I’ve been rather swamped with work lately. Not because the work is so much, but because the energy is so little. As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about energy and motivation. Those are some interesting and rather fickle birds. Perhaps I’ll post more on those ideas…when I actually have energy and motivation 🙂
My job is medical transcription. I like my job, which makes my frustration extra frustrating because I can’t blame my lack of energy and motivation on a poor fit between my abilities, interests and the actual job.
I enjoy typing. I like learning new things. And I like language. Interestingly, language aptitude is something I discovered was helpful in learning to do medical transcription. Since I can picture root words and similar words as well as remember new words fairly easily, I have not found it too hard to acquire this new language. It also helps that I only type for doctors practicing one branch of medicine.
I also like my job because it is not emotionless, mindless typing. These are real people, with real lives, and my heart is often deeply moved as I transcribe their stories. The diagnostic procedure is also fascinating to me–my ISFJ brain likes the whole concept of thinking in differentials, etiologies and variables as the doctors often do when working their way through symptoms, testing and diagnosis.
Sometimes I cry for the patients (and wonder if its unethical to do so…) Sometimes I pray for a patient and wonder if it matters. Sometimes I smile at a doctor’s personality traits that come through in his dictating style. Sometimes I wonder about all the factors not spoken of and not taken into account in the diagnosis and treatment process. Things like the whys of someone continuing to smoke while they battle asthma or lung cancer. I can hear the doctor’s frustration, yet I think, There has to be a reason.
All of these things keep my job interesting.
Okay, I didn’t mean to get all philosophical there. Really, what I have is a rather shallow question. There are a few words that are giving me trouble. Funny enough, they are not the long complicated words. For some reason, those are easier to learn than these little homonyms which I keep stumbling over.
I wonder if you all can give me some brain hooks to help me remember the differences between these stumpers, so that when I hear them, I can easily keep straight which spelling I want, without having to resort every time to Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary or Google (when I have to stop to look the words up, I tend to get distracted by other neighboring words or links, which is not helpful for making my work efficient.
My homonymic (Oh, my word–that’s really a word. I expected spell checker to underline it!) stumpers:
proceed vs. precede
disk vs. disc
chord vs. cord
And the big one that aggravated me today when I had to look it up yet again is:
mucus (the noun defined as “the free slime of the mucous membranes, composed of secretion of the glands, along with various inorganic salts, desquamated cells, and leukocytes”, just in case you wanted to know) vs. mucous (the adjective)
I’ll sort of get it straight with some memory trick, and then I’ll think about the trick so much that I get even more confused. Maybe your fresh (and possibly funny) ideas will help me keep these pairs straight. Who knows why one set of words is easier to keep straight than another? For whatever reason, I don’t mix up affect and effect. When in doubt, I always think “side effect” and am confident that I have the right spelling. From there I think about the part of speech the word has in that context and then compare that part of speech to the word I’m typing. Fortunately, that process happens rather quickly 🙂 In any case, side effect with an “e” is emotionally hooked in my brain, and vocal cord or chord is not.