As you may know all too well, one of the hardest things about transcription is learning how to develop effective listening skills. How to develop effective listening skills means, for a Medical Transcriptionist, being able to untangle complicated dictated phrases. For Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation Specialist, this means developing a listening ear for the language of medicine.
Almost all of the words that you are trying to untangle are brand new to you! However, your brain is desperate to understand anything from those mumbled medical terms by searching its memory bank for any word or phrase that sounds similar. It doesn’t help that there are some pretty crazy-sounding medical terms out there. Transcriptions are a new puzzle for your brain and ears in every sound file.
To let off steam after a long day of dictations or studying, try playing Mad Gab. This is a great game for improving your skills of taking what you think you hear and turning it into what was actually said. Playing this game helps exercise phonetic listening and logic skills without the added difficulty of brand new medical words. These skills are absolutely essential to develop your listening ear and for hearing the real words in your dictations.
In the game, the idea is to play with a partner and have them read the phrase to you. You will listen to the flow of the words to figure out what the phrases really are. Get a friend or family member to play the game with you! That will make playing the game similar to listening to a dictated report, and the two of you can try to figure out the phrase together. If you can’t get a partner, say them out loud to yourself.
Grab a partner and try to sort through these non-medical phrases:
Tip: Try not to analyze the individual words too much! Say the phrases to yourself a few times and let the sounds flow together.
If you enjoy this game, it’s a great family games night activity that will help you with your phonetic listening skills. For more practice you can buy Mad Gab or use one of the many websites that generate phrases for it.
Combine this exercise with saying your medical vocabulary words out loud to yourself and you will find that your dictations get clearer all the time.
Sea yule ate her!