Saturday, December 22, 2007


Damn, I don't feel like working today. I should be glad to have a job at all, I know, but sometimes this one gets to me all the same. Like:

--I'm sick of reading complaints by xenophobic transcriptionists about health care providers for whom English is a second language. In my experience those health care providers dictate waaaaayyy better than most native speakers. An ESL provider, if I may generalize a moment, is more likely to enunciate carefully, speak more slowly, and have better grammar. They make my job easier in every way. Meanwhile, I have some surfer-dude-turned-physical-therapist for whom English is supposedly his first language, and I can't understand a fuckin' word he says BECAUSE HE MUMBLES. Native speakers are careless with the language is what I say. I'll take that nurse practitioner from Pakistan any DAY over a native fum-fuh'er. California, you may know how to party, but the speaking NEEDS WORK.

--How come when everyone's bitching about rising health care costs, and how universal health care would bankrupt us all and screw the economy, and just DAMN those smokers, DAMN those fat people, DAMN those single mamas, damn damn damn all the sick and the injured--how come when all that's going on, no one ever mentions the apparently OVERinsured yuppies who present to the ERs and urgent care clinics for--well, here's a brief list: Blisters, bruises, paper cuts (I jest not!), runny noses (not a cold, mind you), superficial scrapes, and all manner of other shit my mom used to just spray some Bactine on and/or hand me a bottle of Neo-Synephrine for? I'm not talking complicated shit either, where the patient is a diabetic or otherwise immunocompromised. I'm talking about "Ashley was running and she tripped and scraped her knee" and the wound is smaller than a dime in circumference. I seriously just did a 3-1/2 minute report on a teenager with a blister. No, that's all. Just a blister. Are Band-Aids that hard to come by? Why aren't we bitching about these people? WHY? By God, I'm going to start!

* Please, please, please, health care providers, learn this and love it and most especially live it: MOAR WORDZ != MOAR SMARTER. Saying shit like "lungs are clear to auscultation bilaterally, without the presence of wheezes, rales, or rhonchi," just makes you sound like a dimwit bureaucrat, especially when you get so you like the sound of "the presence of" so much that it becomes a verbal tic you start using in every other sentence. Omit needless words! "No evidence of" or "no evidence for" is okay. I have word expander entries for those. Every medical transcriptionist does, because that phrase actually MEANS something--it means "this could exist, but I can't say so definitely right now and I don't want to get sued if I'm wrong." It's the malpractice-suit version of a cross to a vampire. But I will cut off my own fingers before I submit to making an expander entry for "without the presence of." THAT'S ENOUGH WORDS NOW. You go sit by the ESL providers until your English improves.

* White women health care providers! Most of you, the ones I transcribe, are between the ages of 30 and 60. WHY DO YOU STILL SOUND LIKE ALICIA SILVERSTONE IN CLUELESS? Knock that shit off! It wasn't cute for you to affect that Valley Girl speech pattern back when you were rushing sororities in college, and it truly is not cute now, when you're supposed to sound like a competent professional who knows her shit, rather than like a bimbo who "doesn't speak Mexican." If I'm in a clinic with chest pain, BELIEVE ME, I don't want Cher Horowitz hooking me up to the heart monitor.


wolfa said...

My mother had a coworker once who went to the ER for a mosquito bite, because she had a party to go to that night.

ilyka said...

Bug bites! Yes! I knew I forgot something!

My favorite is when they bring in the spider or insect they think bit them. Yes, that MD/PA/NP is really going to be able to do a lot with that smushed bug! I just want to shake them and say, look: You drove yourself to the clinic. You sat in the waiting room for an hour or two or three. You can walk, you can talk, you can breathe. You're FINE.

Chris said...

If I'm in a clinic with chest pain, BELIEVE ME, I don't want Cher Horowitz hooking me up to the heart monitor.

So anyway? We're gonna need to have you lie down? And rest quietly? And your cardiologist? She'll, like, be here in a jiff. Kay?

ilyka said...

GENERAL APPEARANCE: This is a well-developed, well-nourished 46-year-old Caucasian female rocking the cashmere, whose shoes are so totally cute.

No, it hasn't happened.


But one of these days I expect it to.

So of course, after all my complaining, I ran out of work. Who said complaining never gets you anywhere?

wolfa said...

The woman I know of didn't think she was going to die, but it was unsightly, so couldn't they get rid of it before the party?