As a professional medical transcriptionist, the ability to spell is crucial to your success. Spelling errors will hold you back in terms of raises, and also in getting your work done in a timely and efficient manner.
Do you know the difference between "their", "there" and "they're"? How about "effect" and "affect", or "its" and "it's"? Many people don't really catch the differences between these words when they see them, but your editor will, you can bet on it.
A spell check program will help you a great deal, but it won't catch the situations above, and there will be many words or phrases not included which are unique to the medical field. Even a medical spell check program will not include every word you come across.
The medical field changes every day and you must take the responsibility to keep your skills up. Again, you must know when to override the spell check program's recommendations.
And do not depend on the doctor's spelling. They will frequently not know they do not know the proper spelling of a word. They will often make up their own words, words that become a part of their vernacular and you must decide the appropriate and consistent way to spell this word or phrase. Often the other doctors who work with this person will pick this term up and start using it as well. Soon it is in hospital-wide use and is essentially a made-up word.
Until you are able to transcribe a report in which there are no spelling errors, you will never advance out of having your work checked through the quality assurance (QA) department. And until you advance out of QA, you will not reach your full earning potential.
This cannot be stressed enough: You must have excellent spelling skills. If you feel you are lacking in this department, contact your local school district or community college for adult continuing education classes to help with weak spelling skills. The classes may be free of charge or have a nominal fee attached. If you feel you cannot afford this, the library is also an excellent resource.
One tool that can be of great assistance to you is a shorthand program. Most word processors these days come with a built-in autocorrect feature that you can add those long medical terms to, and also shortcuts for whole phrases and sentences that physicians tend to use over and over. This one tool will save you lots of headaches with spelling, and increase your production level substantially as well.
The bottom line is, spell checkers and shorthand programs will help you out, but you need to learn to spell if you are going to be a top flight transcriptionist and earn the top dollars in this profession.
Pam Lyon is the author of "Inside Medical Transcription" -- the real truth about the life of a medical transcriptionist. Pam is a 30-year veteran of the Transcription business, and has seen it all. If you are thinking about a career in Medical Transcription, you need this book! Visit => http://www.insidemedicaltranscription.com
I recommend The Step-by-Step Guide To Medical Transcription At home.