One of the biggest challenges for a newly trained medical transcriptionist is finding that first job. It’s the classic dilemma of needing experience to land a job when no one will hire you to give you experience.
This is one of the areas where quality training comes in handy. If you make the right choice in medical transcription schools, the reputation of the school will help you to land a good job. Schools such as CareerStep have good reputations with many employers. This makes getting hired much easier.
If multiple levels of training are offered, you may be better off taking more than just the minimum level. My own employer, for example, preferred students who took at least the Gold level classes through CareerStep. They weren’t particularly interested in students who only took the basic, Silver level classes. I won’t say it was impossible to get hired as a Silver level student, merely that it was more difficult.
Many schools will offer job placement assistance. If it’s offered, take advantage of it!
Another great way to find your first job is to start asking around at medical transcription forums to see if anyone knows of a company that hires newly trained and inexperienced medical transcriptionists. There are companies out there that will do this. Otherwise I never would have landed my own first medical transcription job. MT Desk has a good forum.
You can also do your own searches online or in the newspaper. There are plenty of job sites such as Monster.com where you can post your resume and easily apply for any medical transcription jobs that are posted. You can even have the site email you job search results daily.
There are also sites that have lists of medical transcription companies that you can contact and ask if they will test you. Many require 2 or more years’ experience, but if the site doesn’t make their preferences clear, ask!
If you don’t mind working outside the home for a time, check with local hospitals and clinics for on-site positions. It can be much easier to land a job on-site than off when you lack experience. It can also be extremely helpful to be surrounded by people who already know the job quite well.
Talk to your doctor. Your doctor may or may not need a medical transcriptionist, but he or she may know someone who does. You can also try your veterinarian if you’ve studied that terminology, your chiropractor, your dentist… any medical professional you know. If you have to pick up some new terminology to work for them, just consider it a good career habit.
Whatever you do, keep practicing your transcription. If you have the tapes from your studies, keep on transcribing them. It’s good to keep your mind on it, and you’ll keep improving your skills. Once you land the job, your ability to type fast and accurately becomes even more vital. You don’t want to lose your touch.