Deciding to become a medical transcriptionist is a big deal, but one that can be great for you and your family. Having a job where there’s a good chance to work at home rather than in an office is a wonderful thing. But you’re going to have to pay for your own training to have the background information you need to get a job in this industry.
Just how hard will you have to study? Can you do it while working your regular job?
The quick answers are pretty hard and yes, if you’re motivated enough.
How Many Hours Should You Study Each Night?
To become a medical transcriptionist means a lot of study. There’s terminology to learn, formatting to learn, research skills for unfamiliar terminology and drugs, plus the ability to connect your typing and listening skills as closely together as possible.
If you can, study as you would like to work when you get a job at home. If you can manage 3-4 hours a night while working another job you’re doing pretty well. It’s pretty likely that once you get a medical transcription job you won’t be working another job.
If you’re not working another job, consider studying more hours a day.
You’ll be learning more than just terminology. You’ll be learning how to understand even terminology you don’t know at the moment the doctor dictates it. Knowing a lot of suffixes and prefixes is a huge help in transcription, as it will help you figure out what unfamiliar terms are so you can transcribe them correctly.
You don’t have to study every day. It’s not likely that you work 7 days a week, after all. But the harder you work in your course the sooner you can finish it, hopefully with high marks on your tests and a true understanding of the material you’ve been studying. The better you know your stuff the more quickly you should manage to land a job and get your transcription speed up high enough to earn good money.
Studying at Home Doesn’t Mean Studying Alone
Just as in courses you attend in person there will be ways to get in contact with someone who can help you. Depending on your study hours you may have to wait for their "office hours" or whatever times they are available to be contacted. There may be scheduled live chats you can attend, a forum you can ask questions in, email contact and so forth.
Most at home transcription courses have student forums. This is great for when you need help or just want to interact with people who are in the same situation you are.
Just don’t let chattering on the forums mess up your study time.
Forums are great if you aren’t quite understanding something you’re studying. Often a fellow student can find a way to explain a concept that you’re struggling with. They may not directly give you the answer at times, but instead help put you on the path to finding it yourself.
It’s also very encouraging to hear about graduating students finding jobs and so forth.
Take Advantage of the Flexibility
When you study at home your schedule is generally flexible in two ways. One is that you can study whenever you want. The other is that you can take a break whenever you want. Take advantage of both.
When you have a lot of time and the inclination, study extra. Really push yourself. Do everything you can to become a valuable transcriptionist when you graduate.
But when you need the time, for your family or just to clear your mind, make sure you do that too. Don’t overload yourself if things aren’t urgent. Relax once in a while. Try to give yourself a complete day off from your regular job and from studying at least once a week.
Learning medical transcription is hard work. It’s best to learn that as a student so you’re ready for the real thing. Just don’t burn out in the process.