A medical transcriptionist has a lot of obligations. These are to the patients whose reports you are transcribing, the doctors who send you the reports to transcribe, and to the company you’re doing the work for. If you aren’t ready to face these commitments, then medical transcription might not be the job for you. Be sure to consider these things before you start your medical transcriptionist education.
You Are Obligated to Get and Maintain a Good Medical Transcription Education
You need to have a high quality education as a medical transcriptionist right from the start. That means being a good student when you’re taking your classes, whether you do so in person or online.
This also means that even after graduation you keep up with the changes in the industry and add to the knowledge you bring to the job. This isn’t just to benefit your employer; it benefits you as well as you can take on more challenging and better paying accounts.
You Are Committed to Accuracy
A medical transcriptionist must produce an accurate medical record, both for the good of the patient and for the doctor’s reference. That means no guessing if you aren’t certain what the doctor said – put in a blank and let someone who knows what should be there fill it in accurately. It also means noting when you think the doctor said something that wasn’t accurate, such as naming what sounds like the wrong body part or procedure compared with other parts of the report.
It also means you must know the difference between words that sound similar or identical. You must build your skills up to where you can think about it and choose the right word for the report.
You Are Obligated to Maintain Patient Privacy
This is a big one, as it brings up legal issues as well if you don’t maintain patient privacy. HIPPA violations can be a serious matter for you. Don’t go blabbing something interesting or unusual in a report you just transcribed. Respect the patients as you would like to be respected as a patient.
You Are Responsible to Your Employer
If you’re lucky enough to become a work at home medical transcriptionist, make your schedule and stick to it. If something comes up, communicate with your employer so they know why you aren’t working. It’s really not so different from having a job where you have to be there in person.
You should also do your best to keep up the volume of work expected of you by your employer. This can be difficult if work volume is down for a time, but that’s when you see if there’s another account you can be added to that matches your skill level.
You Are Obligated to Know How to Use the Tools of the Job
You need to be very comfortable with your computer and the word processing program used to do your transcription. You should be an excellent and fast typist. You should be very comfortable with using your foot pedal to control the speed of the dictation as you transcribe.
You should know how to use all of your reference materials, both online and in book form. The faster you can look up unfamiliar terminology or new procedures and medications, the faster you can get back to transcribing and earning your pay.
You should also take the time to learn any software and other tools that will help you to do your job better. Know how to use text expanding software to speed up your transcription.
You should also know how to handle basic troubleshooting on your system. Know how to cope if your computer freezes or you drop your internet connection. A few basic tricks can save you a lot of time if you can handle things on your own.