Friday, September 7, 2007

How To Dictate Tables

Tables are a superb way of presenting important information in a clear, concise format which is easy to read and understand. Dictating tables, however, is not so easily accomplished. If you wish to include tables in your dictation make sure you have done the following:

Meet with the people who will be transcribing your work and give them samples of the tables you want to include in the reports you dictate. Make sure each table is properly titled and has the proper text in its header row. Make sure the transcriptionists have a sample of each and every table you will want to use so they can store it as a piece of boilerplate text which can be inserted into a document. That way, whenever you tell the transcriptionist to insert the table for a "right leg" or "left arm," a standard format will appear in the document being generated.

Once you have developed the series of tables you plan to use, do not spring any surprises on the transcriptionist. One of the most frustrating experiences is listening to a doctor rattle off a table that he can clearly see in front of him but which the transcriptionist has no way of visualizing. This forces the transcriptionist to expend a great deal of unnecessary time and effort creating the table that he thinks matches the doctor's model. He must then try to place all the information in the proper cells.

When you are ready to dictate the contents of the table, dictate each cell, one row at a time, going from top to bottom and from left to right. Use the following table as an example:


To dictate the contents of this table you would say:
"Arm. Right. Twenty-six point five inches. Left. Twenty-six point three inches. Forearm. Right. Nine point two inches. Left. Nine point one inches. Wrist. Right. Six point two inches. Left. Six point one inches. Hand. Right. Four point one inches. Left. Four point one inches."

Next: Insert A Colon

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