Thursday, October 5

Letter to Medical Residents

Dear brand-new Medical Resident who is just learning how to do dictation:

I proclaim myself to be a stay-at-home mom, but truth be told, I am a work-at-home mom. That is a much more difficult job than being a true full-time stay at home mom or even being a full time working-outside-the-house-at-paid-employment mom. This is for two reasons. First you feel like a full-time stay-at-home mom so you try to do everything around the house on your own "since you are here anyway." Second, since my workplace is located at home, I have to get enough uninterrupted hours to accomplish my transcription, but keep enough hours free to do all the "housey" stuff like laundry, cooking, running errands and all the stuff that I'm "available" to do. To make my job easier and your life happier, I have a few tips to help us get along a little bit better so that your chart notes get transcribed efficiently and I keep myself from pulling your hair out.

1) It is really not nice to breathe loudly into the microphone as if you are making prank telephone call. I know you are concentrating, but do it with the phone held further away from your nostrils. Also, you're not a rock star, so no need to shove it to your lips either. Give it a little space, for goodness sake.
2) I will not be typing the "Uuuuuummmms" and "aaaaaaahhh" that you include in your dictation, so leave those out. That's what the handy little PAUSE button is for. It lets you find your place without having to fill up the recording with some sort of noise that raises my blood pressure.
3) I know they have you working 'round the clock and you barely have time for lunch, but Moo Goo Gai Pan sounds about as weird as its name when you are chewing it into the microphone. Please swallow before you try to tell me about John Doe's chief complaint.
4) I am fully aware that some of you are from a different country and that your accent when pronouncing words in English will differ from mine. I'm actually pretty good at accents. I understand what you mean when you tell me the patient is going to take a "POOF" on his inhaler. I'll change it to "puff" for you. I can also figure out what is happening when you tell me the patient is "WOMITING" and I'll switch to the more recognizable "vomiting". It is inconvenient, but I will even try to remember to make the substitution when you keep calling your female patient a "HE". But really, when it comes to medications, all of you, even those with traditional English pronunciations, need to help me out. Spelling the name of the drug would be much appreciated. I do need to let you know that the letters you use to spell need to be recognizable. There really is no way that I can tell that al'kdjlkjkjlkjbkl;jdlkjalks means "Aspirin." The same goes for other doctors' names.
5) I'm really nice, and pretty smart at that. No need to say "sorry, so sorry" each and every time you make a mistake. It's gonna happen and you're making me listen to things I can't type, so it's losing me money. It's okay...I'll just forgive you without the apology on your part. So no need to repeat that Mrs. Joney-Jones' blood pressure is 132/70 for the third time. I have a rewind button (just as you do) and I'll use it if I need to hear you again.

I'm sure you'll be glad when you have a few thousand chart notes under your belt, and so will I. If you follow these few tips, we'll both be happier because I'll get my work done more quickly and you won't have to make three zillion corrections on the same patient's note filling in blanks with information that could have been said slowly and with proper diction the first time around. I'm confident you'll do fine. Trust me. We'll both survive.

6 of Your THINKS:

Anonymous said...

i hope they are paying you well!
donna s.

Thad said...

At least you don't have to worry about catching the latest "bug" from your co-workers that feel the need to come to work when they're sick. I swear, I clean my whole office down with alcohol at least once each day.

mary ellen said...

I'm sure my sister Brenda would heartily agree with this since she owns and runs a transcription business! Maybe she should copy/print and mail it to all her doctors. :-)

Anonymous said...

i could take your place for a day and give them some of their own medicine...

amyb said...

I can always count on a chuckle when I read your blogs :)

Anonymous said...

You are one Supermom! I swear you make me tired reading your blogs.