The most prevalent cause of illegible handwriting is a high volume of patients to be seen, notes to be made, and prescriptions to be prepared in a short period of time. It should also be acknowledged that bad handwriting has no bearing on a doctor's medical knowledge or experience. However, poor handwriting can be a serious obstacle to effective communication.
When doctors write, they use a pen. Originally, pens were simply sticks with ink on them. Nowadays, many types of pens are available, including felt-tipped (marking) pens, ballpoint (writing) pens, and color pencils. Each type of pen has advantages and disadvantages for taking notes during a consultation or meeting.
If you ask any doctor to explain how he or she writes notes during an interview or consultation, you will usually receive at least one of the following answers: "I don't know," "It depends," or "I just do." The fact is that no two people write exactly the same way, and why should their notes be any different? But despite these differences, all doctors have a basic structure that they follow when writing down information about their patients' visits. This structure includes the following elements: a patient history, physical examination findings, diagnoses, treatments, tests, results, recommendations, and so on.
As you can see, doctors need to write a lot.
Doctors can't always decipher their own handwriting, even when they agree it's theirs.
Even if you've never met with a doctor, you have probably seen some of your friends or family members around the office - perhaps they're waiting for a room, sitting in the lobby reading the paper, or eating lunch in the cafeteria. Most likely, they are there because they have an appointment, just like you. But since doctors' offices tend to have very busy schedules, sometimes they have to turn people away.
All over America every day, good honest people try to get into see doctors who make hundreds of dollars an hour. Sometimes they get lucky and find an open slot, but more often than not they are told to come back later. Some people work at multiple jobs just to be able to visit the dentist, optometrist, or doctor once a year - but almost everyone agrees that it's a necessity. After all, we live in one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and many simple tasks that we take for granted continue to be done by hand today because they are too difficult or expensive to automate.
The problem is that doctors' offices need to keep track of every visitor who comes through the door.
15 minutes for a 5-minute visit is not enough time to provide any kind of thorough examination or treatment of your patient's concerns.
In addition to the time constraint, doctors often don't have enough opportunity to write up their thoughts during a single visit with a patient. They may have only a few minutes after seeing a patient to put down what they know about that person and what matters most to them. During a hospital stay, physicians may have as little as an hour at a time with each patient because there are so many people to see. Even if they have more time, they may need to make several quick observations and take several actions during that encounter, so they can move on to the next patient or task before them.
Finally, doctors use shorthand in order to deal with a large number of patients in a limited amount of time. For example, they might use symbols or abbreviations to indicate that someone is going to be rescheduled or canceled, tests that weren't necessary after all, or that they've referred you to another doctor or clinic.
Handwriting requires a variety of movements, from letter formation to body placement and pressure application. As a result, sloppy handwriting is frequently caused by inadequate motor (movement) abilities, such as fine motor skills. Individuals with poor hand-eye coordination may also have difficulty writing in a controlled fashion. Sometimes, an underlying medical condition can cause or contribute to poor handwriting, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis.
As mentioned, one reason for poor handwriting is a lack of skill development. This may be the case for individuals who are illiterate or only learn how to write later in life. However, even if someone has had some form of education they may not know any better than to write like a child. The fact is that good handwriting requires practice, and it is possible to improve with enough effort.
In addition to having poor pen control, another common cause for poor handwriting is anxiety. When you feel anxious, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol, which reduces muscle tone and brain function. This makes it harder to focus on writing and pay attention to detail. Handwriting is important - especially when you're trying to make a professional appearance! If you suffer from anxiety, then learning how to write properly could help reduce those feelings of stress.
Last but not least, poor handwriting is often a symptom of a larger problem.
Background Writing is a neuromuscular activity. Old age and disease can have a substantial impact on an individual's handwriting and signature quality. Because of the poor line quality of the handwriting, the impacted writings may be accused as forgery in some situations.
Symptoms Handwriting that is small, cramped, and difficult to read is evidence of neurological damage. The patient may also report symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or pain when writing. In more severe cases, the patient may exhibit abnormal movements while writing.
Diagnosis A medical professional will be able to diagnose neurological problems by looking at your handwriting. They may ask you to write out full sentences as part of the examination process. If you are having difficulties with handwriting due to nerve damage, the doctor will likely suggest exercises to help improve your penmanship.
Treatment There are two types of treatment for neurological diseases that affect handwriting: medication and therapy. Medications can be used to treat symptoms associated with neurological disorders. Therapy focuses on training and conditioning the muscles responsible for writing. For example, patients who have suffered strokes may need speech therapists to work with them on improving their communication skills.
Impact Of Disease On Handwriting Aging affects every aspect of human physiology, including the nervous system. As we get older, our brain cells die off and our handwriting becomes smaller and less clear.