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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 15
    #1

    punctuation help with MT sentences..

    Hi,

    I'm a medical transcriptionist, not a teacher, but was hoping I could get
    some punctuation help on a couple of sentences I'm practicing with here:

    The sentence:

    "Her left shoulder has felt unstable since it was injured in a motor vehicle accident more than ten years ago."

    Should there be a comma before 'since' here? like:

    "Her left shoulder has felt unstable, since it was injured in a motor vehicle accident more than ten years ago."

    or not?

    Also, the sentence:

    "Multiple including Cipro and EES."

    Should there be a comma before 'including' here? like:

    "Multiple, including Cipro and EES."

    or no?

    And finally, the sentence:

    "Nocturnal leg cramps on adequate calcium intake."

    Should there be a comma before 'on' here? like:

    "Nocturnal leg cramps, on adequate calcium intake."

    Oh, and I almost forgot, should the word "nonselective" have a dash or not? nonselective vs. non-selective? The sentence it's being used in is this one:

    "She is poor candidate for a nonselective COX-2 agent."

    Also, the dictator in this sentence didn't say an 'a' after 'She is..' Do you think I should add an 'a' so it reads: "She is a poor candidate.." Does that make it read more grammatically correct or is it okay without the 'a'?


    Thanks for any help you can provide, I would really appreciate it!

    pw

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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
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    #2

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    Dear pw:

    Ah, commas! The cause of much suffering...

    1.Her left shoulder no comma
    2.Multiple, including....
    3.Nocturnal no comma
    4.nonselective vs. non-selective depends on house style. I'm guessing there is no house style, so either would be fine. What matters in this case is that anyone using the transcript to aid in treating the patient understand the meaning. Medical personnel will understand either. (As I re-read this post, non-selective looks easier to read...)
    5. She is a poor candidate.

    I hope this helps. All best wishes.

    Petra



    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #3

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    I agree, except that I would definitely put a comma after leg cramps. This enables us to understand that although the patient is taking calcium, nevertheless she has nocturnal leg cramps. I imagine that is the meaning you want to convey.

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    #4

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    I agree with this advice, if that is the intended meaning. I was not able to interpret it as well as naomimalan, and thank her for her very useful clarification.

    Petra


    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 15
    #5

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    Yeah, instead of having it sound like the nocturnal leg cramps are on the calcium intake..lol..nice point..

    Also, related to that, do you think this sentence:

    Postmenopausal, on HRT. <---(hormonal replacement therapy)

    This should also have a comma, no? otherwise, it would sound like the postmenopausal term is on HRT istead of conveying that she is postmenopausal 'while on' HRT...

    Right?

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    #6

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    Yes, with the comma. Otherwise, it would sound as if she's menopausal only when she's on HRT. I think you are trying to say:

    The patient is menopausal. She is on a course of HRT.

    Not: When she's on HRT, she's menopausal (but if she goes off it she won't be).
    Yes?


    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 15
    #7

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    Shoot I see your point. This one can go both ways. Sheesh. Now I don't know what to do. I guess I have to listen to how the dictator says it, as that is the only way I can know...

    He says it pretty fast through, no pause, so maybe he's trying to say she is postmenopausal while she is on HRT, meaning that it shouldn't have a comma then...

    Ugh, this one is tough.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #8

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    If you are taking dictation, ask the person dictating to indicate punctuation:

    Nocturnal leg cramps [comma] on adequate calcium intake [comma]...

    That was normal practice in the days when I had someone to take my letters by dictations. Also, do not hesitate to query anything that puzzles you. Better to ask than to get it wrong.


    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 15
    #9

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    well, every medical transcription company works differently. For the one I work for, they actually require we know when and when not to put commas; however, they do dictate the periods for us, which is nice. But we are expected as transcriptionists to fix up their grammatical mistakes or know when to place most other punctuation. Every once in awhile though, I will get a good dictator who says things like semicolons, colon, comma, etc. but not very often.

    Also, as far as the query thing goes, we're only allowed to BOLD one word in one file at a time if we can't hear a word right or understand what they said. They make the rules pretty strict in this particular company, but I've honestly rarely ever ran into a situation where i couldn't figure out what the dictator says. It's pretty rare. Mostly, I just really suck at commas..heh. But I'm getting better thanks to your guys' help!


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #10

    Re: punctuation help with MT sentences..

    Postmenopausal, on HRT. <---(hormonal replacement therapy)

    This should also have a comma, no? otherwise, it would sound like the postmenopausal term is on HRT istead of conveying that she is postmenopausal 'while on' HRT...

    Right?
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoung View Post
    Yes, with the comma. Otherwise, it would sound as if she's menopausal only when she's on HRT. I think you are trying to say:

    The patient is menopausal. She is on a course of HRT.

    Not: When she's on HRT, she's menopausal (but if she goes off it she won't be).
    Yes?
    Actually I don't think this one is problematic. I agree with putting in the comma because the meaning you want to convey seems to be that the patient is postmenopausal AND she is on HRT. In fact I think the reality of the situation is such that this can be the only interpretation possible. She couldn't be menopausal only when she's on HRT. I don't think a medical practioner would want to put a patient on HRT if she wasn't menopausal. Not so?

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