MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION AS A CAREER
One of the great things about a career in medical transcription is that almost anyone can set up an office to handle the duties of a medical transcriptionist or a medical transcription service. Even the office requirements are fairly generic, meaning this has the potential for a home-based business.
A computer and Internet connection are probably your biggest needs for medical transcription, though technology has truly come a long way in this field. More than ever, there are products that can help you along this path, making your work easier and aiding in your speed and accuracy.
If you know little about medical transcriptions, you may have the idea that a doctor or other health care professional records information on a tape recorder and the medical transcriptionist simply writes whatever is recorded. Digital recordings have greatly aided the medical transcription industry. No longer is there a need to deal with scratchy tapes and poor sound quality.
The industry is also making it easy to make dictation easy for your clients. You don't even have to have the physical recording device used by the health care professionals in your hand. There are several options for telephone recording. You can set up a recorder especially designed for medical transcription on your own telephone line and have your clients call in their dictations. These systems are secure and easy to use for both you and the client. And once you have the dictations onto your personal recording machine, you can choose what to do with the information. You can route it to another destination (your computer dictation software, for example) or transcribe directly from the recorder.
Many of the recorders come with easy controls so that you can start, stop, pause, fast forward or replay segments of the recording using your feet or voice. This leaves your hands free to do their typing.
There are also several types of software available that will help you do your job more efficiently. It won't take long to figure out that Microsoft and other typing programs aren't ideal for medical transcription. The terms and proper names - including drug names - are not likely to be recognized. Mistakes are also likely to fall through the failings of those systems. Using the programs especially designed for the medical transcription industry will allow you to more accurately evaluate your work.
With the technology and training available, you can see that it's a fairly simple matter to become involved in this industry. Many people even do so from the comfort of their own homes. However, this isn't the home business for the busy parent who wants to work a few hours during their toddler's daily naptime. Most deadlines associated with medical transcription are fairly tight and there's no room for error.
There's no doubt that medical transcription isn't for everyone, but it is an important part of the health care industry and one that provides a good living for those who choose to pursue this particular aspect.
MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTIONIST'S SUCCESS FACTORS
Presently, there is a substantial need for good transcriptionists who are knowledgeable, accurate, hardworking, smart, dedicated and dependable, and this need exists daily. A professional MT, even one just beginning, is expected to have a certain level of required medical, language, and technical knowledge and skills along with the necessary typing acuity to perform the job. The bottom line is that knowledge and skills are constants. Will there come a time when hands-on medical transcriptionists will not be needed, that the MT will be completely replaced by computers and voice recognition systems? While that possibility exists, it is not seen in the immediate future.
Facts: Medical transcription has evolved into a highly skilled subspecialty of medicine requiring proficiency in the knowledge of medical language and technical skills, and today's marketplace commands the successful MT to possess a variety of skills, which includes use of the Internet. The difference between a transcriptionist and a good transcriptionist is the extra mile taken to ensure the accuracy of document information and presentation. Job proficiency is the name of the yardstick and you will be measured by it.
Hiring facilities view MT candidates as having a variety of talents, assets and characteristics. Your proficiency in the real world is measured by your proficiency to get the job done accurately and in a timely manner. Your work will be monitored and you will have regular performance reviews wherever you work, so performing your best is always a top priority. It pays to persevere, and learning what you don't know will only help you in the long run.
Secrets: Repetition is a key factor in mastering listening skills. As much as possible, listen repeatedly whenever encountering an unfamiliar word or phrase. Transcription speed is built on abbreviated keystrokes, which save time and enhance your ability to make more money. Always find ways to improve your knowledge and technical skills, because learning occurs daily. As technology advances, you will be expected to know how to use and integrate these changes into a facility's system.
Expand your knowledge. Get to know other transcriptionists and network often, if not daily. Reach outside your comfort zone. Choose an area of particular interest and become an "expert" in that area. While the road may be tedious in the beginning, ultimately rewards do come. If you promise 24-hour turnaround, deliver it. Honor and meet whatever commitments you agree to with your client. As you continue in your career, the likelihood of greater demands and expectations made upon you increases, so practice often and keep your knowledge current.
Conclusion: Commitment and determination lead to a successful career. Be willing to take the steps necessary to complete the required learning, to compete in a market that strives for excellence and rewards it, and to invest time, energy and sincere efforts toward excellence.