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Issue 10-24-03


In this week’s issue we have:

1.. Medical Transcription Networking

2. Charging by the line or the hour?

3. Lab terms

4. Actual medical notes (this week’s laugh).

5. Recipe of the Week



I know some of you have been a little nervous

about branching out on your own, and one point

that keeps coming up is that you don’t know

what to do if you get stuck trying to understand

dictation and you’re on your own.  

If you can, find a friend who does medical

transcription too.  Perhaps someone at school,

or through the home study, so you will have a

transcription buddy.  You can always play the

work over the phone to your friend and figure

out what you might be stuck on.  Until you get

more experience this is a useful way to go. 

If there is something you cannot understand,

make sure to leave a sticky note on the report

and a blank line where the word should go so it

can be filled in once the physician tells you

what it should be.

Try not to put up with sloppy dictation.  I never

have.  If the physician is really bad at dictating,

let them know it.  It does take a while to get used

to a new voice, regardless how good they dictate,

but if it looks like the account you have is not

going to change, and the dictation is awful, just

drop the account.  It’s not worth wasting your time

on.  You are providing a service and are getting paid per

line, most likely, and extra time taken up trying to

figure out bad dication is not a good thing. 

So, be polite but firm about what kind of dictation

you will do.  If you are getting a new account, see

how the first couple of tapes go, or digital dictation,

whichever method you use, and then go from there.



Several of you have written to me about rates and

charging by the hour.  Unless you absolutely have to

do NOT charge by the hour.  You will be better off

by the line.  The reason for this is people will

not want to pay you $30.00 an hour, and this is an

average hourly wage for transcriptionists at home.

It is better that most physicians do not know what

12 or 13 cents a line equates to in hours… 

Now, if you don’t use the knowledge I gave you in

the book, and you are typing each and every line

yourself, you won’t make more than about $10.00 an

hour.  So do yourself a favor, put in some unpaid

time, and set up your system so you can make the

big money.  It is worth it in the long run.



Lab terms can be confusing, so invest in a good

book when it comes to these.  I recommend anything

by Stedman’s.  It doesn’t have to be the most

up to date, so check out the online auctions, such

as Ebay.  For instance:



Gram’s stain

(Notice the upper and lower case usage. Get a book

so you don’t slip up and make a mistake.)


Actual Medical Chart Notes (Laugh for the Week).

Patient has two teenage children, but no other

Patient has chest pain if she lies on her
left side for over a year.

On the second day, the knee was better, and
then on the third day it disappeared.

The patient is tearful and crying constantly.
She also appears to be depressed.

The patient has been depressed since she began
seeing me in 1993.

Discharge status: Alive, but without my

Healthy-appearing decrepit 69-year old male,
mentally alert but forgetful.

The patient refused autopsy.

The patient has no previous history of suicides.

Patient has left white blood cells at another

Patient's medical history has been remarkably
insignificant with only a 40-pound weight gain
in the last three days.

Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia
for lunch.

Between you and me, we ought to be able to get
this lady pregnant.

She is numb from her toes down.

While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

The skin was moist and dry.

Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.

Patient was alert and unresponsive.

She stated that she had been constipated for most
of her life until she got a divorce.

Rectal examination revealed a normal-size thyroid.

I saw your patient today, who is still under our
car for physical therapy.

The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

The patient was to have a bowel resection. However,
he took a job as a stockbroker instead.

Skin: somewhat pale but present.

The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Green who
felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.

Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.

She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her
husband states she was hot in bed last night.

Patient was found in bed with her power mower.




This is my mother-in-law’s recipe

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef, browned

2 15 oz cans of Hunt’s Special Tomato Sauce

(simmer for 15 minutes)

6 lasagna noodles, cooked

12 oz mozzarella cheese

12 oz cottage cheese mixed with 2 eggs

Parmesan cheese (sprinkle on top)

Layer – Little sauce, noodles, sauce, cottage

cheese, mozzarella cheese.  Make 2 layers. 

Bake until brown and bubbly at 350 degrees for

about 30 minutes.



Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s issue.

Have a safe and happy week!



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To your success!

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