Re: Tech Writing Job Stress

Subject: Re: Tech Writing Job Stress
From: Donna Ellis <DLE -at- ALPHA -dot- SUNQUEST -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 10:04:20 -0700

In a previous posting, the writer asked if there were any
tech writers who actually had experience in unquestionably
high-stress jobs. The writer asked these people to reply
and compare the stress of tech writing with the stress
encountered in their previous job.

Before becoming a tech writer, I worked for several years
as a medical technologist in an emergency room, and also as
a med tech in the blood bank of a hospital trauma center.

In both of these jobs, people could die in a matter of minutes
(exsanguinate, to be specific) if we could not provide them
with enough blood of the correct type, and do it quickly.

What makes jobs like this tolerable for the people who
do them every day is (ta-da, drum roll) PLANNING.

You know that sooner or later some poor patient will
arrive and then bleed to death in your ER or operating
room, so you set up your equipment, blood inventories, record
keeping, testing, transportation, communication, clothing--
everything--to deal with that certainty.

You train for it, and you mentally prepare yourself to be
ready to drop whatever you are doing and go into "triage"
mode. I don't ever remember anybody complaining or bemoaning
the fact that stressful situations would occur. In fact,
lots of people looked forward to them.

Maybe that is why I got into user-centered design as a
tech writer. It is a way to anticipate problems and handle
them before they occur.

Donna Ellis
Usability Specialist
Sunquest Information Systems
Sunquest Information Systems

Previous by Author: "The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing" by Casey Miller and Kate Swift
Next by Author: Job Decriptions and Salary Justification
Previous by Thread: Re: Tech Writing Job Stress
Next by Thread: Re: Tech Writing Job Stress

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads