Unless you’ve been exposed to the dictation and transcription industry, you may not be aware that there are two basic types of foot pedals commonly used in the industry. Transcription foot pedals are used to control audio playback and are often smaller and designed for more precise use. The individual functions or pedals are often very close together, sometimes even integrated together so the transcriptionist can easily move their foot back and forth to control playback. A dictation foot pedal is much larger with separate pedals and is designed for hands-free dictation, where the author’s hands are often tied up while creating their report.
Transcription foot pedals come in two, three, or four functions or pedals depending on the software or machine you’re using. They often have accommodations for rewind, fast-forward and play. Some four function foot pedals have a “next job” option as well to make loading the next job simple without the need to take your hands off the keyboard. This helps improve your efficiency when typing. The transcription software you’re using with your transcription pedal dictates what pedal serves which function as often they are programmable.
A dictation foot pedal, as mentioned previously, is larger and is used when the author requires hands-free operation. This is often found in pathology labs when the user is looking through a microscope and is dictating a report. These types of foot pedals offer record, stop/pause and end-of-letter functions. The physical design of the pedal is much different as well. It has three or four large pedals all separated so the author can easily tell which pedal they are using.
Dictation foot pedals are also offered in waterproof models, perfect for grossing stations and other areas where the foot pedal may be subjected to water and other liquids.