If you’re thinking about getting into medical transcriptionist training, you probably know that you need great typing skills. 40 words per minute is pretty much a minimum. But the job requires more than just typing. These are some of the skills you will want to have even before you start your training.
Great Listening Skills
Do you really pay attention to what you’re hearing? A medical transcriber must. While you’ll be improving your listening skills as you do practice dictation, you should be a very good listener right from the start or your training.
These listening skills will develop still further so that you can catch the finer details of what the doctor is saying, no matter the distractions on the dictation. Many medical terms sound very similar, and you must listen well enough to catch the differences even if the doctor is speaking too quickly, has a heavy accent, is eating or doing something else as he or she dictates. A medical transcriptionist must cope with all that.
Self discipline is especially important if you transcribe from home, but even in an office it’s important. The need for this starts during your medical transcription studies, which can often be done from home as well, and at your own pace. If you aren’t disciplined, you won’t make it through your training, never mind succeed once you start working.
Ability to Add to Your Vocabulary
It starts with your training, when you’ll be adding a lot of medical terminology to your vocabulary, but the need continues even while you work, as you will regularly encounter new procedures, medications and terminology as you work. If it takes you a long time to be comfortable with new terminology, you aren’t going to be happy in medical transcription.
Comfort With Technology
It’s not just that medical transcriptionists work on computers that means you need to be comfortable with technology. It’s that the industry is always changing, especially now with electronic medical records and transcriptions generated by speech recognition software. You may not last long if you can’t prepare for and adapt to the changes.
A good medical transcriptionist is great with details. You have to be. There are so many little mistakes that can be made that completely change the meaning of the report. If you don’t catch these mistakes, the reports you turn in may not be accurate, which can have an effect on patient care.
If you have these skills and an interest in working in medical transcription, it may be a good career choice for you. Take a look at your training options and find the right one before you get started.