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How To Search Using Google - Some Tips

We, as medical transcriptionists, use Google all the time. We use it to search for words dictated by doctors. These words can be medical words, drug names, doctor names, hospital names, lab terms, etc. As medical transcriptionists, it is vital that you find the word you are looking for quickly. The quicker you find the word you are looking for, the quicker you can complete your file and move on to the next. You can therefore increase your productivity if you are able to research words faster. If you use Google, like I do, there are a number of handy operators you can use to get to what you are looking for faster. You may know some of them, but not all. Let me briefly explain!!

A.  If you just enter the words  surgical fixation  in the Google search box and search - Google would show all webpages containing both words, i.e. surgical and fixation but it might not show both terms together or in any particular order.

B.  Now, let's see how the usage of quotes changes things. The words are the same, i.e. surgical fixation --- however you would input the words in this fashion   "surgical fixation"    Note, the usage of quotes.  For this query, Google would show all pages that contain both words, BUT in this instance, the two words would display together and in the same order as the query.

C.  Following from the above example, you can also use the * operator to search for unknown words.  Take this example. "open * surgery"  In this case, the words open and surgery are clear, but you know that there is a word in between that you cannot listen to clearly.

If you input the query "open * surgery" in Google using quotes as shown, Google would show you all webpages containing words open and heart and any words in between both. For instance, "open heart surgery" "open rhinoplasty surgery," etc.

D.  Now, let's come to the + operator. Let's say Google is ignoring a particular term when you search for a phrase (for example). This can sometimes happen. You want results with that word included, but Google just wouldn't show you those results. With the use of the + operator, you can force Google to include that particular term in the search results. You do so by putting a '+' sign along with the word.

For example,   +heparin  (note that there is no space between the '+' sign and the word.

E.  The - operator works in a similar fashion.  It does the exact opposite of the + operator mentioned above. If you find that Google results are showing up a term that you don't want it to show, just precede the word with the  '-'  operator. For example,   -heparin    (again, note that there is no space between the '-' search operator and the word).

F.  Next is the  'OR'  operator.  Say, for example, you search using the search query  surgery OR hernia, you would find pages that contain the words "surgery" or "hernia" or both words, but not webpages that contain neither “surgery” nor “hernia.”

There are some other operators as well, but the ones mentioned above are the more important ones every MT should know!

For additional search operators and their functions, you can follow this link. The "define" operator mentioned there is yet another useful search operator.