Medical Transcription – Dealing With Difficult dictator


Now and then we have a day that is just moving along great. The dictation we get is easy, dictator speaks clearly and at a nice steady pace, and we are truly “in the zone.” We begin to feel very good about our day and how it is going. Surely the day will be a day that you have an awesome line count and are very productive. And then,


Enter the difficult dictation! You know the one. Your doctor speaks 110 miles per hour, slurs words, it is difficult to make any sense of it. Or maybe it’s a dictator with an accent, and one you can never leave. We continue, however, because it is what we do. When you get to the end of the report, you go back to review. Maybe it’s not as bad as you thought. You still have 15 blanks. So much for being in the zone, right?

these difficult dictation can turn our whole day around, but only if we let it. Much better is to make up your mind to master the difficult ones. I had a doctor once years ago that was pretty hard. He came from Pakistan and his accent was only one thing I could not get. I had all but given up until I realized that I had literally convinced me that I would never be able to do it. When I focus on mastering it, it came easier, though he was always a bit of a challenge.

Each MT needs to develop a system that works for them with difficult dictator. Maybe you go through the entire report and leave blanks where you’re stuck, return to relisten the end. Maybe you set a rule about how long you have to try to get something before you send it to QA for help. There is no right or wrong answer here, everyone has their own system. What is important is to find a system that works for you and use it to make things easier.

The important thing is that you keep trying! In the end, you can learn like the dictation just as you did the simple ones when you first started out. Thomas Fuller was quoted as saying, “All things are difficult before they are easy.” This is no different!

What tips can you share with others on how you handle difficult dictation? What have you found that works really well?


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