I've been receiving a LOT of questions, lately, about Medical Transcription. Feel free to keep the e-mails coming! If I don't have an answer, I will find one! :)
Q: What does a medical transcriptionist do?
Medical transcriptionists (MTs) are specialists in medical language and healthcare documentation who interpret and transcribe dictation by physicians and other healthcare professionals regarding patient assessment, workup, therapeutic procedures, clinical course, diagnosis, prognosis, etc., editing dictated material for grammar and clarity as necessary and appropriate. [Source: AHDI] - ..
In other words, a Medical Language Specialists.
And, yes, you can work from home.
Most companies require experience or participation in one of the top AHDI (Association of Healthcare Documentation Integrity - formerly known as the American Association of Medical Transcription) approved schools. If your looking into Medical Transcription pay the extra in tuition to attend an 'approved' school. Many people have received training through inadequate programs only to find out that they are unable to find a job.
Check out: http://www.mteducationonline.com. This is the school I recommend and is affiliated with Career Step. Career Step is an AHDI approved program and they are partnered with many of the major MT employers. Over 700 MT Employers have hired Career Step grads! In other words, their graduates get the jobs. Many companies require 2-3 years experience, however, a lot of these companies will waive this requirement if you graduate from the right school. I received a job offer less than a week after graduating.
You can work for one of the National MT companies, a smaller company, or find your own clients. Of course, if you find your own clients you will be making more money, as you will be eliminating the middle man.
So, what does a typical day look like?
Depending on who you choose to work for you may have a very flexible schedule (you choose your own hours) or you may be assigned a work schedule. Typically, you'll log into their system each morning and check the previous days reports for any comments. Then, download the first of the day's reports, listen to the dictation and type the report up before uploading it back to the hospital. Then, download the next report and so on. Again, depending on who you work for much of your work may be VR (voice recognition), meaning that instead of actually transcribing the report, you'll edit a report the VR software has produced. You can choose to live anywhere with a good internet connection and receive work from anywhere in the US (or Canada). For example, live in NV and work on an account based in New Jersey. So, even though there are no Medical Transcription postions available locally, you can still find work as a Medical Transcriptionist.
How much money will you make?
This is entirely up to you: In Medical Transcription speed and accuracy means money. In other words, the faster you type and the more knowledgeable you are in Medical Terminology the more money you will make. There are several 'tips' which will help improve your speed. Building an extensive word list, using text expander software, and knowing how to effectively research a subject are a few examples of how to become a successful MT. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states: "Wage-and-salary medical transcriptionists had median hourly earnings of $14.40 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.17 and $17.06. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.22, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $20.15." Many CS graduates are making well over $20 an hour.
Can you tell me more about the course?
The course is self-paced, so you can finish in a few months or take as long as you need. The school does offer various payment options. The school does offer job placement assistance, if you need it. (I was offered a job before I had a chance to use it.)
How long did it take you to complete the course?
I signed up a day or two before my youngest son was born (I know, not the brightest idea. LOL). So, I didn't start the course till months later. When I finally did get around to working on the course, I was still trying to catch up on my sleep due to late-night feedings. For this reason, I worked on the course VERY sporadically. Still, it only took me about a year to complete. Again, though, if you put the time into it you can finish much faster than I did.
Transcription isn't for everyone. It's a difficult job and you'll spend
many hours sitting at your computer. However, it's challenging and
you'll learn something new everyday! Plus, some of those reports can be