By Alicia Djukic
Alicia Djukic, is a Medical PA with 10 year’s experience, she has worked both in the Private Sector and NHS which is where she is currently based.
I was always fascinated with audio typing as a child when watching courtroom scenes in old American shows such as Kojak & Perry Mason. I could not get past how somebody could type so fast while listening to people speak and I always thought it would be 'Amazing!' if I could do that. Now, I can....
Audio typing is an integral part of being a Medical or Legal PA.
At the time I leant to audio type - many years ago - you were given dictation on tape, a transcribing machine, a headset & you were off. However, in recent years it has all gone digital, which has led to a vast improvement in the clarity, sound & in general the quality of the dictation. Now you can go back to dictation even once if you've deleted it, which is a big plus as with the old machinery once you hit delete it was gone forever.
This digital improvement also has an added bonus : when logging in to your software you have a folder (a bit like MS Outlook) that is dedicated to you which holds all the dictation that is actually waiting for you, in a list. I don’t know if that's a plus first thing on a Monday morning but the reason I say it's a good thing is because you know where you are for the day and as and when urgent letters arise they are highlighted in red and pop up at the top, which is a great feature as we have all had times when our boss pitches up with that dreaded tape and tells you there is an urgent letter on it but of course the letter is never at the beginning or end of the tape it is ALWAYS somewhere in the middle.
I would say that audio typing and the software available has certainly moved with the times, and from my experience has come on leaps & bounds.
Whether you're using the new found digital dictation or the old tape method it's great for both you and your boss for a number of reasons. In a hospital environment, surgeons can dictate from the operating theatre if need be. My GP’s can dictate whilst working in General Practice or making house calls if they so require. It makes life easier and then they do not forget any vital details from the time of the operation or visit - So being able to do this on the move is fantastic.
It wasn't difficult to learn - I did it when training as a Medical Secretary. I worked in various specialities so had different accents to contend with, and each dictator has their own style of dictating but once you have mastered these you are laughing. I quickly learnt it is much easier to get over these hurdles then it is to try & decipher somebodies handwriting & we all know how bad doctors can be.
My best advice is to get yourself a good headset, shut your office door, take your time and just listen & all will be fine.
Do you know how to audiotype? Thinking of learning? Or perhaps you've got things to ask Alicia?
Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.