You’ve heard about working as a medical transcriptionist, perhaps even at home, and you’re eager to get your career moving. You’re pretty confident about your typing skills and your ability to use them as a medical transcriptionist. Are you really going to have to spend a bunch of time in school to become a medical transcriptionist?
Probably, yes. Especially if you think a medical transcriptionist just types up what the doctor says. The job is just not as simple as that.
First and foremost, it’s hard to get into medical transcription without experience, never mind without training. It’s a career that demands near perfect accuracy. Going to school to become a medical transcriptionist will help you to build the skills and knowledge you will need to do the work.
Even nurses who want to go into this field are usually better off going to school first. It’s very different dealing with patients than it is transcribing doctor’s dictation. You can’t get by with almost knowing how to spell all the terminology. You must get it right.
Nurses and others with a medical background do have some advantages, as medical terminology, physiology, anatomy and pharmacology will be much more familiar. But a refresher won’t hurt, and if you choose a self paced online school you can work through the familiar parts more quickly. But nurses and other medical personnel will still need to learn how to transcribe, and that’s a skill that comes only with hours of practice.
Transcription itself can be extremely challenging. Doctors usually speak differently when they dictate. Many speak as fast as they can, to get the work out of their way. Others will eat or do other activities as they dictate. Then there are strong accents to deal with. The only thing that will help you to cope is a lot of practice. The best place to get this is through a medical transcriptionist school.
Learning to transcribe will be a huge help when you first become a medical transcriptionist. You’ll be faster at it than you would be if you’ve never transcribed before. If your job pays on production, you want every advantage you can get when it comes to speed and accuracy.
Unless you know someone who wants to hire you with no training and no experience, attending school will be a big help in getting that first job. Provided you attend a good one, of course. There are many schools that are not worth the time or expense to attend. There are others that are very much worth both time and expense for the quality of their training.
Going through a good medical transcription school and getting good grades on your work is one way you can show potential employers that you can do the work. Without some sort of proof that you’re a competent medical transcriptionist, most companies won’t give you or your resume a second look.