Dear Susan: Pesky Plurals

Medical Transcription2 Comments

Dear Susan,
When listening to dictation, what do I do when I can’t hear a term well enough to decide if it should be singular or plural?  For example, bruit/bruits always trips me up, as do abnormality/abnormalities and mass/masses.


Dear Confused,
The rule about using an ‘s’ or not depends upon the verb in the sentence. For example:
No ____ are noted—this would need to be bruits because of the plural verb “are.”
No ____ is noted—this would need to be abnormality because of the singular verb “is.”
No ____ palpated—this could be either mass or masses because there is no verb in the sentence. 


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  1. Donna Galane October 16, 2013

    I am interested in training to do medical transcription at home.  I was a secretary and can still type fast, however I am now a nurse so I already am familiar with medical terminology.  How do I train and is there an accelerated course I can take? Thank you for your help.

  2. Career Step October 21, 2013

    Hi Donna,

    Our online medical transcription training helps you gain all of the skills you would need to work from home (over 90% of our medical transcription graduates work from home in their very first position). We don’t have an accelerated program because we want to ensure that each of our students gain all of the knowledge and skills they need to succeed; however, if you feel that you already know the material in a given section you’re free to take the unit test and move on as long as you can achieve an 85% or higher. With your background as a nurse, you could probably move through a lot of the material very quickly.

    For more information on our Medical Transcription Editor program, visit our website ( or contact one of our Academic Advisors at 1-800-411-7073 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Best wishes!



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