MTs are arriving everyday on the Internet as they have been for over a decade now, discovering pages and pages of information and a network of thousands of MTs who function like neighbors and working friends. Questions on word boards and elsewhere get answers within minutes. There is a variety of opinions expressed from MTs with different experiences in different places. Important issues are discussed, practical details shared, and new solutions discovered.
Our whole world is in a transition; many of us feel conflicted by our fears and the obvious new opportunitites afforded to us by the web. The misinformation, diverse opinions, lack of structure and authority, the addictive and hostile use of the Internet, the anonymity, the fragmented nature of sightless and soundless communication, the international dimension, and the overwhelming overload of information can be confusing and frightening.
The Internet is constantly changing, keeping us all feeling like newcomers to this new culture we are creating. Those who are committed to this way of communicating and learning continue to learn how we can best use it for good purposes. We are rich with reference books and Websites, but the best way to get some questions answered is to go on-line and ask. Some things are learned best through interaction with many peers. Here's some perspective from a new arrival this week, reprinted with permission from her Email:
"Today, as I read questions by newbies and the New MT board, it was the first chance I have ever had to realize how far I have come! I have always been the newbie in the department. Only once did I find someone with less experience than I had, though I often was the one people would turn to with questions or to listen to a word. I have worked so hard these last 5-1/2 years. In fact, I've given my entire life over to this career. Yet, despite some wonderful letters of reference, I still felt so green because of my lack of operative note expertise. I will not even feel like a real transcriptionist until I am fluent with surgical reports.
I was just reading newbie questions on the boards and I suddenly realized, 'I can answer most of these right away!' I really CAN do it. Suddenly, I wished I could go right to work today. All this work has not been for nothing. Every job has added to my experience and expertise. I love being a medical transcriptionist!" (I just got another Email from this new friend telling me she was just offered a job!)
1. One free Smartype and Addon to the first person who writes me email after seeing this note, who has not used Smartype, and uses WP51 for MT work.
2. We're watching for long-distance rates to fall again soon:
3. Cordless headphones:
4. Dictaphone headset adaptors:
5. Company policies on skipping hard dictation:
6. Pet peeves about dictation:
1. Lab tests: http://www.ariess.com/s-crina/tests-menu.htm
2. Practical ideas for children's ear infections:
3. Vanka's MT links in big print:
4. Orthopedic news with new terms:
5. Picture of a Robodoc and CyberKnife:
6. Uprima (apomorphine) trial drug for impotence:
7. Pletal (cilostazol) for claudication:
8. Panretin gel (alitretinoin) topical for Kaposi's sarcoma:
9. Investigational drug: innohep(R) (tinzaparin sodium) prevents DVT:
Happy Fourth of July! Thanks to Joe Weber of Narratek/Smartype for sponsoring the newsletter this week. Smartype speedtyping software is the leading transcription productivity enhancer for WordPerfect 5.1. Saves 70% of email@example.com (, http://www.narratek.com, 617-566-1066). Thanks to all for letting others know about the newsletter. Circulation 3,325. -Mary Morken, firstname.lastname@example.org, 435-615-7158.
These days, vicarious fulfillment is as suspect as co-dependency. The social norm is to be known by our own achievements and not those of family, friends, or bosses. We are taught to be independent with our boundaries intact. Of course, we do enjoy the shared multimedia cathartic experience of movies and watching a game is called a spectator sport! We forget ourselves and live vicarously for a few hours. Then it's back to the reality of our own individual lives.
As medical transcriptionists, we are in a support role in a large interdependent healthcare treatment team. We are scribes for the decision makers who give direct patient care, but the highest pay and status of the physicians we serve does not seem to have much coattail-riding effect. Perhaps we should allow some carryover from our movie mindset and identify with the dictators we serve, sharing in their fulfillment as they bring healing to people.
But it may be that dramatic events in genetic research will soon bring a tide lift for all healthcare workers. It is being reported that genetic researchers are on the brink of cures for major diseases and keys to much longer life. What if tomorrow's headlines read: "Cure for Diabetes Now Available" or "Stem Cell Discoveries Expand Life Expectancy by 50 years"? Imagine the changes that might accompany such breakthroughs! I think health care would suddenly have new power and promise; investment would be invigorated; everyone related to the medical field would be a part of a new team of miraculous lifegivers to the world.
Some are expecting that this will be as significant as the harnessing of nuclear power was 50 years ago, with the same increased importance to researchers and the work of healthcare as there was for the work of nuclear physicists, along with new ethical questions with political implications. This could bring new motivation to create better ways to deliver health care and new incentive to improve the process of text production for medical records. We could be surprised by a new "honor by association" with new cures and longer life; this could be our passport to the new millenium, but we will have to wait and see, manning our lifeboats in the meantime, helping new MTs to get launched, and transcribing with excellence. Let's keep our eyes on the horizon for our ship to come in!
(see http://www.nextwavestocks.com/biowave699.html and http://www.forbes.com/asap/current
"Snipr" (see http://www.mtdaily.com/wwwboard/messages10/7937.html was born in New Jersey in 1966. He has three children, two dogs, and about 150 fish. He wrote: "This week I was 'explosively' woken from sleep by my 4-year-old son, "Daddy, I found another bird!" I now have a baby Cardinal which requires q.15m. feedings via a syringe.
I grew up around cardiology as my mother was a nurse in a cardiology office. I always wanted to become a physician; however, due to a lack of funds and time, and no desire to spend 12+ years in school, I joined the USMC after turning down a football scholarship to Penn State (brilliant huh?). While in the Marine Corps, I was sent to the Presideo of Monterey for language school in Arabic, Syrian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Iraqi, and Saudi. Two years later after graduating, I was sent to a classified base to learn the real job, which was, of course, the transcribing of Arabic into English.
After a divorce, I decided to get back into medicine. I worked as an orderly in a nursing home, (geriatric and coma units), physical therapy aide, orderly on a CVA floor, house orderly for one of the HCA hospitals, monitor technician in a CCU, and then finally for a transcription service. I then went to work for a cardiology office as a transcriptionist where I was taught how to read Holter monitors by the physician who helped to invent the AICD, Dr. Huang-Ta Lin; helped with patients for one of the physicians who was the first in the U.S. to perform an angioplasty, Dr. Peter A. Rossi; and had various other duties. Not satisfied with the cash flow, I decided to go at the transcription business on my own eight years ago.
My transcription company primarily deals with cardiology, gastroenterology, and some internal medicine. My wife does the IM. (Yeah, I taught her as well). We work in our home with a few transcriptionists at remote locations. My biggest plug to physicians are that my turn-around time is 24 hours, period. I KNOW cardiology and gastroenterology, and, of course, they have free access to my wit! We are planning to move to Asheville, North Carolina next summer, taking all of our current accounts with us to the new 'God's Country.'
Well, I am only on my first cup of coffee and have at least 4,000 lines awaiting. Have a wonderful day!"
1. One free Smartype Speedtyping Program and Abbreviation Add-on is waiting for the first person who writes me email (email@example.com Friday night after seeing this note, who uses WP5.1 for MT work.
2. Also $30 off the $195 price of Smartype with $15 off the $50 price of the Add-on to subscribers who email Joe Weber before Saturday night, July 10. (firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.narratek.com"> Also see http://www.mtdaily.com/mt1/abbvs2.html and free document list of the add-on abbreviations at http://www.mtdaily.com/abbvs.txt
2. New Diabetes support board: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/disupport
3. New Fibrocystic Disease support board:
4. New private board for At-Home Professions students: Write email for information.
5. Cell phone security:
6. American MTs competing with mentoring:
7. Links to pictures of several MTs:
8. PlanetRX offering three free products (and online prescriptions):
9. Watch for MTauction to open this week!
10. Watch http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/computers for info about online computer courses available on another website.
1. Skin disease gene discovered:
2. DuraGen for dural closure:
3. zanamivir to prevent A and B flu:
4. Dr. Koop recommends insurance companies, gives comparison of 80 companies http://www.drkoop.com/hcr/insurance/programs
5. Low-dose CT scan for earlier detection:
6. Focal Seal surgical sealant: http://www.focalinc.com/pr060999.html
7. Women know more about men's than women's health risks:
8. Protecting newborns from pain: http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/10f202.htm
9. More deaths in the first week of the month:
10. Who owns the human body? God, the person, or society?
11. We are still smarter than computers:
Thanks to JLG Medical Transcription Services of Tampa, Florida, for sponsoring this newsletter. JLG is very pro-MT, offering top pay and a streamlined system that allows MTs to maximize their production. (Giselle Gay, http://www.jlgmedicaltrans.com href="mailto:email@example.com">,firstname.lastname@example.org ( 800-455-0580.) Thanks to all for letting others know about the newsletter. Circulation 3,383. -Mary Morken, email@example.com 435-615-7158.
Lela is a blind MT. I asked her how she did her work: "The only thing I have different is a Braille display that allows me to read 80 characters at a time. It is on a flat console that sits under the keyboard and the only thing I pay attention to is the line that is displayed at the bottom. In other words, I can put the computer keyboard on top if it, and I read the line I'm on which is below the spacebar on the computer keyboard. I have what's called an Optacon also so I can read the print PDR. This device has a camera attached to a machine about the size of a table model cassette recorder. When I run the camera across a line, it draws each letter across my finger, so I am feeling the print.
I don't know how many lines I do an hour because I goof around a lot in a day. I get about 600 at least done per day depending on the doctor. I typed about 8 years in the 70s and 80s using a correcting Selectric and later a primitive word processor. I had to use the Optacon to read the page and later had a special lens to read the CRT screen. It's a lot better now."
(For more info on special computer equipment, see http://dis-abilities.com/comput3.htm Also firstname.lastname@example.org is selling some Sanyo TRC9010s transcribers with hand switch instead of foot pedal.)
1. Free MT Auction open: http://www.mtdaily.com/cgibin/auction.cgi
2. New Board for Alcohol-Related Issues:
3. New Humor Board: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/humor
4. Free Daily Click Donations for World Hunger: Link at top of http://www.mtdaily.com/vent
5. 24-hour Smartype Discount: $30 discount off $195 price of Smartype for WP5.1 and $15 discount off the $50 Add-on of 13,000 Medical Abbreviations. Order at http://www.narratek.com , or email email@example.com , fax 617-566-2500, or call 617-566-1066. Mention the MT Daily Rounds Newsletter Discount. Offer ends Saturday night.
6. New Navigation Page, "Ask Mary" (Links to Boards) will speed up Main Board: http://www.mtdaily.com/askmary/askmary.html
7. New Search Page for Faster Boards:
8. Music While you Work? http://www.mtdaily.com/vent/messages3/6423.html
9. Frustrated with Web Ads?
10. Need to Update your Browser?
11. Jan's Online MTs' Cookbook:
1. New combined vaccine, HepB-IVP:
2. AZT and nevirapine saving infants from HIV:
3. New tick-borne disease, Ehrlichia Ewingii:
4. Alcoholism gene raises questions:
5. Actos (pioglitazone) approved for diabetes:
6. One side of brain successfully removed for seizures (Dr. Benjamin
Carson of JHH):
7. Anatomy Website: http://www.kumc.edu/AMA-MSS/study/anatomy_frames.htm
8. Dollar Stretcher Website with Free Newsletter:
9. Free Keyboarding Speed and Accuracy Test: http://www.opac.com
10. Johns Hopkins Free E-mail Newsletter:
Thanks to JLG Medical Transcription Services of Tampa, Florida, for sponsoring this newsletter. JLG is very pro-MT, offering top pay and a streamlined system that allows MTs to maximize their production. (Giselle Gay, http://www.jlgmedicaltrans.com firstname.lastname@example.org 800-455-0580.) Thanks to all for letting others know about the newsletter. Circulation 3,406. -Mary Morken, email@example.com, 435-615-7158.
I am a very new MT and I appreciate your message boards. They are a great help in time of need and also a neat way to get to meet other MTs and to not feel quite so alone in this solitary job.
I have homeschooled my children for the past 13 years but before that I was an OR technician at the Medical College of Virginia. I have always loved the medical field but once married felt that my main focus should be my children. We were blessed to have been able to provide a home and care for three different family members also during that time. My grandmother and my husband's grandmother both lived with us right up until their deaths at a ripe old age and of natural causes. We also cared for my husband's 39-year-old sister who was dying of cancer. A year ago I got a job as a pharmacy technician and really enjoyed the job, except for the fact that it took me away from home for 10 hours a week. Now I look back and see God working by letting me get more experience so that I would be better prepared to be an MT.
I enrolled in a correspondence course and flew through it. A friend sent me a listing of places to which she had applied for MT jobs and I just picked a name and number. I believe the Lord truly led me to the lady I am working for who was willing to give me a chance to get experience. She is a retired medical records director who started this business as a retirement job. She is also starting a school for MTs in the fall. She is so patient with me and not pushing me for quantity, but encouraging me to be accurate first and foremost.
I look on this phase of my career as a learning experience. I love doing hospital work because I like the variety, but out of my meager pay I have to rent a VTI for $60 a month and pay a whopper of a phone bill each month since the hospital does not have an 800 number for me to use. Right now I am bearly breaking even. It's almost like me paying them to let me learn. I do know how fortunate I am though to get a break into the business.
This field is helping some mothers to come back home. One of my children is done with school now; he graduated last January from our home school. My daughter is a very self-motivated 5th grader. She loves the fact that I will be home all the time now. I would not encourage anyone with very small children at home to attempt this job unless they had very good help. I can't imagine trying to listen to hard to hear and understand docs with a toddler crying and needing my attention. I applaud the efforts of those who can do it.
1. New WP5.1 Users' Board: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/wp51
2. New Empty Nest Board: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/mtnest
3. New Drug Word Board: http://www.mtdaily.com/mentors/drugs
4. U.S. Vs India in Global Market:
5. Avant Stellar Keyboard:
6. Magnetic Tape Erasers:
7. MT Auction has 31 items: http://www.mtdaily.com/cgibin/auction.html
8. Looking for more MT Business Consultants for FAQ:
9. Competing with Innovation and Collaboration:
10. New separate search for the Email directory of MTs:
$30 discount off $195 price of Smartype for WP5.1, and $15 discount off the $50 Add-on of 13,000 Medical Abbreviations. Order at http://www.smartype.com (type "MT Daily Rounds" at the end of your address), email firstname.lastname@example.org fax 617-566-2500, or call 617-566-1066. Mention the MT Daily Rounds Newsletter Discount. Offer ends Saturday at 11:59 PM.
1. How many kinds of cancer? Gene mutation causes being explored:
2. New drug, BP 897, may reduce cocaine craving:
3. New pain-sensitivity mu receptor gene:
4. Follistatin, polcystic ovary gene:
5. Xenotransplantation and gene targeting news:
6. Zaditor for itching eyes: http://www.centerwatch.com/drugs/dru568.htm
7. Vestra being tested, new kind of antidepressant, selective
norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI):
8. Different brain structure in the autistic:
9. New cancer drug anti-VEGF:
10. Velosulin for insulin pumps: http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/115ada.htm
1. Medical Privacy Issues, State Laws:
2. Prepaid LD Phone 3.9c/min: http://www.bigzoo.com
3. Transcend's Quarterly Report:
4. MedQuist's Quarterly Report:
5. Free FDC Newsletter Samples: http://www.fdcreports.com/index.shtml
6. Buy one get one free vitamin C:
7. The faith-health connection:
8. AHIMA News: http://www2.ahima.org/inthenews/index.html
Thanks to JLG Medical Transcription Services of Tampa, Florida, for sponsoring this newsletter. JLG is very pro-MT, offering top pay and a streamlined system that allows MTs to maximize their production. (Giselle Gay, http://www.jlgmedicaltrans.com email@example.com 800-455-0580.) Thanks to all for letting others know about the newsletter. Circulation 3,406. -Mary Morken, firstname.lastname@example.org 435-615-7158.
I come to MT Daily everyday. I have lots of opinions but rarely post. I have been in this business for 29-1/2 years. I started when we were still using white-out and carbon paper, first in a hospital setting to get experience, then years and years with Medical Records Corporation, and two other nationals since then. I am presently at a national company where I do get benefits. In these 29-1/2 years, I have seen my line rate go up 3 cents to 8.5. My husband has been at his same company for that length of time and his pay has gone up considerably more.
I have all kinds of experience with nationals; I think there is not a whole lot of difference in any of them. Each one has something that doesn't set well with the people who work for them. We all just have to find the one that's right for us.
After all these years, I have formed a lot of opinions about this business. All the things said here have been said for the near-30 years I've been doing this. The technology gets faster and faster but everything else stays the same; heated discussions regarding money, time, amount of lines produced in a day, $100,000 salaries, bashing, line rates, troubles with newbies, etc. It's all been discussed the same way for 30 years. The only thing that really gets my hair up is what prompted me to write this today: Line production and rates that are paid.
In this field, experience does not pay, quantity pays. At the peak of my career, I was typing 2800-3000 lines per day after many years of transcribing on acute care hospital dictation. Now these hands are older and getting that number is no longer physically possible. So I am relegated to the lower rate for lower production. With all my experience and the fact that my spellchecker almost never lands on a word, my wages have gone down. I watch a transcriptionist come on board with 10-12 years less experience and get a higher line rate than I do because she can produce more lines than I am able to now. If she got the same rate I do, she would still be making more money than me because she produces more. Why should she be paid a higher rate for her lines? I have not yet been able to see where experience has been rewarded in this business. We older ones see our pay decrease by the simple fact that we do just that, get old.
I do mentor younger MTs; they have my number and call often. I am glad to do it even though it cuts into my production and they are being paid more per line. But I am dogged about getting this point across to the powers that be before I go, hoping that at some point in time they come to the realization that a change MUST take place in how they look at their people with experience. They continue to use them, to count on them, to make them the mentors and proofreaders. They benefit from all the experience and give nothing in return. The unfairness of that MUST be drilled home until it is addressed in a proper way. I probably will not see it in my career lifetime; hopefully, one day that proverbial light bulb will go off and they will finally get it.
(Thanks to Marcie for permission to reprint with her name and email. MTs with 25-30+ years of experience find each other at http://www.mtdaily.com/mtbyage/50s and /60s.)
1. MT Auction has 27 items: http://www.mtdaily.com/cgibin/auction.cgi
2. New Outsourcing Center: http://www.mtdaily.com/outsource
3. Private message board for MT students studying on their own without a correspondence course, or new and learning on-the-job. Write me for information.
4. Capitalizing meds:
5. Healthscribe improved pay plan:
http://www.mtdaily.com/mtbycompany/messages/3106.html and http://www.mtdaily.com/mtbycompany/messages/3687.html
6. MT Jobs has 848 resumes: http://www.mtjobs.com
7. Three MT consultants, need more: http://www.mtdaily.com/faq.html
8. Helping an MT mom with school clothes:
9. Common typos: http://www.mtdaily.com/vent/messages3/7288.html
10. Uses for Coca-Cola:
11. Adoption reunions, several threads:
12. Helping children sleep:
1. Plan B, levonorgestrel "emergency" contraceptive:
2. UltraEdge keratome blade:
3. Automated Cellular Imaging System, ACIS, for improved tumor detection:
4. Costasis liquid hemostat:
5. Experiment proves the obvious about children and sweets:
6. First lab creation of cancer cells:
7. Stem cells grow nerves, potential for Parkinson's and MS:
8. Newborn DNA for identification safety:
9. Life expectancy now 76.1 years:
10. Contaminated sutures: http://examiner.com/990221/0221sutures.shtml
11. ALS-related copper-transporting protein discovered:
12. A Cursing Brain, new book on Tourette syndrome:
13. Fast simple search engine: http://www.debriefing.com
14. Serving size quiz:
15. New Republic article for 8/2 on Senate bill on patient rights:
16. Financial strain and gum disease:
17. New in vitro process results in more male babies:
18. Instant Text Message Board:
If you haven't gotten the three free products yet, see http://www.mtdaily.com/planetrx.html . I got vitamins and cough syrup for my grandkids! Thanks for letting others know about the newsletter. Circulation 3,515. Watch Main Board Monday for last free Smartype giveaway. -Mary Morken, email@example.com , 435-615-7158.