What Skills Do I Need for Home-Based Medical Transcription?
Having a computer at home and knowing how to type fast is not enough to become a medical transcriptionist. You MUST:
- Take a really good online medical transcription training course (or complete a good community college, trade or vocational school program).
- Have good listening skills.
- Have great English grammar skills.
- Have excellent computer skills.
- Have superior research skills.
- Be a fast and highly accurate typist.
- Pay attention to details.
- Have a good foundation in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, laboratory tests and values, medical equipment and procedures.
- Possess the ability to work alone< (You usually won't have much contact with others in home-based medical transcription.)
- Possess the ability to work under pressure, and sometimes, under a deadline.
- Possess the ability to sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time.
To provide medical transcription services, you will need to invest in several different types of publications such as: an English dictionary, a grammar and style guide, a complete medical dictionary, a drug index, a laboratory and pathology word book, a medical word book by specialty, a surgery word book, a medical abbreviation word book, other specialty word books and a physician directory and other journals.
You will also need to use several different pieces of software such as a medical spell-checker and an abbreviation system such as PRD or Smartype. You will also need to learn all you can about your own computer so you can employ all the tricks and shortcuts it offers for enhancing your productivity. Remember that you'll always want to have your hands on the keyboard because the more you type and type accurately, the greater your pay in home based medical transcription will be.
What's The Initial Investment to Get Started in Medical Transcription?
How much you will need to start working in an at-home medical transcription career varies and it depends on several factors, including:
- Do you already have a home office or are you starting from scratch?
- Do you have formal medical transcription training or not?
- Do you already have most of the books you will need?
- Do you have the necessary software programs to do the job professionally?
- Do you need to purchase additional software or hardware?
You can buy “gently used” equipment from eBay and other places that support the home-based medical transcription industry. Your four major purchases will be your medical transcription training, transcriber, computer and reference books, so your total investment will be minimal in comparison to work at home medical billing.
How Can I Learn Medical Transcription?
When it comes to medical transcription training courses you will have a plethora of choices (especially if you search online). Let's begin with some possible choices:
- College courses
- Vocational school or trade school medical transcription courses
- On–the-Job training
- Learning on your own
- Learning medical transcription online
Note: Everyone learns differently. You need to choose what’s right for you when it comes to learning the ins and outs of medical transcription.
What Should Medical Transcription Training Include?
Here's what good medical transcription training courses consist of:
- Medical terminology, acronyms, eponyms, abbreviations
- Laboratory tests and values
- Medical procedures and equipment
- Transcription formatting
- Ethics of medical transcription
- Research methods and resources
- Brush-up typing (if you need it)
- Brush-up English grammar
- Medical transcription business skills
You should also look for a medical transcription training course that will give you all the up-to-date equipment you'll need to learn on (at no additional charge), award you with a "Certificate Of Completion" (not to be confused with "Certification"), and if the course or school has free employment placement programs for those who complete the medical transcription training, that’s even better!
Just take the time to speak with several working MT's, home based medical transcription specialists, schools, online medical transcription training courses, the alumni of medical transcription training courses and then apply a little common sense before you decide to enroll in any medical transcription program.
This article is part of the Home Work Guide