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Title: The spirit of medical transcription

Medical transcriptionists are very special people. We are workers, who sign our initials on each
finished product. We are the craftspersons of the modern age. We are practitioners of communication.
We are the magicians of medical terminology, the masters of grammar and punctuation and our
expertise flows to related areas such as pharmacology and sophisticated new instruments from the
outlaying room.
We are under acute supervision as a member of the healthcare team. We break the sound barrier every
day. We are the trained ears, who create sense out of many diverse accents and sometimes, plain
nonsense. We have a surgical position of our own, a knife-like wit at times, and our own scalpel-sharp
intelligence. We have that attention to detail, that scintillating compulsion to look things up whether
your patient is a neurologist or urologist, we look it up in the patients chart what is the patients
middle initial, proper name, zip code, area code. There are crazy days, when every second word is a
spelling nightmare like vis--vis, etc. Hand in the dictionary please. Every day is like a treasure hunt
in an ocean of words. Education, books, words - we want to know everything. We also have
sensitivity, humor, a sense of responsibility and ethics, and most importantly, we have excellence. We
are professionals serving the healthcare consumer the patient.
Medical transcriptionists know more about patients than anyone else, except in the position. We wade
through gallons of urine analyses and rivers of blood samples and we know the chemical states of
patients as well as the most intimate details of their social history. Marching across our view each day,
our life and death, struggle with these, social problems, and sometimes, thank goodness, human
comedy. When we transcribe a birth record, we breathe a silent welcome on board to the new
arrival. When a history summary becomes a death summary, we become sad, no matter how old the
patient. We have heard it all and transcribed it all the blood, the pain, the surprising recovery, the
agonizing losses, the inexplicable reversal, the courage, the toughness, the incredible human bodys
ability to take punishment from the blood test to the burial enema, from chemotherapy to colostomy,
we see the whole picture from the incomprehensible patient name to patients from strange sounding
places to the zero political smudges on the map we were never going to stop until recently.
Why do we care? Why this magnificent mania for learning an excellence? One reason is the sympathy
for the sick, for the elderly, for the patients, who cannot speak English, for everyone, who put on too
often and too long, and cannot listen to any music, for anyone disconnected fully or for those who are
intimidated of the medical system, for everyone, who relies on us to accurately record and preserve
the medical record for everyone, for every patient.
One of the hallmarks of the medical transcriptionists is our willingness to share like the great cooks
of the world, who share their recipes, we try to help the newcomer and the student and each other with
the tricks of the trade. Whenever medical transcriptionists get together, we talk about our work, we
often mention that rhythm that talks about great Express Scribe, equipment without broken pedal, and
headsets without snaps and crackles. Those times, when you know every word you hear, in a reference
sort, you went along with no mistakes, getting that upbeat feeling, that rhythm. We do not break them,
but we take them.