Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: work at home medical transcription

Do You Need Schooling to Become an At Home Medical Transcriptionist?

You want to become an at home medical transcriptionist. You’re confident you can pick up the needed skills on your own if they’d just give you the chance. Do you really need to pay for medical transcriptionist schooling and take all that time to learn it at school in order to work at home in medical transcription?

Yes, probably you do.

There are a few reasons for this. First of all, it’s not as simple as just typing what the doctor says. People who don’t know better may describe it that way, but few things in life are as basic as their simplest description.

You have to learn formatting. You have to know medical terminology. You have to know anatomy and physiology. You have to know the names of many medications and their generic variations. You have to develop your ear for transcription, and that’s not an easy thing to do. It only comes with practice.

Most of all, you must be fast and accurate. Medical transcription companies don’t want to spend significant amounts of time training you to do the work. They want you ready to go with just a little help getting used to the particular system they use. They don’t want you overloading their QA staff with poor quality work because you don’t really understand what you’re doing and can’t quite hear the difference between very similar terms used by the doctors.

Even though medical transcription schooling costs money, in the long run you may earn more if you go through it. Most at home medical transcriptionists are paid per line, not per hour. This means that the faster you can transcribe accurately, the more you earn. Taking the time to go through schooling means that you’ll be a faster transcriptionist at the start, and capable of earning more money.

If you feel you have most of the skills needed already, consider that many online medical transcriptionist schools are self paced. If you already know the information, you can go through that part of the course more quickly, and spend more time on the parts you still need to learn. You may be surprised during your training to find out what you don’t know already that you need to know to work in this industry.

I’ll admit that it’s not completely impossible to become a medical transcriptionist without training, but the odds of doing so successfully are pretty low. That’s not the usual way to get started, and particularly in low supervision areas such as at home medical transcription employers need to know their employees can do the work with minimal help and supervision. Having an education gives them reassurance that you know what you’re doing, which increases the chance that they will consider you at all for a job.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

How Do You Become a Medical Transcriptionist and Work From Home?

Once you find out that it’s possible to become a medical transcriptionist and work from home, the idea can be quite appealing. There just aren’t that many work at home jobs that sound so possible to many people, especially with a clear income potential.

Then you start looking at jobs and realizing it’s just not that simple. Everyone wants you to have at least two years of experience, except a couple of questionable companies that are asking you to pay them for the job. Isn’t there some way to become a medical transcriptionist from home and not get scammed?

Of course there is. Many people succeed at this, while others end up working as medical transcriptionists in an office somewhere rather than at home. The only problem is, you’re going to have to pay for your own training.

In many ways, this isn’t any different from any other job that has demanding requirements. It’s like a job requiring a particular certification or a college degree. You get the training you need from the source you choose, then you can start finding the jobs that will take you on as an employee.

What about that two years of experience thing, you ask? Choose the right training, and it won’t be so much of an issue. You can get around it if employers trust the school you trained with.

Online Medical Transcriptionist Training

The great part about medical transcriptionist training is that you can do it online, from home. You must be careful to choose a school that is AHDI Approved, so that you know their training is high quality. You should also confirm that employers are willing to hire their new graduates, so you have a shot at getting past that annoying experience requirement. There are few things more frustrating after spending months on training than being constantly asked how much experience you have, especially when you know you’re ready and able to work now.

Training to become a medical transcriptionist online is a smart way to go if you want to work from home after you graduate. It’s experience in work at home skills. You’ll be learning how to cope with many of the issues you’ll face when working at home for real, such as dealing with distractions, getting family to take you seriously and so forth. It’s also nice not having to drive to school and deal with parking issues, child care issues or schedule changes. Online training works with you for the most part.

What About After Graduation?

After you graduate is when you really know how much you needed a high quality training program. If the school you chose doesn’t have such a great reputation with employers, your job hunt is probably going to be more difficult. There can still be challenges in finding a job after completing even the best of programs – it all depends on the competition for the particular jobs you apply for, and the jobs you find.

The great part about working from home is that you don’t have to limit your job hunt to local companies. You can apply to companies all across the country if they hire home based employees. Most will never need you to come in to the office, so your location relative to them won’t matter. The internet and telephone will take care of all your communication needs.

Not everyone will find a work at home position, no matter how badly they want one, however. It may pay you to take a local, in office transcription job if that’s what you find. The job hunt gets easier with experience.

But if you do get the work at home job, work hard and really show that you’re a great employee. Over time you can effectively increase your pay as you become more productive, as home based medical transcriptionists are often paid on production. As you gain experience you can move on to better opportunities or be promoted within the company you’re working for. You may be surprised where this career takes you.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

Is Being a Medical Transcriptionist a Good Stay at Home Job?

You’re ready to start working from home and heard about medical transcription. But you aren’t sure. The pay rates sound promising, but how realistic are they? Can you really be a medical transcriptionist for your stay at home job?

With the right training, you most certainly can. However, you need to be aware that not all positions in this industry are home based.

Training is a very important first step into this career. If you don’t get good quality training, you’re going to have a very hard time finding work, especially from home. You have to know what you’re doing. You have to convince potential employers that you will be a productive and accurate transcriptionist. You have to know how you’re going to cope working from home, which isn’t as easy as many people assume it is.

When you’re considering a home based career, I like to suggest that you learn your job skills at home too. There are a few really good medical transcription training programs out there that will let you do your studies entirely at home, usually at your own pace as well. It’s great for learning the job skills as well as how you’ll cope with staying at home to work, which is an entirely new skill for most people that takes a surprising amount of time to figure out. There are a lot of distractions at home that slow many people down, plus the isolation to deal with.

That said, if you enjoy having a stay at home job, medical transcription is a pretty good one. The hours for stay at home medical transcriptionists are usually very flexible. You can decide what your work hours will be, so long as you meet whatever the agreed upon minimum is with your employer. If you work at night better than during the day, or mornings, you can set your schedule to be during those times. If you need time off for a special event, you can usually manage that. If you need to work while the kids are sleeping, that’s usually possible too.

You aren’t going to earn a spectacular living as a stay at home medical transcriptionist. You can earn a fair living, with $15 an hour being fairly possible once you have a bit of experience. $20 an hour is harder to achieve. Don’t be surprised to earn under $10 an hour early on when you get a job, as you learn that the reality is different from medical transcription training, no matter how well trained you were. Being at home means you’ll probably be paid on production, so as your skills improve, so will your effective hourly pay rate. Call it motivation to work hard on improving your skills.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

What Do You Need to Know to Be a Medical Transcriptionist at Home?

Deciding to be a medical transcriptionist at home is a great career choice. It’s challenging and the pay is pretty decent. You have to know quite a bit before you can become a medical transcriptionist at home, however.

This is not something to do on your own. While you can study up on the skills you’d need on your own, you’re better off going through a good quality online medical transcriptionist training course. That way you won’t be missing out on some of the skills you didn’t realize you’d need.

These are the skills you need and that you need to be certain your medical transcriptionist training course will provide to you.

1. Knowledge of medical terminology.

This one should be obvious. You can’t transcribe medical reports if you don’t know the terminology and know it well.

2. Grammar and style.

You should have excellent grammar if you’re even considering medical transcriptionist training. The time you’re spending on your formal training is no time to be reviewing grammar basics.

You will need to learn about the style of the different types of medical reports and documents. They’re done in a certain way to make it easier for doctors and other medical personnel to find the information they need about a particular patient.

3. Anatomy and physiology.

How much do you know about the human body? You need to learn more.

This is a vital skill. It will help you to understand what the doctor is talking about, especially when you’re dealing with two completely different things that sound very similar. When you know the part of the body being discussed, you usually know which word is being said, even when they have similar roots.

4. Pharmacology.

You’re going to learn a ton about medications that may be prescribed. You’ll especially need to know the difference between the brand name and generic names of drugs, as the difference can be important. This is one of the areas where you need to keep up as well, as new medications come out all the time.

5. Disease processes.

What are the different stages to various diseases. The ability to understand what the doctor is talking about once again comes in very useful.

6. Transcription technology and practice.

Lots and lots of practice. Any course worth the money will require you to complete many hours of real doctor dictation. This is one of the big steps in getting the skills that will make you a productive medical transcriptionist. Without it, there’s no way you’ll earn a living wage, maybe not even minimum wage.

7. Privacy and legal issues.

Patient privacy is a huge deal, and there are laws you need to be aware of as a medical transcriptionist at home.

Beyond these concerns, I like to recommend self paced, online medical transcriptionist courses. These make it easier to continue working at your current position as you train for your new career, or you can go through the work as fast as you can learn it if you aren’t already working or otherwise occupied. It’s nice to not be slowed down by those who aren’t learning as fast as you are, or pushed to hurry up when you need a little more time.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

Can You Be a Medical Transcriptionist with Small Children in the House?

Many people look into medical transcription as a career because they want to work at home and be there for their kids. That was even the reason I got into it, back when I was pregnant with my daughter.

It’s doable, but it’s not easy.

Infants are both easy and challenging. They’re easy because they sleep for so much of the day. They may be easily entertained in a baby swing. You may even be able to get a bit of work done with baby in a sling on your lap… although that’s a bit awkward sometimes.

But they’re challenging because their routines change every few months as they grow. The child who napped regularly and well may suddenly take only very short naps, and be awake at the times you thought you could work. They start getting into things. Crawling. Walking.

Toddlers present similar challenges. They’re getting into everything and may be asking for your attention often. But they may settle into a really good napping routine, and of course are normally sleeping through the night, so you’re less exhausted than you were during the early days. That helps a lot with productivity.

You may also be able to persuade your toddler to "work" with you. Just set up a miniature version of your own workspace. They make inexpensive toy laptops for kids, and you can add on other things as needed. Old, broken keyboards with the cord removed can work as well.

As children reach the preschool and school ages, things can get easier yet. They gain in independence. They may be out of the house for hours at a time if you’re sending them to school. They can be more understanding of your need for work hours.

If you’re homeschooling, as many at home parents do, you have the challenge of working out that schedule with your work one. It’s a personal choice how you manage that, and you will find what works for your family.

And of course, at all ages you can work a night shift after the kids are in bed. There’s no guarantee that you won’t have anyone wake up on you, and it can take from your relaxation time, but if that’s the best time for you to work it’s something you need to deal with.

That you can schedule around your work needs is one of the great benefits of being an at home medical transcriptionist. Most employers want you to set a schedule, but you can change it with a bit of notice, or call in if there’s an emergency.

If you get your own accounts, so long as you’re producing according to the contract terms, your schedule is your own to set. It’s a pretty nice deal if you don’t overestimate yourself.

That you can do all that is one of the best things about going into medical transcription. It’s why I always had people asking me how to get into it. You’ll probably notice a similar effect yourself.

Start your training. Contact Career Step for information about their medical transcription training courses.

Is Medical Transcription a Good Job for Stay at Home Moms?

Lots of stay at home moms want to work from home. It’s a wonderful way to keep contributing financially while being there for your kids. How do you know if medical transcription is a good choice for you?

The first question is if you’ll be able to afford the training. You can’t just land a job as a medical transcriptionist without it. Companies can’t afford to waste time training you from scratch. There’s too much information you need to know before you get started, such as anatomy, common procedures, terminology, drugs, how to research unfamiliar terminology and of course how to transcribe and format reports.

Training is pricey. You can expect to pay $1800 or more, sometimes significantly more, depending on the program you choose. Don’t choose a program that costs too much less, as not all schools offer the quality training you need in order to work.

You also need to think how you will work transcription into your routine. How easy or difficult that will be depends on the routine you have now and the ages of your kids.

If you’re wanting to work because they’re all going to school and you’d like to earn some income during the day, you already know when you’re going to work. You’re pretty much in good shape.

If you have an infant or toddler who needs a lot of attention, it’s going to be more difficult. You’re either going to need to commit to working hard during naps and after the kids are in bed or you’re going to have to look at some childcare. That childcare may just be your husband, but you’re going to need a good commitment that you won’t always be called upon by a child needing you.

If you’re homeschooling it can also be challenging, but you’re probably used to working with a good routine. It can even be a good example to your kids, although they should not be allowed to watch you work. Private information, after all.

You will also need to honestly assess your skills. Are you ready to work as a transcriptionist? How are your typing skills? How’s your vocabulary? Are you really willing to dedicate the time needed to learn transcription and to work when you get a job?

The beautiful part is that once you’re working, you can probably set your own schedule. You have to plan it out as employers need to know what your plans are, but you aren’t stuck with a schedule that doesn’t work with your routine. If you need to tweak it as time goes by, most employers will let you.

Look at studying at home as practice for working at home. The conditions are much the same. Using your training as practice work time can really help you to figure out the scheduling that will work for you.

Take a look at Career Step’s online training program. It’s highly flexible and a great way to get prepared for your medical transcription career.

Is It Easy to Do Work at Home Medical Transcription?

Medical transcription is incredibly popular as a work at home option. That’s no surprise, considering that medical transcriptionists can earn a good living from home, and the work is fairly consistent. But is it easy?

Yes and no.

I spent three years working at home as a medical transcriptionist. I can say in all honesty that it’s easy in many ways, hard in others.

Your first challenge is in getting an education that is good enough to get you a good job as a medical transcriptionist. Go to the right school, and employers will gladly hire you after graduation if they have any openings. Go to the wrong school, and it’s going to be tough.

Learning medical transcription at home is your best way of preparing to work at home. You’ll enjoy some of the same challenges and benefits. You’ll know before you graduate if working at home is for you.

The best part about learning and working at home for some people is quite simply that it’s done at home. You don’t have to go anywhere. That saves a ton on childcare expenses if you have kids. It saves on gas and wear and tear on your car.

It can also mean feeling isolated. Many people find this one of the hardest parts of working at home. You don’t have the social aspect that is present in most other kinds of work.

Another big plus is the flexibility. You can pretty much set your own hours. There’s less worry about exact punching of a clock, although most medical transcription work at home jobs do want you to maintain a schedule. But it’s mostly your schedule to set. You don’t want to work on the weekend, you don’t have to in many cases. Holidays are pretty easily taken off.

Then again, you have to be self motivated enough to stick to that schedule. Many people find it easy to become distracted by housework, a favorite television show, getting too many snacks, and so forth.

Medical transcription work itself can be challenging. That much is true whether you do it at home or in an office somewhere. Doctors talk fast, they don’t always speak clearly, and the range of accents you will encounter may amaze you.

Then there’s the terminology and the sudden appearance of medications and procedures you never heard of and have to look up. If you’re going to love working as a medical transcriptionist, the research might just be a plus, as you get to satisfy your curiosity and love of a challenge.

I wouldn’t describe working at home as a medical transcriptionist as easy, overall. But I do not mean that in a bad way. Easy means that too many other people can do it, and that your skills won’t be valued. Medical transcription is challenging in a very good way.

Start your medical transcription online training now at Career Step.