Thursday, September 6, 2007

Process Is Everything

To fully comprehend the intimate teamwork required from dictating physicians and medical transcriptionists, think about how equilibrium is maintained by your own body systems:

  • The average person does not give much thought to the respiratory process unless that person starts to cough, gasp, wheeze, choke, or suffocate.

  • The average person does not give much thought to the digestive process unless that person becomes hungry, bilious, nauseated, starts to vomit, or must relieve himself of urinary or fecal waste.

As a doctor, you need to understand the respiratory process: how oxygen passes through the bloodstream, how it is used to burn fuel, and how it exits the body in the form of carbon dioxide. You must also develop an understanding of factors that can have a strong impact on the respiratory process: smoking, inhalation of asbestos or sulphur fumes, second-hand smoke, etc. You must understand how decreased levels of oxygen saturation can lead to hypoxemia and be aware of the medical conditions that can result from a patient's inability to properly process the oxygen he inhales.

As a doctor, you must understand the digestive process: how food is ingested, how it is converted to energy, and how wastes are eliminated from the body. You must be able to distinguish between a highly-spiced diet, a 1200-calorie American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet, and a "clear to bland liquid diet." You must understand which foods a patient can easily tolerate, which foods can have adverse effects on the digestive system, why certain foods cause allergic reactions, and how to relieve the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

As a doctor, you must also understand the process of how information is transmitted from one person to another -- with particular regard to the process of dictation and transcription. You must especially understand the factors which impede or enhance the rate and quality of transcription since you will be contributing to and responsible for the final product.

The responsibility for delivering top-quality dictation is yours and yours alone. Simply stated, if people who are medical language specialists cannot understand your spoken communications, then as a healthcare provider, you have failed to communicate.

[Consciousness Raising Exercise #35]

Next: In One End And Out The Other

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