How to Transcribe: An Initial Primer



In order to transcribe properly you will need to be aware that you need to coordinate the use of your eyes, ears, fingers and foot (if you are using a foot pedal). You may already be quite accomplished as a typist and that will certainly give you an advantage over those individuals who will need to practice their keyboarding skills first.

The beginning typing speed should at least be 45 words per minute before transcribing is event attempted. That speed is based on typing from copy.

The individual who has never transcribed before will find the process somewhat slow at first with some initial starting and stopping.

The following is an exercise you may like to try in order to assist you in becoming a better transcriptionist:

First cross both your arms across your chest in a comfortable fashion. The next thing to do is to cross your arms in order that the arm that was not uppermost when you initially crossed your arms is now uppermost. This portion of the exercise will prove quite awkward for some individuals.

The same holds true with the keyboard. Although the keyboard is the same keyboard you use when typing copy, the way you are now interacting with the keyboard is now different—the difference being your ability to coordinate your eyes, ears, fingers and the use of your foot (if using a foot pedal) or hand control.

Do not try to type fast when you initially begin your transcription. You first must strive to be accurate. The speed will come later. You must strive for accuracy as far as medical terms, grammar, punctuation and the general format of the documentation. Take time to master all of these essential areas in transcribing your dictation.

Initially, again go for accuracy by transcribing each dictation carefully, stopping as often as necessary to look up words that are unfamiliar to you. Once you are familiar with the words and stopping isn’t necessary you may concentrate on increasing your speed. This initial searching of unfamiliar words and terms is time well spent. Increasing your knowledge of medical terms will only enhance your skill set and thus your marketability.

Proceed in your new endeavor in a deliberate and thoughtful fashion, taking every opportunity to learn and memorize any new medical related term or material. Most important, anticipate progress by doing so. Speed will come as you gain knowledge and experience. One day you will be transcribing reports with confidence in an accurate and expedient manner.

Also, remember students who are serious about their education are the individuals who attain jobs before other students. Students who are not serious about their education and try to rush through the educational process just to get through their requirements will suffer when it comes to seeking employment. Most potential employers will test students, particularly with the knowledge of medical terms being so essential. If you as a prospective job candidate fail to pass their initial level tests with the proficiency and accuracy they expect, you simply will not be hired for any open positions in the area of medical transcription.

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