Final Blog Post

For our last post we were asked to discuss one of the topics we covered in our course that we thought would be most useful to us going forward into our future careers.  I will begin my new career as a Cardiac Sonographer at the beginning of June.   My job will primarily involve interacting with my patients and acquiring ultrasound images of the heart.  Once these images are obtained I am responsible for analyzing them and creating a preliminary diagnostic report which is then reviewed and finalize by a cardiologist.

I may also have the opportunity to be involved in research in my new position.  This is where I think what I have learned in Techcomm will be most useful.  I would utilize the research methods discussed in this course as well as the persuasive tactics if I were required to present an actual research proposal.  If I were to present my topic to my peers I would likely use visual aids.  They may include posters or info-graphics, and certainly PowerPoint presentations.

This is just one example of how Techcomm may be used, as we have all learned throughout this semester, Techcomm is really everywhere.  The skills we have learned in this course will have practical uses for all of us regardless of our chosen career paths.

~Diana Lynn Schwartz

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Final Blog Post on Revising and Editing

     In Technical Writing and Editing, we learned about the four levels of editing: revising, substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Learning about the levels of editing allowed me to get a better grasp at how to approach my writing assignments in class. In the past I have eagerly completed my assignments then struggled to find a rhythm when editing them. More often than not, it lead to me proofreading the paper then submitting it. After being assigned multiple 10-page term papers and numerous other small assignments this semester, I knew I had to find a way to establish a better method of editing and submitting my assignments in a timely fashion. As a first step, I now know to revise individual documents as a whole to establish clarity. If time is permitted, I then update the organization and design of the document. Lastly, I go through the document twice to ensure clarity and consistency and then to catch any grammar errors.

     I believe I have been very successful this semester when revising and editing papers. I not only believe that this strategy is useful while I am still a student, but in the future as an engineer as well. Engineers often write reports, memos, and e-mails to coworkers, clients, and customers. For quick e-mails, it is important to quickly copyedit and proofread to ensure the reader will understand the purpose of my e-mail, however in reports and memos it may be more crucial to go through each level of editing. Knowing how to utilize the four levels of editing is a valuable skill as an engineer.

-Briana Goold

 

Professional Networking through Social Media

As we inch closer and closer to graduation many professors are encouraging students to expand our professional networks to help improve chances of landing interviews and ultimately employment.  Since our topic for this blog post was open ended, I felt that reviewing social media as a networking aid would be beneficial.  I will attempt to pass on some advice with regards to how you manage your social networks.

There is no question that utilizing these networks allows you to easily expand your professional contacts and promote your own personal professional presence, used correctly they can be a valuable tool.

There are however some precautions you should take.  Before you begin looking or applying for positions its a good idea to clean up your social media accounts.  In a perfect world none of us would have to worry about the content on our media pages, but most of us have some pictures floating around out there that we may not be super proud of.  Either delete, or untag yourself in posts or photos that may be inappropriate, or just tighten up your privacy settings so potential employers aren’t able to access content of that nature. You may also want to review the organizations you have liked.  Unlike any that may be controversial.

Once  you have cleaned house, it’s time to redecorate.  Take a look at your accounts, make sure the information provided is accurate and current, especially your contact information.  Do not use a personal email address for professional contacts.  Make sure that if you leave a phone number your voicemail greeting is appropriate.  Utilize communities and groups that would allow you access to relevant employment information and opportunities.

The vigilance shouldn’t stop after you gain employment either.  All it takes is one bad post that gets seen by the wrong person to derail things.  The best practice would be to just strive to conduct yourself respectfully and professionally in all things you do, then you won’t have to worry about spending so much time altering peoples perception of you because its true.

Alright so there’s my two cents for what it’s worth :).

~Diana Lynn Schwartz

 

 

 

Plain Language in the Medical Field

Plain language is typically used for instruction, teaching, or presenting information.  In the medical field professionals are required to provide their patients with information regarding their health.  This is where plain language is most useful; it facilitates efficient communication between provider and patient.

Navigating and understanding healthcare today can be confusing and frustrating even for those familiar with the system. Imagine how it might feel for someone who isn’t familiar with the system and who is being expected to interpret important information regarding medical procedures or decisions when they are ill.  Also consider patients with limited literacy skills, overcomplicated medical jargon would surely not be appropriate for them. Times like this are when comprehension is crucial.  Using plain language for patient instruction just makes sense.

It’s also important to note that plain language use for written works is essential, but its use for verbal instructions is also preferred.  In the medical profession I feel we get so used to using terminology among our peers and sometimes forget that our audience may have little or no exposure to medical terms.  The use of plain language is a way to bridge the gap between medical professionals and patients and ensure patients receive and comprehend information regarding their health and well being.

~Diana Schwartz

 

Infographic Adventure

This week for my technical communications class, we were asked to create an infographic using the strategies and tips we learned in our assigned readings.  We were also given some tools to use to help those of us who were really new to graphic design (that’s me!).

I settled on Piktochart’s graphics design site.  They had a lot of clean modern templates that appealed to me.  I also liked the tutorial provided, there was both a video and helpful pop up tips as you explored the site initially.    Continue reading