If you are new to editing, the amount of information thrown at you can be mind-boggling. It doesn’t need to be. In the beginning, concentrate on laying a solid foundation and add the more complex editing skills after you build your confidence. The following steps are a good place to start.
1. Take it slow. Don’t be afraid to slow down the audio when you are learning to edit. It’s easier to learn something new when you are going at a slower speed. After you are more comfortable in the editing environment you can start slowly increasing the speed to your normal rate.
2. Focus on learning shortcuts. I cannot stress enough the importance of learning your shortcuts. Again, start slow. Make a list of all your shortcuts. Pick a few shortcuts you will use the most. Focus using those shortcuts as much as you can. Don’t stop practicing just because you are not actively editing. The navigation and editing shortcuts can also be used in email and IM. After those shortcuts are mastered, focus on a few more shortcuts. Repeat this sequence until you have all of the shortcuts mastered.
In the beginning, just focus on learning the shortcuts. Learn combinations later. Concentrate on laying that solid foundation.
3. Try a new home row. When you come across an error when editing, your first action is not going to be to type a word. More than likely, the first thing you will do is navigate your cursor to that error. Therefore, it may benefit you to change your home row. Try keeping your left hand near the shift, CTRL, Alt keys and your right hand near the arrow keys. After you navigate to the error, move your hands back to the traditional home row to make your correction.
4. Don’t forget about quality. Speech rec drafts will never be perfect. This is why medical editors are so crucial to the documentation creation process. You are irreplaceable. We heavily rely on your experience and knowledge to ensure the final draft is of high quality. Do not sacrifice quality for speed. Remember patient care is at stake.
Try doing a quick pre-edit before you start listening to the audio. Make obvious corrections like fixing structure errors. This will allow you to focus more on the content when you do listen to the audio.
5. Do not get discouraged. Stay positive. Remember, you are learning a new skill. New skills do not come right away for most of us. Expect a productivity drop during the first couple weeks. It will take time and practice to become an as good of an editor as you are a typist, but you will get your speed back. If you have concerns, do not hesitate to talk to us, your trainer, or your manager. Take advantage of the support that is being offered to you.
6. Practice! Do as many speech rec jobs as you can. Especially in the beginning. The more work you do, the more practice you get, the faster you become efficient. If your account doesn’t have enough speech rec work, use any downtime to redo the exercises on the editing fun page or create your own.
Are you an experienced editor who has tips to share with your fellow editors? If so, leave your tips in the comment section. We would love to hear from you.