By Josephine Reid
A medical transcriptionist listens to voice recorded medical reports and transcribes them into written reports. One would need to to be specially certified in order to land such a job, but the certification process is relatively simple and can be found through numerous courses online.
The benefit of this job is that you can do it from anywhere and everywhere as long as you have a computer and Internet access. Uniform scrubs come into play dependent upon the hospital facility. Most hospitals stick to the 'casual office attire' policy: no denim, t-shirts, open-toed shoes, visible tattoos. In most cases, hospitals do not allow coders to wear uniform scrubs.
Thanks to an interview by allalliedhealthschools.com with Valerie Barrett, a medical transcriptionist in Washington, you can learn what this unique position is really like:
What’s a typical day like for a medical transcriptionist?
Some days I do 40 reports in 3 hours, other days I only get through a dozen reports. It depends on the individual exam. My client has an 8-hour turnaround time, but some clinics have a 24-hour turnaround. When I’m available to work, I just dial into the hospital and get whatever exam is waiting to be done.
What type of personality will do well as a medical transcriptionist?
You must be self-motivated and you must like working alone. You have to know your personality. You need to sit for long periods of time, and you must type well. Also, you must be a good listener. A lot of it is intuitive, you have to get used a doctor’s voice, and accents can be difficult. Hopefully you can work for someone who will take the time to train you.
What advice do you have for people interested in the field?
You’ll definitely need to take a medical terminology course and a medical transcription course. Then just be persistent, don’t give up. It’s the kind of profession where you have to have experience to get a job, but of course that’s impossible. You’ll eventually get lucky. It might also help to find out what branch of medicine is most popular. Every specialty has a language all of its own. I found that it was beneficial to work on site when I trained so that I could ask my coworkers questions. I was able to ask the doctor questions and it really helped to see the instruments. A lot of the techs showed me the instruments and machines which helped me get a better understanding of what they’re talking about.