Attentive Listening When Editing

Last week I did some editing from home.  Thankfully, I went back to review my work before submitting.  I could not believe some of the obvious errors I missed.  I’ve never done such a poor job.  I know my problem at home stems from all of the distractions.  I had my vacation checklist on my mind, my cat was crying because she wanted to stand on my keyboard, I could hear my boyfriend cutting the grass outside, and I was uncomfortable because my air conditioner was broken.  I know, excuses, excuses 🙂  This reminded me of a document we used in the past here at M*Modal.  When working from home, I’m guilty of all of the common listening errors listed. It’s a good thing most of my time is spent in an office!

Here is an excerpt from that document:

As a transcriptionist, you already are an attentive listener!  Attentive listening is an important skill when transcribing, but it becomes an even more important skill when editing.  In an editing environment, we can be easily misled into assuming what we hear and read are the same, when really they are different.  Paying close attention to the context of a document can help us avoid making such assumptions.

When we edit documents, it is important that we not only hear but we also listen to the dictator.  It takes education, experience, and concentration to listen.  Listening implies understanding, not just of each individual word, but of context.  For instance, you know that Flomax is used to treat an enlarged prostate, and so would never be prescribed to a female patient.  When working with a draft document referring to a female patient, we may be misled into assuming that we heard Flomax because we read Flomax, when really the dictator referred to another medication.  Given the context of the dictation, the word is incorrect.  Only by listening attentively for content can we avoid the error of leaving the word Flomax.

Attentive Listening can help you to more accurately, efficiently, and quickly identify edits in draft documents.  This skill has always been important in the transcription environment, but becomes even more important in the editing environment.

 COMMON LISTENING ERRORS:

  • NOT FOCUSING or DAYDREAMING: From time to time we are all guilty of thinking about other things while we should be listening (i.e.: paying the bills, your next vacation, picking up the kids, etc…).
  •   JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS:  Listen to the entire sentence/section before assuming that the doctor has said something incorrect.  You may risk having to go back and re-do what you have already done!
  • EXTRANEOUS NOISE: Having too much noise around you, such as dogs barking or television, is a distraction.
  • MOVEMENT PROBLEMS: Movement distractions, such as co-workers or family members, or your own movement distractions, such as an uncomfortable chair or seating position, can keep you from listening attentively.

Think about the distractions listed above.  Are any of these distractions familiar?  How conducive is your working environment to Attentive Listening?

 Remember:

□   Do more than hear a word – listen for context!
□   Avoid listening distractions when transcribing and editing by creating a working environment that encourages listening skills!
□   Without Attentive Listening, you cannot build the skill set you need to be an efficient and productive MTE.

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4 thoughts on “Attentive Listening When Editing

  1. Interesting and helpful blog.

    Unfortunately, it contains an error.

    The blog states:

    “For instance, you know that Flomax is used to treat an enlarged
    prostate, and so would never be prescribed to a female patient. When working with a draft document referring to a female patient, we may be misled into assuming that we heard Flomax because we read Flomax, when really the dictator referred to another medication. Given the context of the dictation, the word is incorrect. Only by listening attentively for content can we avoid the error of leaving the word Flomax.”

    I am a female MT. From personal experience with my recent kidney stone lithotripsy, I was prescribed Flomax because it enlarges the ureters in order to more easily pass kidney stones. Just because the first use of Flomax was intended for men does not mean there are not other uses for a medication. Chemotherapy drugs are also used for multiple sclerosis, so an MT cannot always assume that what the medication they hear is not correct; sometimes a little more investigation is needed to see whether a medication has other uses.

    Thanks

    Isabel Personette, CMT

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