT all over again. It takes
There's a learning curve

In time it all gets better.  Usually.  Some people aren't cut out to be MTs, for them it never gets better.  I felt the way you do when I started out in-house (no former training).  But I was stubborn, and I learned, and knew I was getting better.  Then I started working at home - BIG learning curve, had no idea my hospital job was so easy!  But I was stubborn, and I learned and improved.  Next job - more learning.  New accounts with constantly changing specifics - keep learning.  In this job, you learn every day - a new phrase, a new production tip, the fact that you've been spelling something wrong, etc.

Just take a deep breath and realize they are trying to help you.  Thank them for every correction, because its what they need you to do.  Make a lot of notes.  And you can and will improve, if you're stubborn enough to make your investment pay.

coding learning
Both Andrews and M-Tec have coding courses. I had a discussion with Redpen about the possibilities and she thinks it will be at home eventually.
MT, are you just now learning about her needing a
I have been an MT for 10 years and am still learning...
you really do learn something new every day...just hang in there and you will do fine...
Nothing to do with your first language, of course. nm
Language skills are definitely at the top - I agree. So many outsiders think all we do is type and memorize a few terms. Makes me crazy sometimes to think we are being looked down upon for, quote - just typing, how hard can that be?
P.S. I hate it that we cannot put quotations in our posts!!
OP does not say who had the language
barrier, the doctor or the patient. Just because she is a white American female does not mean she speaks English.
Learning the hard way and my story (sm)
I didn't read all the posts below me, but I must agree with not quitting one job before landing and being even comfortable with the next.

I worked for a national and was VERY happy with everything except I had no benefits. So I sought another job and was offered one for significantly less per line, but I had benefits, mainly insurance which was a trade-off I was willing to accept.

Keep in mind, my current national offered basically no benefits for employees.

My new employer was enthusiastic about me coming aboard. I told him/her that the ONLY reason I was leaving my national was FOR the benefits and nothing else. I was happy with accounts, pay, personnel, etc. where I was.

Now, also keep in mind that I did NOT resign from my first position.

I spent the next weekend working for the new employer and making macros, etc. plus doing work for my national.

Tuesday morning I get a packet welcoming me to my national... the national I already worked for... what? Turns out my national bought out the company I had applied to, the one with the benefits, which meant that had I resigned, I would have been working for over 2 cents a line less and NO benefits still.

Talk about ethics? The "new" employer knew my situation, knew she/he was selling or had already sold his/her company to the national, but STILL let me apply and hire me, knowing I would be screwed big time. I was totally up front with him/her about WHY I was changing jobs. This devastated me to no end, but I was thankful that I had not quit my first job and I am still there (still shell shocked I guess LOL).

You just can't trust anyone.

I thought about learning it as well, but I didn't.

You can actually reset your computer from qwerty to dvorak, then just change out the key locations on the keyboard instead of buying a new keyboard.  I just really don't feel like relearning anything right now.  The fastest typist in the world uses the dvorak keyboard, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. 

I'm learning scoping, and its quite interesting, instead of CR -- nm
Correct and I believe 1 or 2 more years learning
from their signing physician in house. 
At least 6 mos! You'll be learning and looking stuff up every day, all day, before you
Virtual Learning Center MT Course

Has anyone done this?  It looks good....but I need to know before I spend the money. 


I'm learning radiology now after 19 years
in acute care.  So far it's pretty easy.  The phrases are familiar from the radiologic studies sections of consults, H&Ps and discharges.  The internet makes short work of finding any new terminology.  What is throwing me, though, is the sound quality.  It's all pretty muffled.  I don't know if that is typical of radiology or not.  I thought maybe the proximity of the dictation equipment to the radiology equipment is causing it, but maybe they just have old phones.  Any radiology MT care to comment on sound quality?
I agree. I'm learning a lot more with the variety
than I would have otherwise, which makes me feel more comfortable should I ever move to just one specialty. Of course you find some specialties you like and some you don't, but you're still gaining the knowledge. Just hang in there.
Medical transcription is like learning a sm
foreign language. It takes years and years to become fluent and able to transcribe whatever comes through your queue. Also required are excellent spelling, grammar and punctuation skills as well as computer skills.

Nowadays, the majority of dictators have thick foreign accents which make it difficult for even the most experienced MTs. It has become a situation of translate and transcribe!! You really need to know your stuff.

That is exactly what it is. They overload these accounts, you keep learning new
ones as backups only to find that they then get overloaded and then you sit there and wait for work making probably minimum wage.  Well, just keep two PT jobs and then when one runs out go to the other and let it go.  The  whole thing is not about the MT or what they make or how much time they spend playing the game.  After awhile, you just say I will cover myself. 
You probably tried to do real work while learning IT? sm
You can't really do that in the very beginning because it makes the learning curve a lot longer. A lot of people don't give IT a chance because it's new to them and they don't like change--and because it's such a powerful program with lots more features than the other expanders. My advice would be to go over the Productivity Talk and read what the power users there have done to learn IT. They have tips on how to get the most out of your Expander that you would never dream of doing.
These ESL's speak more than their own language, sm
many are fluent in several languages.  They also pay income taxes at the same rate as USA-born doctors.  Until you can speak their language as well as they can speak ours, have some compassion for their efforts, and be glad that you have a job.  There are ESLs wherever you go.  Better get used to it.  Or better yet, why don't you travel to a country where you don't speak the language.  It might humble you a bit when you see how difficult it is. 
English Language
Amen to that!!!
I live in South Florida and you may as well call it a foreign country. I asked a clerk at local Walmart for Phiso-dem...she had me write it on her notepad she carries around, because she doesn't speak English!!!!
English as a Second Language
foul language
I meant to reply to Tomahawk's post.  If you scroll down a few to MQ, you will see what I a referring to.
Should have said English as a FIRST language. LOL
So, English is a second language..LOL!
How can someone get a job doing this kind of work without knowing English?  Just amazes me!
AT&T language line

Hospitals can set up an account with the AT&T language line.  You call the number, give your account code and tell them what language you need.  They have tons to choose from and they are available in real time.  You have to use a speaker phone so the patient, translator and care provider can all hear each other.  Some 911 dispatch centers use it too. 

Sometimes the default language gets (sm)
changed on a document when I am typing and I have to go back in and reset it to English. I notice this when my autocorrect entries do not work and I know that I have them in the file. It only happens every once in a while and I have to "select all" and then change the language back to English. Hope this helps in the future.
LOL We have no'national' language!
and if you don't believe me, visit Miami sometime, one of the largest cities in the U.S.
National Language

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt

Wow...so know we have to learn your language as well.
If you think that's 'foul' language, you don't
Get over it.
Very difficult with a long learning curve.
You must have adequate resources, books, protocol lists including research drugs. It's doable but not if you expect to learn it in a week.