Listening skills

Forums Healthcare Documentation Course Course Support Listening skills

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  • Kathy H.
    Participant

    I am finding it really hard sometimes to understand what is being said during the dictations. I hear a word or set of words, I believe it to be correct and then when grading realize that a particular word that I thought was there really wasn’t or I misheard what was being said. I have tried a couple of different headphones and even purchased the FX sound enhancer to no avail. Does anyone have the same issue and if so any suggestions as to how to improve on my listening skills. Do I just need more time to adjust to learning better listening skills? Not sure what to do. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks

    Kathy H.

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  • Laurie Monks
    Participant

    Hi Kathy!

    I remember having the same frustrations as a student. It takes time for your ear to develop and adjust to any sound issues or mumbling. I found listening back to each report and trying to hear the word differences helped my ear get stronger much faster. I would follow that step up by going to the straight answer key and listening to it again. Each time I would pick up a new word I missed before, and that was my ear getting better!

    You can try adjusting the treble/bass (on your computer’s sound controls, if your systems allows) and the playback speed to make each recording as clear as possible. I find increased bass helps to cut down any scratchy sounds. Most computers have, at least, present sound settings (for example, Jazz, Vocal, Rock, etc.). I would experiment with those.

    You can also slow the playback speed down a bit to try to catch words when a dictator is too quick. You can also try speeding it up, turning the volume up or turning it down, because you never know what will make a word pop.

    If a report is very challenging, before you start typing I would listen to the report before transcribing. Then take a deep breath and type out what you can from start to finish, with as many blanks as needed. If you listen to the same spot 3 times and you can’t hear it, leave a blank and keep moving. Transcribe any word you can hear. After this step start the audio over and proofread what you have and see what blanks you can fill in this time around now that you’re starting to adjust to the dictator and hopefully have a sense of what the report is about. Of note, the dictators often repeat words again more clearly later in the report, and this can help you fill in blanks too.  After this step go back and look at the blanks that are left. Anywhere that you can hear enough sounds or part-words to try a wildcard search, go for it. I love http://www.mtdictionary.com for medical words and http://www.onelook.com for English words (and sometimes the odd medical term the 1<sup>st</sup> site didn’t have). I find this method the most efficient for transcriptions, but it’s particularly good for difficult reports. You can also search for a similar type of report in http://www.mtsamples.com to see if you can find terminology.

    Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

    Laurie Monks, CHDS
    Instructor, CanScribe

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    Hello,

     

    One day, when I was viewing the Facebook Canscribe group activity, I came across a woman who found out she had a hearing impairment while being enrolled in the program. I’m not sure if this is your problem, and I hope that it isn’t. But it would be worth having your hearing checked.

     

    Kind regards, Tanis Parsons

     

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    Breanna Kinna
    Participant

    I haven’t had the opportunity to try this myself, but when I was doing some looking online as to how to develop a listening ear, one website suggested to watch videos online with subtitles (think music videos where you quite often can’t understand lyrics).

     

    Like I said I haven’t had a chance to try it myself but it makes sense that it would help. Good luck!

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    Sarah Gray
    Participant

    I am struggling with this to the point I am considering quitting this course.  I completed a dictation yesterday that was instructor graded and I did horribly on as I left a lot of blanks despite multiple attempts of trying to listen at different speeds etc. I was penalized multiple times for not leaving a second blank for more than four words.  The problem is the quality of the dictations is so horrible that I can’t even decipher enough through all of the mumbling to tell if more than four words were spoken.  I am grasping all of the reading materials and exercise info but the dictations are just so horrible and only get worse the further along in the course you get that I cannot see how I would ever be able to pass this course especially get over 90 on dictations during the exams. I’ve tried messing around with the sound settings but nothing helps.

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    Kathy H.
    Participant

    Hi Sarah,

    My name is Kathy and i graduated last December. I completely understand your frustration. There were self graded dictations that i actually scored in the negative for so I completely understand. I felt that i just was not getting it felt like it was just a waste of money. Especially since no matter how hard i tried i couldn’t get the dictations were i wanted to. I bought numerous expensive headsets and speech programs that were supposed to clear up the static and make things easier to understand and to no avail. I just kept plugging through the best that i could and just took some breaks (went for a short walk etc) to help get through it. I was ready to pull my hair out. I was physically vibrating with stress when doing the dictations. Here’s the good news. Those nasty dictations do come to an end. Things do get easier and those frustrating dictations are only worth a very small percentage of your final grade. I know its hard not to put the pressure on but really what counts is what you do in on the major tests and even with those you have rewrites. Please don’t give up it is worth it. I now work for a company in Australia called NTS. They are wonderful and for the most part their dictations are easy to understand and there is lots of people looking out for you making sure you succeed. It is worth  the frustration and i have no doubt that with your other chapter work you will be just fine. If you become further frustrated or need someone on facebook you can friend me and i will be there for you as much as i can. My facebook picture is of my puppy Ginger and my facebook name is Kathy Halbig. Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself you will be a success at this so please don’t give up.

    Take care,

    Kathy

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    Twyla Young
    Participant

    Hi Sarah, I am also having a very difficult time with alot of the dictations. They are absolutely horrible. It doesn’t matter how slow, or how fast, or loud, etc you make it, you just cannot understand 1 word. At one point I just sat there and cried. Then I thought to myself why am I creating all of this stress? It really isn’t worth it. I just plug along with what I understand and that’s that. It’s really not the end of the world and yes someday this will all be a distant memory.  But in the meantime I try to do my best and if i’m getting to worked up either I leave and go onto another dictation or honestly I just send it in as is. Not the end of the world.

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    cbourbonnais
    Moderator

    One thing I really wish I had started doing much earlier in the course is listening to the dictations when they come back with the answer key.  My listening ear really started to improve after that, and I started to understand why they talk about it like it’s a muscle you’re training.  You can learn a lot more from a bad, blank-full dictation than you can from the easy ones.  As others have said, try not to let them stress you out.  They are there for your practice and learning, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to do perfectly on every single dictation.

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    Nicole Mohoruk
    Participant

    Just wanted to say thank you to Sarah, Kathy and Twyla for sharing their feedback. I too am struggling with the dictation quality, also to the point of being in tears. I make so many little mistakes and then go through and grade them all, so dictation grading takes me freaking forever. I feel like I’m in the same boat as Sarah. I’m fine with the rest of the course material.

    I am trying to tell myself that the dictations are not worth much of the overall grade, and to just do as best I can and send in what I can. Just wanted to say thanks to those who are sharing their experiences because sometimes I feel like I’m the only one struggling with the dictations to this degree.

    Not sure if this will help anyone else but I’ve started writing down the medical terminology and phrasing that I’m missing, in the hopes of hearing it again and crosschecking my list so I don’t make that same mistake twice.

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    Pam Sullivan
    Participant

    I have to say reading all of these posts has made me feel a bit better about my worry and frustration around these transcriptions and, ultimately, my ability to successfully complete the program. I understand the need to throw in some difficult transcriptions, but not sure how effective it is to demoralize and stress out the students…yup, that’s pretty much where I am.  Teachers are a great help, but can only do so much. Hoping to see some light at the end of that tunnel soon.

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    Deborah Craig
    Participant

    Reading this has allowed me to release some stress!  I have just begun The Muscular System and had to skip two in a row for now and I am afraid to listen to the third!  It’s Christmas Eve Day and for the first time, I began feeling worried.  I have done quite well on transcriptions up until now but dread submitting these.  I am sure they are not all like these!

    The feedback here has been so helpful.  Thank you all for taking the time to reassure us and to give us tips.  I really do enjoy this course and I am looking forward to this as a career.  This is only the beginning and I already feel I have learned so much.

    Some things that I found have helped me include excellent headphones.  I got over the ear Sony headphones that eliminate surrounding noise.  They were a gamechanger. Comfortable too!  I figured I will need them for work so invest now.  I went all out.  I also printed out vocabulary lists, abbreviations lists, common lab and diagnostics lists, and other similar lists that are included in a chapter.  I have them in front of me as they are often clues to what the reports are about.  This has been invaluable for me.  I have tabs open for the online tools I like to use.  https://www.drugs.com/ is my favorite for looking up drug names as it is quick and easy and you have generic brand names and dosage examples and uses all right there.

    Thanks again, everyone!  Merry Christmas

    Deborah

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    Jena Knight
    Participant

    Wow, reading everyone’s experiences makes me feel like I am not the only one thinking: “What are they saying…… blank line….blank, blank, blank….gastrointestinal blank, blank, blank.” It is definitely discouraging when you cannot understand something, but I thought it was just me, that maybe there was something wrong.  I do find that it helps when I read the complete report as well and practice!   I wonder if the dictators listen to their recordings at all.  Mind you sometimes I swear I can hear the tiredness in their voices too and so I do not blame them for being unclear at times.

    We can do this!  One report at a time.  Sometimes a  1 minute report takes me an hour to do, and that is okay too because I am learning.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Jena Knight.
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