You’ve probably heard that you should never pay for a job. That’s true in the sense that you shouldn’t pay an employer to consider you, but it’s not that uncommon for there to be a cost associated with getting started in a job. What is a college degree but a cost you pay to have both a better education and a shot at better work than you’d have without it?
This is particularly true for people who want to work as a medical transcriptionist, and even more true if you want to do so from home. Getting started isn’t free. There are some things your employer will quite reasonably expect you to have.
Medical Transcription Education
Your education is your first expense as a medical transcriptionist. Expect it to cost $1800-2000 or more. You need to get a high quality education if you want to work in this industry. It takes too long to learn the skills a medical transcriber needs, so employers expect you to get this on your own.
Depending on the program you choose, your medical transcriptionist training program may provide you with some of the other things you need in order to work as a medical transcriptionist.
This is one of the things your training program may have provided for you. You may have received printed books or access to specialized online materials that continues for a time after graduation. In that case, you’re in fair shape as far as reference materials when you start working.
If you don’t have reference materials, you will need access to a medical dictionary, drug reference, anatomy text and more. You may be able to find online resources that can handle this need for you, but be picky as many online resources aren’t all that reliable.
Computer and Equipment
You probably already have a good computer you’d like to use for your work as a medical transcriptionist. You’ll also need a high speed internet connection if you’re going to work from home. Depending on where you work, you may also need to invest in appropriate word processing software.
Your system must be secure, which means you should also look into high quality malware protection for your computer. There are some great free solutions for this, and I suggest you check Download.com for what’s working best currently. You don’t always have to pay to have your computer protected from viruses and spyware.
Your employer may provide a foot pedal for controlling the dictation. If not, they aren’t too expensive and can easily be purchased online through sites such as Amazon or eBay. Headphones for listening to the dictation are also a must and easily affordable.
A Place to Work
While you can work at home in some medical transcription positions, you really shouldn’t be doing it at your kitchen table. The ergonomics are terrible for starters, and you don’t want to get carpal tunnel early on. It’s also not the best place for respecting patient privacy if anyone else is in the house.
A room where you can close the door is best. Set up with a nice desk and an ergonomic desk chair. You’re going to be spending hours a day at this, and you need to be comfortable as you work.
Some of these things may seem like a lot of investment to get started on a job, but overall it’s pretty reasonable for a professional position. Work hard, learn to use medical transcription productivity tools and you’ll earn your investment back quickly and be on to making a good living.