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Word Research Techniques & Referencing Refinements
Word Research Techniques
The ability to research medical terms that you are not familiar with is the paramount skill that will be called on each day you practice medical transcription.
There will constantly be new terms that need to be researched in reference books, along with a need to look up potential words when the word has been dictated in a manner that makes it unclear, i.e. the physician cuts off either the first part or last part of a word.
1. Always look under the noun first.
2. If the term to be researched is a syndrome, also check under these terms: sign / disease / symptom / process / phenomenon
3. Don't forget to look up anatomical terms under their Latin names. Many physicians will give the Latin names for muscles, veins, arteries, etc. See below for a listing of several Latin names and their English equivalents.
4. If you can't find the term you need under the noun, then look under each word you hear. You will eventually run into the term you are looking for. In time, this will be accomplished faster and easier with the use of Google or Yahoo opposed to the use of books.
5. A trick I have always used in researching a word is to work my way through the vowels (a, e, i, o, u, and y) in order to eventually locate the correct spelling of the word I need. In medicine, there are many words that might sound like they begin with an "a," but that really begin with another vowel. Use this trick of working your way through the vowels to eventually find the correct spelling of the word you are researching.
6. Always sound out what you are hearing and research according to every phonetic way possible of spelling the word.
CHALLENGE YOURSELF: You've found the word in your medical dictionary or during your Google search. Read the definition. It will help you the next time you hear the word. If you practice this method, you will progressively find yourself transcribing through words that once caused you to lose valuable time.
To zero in on definitions quickly via Google, type pterygoid defined in the search box.
Because medical terminology uses so many Greek and Latin terms, the spellings are not always what you would expect in English.
Sound everything out and look up the sounds you are hearing based on many different ways of spelling the sounds, as in "f" or "ph," and as in "k" or "ch."
Remember, too, to work your way through the vowels after the main sound: if "ch" is the main sound you would then look up words with a-e-i-o-u-and y following "ch."
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