Susan Dune: Medical Transcriptionist
By Shaun Martin
The search for a job can be somewhat daunting for an English
major. If you're not going to graduate school, what do you
From tutoring to transcribing
Take Susan Dune, for instance. A 2002 graduate from Western
Carolina University with a concentration in professional writing,
Dune, ironically, started teaching as an adjunct professor
and worked in a tutoring center. Not content with teaching,
she decided to pursue a field in which she had some interest,
Medical transcriptionists convert recorded notes and observations
from doctors into written form. Therefore, accuracy is important.
"This [the converted data] is a legal document, so it
is absolutely important not to change the meaning of what
has been said when you edit," Dune states.
Success rooted in her English degree
Dune's English degree provides a "strong foundation
in grammar and punctuation," which is essential in correctly
translating the spoken word into written form. She also credits
her English background with giving her time-management skills.
She works at home and believes that her acquired time management
skills are essential: "It would be easy to get distracted
in the home environment," Susan says, "but I follow
a routine to maximize my productivity."
Work that matters
How is this job important? Dune relates that the dictators
she transcribes for are grateful that her transcriptions help
their communication become clear. Dune credits her English
experience for her success, ''Writing and editing skills help
you not only to communicate well but also to help others.''
Dune's English training has allowed her to write clearly and
accurately, which undoubtedly makes each doctor's job easier.
As Dune puts it, ''I'm doing my part to improve patient care.''
This positive outlook is apparent in Dune’s work and
What advice does Dune have for WCU students graduating with
a degree in English? "What you learn in college is a
start, but there's always something new to learn, especially
when it comes to technology...Keep your options open in your