MT Medical Transcription
using a Steno Machine

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by Karel Apgar-Rivera (

In the field of medical transcription, a newer, faster means of transcribing is emerging. This new method involves using a steno machine which is directly connected to a computer using realtime capabilities.

This is what is used for Closed Captioning. It is a means of transcribing what is typed on the steno machine and translating it instantly into English on the computer screen. Yes, even those horribly long medical terms and Latin terminology are easy to work with using this system. In fact, just about anything you can imagine can be translated as long as it is contained in the program's dictionaries.

The program used is called RapidText. It works with WordPerfect 5.1, using a theory dictionary called StenEd, a Stedman's Medical dictionary, and your own personal dictionary if necessary. This program enables drawing on as much information as possible for instant translation. It also allows adding to any of your dictionaries as you go along. Therefore, once a word is entered in the dictionary, you never again have to worry again about how it is spelled. Many words and phrases are done in one stroke enabling the operator to type at a much faster rate than can be obtained on a regular typewriter or on a computer keyboard.

The medical transcription program at SACRI (San Antonio Court Reporting Institute) is a intense, 15-month-long curriculum and consists of the following courses:

All internships are supervised, usually by a CMT, and they encompass as many facets of medical transcription as possible.

If anyone is interested in learning this new method of transcription, check out your local court reporting schools. If you live in San Antonio or the surrounding areas, please give SACRI a call at 210-366-0144.

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