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How To Become A Medical Transcriptionist
So, What Does It Take To Become A Medical Transcriptionist?
Online Training — Will it Work for You? It’s time to take a look.
If you are thinking about becoming a medical transcriptionist, and what that involves, we will provide you some useful information for free medical transcription training, free medical transcription skills testing, the career steps in medical transcription, medical transcription internships, and what is involved in working at home.
What Does a Medical Transcriptionist Do?
First, what does a medical transcriptionist do? An MT transcribes dictated recordings from healthcare providers of all kinds and creates a paper or electronic record for the patient’s chart. A head set and foot pedal are used to listen and type what is heard. The transcribed medical reports are all prepared on a computer using a word process. MTs make minor editing changes before returning the documents to the entity who dictated them.
With the advent of voice recognition systems, MTs also review and edit computer generated documents to make sure they are error-free. Currently, the VRSs are about 60-65% accurate, so have not imposed any impact on the career steps of MT. The per line rate is lower, but the work is done much faster (you are not typing an entire line, just fixing errors).
Not everyone can do this work. There are certain skills and aptitudes involved. We will tell you more about those. You have to learn a whole new language, anatomy, physiology, disease and surgical terms, and the names of thousands of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The upside is that you don’t have to memorize all the words; spellcheckers and other great tools assist with that.
Want to hear some dictated words and an actual report? Click here.
What are the skills required? – Let’s have a look at a few:
- You almost have to like words. People who like words spell them well. People who like words learn new ones easily. Medical words are based on Latin and that language spelling is easier to learn than English.
- You have to like to type and the faster you type the better since you will be paid on production (it also helps to have low errors)
- You like to use computers and understand the Internet. You are very familiar with commonly used software, including word processing (such as Microsoft Word).
- You can work alone with little to no supervision
- You can meet deadlines (turnaround times imposed by your clients)
- You are willing to proofread every word you type.
- You are able to accept criticism somewhat gracefully (since everything you do when you start working will be exposed to careful scrutiny and correction)
What are the advantages? – There are many, but here are a few:
- Good income potential even for a part-time investment of your time
- Ability to work at home
- Flexibility – you often have the ability to set your own hours
- Own your own business and be your own boss, or sub-contract your services
- Provides challenges and always encourages you to learn more
- It is never dull!
Good questions to ask yourself – What should I know about myself and my career goals?
You have a pretty good idea now of what is required, so let’s do a little self-examination:
- Do you like challenges?
- Do you like learning new things every day?
- Do you retain what you learn?
- Is medicine-medical care interesting to you?
- Are you a problem solver? (finding word spellings, interpreting foreign language speakers, dialects)
- Do you have good hearing? Though hearing-impaired people do work as MTs using special software applications.
- Are you a cooperative person who can accept criticism and improve capability as a result?
What to expect?- What can I expect from prospective employers?
- Employers will test your skills. Meditec provides a simulated employment test at the conclusion of the training. You have it pass it eventually before we let you go.
- You will sign an employment contract either as an employee or an independent contractor (the latter is now the most common).
- You will have to learn the software used to move the data around (get voice files, return transcribed files)
- You may choose to use software to increase your productivity (word expanders and macros – remember the “repetition factor noted above”)
- You will undergo performance reviews to make sure you follow the standards of the provider, facility and industry. Better reviews mean more income. Many facilities require an accuracy rate of 95 to 98%. Translated, that’s about 2 errors per page maximum.
- You will learn all about the rules and laws of handling confidential patient information and what you must do to comply.
- Good, mediocre and bad dictators. No matter where you work, you will transcribe speakers with good and bad English skills, frustrating dialects or accents (but you will learn to master these variables as well).
How much money can I make?
Depending on how you develop your productivity skills, very good income is possible. We have had MTs earning from $50,000 to $90,000 per year. MTs who work at home are paid by the line
- New MTs are paid anywhere from 5 to 8 cents per line.
- Experienced MTs (who do not require quality control) are paid 9-10 cents per line.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Medical Transcriptionists
Average production for a beginner is 300 lines per hour and with experience, 400 to 600+ lines per hour.
- New MT: 200 LPH x 6 cents per line = $12 ($90 per day)
- Experienced MT: 600 LPH x 9 cents per line = $54.00 ($432 per day)
Want to chat with MTs? An associate of ours, Mary Morken has the best MT network in the industry: http://www.mtdaily.com
NOTE: Meditec students get free and/or discounted memberships at MT Daily.
How do I get the training I need?
Well… Right here at Meditec, of course! The staff has been teaching medical terminology-transcription since 1969 with thousands of learners who went on to become MTs. You can read all about the course and what it entails, but remember, when comparing training programs, the bottom line is that you learn to do medical transcription by doing it, not by memorizing thousands of medical words, then hoping you will be able to put them in the right order. All of our training is based on platform learning, where you learn what you need to know in real time (contextual). The key factor in learning medical is the repetitive nature of the dictation. All dictators essentially say the same things over and over and over again when describing the body, a disease, or a treatment.
Want an overview of the training? Free Medical Transcription Course…
Complimentary Medical Transcription Mini Course Click Here and Download It [219 KB PDF File]
Review the training products: Full Online Training
Once you complete the training, you will be able to transcribe and there is lots of work available. Learn more about our JumpStart/Internship Opportunities: Click Here