Monday, September 10, 2007

Consciousness Raising Exercise #5

Dictating and transcribing reports requires a certain amount of team effort. The better you become at delivering information over the phone in a smooth and succinct manner, the easier it will be for someone else to transcribe your work.
If one party's contribution to the dictation/transcription process is sloppy, erratic, or unreliable, it means that the other party loses time compensating for the weaker partner's mistakes. The physician who employs good breath control, clear diction, and delivers fully-formed, grammatically-correct sentences that can be easily understood makes a transcriptionist's work much easier.
Unfortunately, many physicians do the exact opposite. The "motormouth," "ants-in-his-pants," or "Joe Isuzu" type of dictator -- who tries to cram as many words as possible into one breath -- rarely ends his sentences at a logical breathing point.

To see how this works, try the following exercise:

  • Suck in a deep breath and hold it tight for 30 seconds.

  • Try reading this page out loud as quickly as possible.

  • When you feel as if you no longer have any air left in your lungs, stop speaking regardless of your position in the text.

  • Mark the spot where you stopped speaking.
  • Repeat this exercise 10 times.

    • How often did you run out of breath at the same point in the written text?

    • Do you think this kind of variance could be confusing to someone who thought you were ending a sentence?

    • How might your dictation improve if you spoke at a slower pace with better breath support?

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