Wednesday, May 26, 2010

my job description

You might be a medical transcriptionist if/when:

The last book you read on vacation was a diagnostic guide to
tendon injuries.

Someone yells duck and you start "air typing" d-u-c-t.

You start correcting people's grammar mistakes in a chat room
dedicated to discussing movies and TV shows.

You know your gluteus maximus from your olecranon process.

Your favorite 3 words are "end of dictation."

You refer to making your holiday turkey as prepping and
draping in the usual sterile fashion.

You guess the outcome of CSI in the first 5 minutes of the
show after hearing the (not-so-mysterious) mysterious cause of

You can't go into a doctor's office without asking the
receptionist "Who does your medical transcription?" or
commenting to your own doctor that you think he's a bad
dictator, and you feel sorry for the MT working for him.

Your doctor tells you that you have a problem with your back
but doesn't want to confuse you with the details, and you ask
him -- "Were sagittal and coronal T1-weighted images performed
and T2- and proton density-weighted images also obtained?"

You think percussion is something that belongs more in a
medical report than in a rock band.

You say to your honey, "Skip the flowers and chocolate for my
birthday, and get me the latest version of Stedman's Medical

You offer your landscaper 7 cents per line of grass for mowing
your lawn.

You press the left pedal in your car and you're surprised when
the car doesn't go into reverse.

Your neighbor comes to you to make a diagnosis based on a
series of symptoms and advise them on whether to have surgery
or not.

You can fix stuck keys on your computer keyboard by turning it
upside down and banging out the crumbs.

You have a Mr. Coffee within arm's reach of your desk.

The first place your husband and children look for you is at your
desk rather than in the kitchen.

Your husband and children wave their hand between your face
and the computer screen to get your attention.

You can fold laundry while sitting at your desk and listening
to the latest dictator who speaks 5 words in 60 seconds... and
still changes his mind 4 times on exactly how to put it.

You step on people's left feet to get them to repeat what they
just said.

You have a bladder capacity of more than a quart.

You have a bookshelf by your desk in which no two books are
the same color.

Your wrist rest has food spots on it.

No one who doesn't know how to touch type can use your
computer keyboard because at least half the keys have the
letters worn off.

Your friends have to learn your macro names in order to read
your emails to them.

Your husband and children have to learn your macro names in
order to read the notes you write them.

You are the only one in your family who can understand the
clerks at the 7-11.

You find watching only one TV screen at a time boring.

You correct the pharmacist's spelling.

It aggravates you that the keys on the telephone keypad are in
a different order than the keys on the 10-key pad on your
computer keyboard.

You have a mini refrigerator sitting next to your computer

More than half the icons on your desktop have to do with drugs
or dictionaries.

There are more coffee cups in your office than there are in
the kitchen.

You have your Mr. Coffee plugged in to your UPS (battery

Your friends want you to go to their doctor appointments with
them so you can act as an interpreter.

You go to the doctor with your spouse who tells the
doctor, "She's a medical transcriptionist, so I'll let her tell
you what's wrong with me." To this, the doctor
replies, "OK...would you prefer to tell me, or do you want to
type it?"

You flip back and forth between work and newsgroups.

You watch television commercials for prescription drugs very
closely to see what the generic form is and how both are

You get an invitation to something that specifies "work
attire" and you wonder if that means fluffy slippers, flip
flops - or if it would be okay to show up barefoot.

You go to start the car to go to the grocery store and find
the battery is dead. You don't know how long it's been dead.


Joann said...

I type about a hundred words per min. and can type what I'm thinking about as fast as I think it. My pet peeve is that the keyboard manufacturers are often making the little nob on the homerow smaller and smaller. The result is that after I use the keyboard for a year, I often find I've worn the dang thing down to nothing and can't "feel" the homerow as easiy anymore.

Over the decades I have had jobs as:
Keypunch operator (55,000 key strokes per hour is how they measured your "proficiency")
Teletype operator (Where I learned to type the numbers up at the top at the same speed and accuracy as the alpha keys.)
Secretary, Office Manager, and yes, Environmental Chemistry Editor, Technical Writer.

I can turn your brochure about Electrictomagnetic Pulses and Command and Control concerns, into PR announcments that the average engineer can peruse without it being necessary for them to work in that field.

I have edited two 50+ page articles for the Journal of Geophysical Sciences on the topics of atmospheric chemistry and 03 -- Ozone (no subscripts available in this venue). My triumph is that the two articles were published without the first edit. No one edit in a reviewed set of articles. (In this job I had so many macro's on the computer it was incredible! All of them chemistry-oriented.)

I've edited articles in the mental health field. And the APA Style Manual used to be in my car so that it was wherever I was for easy reference.

I typed dissertations and theses before there were computers!

I SO identify with many of the Susan-isms you've just posted! I learned to type on a MANUAL typewriter. My classroom had two electric typewriters to practice on. You got a day or two at them. When I got one of the first Word Processors, I was handed a manual and told to figure it out. I had a week to learn how to use it!

I feel like electronically I've come from the horse and buggy era to the space-age. Who even knows what teletype tapes look like now? What's the difference between an 80 column key punch card and a 92 column card? What about key-to-tape? I am an anachronism.

Now I'm a teacher who types fast and has to work with Special Education legalese. Shrug. We evolve. Ultimately the idea is to keep working and making a paycheck. But dang if my Mom wasn't right when she made me take two years of typing in high school, despite the fact I was on a college track!

Love your list.

Kermit said...

And I thought my "hunt and peck" was good. Guess I am a model "T"

dot said...

I decided I was tired of nursing some years ago and I was going to take up transcription. I did good with all the classes until I got to the actual transcription and then I decided I'd better stick with being an LPN. My foot got too tired and I couldn't understand what they were saying. To be honest I wasn't that good with the typing either. lol

colleen said...

Ha ha"! This is so over my head!

Kerri said...

You MTs have lots of idiosyncrasies :)
Thanks for the chuckles.