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8 Reference Materials Every Medical Transcriptionist Should Read

SyberScribe AUTHOR: SyberScribe, February 17th, 2020

Whether you’re training or working as a medical transcriptionist, providing accurate, reliable, and timely transcriptions are vital to your success. And to do your job well, you not only need the necessary technology and software, but also medical transcription references. Understanding how to run a medical transcription business and researching medical terms and abbreviations are essential in medical transcription, so here’s a look at the reference books you should have.

Why you need medical transcription references

Sometimes medical transcriptionists will receive audio files that are of poor quality and have background noise or fast speakers. As for non-native English speakers, their accent or pronunciation could make it difficult to decipher their intended choice of word. Having medical reference materials like dictionaries on hand can help you figure out what is truly being said based on the topic or context of the audio. In turn, they’ll help you produce accurate transcriptions and complete them quickly.

On the other hand, style guides can help with formatting medical reports, whereas books on medical transcription can be used as a guide to building a successful medical transcription business and career.

What medical transcription references should you have?

1. Medical transcription book

A medical transcription book can help you navigate and succeed in the world of medical transcription. For example, Medical Transcription for Dummies provides insight into the world of medical transcription, including transcription training and the financial considerations of the job. There’s also information on dealing with issues that occur on the job and on deciding whether you want to work at home or in a bricks-and-mortar setting.

The Independent Medical Transcriptionist: The Comprehensive Guidebook for Career Success in a Medical Transcription Business provides the information you need to be successful as an independent contractor in the medical transcription business. It also discusses the role of technology in transcription, how to secure global clients, and how to start your business.

With the Medical Transcriptionist’s Desk Reference book, you can quickly find solutions to the most common problems you’ll face as a medical transcriptionist.

2. Medical dictionary

With a medical dictionary, you can seek out and reference any complex medical terms that are spoken in the audio files. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary features more than 54,000 medical terms, including images and photographs. It also comes with a CD-ROM that has audio pronunciations, anatomical animations, and a spellchecker. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary and Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary also boast similar features.

3. English language dictionary

An English language dictionary is useful when looking up the correct spelling and meaning of certain English words spoken in the medical audio files. You should consider using Webster’s International Dictionary of the English Language, which contains more than 476,000 words plus their meanings. You’ll also find illustrations, etymologies describing word origins, as well as verbal illustrations and quotations.

4. Grammar and style guide

In medical transcription, you’ll need to adhere to a specific method of style and usage. For formatting style and medical transcription guidelines (ie editing, grammar, usage, punctuation, annotation, citation and syntax), you should refer to The AAMT Book of Style for Medical Transcription. Other grammar and style guides you can refer to are The Book of Style for Medical Transcription (AHDI) and The Chicago Manual of Style.

5. Drug reference book

Many speakers interchange brand and generic drugs, and if you’re not sure if a drug being dictated is the brand name or generic name, you can look it up in Saunders Pharmaceutical Word Book. This is important as certain drugs need to be capitalised depending on whether it’s a brand name or generic. There’s also information on the drugs used to treat certain conditions/diseases, pronunciations, look-alike/sound-alike issues, dosages, and dosage forms. Other good drug reference books include Stedman’s Medical Dictionary/Quick Look Drug Book, Quick Look Drug Book, and American Drug Index.

6. General medical word book

A general medical word book is useful for finding commonly used medical and surgical words, including their meanings, pronunciations, usage, and related images. You can choose from the following books: Medical Terminology: A Practical Self-Help Guide to Master Medical Terms, The Surgical Word Book, and Stedman’s Medical & Surgical Equipment Words.

7. Medical specialty word book

Medical transcription covers various specialties, from dermatology to rheumatology, and each one has its own peculiar terminology and vocabulary, so having a medical specialty word book in your given area of transcription will make a great reference material.

If you’re transcribing an audio file that deals with a medical specialty like radiology, you’d want to have Stedman’s Anatomy & Physiology Words on hand. This way, you can verify locations in a body to ensure accuracy. If you transcribe hospital reports, you might want to get Stedman’s Medical & Surgical Equipment Words. On the other hand, Sloane’s Medical Word Book includes terms from 18 different specialties so you won’t need to buy separate books to cover all specialties.

8. Medical abbreviations book

Many speakers use abbreviations and acronyms for medical terms, and if you don’t know the full meaning, you can quickly and easily find it in a medical abbreviations book such as Stedman’s Medical Abbreviations, Acronyms & Symbols. There are thousands of abbreviations and slang terms for a wide range of specialties, including anatomy and internal medicine. You’ll also find abbreviations for professional titles, degrees, associations and organisations, therapies, drugs, and clinical trials. What’s more, it includes a list of dangerous abbreviations that you shouldn’t use.

Another excellent medical abbreviations book you can use that contains similar content is Medical Abbreviations: 55,000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communication and Safety.

Add these medical transcription references to your library now

Now go ahead and add these references to your bookshelf or online library – some are available in both print and electronic versions. Medical transcription references provide the information you need to transcribe medical audio files accurately and quickly, as well as build a successful medical transcription career.

If you run a medical practice and would like to outsource your medical transcription services, look no further than SyberScribe. Our medical transcriptionists are experts who’ve most likely read several reference materials due to their extensive training and experience, so you can expect to receive quality, accurate transcriptions with quick turnaround times. If you’re interested in our services, request a quote today.