Medical Transcription From Home

Doing medical transcription from home is unlike many other online and computer based opportunities. This specialized field requires commitment and diligence. An individual with a background in word processing may do well to pursue this career path, because many of the same skill sets are required. For example; learning transcription, in general, requires good computer skills, an eye for detail, and the ability to proofread one's own work. Further, one must have excellent listening skills and very specific language knowledge. This occupation includes understanding the language of medicine, being able to transcribe from listening to a recording that has been dictated by a doctor or other health care professional. The transcribed information is then prepared as notes, correspondence, reports, discharge summaries, and other documents that become part of a patients file. Transcriptionists must format and edit documents for mistakes, use accurate punctuation and correct grammar, and ensure consistency as each document is formulated. They must be concise and succinct so that the wording used makes sense medically and health care professionals are able to easily read and understand it. A person doing medical transcription from home, most of all must be very accurate.

Every trade and/or occupation has a certain number of terms that are common to that industry. Most health related jobs, in fact, come with their own set of common terms and abbreviations. Some industries have so many words it's like another language. Medical transcription from home is like this. The training that is necessary in order to be a successful transcriptionist from home includes learning the vocabulary and abbreviations of many different specialties in the health community. This very specific and descriptive language is not only precise, but universal. Professionals worldwide can communicate with one another using physiological, pharmaceutical, and biological names and descriptors. Since a basic foundation in the terminology is critical for this field, transcriptionists who have worked in a doctor's office, clinic or hospital environment will have a leg up in this career choice. In addition to the actual terminology, when a person is involved in medical transcription from home, they will also be required to be familiar with pharmaceutical names and uses; and become familiar with diagnostic procedures, anatomy, physiology, and various treatment modalities. It is imperative to be comfortable in this knowledge in order to understand what the health professional is talking about in the recordings.

A number of authors have developed resources that are very helpful in learning the various vocabulary subsets, layouts and formatting, and the ancillary terminology that is needed to get a full grasp of the subject matter. These resources are readily available and can be ordered online or through your local bookstore. A well-known publisher, Stedman, offers a whole collection of resource manuals from different specialties. These resources include abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols, as well as equipment lists. There are even style guides and spell checkers that are very useful in transcription. Even with all of the resources that are available, becoming an expert capable of doing medical transcription from home will not happen overnight. "Also Jonathan David's uncle was a counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king's sons:" (1 Chronicles 27:32)

Take heart though. There is lots of other help available to the person who is serious about this occupation. First, a person might want to consider performing an Internet search on the term "medical transcription from home." This search will return results that include everything from general information to schools and classes, from books and websites to societies and even employment opportunities. The U.S. Federal Government publishes a very handy guide called the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This directory gives you details about each occupation. They cover things like the nature of the work, the job outlook, and earnings potential of this occupation.

Another excellent source of information is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Although not required by law, designations of Certified Medical Transcriptionists (CMT), Registered Medical Transcriptionists (RMT) are offered through the AHDI. These credentials let potential employers know that individuals who want to do medical transcription from home are qualified according to the competencies established in the curriculum of AHDI. Students may sit for either of these examinations depending upon their background and experience. The curriculums designed by ADHI include: vocabulary and terminology, laboratory medicine, transcription technology, medical transcription practice, healthcare records, privacy, ethics, and other medicolegal issues. This gives the transcriptionist a firm foundation for the field as well as the specific occupation.

Armed with the language resources available, the credentialing process through the ADHI, and a good business plan, a person could conceivably open a successful transcription service. Like all businesses, it will take time and money to get started. But because it is home-based, it will be less costly than a brick and mortar operation. Doing medical transcription from home is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a solid vocation that is very much needed. As long as there are people need the care of doctors and other health care professionals, there will be a need for the occupation. Speech recognition technology has made it easier for health professionals to dictate. This cuts down on transcriber time. However, a well trained worker is still needed to identify errors and properly edit documents. The work of a transcriptionist is intense; but reported earnings seem to be worth a person to giving this occupation serious consideration.

Work At Home Medical Transcription

The ads for work at home medical transcription training make it sound so easy. An individual who has an interest in this type of work takes a few weeks of a home based educational course, sets up an office in a spare bedroom, and starts bringing in the big bucks. The reality, however, is much different. Becoming a medical transcriptionist requires specialized training, competence in specific skills, and a dedication to the profession. Becoming self-employed in this industry usually requires relevant experience in an appropriate office setting. And, of course, to be successfully self-employed requires the same attention to planning, organizing, and record-keeping as any other self-employment venture. A person with the interest, dedication, and ambition to pursue this vocational choice should research the various training opportunities and understand that the pathway to a legitimate work at home medical transcription career will be longer than a few months. In fact, it may take a few years.

A medical transcriptionist (or MT) has the responsibility to take a physician's taped notes and transcribe them into a word processing document for the patient's records. The physician's dictation may be on a tape recording or some type of digital recording system or voice file. The MT listens to the recording and types the information, word for word. Obviously, it's vital for the MT to have specialized training in proper terminology. This means learning the vocabulary that physicians use every day. The successful MT needs to know the language of anatomy, physiology, disease, and pharmacology. Naturally, it's going to take time to learn the proper terms and spellings for countless illnesses, conditions, diagnoses, treatments, and medications. Even experienced work at home medical transcription employees keep an updated medical dictionary and other reference materials close at hand.

The successful MT needs to be competent in other skills, too, such as grammar and spelling. Because of the nature of the work, transcribing the health records of patients, the MT must be someone who pays attention to details and focuses on the project. Sitting at a keyboard and listening to a physician's voice drone on and on may be boring to some people. But the successful MT needs to find fulfillment and satisfaction in accomplishing such an important task. After all, the transcribed records are placed in patient files. Mistakes, even small ones, can create havoc to the patient's continued health care. Whether the MT works in an office or has her own work at home medical transcription business, she has a huge responsibility to transcribe accurate records. In another context, the gospel writer quotes Jesus as saying: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). But this encouraging admonition should also be the philosophy of the conscientious MT.

Only in rare and unusual circumstances will a person be able to go directly from training in this profession to operating a work at home medical transcription service. Few medical facilities will entrust patient records to someone who hasn't had any actual experience in a facility such as a hospital, clinic, or doctor's office. Even MT companies usually require new employees to work onsite. The exception may be someone who has previous experience in a health profession, such as a registered nurse. Most people pursuing the vocation of MT as an eventual work-at-home opportunity should be prepared to spend at least a year, if not more, working in an office environment. More information on this aspect of becoming an MT can be found by going on appropriate and relevant websites, visiting message boards, and talking to those in the profession. This time may be considered a type of internship on the way to fulfilling one's goal of establishing a work at home medical transcription service.

Like any aspiring entrepreneur, a transcriptionist needs to create a business plan before taking the leap from employee to self-employed. The plan should include the overall goal of providing quality service to health professionals and the necessary objectives to reach that goal. The new company will require certain start-up expenses and these should be listed in the financial section of the business plan. The self-employed MT will need her own transcribing equipment, such as comfortable earphones and a foot pedal that regulates the speed of the dictation. She may need a dedicated phone line for the business. An ergonomic chair is also a good investment since an MT does a lot of sitting. Additionally, the aspiring entrepreneur will need the basics of any business. These include such items as business cards, stationery, promotional materials, and a filing system. Financing for the total expenses will need to be secured either through personal means or by taking out a loan. The owner of the new work at home medical transcription service will need to research and comply with all municipal and state regulations regarding the profession and home businesses.

In the overall scheme of things, becoming a successful MT is not as difficult as becoming a brain surgeon. But neither is it as simple as spending a few weeks learning how to spell difficult medical terms. The goal of a home business may take a few years to reach, but it's still a worthy goal for someone with the ambition, competence, and interest to obtain the needed training, education, and practical experience. The same care should be taken in establishing a work at home medical transcription company as would be taken in launching any other kind of business. This means spending the time to write a relevant and detailed business plan, securing the needed financing, conducting market research, and having a strategy for gaining clients. With the right training, experience, equipment, and attitude, the aspiring entrepreneur will be on the path of self-employment.

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