You’re an MT…….and you do what?

This week, May 18th-May 24th, is the celebration of MT (Medical Transcriptionist) week.  Well….. it’s not like it’s July 4th or Christmas or something where there’s a lot of fanfare or millions of people around the world are celebrating.  In fact, we’re just a minority group of people who sit behind a computer with headphones, a foot pedal and hands on the keyboard all used simultaneously in listening and interpreting what a physician dictates on medical_transcriptionhis/her device – though making a profound difference in establishing, completing and perfecting every patient medical record documentation – whether for a hospital location or a rural clinic.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation making this week National Medical Transcriptionist Week.  The proclamation was established to ensure accurate and concise permanent medical records and the importance of quality patient care.  (Here’s the link to President Reagan’s official proclamation):    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=38668

Here are just a few things I feel would not exist if it weren’t for us MTs:

  • Coders would not exist and could not code an accurate patient record if not for us.
  • Lives would be lost at a high level if not for MTs (It’s almost impossible for doctors, PA’s, NP’s, RN’s, fellow students, clinicians to see patients and expect great quality care, dictate and also transcribe their own report for each and every patient they see.  I don’t care how advanced technology has become with ‘point and click’ of advanced software technology with prefilled templates, speech recognition, etc.)
  • So much information would be lost or nonexistent if we did not guard, protect and keep accurate patient record documentation.

From the days of word perfect, MS DOS to the current Microsoft Word to speech recognition applications and on and on, medical transcriptionists ARE still in existence!  We ALL still add value to each and every person that enters a healthcare facility because we make the difference as it pertains to patient quality care and their permanent health record by ensuring a precise medical record documentation.

We still correct the clinicians when they’ve dictated all night long after seeing so many patients and they can’t distinguish if the patient is a he or she, a black or white female, or mistakenly given a wrong medication – for instance – potassium 20 mEq when they’ve dictated 20 mg!!  Yes, WE do all that as medical transcriptionists because we have skills and the knowledge in anatomy and physiology, medical terms and have that pristine “listening ear” to accurately record patient’s medical record……whereas machines definitely get it wrong! We ‘listen” for the correct words/terms when the background noise of babies crying, clinicians chewing gum or whether playing their music is louder than the physician dictating.

So………from me to ALL my fellow MTs  out there – though you know there will be no fireworks, no barbecues, no bells or whistles-type celebration for us, I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Medical Transcriptionist Week – KNOW THAT WE DO MATTER!

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