A career in medical transcription is interesting to a lot of people, but there are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the career as well. The idea that you might be able to work at home is appealing to a lot of people. Concerns about electronic records and voice recognition software make it less appealing. Is going to school to become a medical transcriptionist a good idea? Is it still worth it?
You absolutely need to consider the future of medical transcription. It’s extremely relevant even when you’re training up for your first job. Good training will allow you to consider what’s happening within this industry.
It must first be noted, however, that there are still a lot of jobs out there for traditional medical transcriptionists. It has not vanished, and won’t for some time. Electronic medical records don’t automatically end the need, and not all doctors use voice recognition software. It takes time to make those changes.
Those won’t entirely do away with the need for medical transcriptionists anyhow, and if you have the right training you might just be able to take advantage of that. Places that don’t need medical transcriptionists because they’ve gone all electronic may still need help with their medical records, with transcriptionists working in an editing capacity. You’d be catching the errors the software makes in the record, and make no mistake, they will be there. Voice recognition is far from perfect.
Paying attention to where the industry is going is how you make your schooling worth it even if you don’t specifically take medical editor training. You may prefer to do the basic medical transcriptionist training to start, then add in medical editor training once you have some experience. A medical editor will still need to know how to do the work of a medical transcriptionist in order to do that work accurately. Such jobs will keep being out there for some time; the U.S. Department of Labor expects medical transcription jobs to grow by 11% by 2018. This could change as it’s only a forecast, but it is a good indication that the jobs aren’t going away too soon.
There is one more thing to consider when you’re wondering if going to school to become a medical transcriptionist is a good plan. That’s your own dedication to your training. It won’t be worthwhile if you aren’t a serious student. Taking classes isn’t a magic pass to a job. You have to gain the skills. You have to do hours and hours of practice transcription from real doctor dictation. You must learn the vocabulary. If all you want is to get through the classes fast, they might not be the best choice. You’re better off if you plan to take the time you need to learn all the skills.