Nowadays, a rewarding career can start right in the comfort of your home. In my previous blog post, I highlighted the pros of having a home-based career in medical transcription (MT). For the final installment of this series, I’m going to discuss how to jumpstart your career in this dynamic and rewarding field.
How do you prepare yourself for a career in MT?
Whether you work in a facility such as a clinic or for an online service, the most important factor is to learn your materials ahead of time. Don’t speed through the Medical Terminology course because this is the foundation for all medical careers. In MT work, it is essential that you understand these terminologies inside and out.
- Take the time to learn it forwards and backwards.
- Use the adjunctive materials from your instructor to enhance your educational experience.
- Don’t settle for just the minimum.
- Do all the practice transcriptions that are available.
- Make sure that you always get good, solid, helpful feedback.
- Ensure that you understand the errors and how to correct it in the future.
That last one is the most useful tool for your career as you will be expected to utilize feedback from QA editors who are checking your work. All that transcription practice will also help you improve your accuracy and your speed, two characteristics that are essential in MT work.
Lastly, take part in internship programs. Nothing compares to an on-the-job experience—in 20 hours a week, you can ramp up your knowledge base and get your feet wet. All the studying in the world cannot prepare you for the real world experience. Eventually, you will find your skills growing at an impressive rate. If you do well, there is always the possibility that you will be hired after completing 3-4 months of internship. Only a few jobs out there offer such great opportunities.
Do you need any other skills to be good at MT work?
Like any online job, computer skills are a must. Learning the basics about computers and programs, such as Word, is an essential part of the puzzle. In medical transcription, learning Word keyboard shortcuts can help you earn big bucks.
If you want to hone your keyboarding skills, take a course in word processing or even typing improvement. You will not regret the effort you put into increasing your productivity skills. Another essential factor is to have the thirst for knowledge. The field of medicine is changing every single minute, and having your finger on the pulse of the industry will help you to be marketable.
Can you earn credentials in MT?
Joining professional organizations, such as your local AHDI component or becoming a student member of AHDI, is a fantastic way to increase your knowledge on a continuing basis. You’ll be informed of new developments in the industry and receive discounts on webinars and resource materials.
When you feel you are ready, you may then take the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) exam. You can join study groups and purchase study materials to be ready for the test.
Being credentialed is a convincing way to increase your credibility. It proves that you have the necessary skills to advance in the medical transcription profession. It is said that, in a few years, credentialing will become mandatory—and the sooner students become RHDS certified, the better.
After working at least 2 years in acute care transcription, you should become a Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). Nowadays, companies pay higher wages for applicants who have both of these credentials. This underscores the importance of having skilled professionals in this critical field of medicine.
It is becoming more and more evident that medical transcriptionists are essential to the accuracy of the patient’s health story. You could be one of these vital medical personnel and have a profitable work-at-home career to boot!