Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among Transcribers

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpel tunnel syndrome or CTS is a physical condition of the hand which causes pain and discomfort. The disorder is caused due to the median nerve of the wrist being pressed. The median nerve runs through a small passage way in the wrist which is called carpal tunnel. The tunnel is the width of about 1cm to 1.5cm. Median nerve is primarily responsible for producing sensations and movement in the first three fingers and thumb.  When this nerve is pressed, it causes pain.

Pain is also caused due to the tendons pressing against the nerves. There are a total of 9 tendons which run through the carpal tunnel. These are covered by a layer of membrane. If any inflammation occurs in the membranes, they result in swelling and ultimately the swollen membranes press against the median nerve, causing pain and discomfort.

Pressure could build up due to several reasons. For example, obesity, Ligament presses on median nerve.

Where will you get to see CTS?

Its common among transcribers.

Professionals spending long hours in front computers i.e. Call Center professionals, Software coders and programmers,

Causes of CTS:

  • Wrist injury
  • Obesity
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Congenital
  • Smoking
  • Age factor:
  • Females: between the ages of 40 and 60 are more prone to CTS.

Lifestyle:  CTS is common in people who spend long hours working on the keyboard. For example, transcribers and transcriptionists suffer from frequent pains in the wrist due to excess typing. In BPO’s and call centers employees spend long hours on workstations. In order to prevent CTS among employees, squeeze balls are provided to employees.

7 Tips to Prevent Carpel tunnel in Employees:

  1. People working for long hours on computers can do wrist rotation exercises for atleast 5 minutes every hour.
  2. Perform hand stretching exercises
  3. Take frequent breaks of short duration.
  4. Maintain correct posture while using computer mouse and keyboard.
  5. Wear wrist braces and splints to keep the wrist straight.
  6. Switch between laptop touchpad and laptop mouse. Touchpads are more easier on the hands.
  7. Job rotation: Employees can take rotate their jobs with their colleagues in exchange for a job that involves lesser

Author: Article posted by Alltranscript.com. Alltranscript.com is online transcription service site specializing in interview transcription and podcast transcription services.

 

8 Tips and Suggestions for research candidates and students looking to using a Typing Service

In our recent post, we discussed the different types of conference calls. In this blog post, we focus on research scholars studying in college universities and will be looking to hire a typing service for transcribing thesis dissertation interviews.

PHD students and scholars are required to make a thesis as a part of their course curriculums. Thesis involves choosing a topic, researching, collating and analyzing data and then presenting the research findings in a compiled version. One of the ways research candidates collect data is by conducting research interviews. A research candidate on an average conduct interviews that range usually runs in hours. These interviews then need to be transcribed by a typing service. Here are top 11 tips and suggestions if you are planning to hire typing services for transcribing audio interviews.

 

Tips# 1 to 4

Non Disclosure Agreement:

Decide beforehand if the recordings are sensitive or not. If they are, then probably it’s a good idea to ask your typing service to sign a Non disclosure agreement before sending them interview recordings. A NDA will make sure that your audio file is protected against theft. Note: Not all transcription services sign a NDA but also you may not need a NDA at all in the first place.

 

Make a backup copy of recorded interviews:

As soon as you conduct a research interview, make a backup copy at minimum two places. For example, one could be your PC/Laptop hard drive, the other one could be a CD or cloud storage.  This way, even if you lose the data in your voice recorder, you can depend on the backups that you made and avoid regretting it later. Loosing interview data can be a big loss for a PHD research candidate.

Send a list of questions asked during the interview, commonly used words and reference material to your typing service: In this way, the transcriptionist will be able to acquaint themselves with the nature of the topic, typical words that they might across during the thesis interview and avoid missing them during the audio transcription. It will improve the quality of the resulting transcripts as well. As a result, it will save you lot of time and efforts in then when you receive the interview transcripts and begin proofreading them for accuracy.

Hire a Professional accredited typing service:

There are many options to choose from when hiring a typing service, however it’s not always that PHD research candidates and students are researching and collecting data for their thesis project. One must hire a professional and highly recommended typing service since it will give them reliable services, professional quality transcripts. This will eventually help the research student at the time of compiling research data.

 

Suggestions # 4 to 8

 

Clean recordings can make a world of a difference:

Make sure that you take every possible measure to conduct good, clean and audible interviews. A good interview recording contains minimum background noise, is free from external disturbances. Clear audible interviews will help your professional typing service delivery accurate transcripts on time. Also, you end up avoiding extra charges for difficult audios.

Online order and file upload service:

Choose a transcription service that gives you the facility of placing online orders, payments and file upload directly to the servers. This will ensure ease and will save your time monitoring transcription orders.

MP3 is better than WAV:

A very important suggestion. Set the recording format to Mp3 in your voice recorder at a suggested bitrate setting of 128Kbps or maximum 192Kpbs.We do not suggest WAV as a format because WAV recording take a huge amount of space for the same length of recording done in MP3. This in turn leads to storage problems and also it will take a lot of time to upload audio files to your transcribing services servers.  Mp3 recordings produce great quality recordings at half the size compared to WAV and is highly recommended.

Choose a quick turnaround transcription service:

Some typing service services offer turnaround times of 7 days to 2 weeks at lower prices. Avoid these and instead spend more for a quicker turnaround time. This will give you sufficient time for proofreading or making necessary changes to your interview transcripts.

Summary:

Typing services play a small yet an important role when a PHD candidate or a research student is preparing a thesis or a dissertation.  A professional  online transcriber will play an important role during the transcription professional. Be sure to hire a quality and reliable typing service, it will save a lot of time and efforts later on during when reviewing interview transcripts.

Types of conference calls

What is Conference call? It is a telephonic call in which many participants join in. The minimum number of participants is 3 or more.  In an audio conference, usually one speaker speaks at a time and other participants are in listen only mode.  For participating in the call, one needs to dial a specific number. After that call operator connects the participant to the event. Conference Calls (CC) are used by businesses for conducing pan country sales meets, discussing business strategies, declaring financial results to investors, conducting research and surveys and conducting branch meetings.

Cisco conference

Cisco Video Conference

Types of Conference calls: CC’s can be categorized into audio type or video type. Audio conference calls can be subdivided into the following categories:

Operator Assisted conference call: In this type of call, operators are assigned who facilitate the call by recording details about the incoming caller, the time at which the participants exited the call, number of participant etc. They are also responsible for connecting the callers to the conference. Besides this they also are responsible for configuring the operation of the call which saves the initiator of the call a significant amount of time.  These type of calls are usually much more expensive compared to other kinds. However since a operator is assigned to do the non-core jobs, the productivity of such calls is much higher.

The calls are most popularly used in big businesses and events where number of participants is likely to be more than 10.

Key features:

  1. Introduction and closing by Operator
  2. Roll call attendance
  3. Participant Screening
  4. Moderated Q&A Session
  5. Declaring Poll results
  6. Important announcements
  7. Music on hold
  8. Custom introductory message.

Operator Dialled: In this type of call, the operator will call to each individual speaker and add them to the call. In the previous example, the caller will join the call by calling a specific number given in advance. A PIN or a access password is provided which needs to be entered.  In an OD call, the technical platform is much simpler in such that it does not require a password authentication. Besides the call remains secure and the operator confirms the identity of the caller before adding them to the meeting.

Key Features:

  1. Operator dials out to the participants.
  2. Operator can record minutes of meeting.
  3. Make important announcements.
  4. Maintain call logs
  5. Comparatively lesser expenses.
  6. Music on hold

Meetme Conference: Is a standard multi-participant conference call will allows maximum of 6 participants to join without the need of an operator.  Avaya Meetme conference calls are popular among university groups and departments for conducting inhouse seminar-conference meets.

Customizable options - Meetme conference

Customizable options –  Meetme setup pad

Three Way Conference calls: In a 3-Way conference call, the maximum number of people who can participate cannot be more than 3. It is best suited for organizing small meetings, discussions held occasionally.  This kind of option is also very popular among individual groups for calling friends and families and taking an additional member in call loop. Of all the types of calls, this is the least expensive option. Communication providers such as At&T,Verizon, Roger’s Wireless, Telus Mobility, Amcom Australia etc.

Scheduled Conference calls: In thin kind one needs to make necessary arrangements with a service provider before hand. The time of the conference, the date, number of participants, their contact number, the need of an operator etc are discussed. Then depending on the requirement a password or a PIN may be generated which is then given all the speakers. Speakers can then log on to the call at the specified date and time of meeting.

On-demand conference:  Commonly used by businesses, its perfect for holding an urgent meeting, discussing business strategies, financial results with investors or taking care of an important business matter.  These type of calls are popular in medical industry where a doctor might need to consult other specialists for discussing patients case. One main advantage of it is that one need not commit to subscription based plans. Though if the estimated requirements are huge, then this will prove to be an expensive strategy.

Web conferencing: Also called as Internet conferencing uses the IP or VOIP (Voice over Internet protocol) for establishing web based conferences. Web conferences can be free or paid for video and audio type. VoIP’s hold a significant advantage when it comes to prices. On a regular telephone call one needs to pay the long distance charges. On VoIP no such costs are incurred. One needs to have a suitable internet connection which can connect the users. There are many free and paid options available. Businesses have started using free option such as Skype, Google Voice conference etc. as an alternative in order to cut down on costs. These platforms offer good quality voice calls, video chats and recording with the necessary security and backend support.

4 Free Conference calls: FreeConferenceCall.com, Rondee, Wiggio, Google Voice conference, Google+ hangout, Yahoo Voices, Uberconferences and Skype.

List of common problems faced during conference calls:

  1. Background Noise
  2. Call Drops
  3. Unable to join conference
  4. Call setup problem
  5. Adding Mutliple Participants
  6. Voice Clarity
  7. Echo
  8. Music volume

Transcription services of conference : Some companies provide additional services of transcribing a conference call. Also termed as conference call transcription, it is basically the process of typing out what the participants are speaking into verbatim word transcripts. The job is done by a professional transcriber who types, proofreads and complies the text into a word document.  The rates for such services depends on the turnaround required. For rush turnaround, the cost of transcribing 1 hour of audio is around $120 charged at US$2 per minute.  Slower tat of 3 days or more are usually the least expensive and costs in the price bracket of $60 to $90.

Benefits of Audio transcripts:

  1.  Transcripts can be submitted to individual speakers.
  2. Word texts are quicker to read than listening to the entire audio session.
  3. Useful for adding to the archives
  4. SEO and Digital marketing: Text assists in marketing as they are much easier to be crawled by search engine crawlers.

Tips for a quality conference call:

  1. For participants more than 15 in number, choose an operator assisted conference call.
  2. If using Web conferences, make sure all the participants have broadband speed connections.
  3. Schedule the time and date after each person’s agreement.
  4. Generate PIN’s for each speaker. Distribute the Passwords 24 hours before the  schedule time of the meeting.
  5. For saving on long distance calls, use VoIP.
  6. Transcribe and archive conference calls wherever possible.
  7. Recording conference calls is a Must!
  8. Transcripts should be accurate without any typing errors.
  9. Use a Polycom device for table conferences.
  10. Big businesses should invest in buying their own call bridges for saving costs on the long run.

Google+ Hangout and Google Voice as a free conference service: Did you Google provides its own conferencing services free of cost. Google voice can accept a maximum of 4 participants (including the admin). The quality and stability of Google voice is excellent and one can enjoy secure transmissions without any hiccups.  Rates start at 2 cent per minute for India mobiles and goes upto 15 cents for Mexico mobile calls. Some added benefits are voicemail transcription, personalized greetings, ability to block users and support for android based apps.

 

Summary:  Bell labs first developed the raw version of audio conferencing back in the 1956. The device was called a Picturephone.  It contained a screen; the whole system was the size of a room. However the system was difficult to operate. A few years later AT&T worked out better systems and the evolution of conference systems began.

For small businesses and individual users such as researchers, students, authors, podcasters, news agencies conferencing plays a critical role in generating content, ideas and business leads. Which type of conference is best suited for ones requirements simply depends on – Number of participants, additional facilities one requires and the budget.  For most of the times, 3 way calling or web based conference calls should suffice.

About the Author:  George Wong is a professional online transcriber working in the field of medical and general transcription for the past 6 years. He specializes in general transcription work such as transcribing audio interviews, digital mp3 media, news reports, sermons, captions, subtitles etc. George wrote the article as a quick guide for those looking for a conferencing service but are not sure about the options available in the market. His personal motto in life is – A healthy mind is the center of the universe.  We recommend reading one of his earlier articles which provides tips on hiring a transcription company.

Save on audio call transcription: AllTranscript.com provides audio transcription service at fraction of costs compared to other US based companies. Find us at @alltranscript

Alltranscript.com:

Visit Responsive, a Spirituality blog.

Originally posted on The Responsive Universe:

I read a great article recently by Michael Haederie titled Just Breathe: Confirming Meditation’s Benefits.  I even tweeted it because it is revolutionary in that it explains meditation through science. If you are a regular of my blog then you know I do not follow much of anything on blind faith. Even when it comes to concepts like God, Karma and the Afterlife, I feel science is very capable of explaining and even proving these concepts unlike religion that spews dogma and teaches blind faith. By the way, I am not an atheist…

A very comprehensive study led by neuroscientist Clifford Saron, meditation researcher Richard Davidson and psychologist Daniel Goleman (among other notables) was conducted and recently completed at UC Davis in California. It involved a study which monitored the brains, bodies, and behavior of 60 people over the course of several months. These 60 people had to…

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Why Virtual typing companies are here to stay.

Online based Typing companies primarily into audio transcription have been popular for the past few years. They offer an alternative to the conventional typing vendors who would have a physical presence and would operate from an office space. For the online companies, users range from big organizations looking to transcribe minute to meetings and conferences to smaller individual consumers such as journalists, academicians, students etc.

Virtual office

Operating from a Virtual Office

Though these online ventures remain strong however they are strongly dependent on the internet platform. If a dotcom bubble looms, their business is also adversely affected. A question arises: Will these online companies go strong in 2013? Well, we think they will continue their growth patterns. Why do we believe that? Here are some of the reasons that will corroborate:

Difference in cost:  The main difference is on the cost front. Traditional typing companies that work on a brick and mortar model, have to incur overhead costs. The primary one being the cost of real estate rentals.  As a result the prices charged by such companies would be higher since the companies have to recover their rental costs in order to stay profitable.  These companies may also face a pressure on rising rentals.  Lets say, the rents for the office space in which the typing company operates from rises at a rate of 10% per annum, this would mean the cost of typing services charged to the consumers on per minute of audio will have to be increased by a minimum of 15%. Hence competing on pricing front becomes a challenge.

For an online typing vendor, there are no such costs. Customers can enjoy typing services at much lower rates.  The only costs that are incurred are web development charges. Another major cost component that is worth mentioning is the marketing expense, however depending on the strategy this will varies.

Outsourcing:  Developed nations such as USA, Canada, UK and Australia are preferring to outsource their non-core jobs to countries such as India, Philippines and Africa. If we look at typing, it must be understood that many organizations hire transcriptionists for their internal work. This internal work can be of the following 2 types:

  • Transcribing digital audio events such as seminars, conferences, meetings etc
  • Transcribing documents

In order to offset costs, companies are outsourcing typing work. Online companies have an advantage on many fronts such as 24×7 operations, lower costs, complete VA solutions etc. Hence outsourcing becomes an popular choice.  However outsourcing has its effects on an economy. Other nations grab the jobs that could have otherwise been generated within one’s own country. Hence, many experts believe that sourcing is responsible for unemployment rates.

Work from home:  Work from home jobs have been very popular for transcription companies.  Organization employ work from home transcribers. Most of these people are moms, students looking for either a part time job or a full time career as a virtual assistant in order to supplement their incomes. The concept has been popular in American cities such as California and Chicago. Work from home employees have a much lower acquisition costs. Secondly, many overhead costs such as payroll management, employee work space benefits, insurances etc  can be reduced. The costs saving on employee front can lead to lower prices of the company’s services.

Employee Satisfaction

Thirdly, work from home employees enjoy better motivation levels due to their comfort level. Hence online typing companies a significant edge when it comes to pricing.

Internet is growing:  According to Google search trends, consumers make their first search for a product or a service on the internet.  The total number of users of internet is growing exponentially as more and more people are using mobile devices, tablets and smart phones to surf the web.  The growth of the internet has led to many behavioral changes. The way consumers are finding and choosing suppliers is also changing. Some of these changes are:

a) Transcription Price Comparison:  Consumers now go online and check for prices on various sites before making a purchase. Since prices are easy to compare, customers loyalty also varies as companies can lure loyalists by giving discounts and offers.

b) Service and product reviews: Consumers make comparisons of service vendors and products online.

c) Directory listing: Online versions of Yellow pages, directories and classifieds are becoming more popular.

So how does this affect the future of online typing companies? The growth of these companies is related to the number of users of the World Wide Web. Since the number of users are increasing the demand for online services is also increasing. It is more likely that online vendors will benefit more from the growth in the number of internet users.

Summary: Online transcription companies have significant advantages when it comes to cost savings. Many such companies went online back in 1990s when the internet was booming. Since then they have survived many bubble bursts and have done so quite well. With this strengths, customers will benefit the most as they get cheaper services. We think the future of online typing services is bright like sunshine.

About AllTranscript.com: Alltranscript.com is a transcription service website that offers all kinds of typing services. Some of these are interview,podcast, meetings,conference,seminars,thesis,dissertation and mp3 digital transcription. Rates start at $1.10 per minute for a 3 day turnaround service. Users can easily place their orders online and receive transcripts as per their scheduled date of delivery. Find more about Alltranscript at Localizedbiz.

Which is better Mp3 transcription or Wav transcription?

A Comparison of Mp3 Transcription and WAV Transcription.

I am Melvin, working as a Pro-transcriptionists with a reputed USA based transcription firm. Core part of my job is to transcribe all categories of audio and video files. This includes podcast, videos, documentaries, notes, meetings, radio shows, public and motivational speeches, thesis and dissertations.

The order process for a transcription is pretty simple. The client selects the turnaround as per the rate card, send us the digital MP3/WAV/DSS files for transcription, our team of transcribers types it, proofread it and then email the audio transcript to the customer. The process is complete.

 At the time of receiving the recordings, we may receive it in any number of formats, most common being – MP3,WAV,DSS,WMA,MP4 etc However out of these two, the most common ones are MP3 and WAV. Out of these two there is only one format that our team of transcribers really prefer over the other – That is MP3 format. The reasons are as follows:

1) Smaller Size:  Do an experiment if you will. Take a voice recorder and set the recording format to Mp3 at 128kbps.Record a 1 minute audio speech keeping these settings. Now save the audio and extract the audio file. Note down the file size. Now repeat the same steps but this time change the format to Wav. If you compare the two output set of files, you will notice that the WAV size is much bigger than that of MP3. A lot bigger. So does bigger mean better? In terms of audio analysis, WAV is considered to be better due to less losses per kilobyte of information. These being the technical bits, as transcribers we prefer only one thing – The end result i.e. crystal clear audibility.

Audio MP3

Minidiscs to Mp3 to Ipods

Audibility is directly proportional to our typing accuracy. So if you compare both the files i.e. MP3 128kpbs vs. WAV 128Kbps , with every other recording parameter kept equal, the is no noticeable difference to the human ear. With the audibility being equal, we definitely prefer a file that is smaller in size. This help us at two things First, smaller mp3 files are easier and quicker to transfer over networks. Secondly, mp3 files helps us in storage as it occupies lesser Gb’s in our hard drive.

2) Excellent Compatibility: The HD-DVD and BluRay war was won by BluRay because of the support by the biggest media player companies. As far as MP3 is concerned, it is the mother of all digital formats. It enjoys a huge and a wide variety of support. From DVD’s, iPods, Music players to Cellphones, mp3 enjoys support in all every digital processor possible.

Digital format war

Format wars: Bluray vs HD-DVD

Transcription vendors prefer a format that is easy to carry in Voice-recorders, cellphones and even Mp3 players. Mp3 enjoys a higher support function over WAV for all electronic gadgets.

3) Easier Formatting and Conversion: Many times I receive audio files in Wav format from my customers. The first problem arises due to its big size when it takes a lot of time to download it through the Dropbox. Second issue is compatibility. Though most systems are WAV friendly, however I faced issues when trying to load the wav file into the transcription software and the software will hang up. As a way around this, we had to first convert the mp3 into wav, then load it into the software. The whole process is time consuming and takes unnecessary efforts.Mp3 on the other hand has no such issues with any of the transcription assistant software’s including Express Scribe.

Format Factory

4) Audibility: The most critical aspect in transcription business is accuracy. Accuracy depends on lots of factors. These are the capability of the transcriber themselves, accents, number of speakers, cross-talking ratio, topic of discussion, background disturbance and voice quality. Voice clarity is extremely important to us. A transcriber must be able to understand what the speakers are saying. He must be able to understand each and every word of it as any error in transcribing a single word can change the intended meaning of the sentence. This in turn can be detrimental in areas such as Court and legal transcription, medical and radiology transcriptions or even university lecture transcriptions.Comparing MP3 and WAV’s, to an audiophile

 Summary: As a Professional transcriber and consultant, I always suggest my clients to record audio interviews, podcast or business conferences in mp3 format. As a result of this exercise, my clients spend lesser time in upload and transferring the files to us and it saves us a lot of time to download it at our end. Plus the benefits of excellent audibility without any comprises. Converting the audio into text become an happy experience for us.

 About the Author: Melvin is a professional transcriptionist and an excellent virtual assistant with over 7 years of work experience. Currently he is working with a reputed American based online transcription service company that specializes in general audio interview transcriptions and legal court transcription services. Melvin’s philosophy of life is – Seek an improvement in everything that you do and you will rise to the peak of your existence. This article written as a guide is a showcase of his philosophy – Improvement in everything that one does.