National Medical Transcriptionist Week Is Here!
National Medical Transcriptionist Week Is Here!
Don’t Miss this Opportunity to Salute that Special MT in Your Life
Special to ADVANCE
In 1985, Public Law 98-609 established “National Medical Transcriptionist Week” to recognize the contributions of medical transcriptionists and their vital function in our society.
Each May, members of the American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT) observe this event in various creative ways. We schedule symposia, dinner meetings, picnics, luncheons and awards ceremonies to get together with other medical language specialists to celebrate the joys, triumphs and challenges of our chosen profession.
Some supervisors (many of whom were once medical transcriptionists themselves) go all out to make their employees feel special. What a treat to come to work every day and find a new surprise waiting at your desk. Let’s see: Monday—flowers; Tuesday—chocolate; Wednesday–bagels and cream cheese for morning break; Thursday—an afternoon ice cream social with the sundaes served up by the hospital administrator. The final culmination is a luncheon where medical transcriptionists are the guests of honor on Friday. We must not forget the night shift or the weekend staff—they deserve the cake and fruit basket too.
Wait. You’re telling me this didn’t happen at your place of employment last year? Why not?
Did you forget to hang up your National Medical Transcriptionist Week poster and wear a National Medical Transcriptionist Week ribbon?
Does your administration even know that you belong to a strong professional association dedicated to the mission of educating and developing medical transcriptionists?
Tell them. Tell them again. And then tell them one more time.
Enthusiastic, committed medical transcriptionists can do whatever they set their mind to. Honor each other and bask in the warm glow from the feeling you get when you know you have done your job to the best of your ability. You have learned new technology, memorized the names of the latest medications and surgical instruments and created macros for each dictator who speaks more than 300 words per minute.
So, now is the time to rejoice in the advocacy that AAMT brings to the medical transcription profession. National Medical Transcriptionist Week is for YOU—the working medical transcriptionist. Every day you translate medical language, slang and sentence fragments into a grammatically correct, properly punctuated and formatted mediolegal document. You prepare and edit dictation from caregivers to provide a permanent history of a patient’s health and treatment that is so crucial in today’s mobile society.
Why haven’t your co-workers determined who gets the awards this year?
Who is more qualified to decide which medical transcriptionist most often shared his/her newly discovered knowledge to make your job easier?
Remember when Julie sent out Dr. XYZ’s standard extracapsular cataract extraction on interoffice e-mail (without identifying the patient, of course) because she had finally triumphed in getting every word of his speedy, not well-enunciated prose?
Remember how happy you were to finally know what those two blanks were that you could never fill in before?
Or, remember the time Pat sat for hours patiently deciphering a very poor quality voice file so that Dr. ABC would not have to redictate a complicated case?
Who recruited the most new medical transcriptionists to the profession so that eventually we could stop working mandatory overtime?
Which co-worker worked your scheduled weekend so that you could attend a family wedding?
Who shared reference books with you until you could convince management to purchase an office copy?
Who among your colleagues is noted for never picking and choosing the easier dictators, but always completes the jobs as they arrive and actually remarks that they enjoy the challenge of a foreign accent?
Who mentored you when you were ready to give up, because in the beginning this job was just plain too difficult?
Take steps now to plan an appropriate observance. Request an appropriation of funds from your departmental budget. If money is tight, you might convince management to come to work in comfortable clothes, prepared to wash every transcriptionist’s car. I actually did that one year–washed the cars of every employee I supervised. (But I had help from other managers.)
Do your part to make the celebration meaningful and successful. Buy that greeting card or create that certificate of appreciation, because the 13th Annual National Medical Transcriptionist Week is here. Don’t miss this opportunity to salute that special medical transcriptionist in your life.
* About the author: Susan Pierce is the 1997 president of the American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT). She has worked in clinic, hospital and doctors’ office settings, owned her own medical transcription business and taught medical transcription at a community college. She is currently the director of quality management for HealthScribe Inc., in Sterling, VA.