I use my iPad mini to write clinical notes on a PDF-reader program. (I should make a separate blog post about how to make your iPad HIPAA compliant.) On the app, I will use iOS dictation to write my notes, but when that’s unavailable, I will use my thumbs on the touch screen.
I’ve gotten lazy about trivial matters like text messaging – I blame aging on this. While it’s aggravating to talk to people that still use “u” and “ur” (I’ve stopped talking to those people), I use several of these keyboard shortcuts now when I text.
I have taken the time to accumulate a library of Clinical Social Work text shortcuts that have saved me time. Hopefully, they’ll save you time, too!
How to Add a Shortcut
On iOS 7 (iPhone and iPad)
- Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts > [+]*
*That’s the plus sign to add a new shortcut
On a MacBook
- Mavericks: System Preferences > Keyboard > Text > [+]*
- *That’s the plus sign to add a new shortcut
Your Shortcuts Will Sync
All keyboard shortcuts will sync across your iDevices that connect to iCloud. If you have an iPad, iPhone, and/or Mac, adding a shortcut on one device syncs up with your other devices if they are connected to the same iCloud account.
This is a list of all of my shortcuts, clinical and not clinical. You will see some with hashtags and that is because I will use my iOS devices to tweet; I like having certain hashtags handy.
|bbl||be back later|
|brb||be right back|
|btw||be back later|
|fwiw||for what it’s worth|
|idk||I don’t know|
|omw||on my way|
Pro Tip 1: Punctuation
Unless certain words need to be capitalized (e.g. proper nouns), the shortcut and the word should be entered as lowercase.
A shortcut for a proper noun:
|ussw||University School of Social Work|
If you type a shortcut with the first letter capitalized, the first letter of the word will be capitalized.
For a shortcut entered as:
When the first letter is capitalized, it looks like:
When all letters are capitalized, the word will also spell out in all caps:
Pro Tip 2: Program a conference hashtag
If you are at a conference and using a hashtag for your tweets and messages, plug in a shortcut in iOS to save time!
Pro Tip 3: Tell iOS to work how you want it to work
If you ever have a pesky time with iOS wanting to autocorrect certain words, you can fix that by programming in those words into your phone.
|alkalinetrio||Alkaline Trio||A band that I like|
|amiga||amiga||I am telling iOS “don’t fix this”.|
|di||do||“di” autocorrects to “Di” and I don’t want that|
“Dang Iggy, How’d You Memorize All of these Shortcuts?”
It is because we are in a culture of texting that I often will text to colleagues or supervisors about a client or trivia (see “sbux” above, although, don’t get between me and my coffee). Often, typing things over and over and over again becomes cumbersome and I grow weary. Also, I’ve developed my own…
Clinical Social Work Shorthand
In a session, I will jot down shorthand… it is my very own language that I have developed over the years and that I’ve included above. Sometimes I will need to write a long sentence,
e.g. “cx rpts @ appx 2 wks ago, s/he got into DV fight w/ ex. No srs injury…”
translates into: Client reports that approximately two weeks ago, s/he got into a domestic violence fight with her ex. S/he reports no serious injury…”
Some of these are standard and some are of my own doing (like “chx”, although I prefer a triangle, i.e. delta symbol, to indicate change).
How many shorthand words can you find in my note with my faux-client, A.L.T.?
Programming keyboard shortcuts into my phone helps me tremendously in saving time in Social Work Practice.
I hope it does for you, too!Please share any other shortcuts you think might be handy!