You know you have done a lot of dictations when…

Today I did something super embarrassing.

I had been doing dictations.  For those of you who aren’t forced to articulate their correspondence in this archaic form, this requires you also stating your punctuation (because stuff like that isn’t obvious to the lovely folks who sit and listen and type it).   That means, you actually say “comma” or “period” and things like “new paragraph.”

If you have ever done a dictation, you know they are an acquired skill.  You feel so stupid at first saying these things and it takes twice the time to get all your thoughts out in a semi-organized form than it would to type. And then, you see the typed form and you realize how stupid you probably did sound.

It does get better, but I would love to do a randomized controlled trial regarding whether or not dictating is more efficient and accurate.  I am sure experience is a factor.  And tech savvy-ness.  But, it stuck for a reason, I suppose.

Anyway, I did a few dictations and then there was a small disaster on the floor that required me to make some frantic phone calls.  That is fine.  Then, I realized I wanted to cancel one of the procedures I had requested an hour before based on the turn of events.

I made a call, which went to after-hours voicemail that went something like this (with my verbal punctuation bolded):

Hi, this is Trisha _____, the resident on BMT calling regarding patient X.  I had spoken with someone earlier regarding getting a line replaced on John Doe tomorrow morning period.  As it turns out, we do have good access comma so we will just remove the old line and get in touch again should we need something else placed in the future peri… Agh.  Sorry.  Thanks, bye.

So embarrassing throwing random punctuation into a voice mail, then kind of apologizing.  I wish they wouldn’t laugh at me.  But if they do, I hope I at least brightened their day with my stupidity.

12 thoughts on “You know you have done a lot of dictations when…

  1. I’m impressed. That sounds like a hard skill to acquire…and then to try to shut it off when you’re just wanting to leave a message… yep, will make someone smile, but sounds like you’re humble enough to laugh @ yourself, which is good medicine for your soul. :- )

    • It is hard to shut off. It also seems to stay on when I am nervous and trying to think ahead to what to say next.
      I hope they got a good kick out of it. The best part was, I had to call back the next day and the person who answered pointed out that she got my message. Great.

  2. hahaha exclamation point! Thanks for sharing period. Gave me a laugh exclamation point. In my “past life” I was a nurse comma and remember MD’s dictating at the nurse station sometimes period. : )

  3. That’s so funny! I’m sure it happens to lots of people. On the other side of the equation, I spent a summer typing up dictations of vocational rehabilitation reports. There are certain phrases or proper nouns I always “think” with punctuation included, for example: “Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale dash Revised”.

  4. One of the surgeons I work with is so fast with dictation that I can hardly follow it. I don’t even think he takes a breath. I sure do, as I listen to his manic synopsis (EXCLAMATION POINT) Im just glad nurses don’t have to write notes in this manner.

    • I find some people are just amazing at their ability to basically dictate in one or two breaths. I long to be that efficient. Dictating is one of the things that make me miss my Nuc Med Tech days. No dictating there.

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