Friday, October 1, 2010
Inspired by this post over at Social Work Blogs, I decided it would be fun to make a Wordle of my own. I decided to use my client notes for the month of September.
A couple things I found interesting. The words that turn up frequently in my notes seem very formal: scheduled, meeting, information, reported. If I were to do a wordle of the words and phrases often used to describe mental health work, I bet it would look very different. Also, I decided about half way through the month to break my habit of using “client” instead of a person’s proper name. It’s an out dated practice, and a bit of a hang over from when I used to write notes in third person. I’ve gradually been shifting out of that mode since I did a bunch of legal & documentation training where I learned that it’s really not necessary, and often confusing. If I took notes from any previous months, the words Client and client would have been twice as enormous. By the same token, I learned at that training that “stated” is a valuable tool, because it makes it clear that you are not directly quoting the person, and also that you are reflecting their own ideas and not imposing or assuming anything. Obviously, I use it a lot.
The prevalence of certain words reminds me just how much I rely on a certain set of phrases and terms to help me get through my notes quickly, and hopefully write them in a way that will be clear to others.
I could go on a lot more, but I realize this analysis probably a lot more interesting to me than any one else! Identifying information has been removed, natch.