Learning the language of medicine is like learning any other. To properly retain the information, you need to read it, write it, and speak it.
When you’re learning a foreign language, you are taught both to read it and write it, similarly to how you will be taught medical language as a Medical Transcriptionist. When you’re learning any new language you are encouraged to speak it aloud, as well as read it and write it. You are encouraged to learn to introduce yourself, say hello, goodbye, and ask somebody their name. In terms of medical terminology, it’s no different, it’s an entire set of words that are English, but seem like foreign words. You need to learn to speak out loud and “wrap your tongue” around the foreign language, just as you would be encouraged to do with any other language.
Learning medical terms is exactly like learning a different language. This point is made more obvious when you realize that a large number of those medical words are actually derived from another language. No wonder they seem daunting at times! Especially so when you get dictations from Dr. Mumbles or an Auctioneer (or if you’re really lucky, Dr. Mumbles the Auctioneer).
Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation is often taught in such a way that the program puts the words in front of you (visual), gives you dictations to hear (auditory), and expects that the language will click for you. What the program might not tell you is you need to speak it (oral) to help retain the information. Our article The 7 Different Learning Styles goes into detail on the different ways we process information. For most people saying the words out loud is one of the best methods for committing it to memory.
In CanScribe’s Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation course, when you have a difficult dictation and get back one of those multicolored corrected reports (corrections and differences), try this:
Believe it or not, when you do this regularly, simply speaking aloud and with repetition will begin to create a neural pathway in your brain that will root the language more permanently. This is because you are creating a multisensory connection, a fuller, and more complete understanding of the terms. You’re learning how they fit together, how they sound, how they look, and how they feel.
Think about when you are introduced to someone for the first time. You may hear their name, even more than once, but your chances of remembering that person’s name aren’t very good. However, if you repeat their name out loud when they introduce themselves your brain is forced to think and really cement that multisensory connection you are building with it. You are not just hearing Jordan’s name now, you are actually visualizing it in your brain and saying it out loud. This practice is even more important with the complexity of medical words and terms.
Don’t forget that simply reading and writing something isn’t the greatest path to success. If you are reading it, writing it, and speaking it, that’s where your success lies. That process will make learning medical terminology a true second language for you.
You can check out this article for further information on how we learn and study languages, and don’t forget to check out our graduate testimonials to discover how exciting and rewarding a career transcribing in the medical industry can be!