No doubt you have seen many ads by medical transcription
schools claiming that you can make big money typing medical
transcription at home. Can you really make a good living doing
medical transcription at home, or is it just another scam? In this
article, you'll learn the honest facts about home medical
Can you really make a decent living doing home medical
transcription? Yes and no.
Yes - Many people are earning $50,000 to $80,000 or more per
year typing medical transcription at home. They work where they
want, when they want, and as much as they want. The amount of
medical transcription work that needs to be done FAR exceeds
the available transcribers to do the work. When I say the demand
exceeds the supply, I mean the situation is desperate.
No - Reading a few booklets and listening to a few tapes will not
make you into an instant $50,000 per year medical
transcriptionist. If you're not ready to commit to between six
months and a year of hard study and practice, find another
means of earning a living.
Typing medical transcription is not like typing a letter to your
mother. It's far more challenging. Below are some of the
challenges you must be prepared to meet.
1. You must have a good understanding of medical terminology.
You need to know how to spell the names of the latest medical
conditions, drugs, medical tests, treatments, and procedures, and
just knowing how to spell them is not enough. Because of
challenge #2 decribed below, you need to have some familiarity
with medical conditions and what tests, drugs, and treatments are
related to that condition. It's difficult to learn this with a mail order
medical transcription course. This type of knowledge comes from
- You don't need to be familiar with ALL medical terminology.
Many transcriptionists specialize in specific areas such as
gastroenterology or opthalmology. However, when you want to go
on vacation, you'll need someone else to take over your work
while you're gone. In reciprocation, you'll need to cover for
someone else when they go on vacation, and they may be
transcribing to a different field than you're familiar with.
2. You need to be able to extract the transcription from a noisy
electronic recording. Unfortunately, many doctors mumble, garble,
don't enunciate, don't speak up, or talk too fast when they dictate.
Combine the above problems with a thick, foreign accent and you
can have real dificulty understanding what the doctor is saying. In
many instances, the only way you will be able to decipher what the
doctor is saying is if you are familiar with medical conditions and
what tests, drugs, and treatments are related to that condition.
- Doctors dictate "on the fly". They don't have time to think about
proper sentence construction as the words emanate from their
mouth. Frequently the sentence they started doesn't make any
sense or has an error by the time they get to the end. Do you edit
what the doctor said, or just type the jiberish as dictated? Usually
a doctor appreciates when you clean up their dictation. On the
other hand, medical documents are often presented as evidence
in legal actions. You're taking on liability if you change what the
doctor actually said.
- Many transcriptionists have their own group of doctors that they
type for and eventually become familiar with the idiosyncracies of
each doctor. This makes understanding what they are saying
much easier; however, when a you go on vacation, someone else
will need to cover the doctors while you're gone. In reciprocation,
you'll need to cover for someone else when they go on vacation.
You won't be familiar with how the doctors dictate.
3. To make the earnings cited above, you need to be able to sit
and type for long hours. You need to isolate yourself from the
noise and distraction of other human beings (and some pets) and
pound on that keyboard hour after hour. As I stated earlier, the
amount of medical transcription work available far exceeds the
available transcribers to do the work. Some transcriptionists let
greed take control of them and sit at the computer for 16 hours
seven days per week. They get accustom to a $100,000 a year
lifestyle. But what does it do for their health?
- Medical transcription companies charge more for "fast turn
around". Some pass part of this money onto the transcriptionist,
others just demand the work get done immediately. In either case,
fast turn around work prevents you from controlling your own
Now that I've discouraged you, the fact is that many medical
transcriptionists do work where they want, when they want, as
much as they want, and earn a respectable living. If you're up to
the challenge, how do you became a medical transcriptionist?
You'll need to be proficient in the use of a computer. You'll need
to be a fast typist. If you can't type as fast as the doctor dictates,
you'll be working hard with the foot pedal to move back and forth
in the recording. You must be comfortable using a Word
Processing application such as Microsoft Word or Wordperfect.
You'll need to know how to format documents and how to use
macros. If you don't use macros you'll be typing the same phrases
over and over.
If you decide to sign up for a medical transcription course, make
sure the course provides plenty of authentic dictations. You
cannot become a medical transcriptionist by just reading medical
terminology. You need to hear it spoken. Just listening to terms
being pronounced is of limited use. You need to hear the terms
used in a sentence. Simulated medical dictations are fine, but you
need some practice with actual medical dictations.
- Find a course that teaches basic anatomy and physiology along
The best way to learn
The best way to learn is with on-the-job training. If you have a
doctor friend or family member who does dictations, ask them if
you can transcribe a low-priority dictation for practice. If you're
working at a clinic or hospital as a secretary or receptionist,
investigate how the transcription gets done and volunteer to help.
Start out with a specific type of transcription such as letters or
office notes in specfic specialities. As you get more experience,
your speed will improve and you can branch out into other types
of transcriptions for other specialties.
The amount of medical transcription work that needs to be done
far exceeds the available transcribers to do the work. Yes, you
can make a decent living doing home medical transcription. You
can work where you want, when you want, and as much as you
want. But, medical transcription is an occupation only for those
who are prepared to meet the challenge.
Copyright(C) 2005 Bucaro TecHelp.
About The Author
Copyright(C) 2005 Bucaro TecHelp.
To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more
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Home Medical Transcription:
A Decent Living or