Becoming a Certified Medical Transcriptionist

Pursuing additional education and certification can often be accomplished online. This guide is about becoming a medical transcriptionist.
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January 3, 2008 Flag

I want to find a job that I can do at home so that I can be a stay at home mom. I see all the ads on the computer but I know they are not what they are cracked up to be. I thought about doing medical transcriptions. Any advice?

Stephanie from Picayune, MS

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January 3, 20080 found this helpful
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Hi, I do medical transcription from home. I had worked in-house for a big hospital system here in Portland, Oregon, for about 10 years. They were running out of office space and wanted to close the transcription department; therefore, offered us the opportunity to work from home. It's wonderful! However, don't think your time is your own. We (50 of us at last count) signed contracts, our office space at home was inspected, and we had to be meeting/exceeding all production/attendance standards set out by the hospital, just as if we were going into the hospital to work. We "clock in" and "clock out" by phone using a code given to us by the hospital payroll department.

Because there are no interruptions at home with phone calls, co-workers talking, etc., production is up for all of us and the hospital loves it. They encourage people to work from home. I find that during breaks I can put in a load of laundry, fold laundry, start dinner, and do a lot of the little chores that don't get done when I have to work in-house.

The hospital supplied a dedicated line into my house and a computer. All work comes via the computer, no tapes, etc., nothing to pick up, deliver, or print. If anything goes wrong I have a number to call and they will send someone out to fix the problem.

All in all, I've worked from home for the last 7 years and it has been so nice. I can sit on my deck in the summer for lunch or walk to the mailbox in the sunshine. The one thing I learned early on is that you can't take phone calls. Friends and family have to be made aware that you are working and that you can't chat endlessly to them. I likewise don't answer the door. You also have to be very structured in your approach. I get up, swim for an hour at the local pool, come home, have breakfast, and go to work, just as if I were working in the hospital.

During my 7 years there have been several people who have lost their jobs because they could not discipline themselves to meet expectations.

This is long but hope I have given you some helpful information.

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January 8, 20080 found this helpful
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I'd check into doctor's offices and hospitals in your area to see how they do their transcriptions. One office I worked in did have a person who did theirs, another did not (the doctor personally wrote his note in each file). An office where I go now is completely computerized and the doctor types the notes in each patient's electronic file during the visit --personally, I think this is going to be the only way it will be done soon, and the job of transcriptionist will go wayside. I'd seriously check it out before spending money being trained in this area.

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January 3, 20080 found this helpful

I am interested in doing Medical Transcriptionist work using the Olympus AS 2300 at-home system. I am looking into doing this (starting out) on a part-time basis. I have done this type of work for companies in the past. I will keep my full-time job and do this on the side. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Sonandem from Virginia

Answers:

RE: Doing Medical Transcription From Home

Have you asked at your local doctor offices? I think that if you are in or close to small towns, they may appreciate using a local experienced person that may cost a little less than other outsource companies. I think hospitals and major clinics do this in-house, but not sure. I would start with your own practitioner or local doctors first. Or check out the local AMA chapter! They may have classifieds (American Medical Association). Is this something that chiropractors, podiatrists or dentists could use too? Their practices and employees in office tend to be smaller, and could probably use a lift! Let us know how you are doing later on! (04/30/2006)

By camo_angels

RE: Doing Medical Transcription From Home

I am a legal secretary, and I save LOTS of time and keystrokes by storing a lot of legal phrases and terminology in Autocorrect (Word). If I were doing medical transcription, I would use Autocorrect by plugging in a few-letter abbreviation to stand for medical terminology that I would be using a lot. If you haven't used it, give it a try. I think Wordperfect has something similar. (05/17/2006)

By Alice

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January 7, 20080 found this helpful

I know a lot of stay at home moms that run Ebay businesses from home, including myself. You can make it as big as you want, work whatever hours of the day that you want (in the middle of the night if you want to) and take as much time off as you need if family life gets too busy or you want to go on vacation. You can dabble in whatever products interest you...just about anything is offered on Ebay. All you need is email and a bank account to get started. Its fun.

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January 8, 20080 found this helpful

I have a friend who tried to do Medical Transcritpion from home but did not get enough steady work to meet her needs. We both now work as Independent Contractors with a business called Procard International. Go to: www.procardinternational.com and use updated access code: MELINDAK0322 .If you have any questions, e-mail me at: procardmelinda2004@yahoo.com

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January 9, 20080 found this helpful

Thank all of you for your responses, it has been so helpful! You guys are great! Thanks, Thanks, Thanks

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March 12, 20080 found this helpful

There are medical dictionaries that you can download onto your computer to help with the difficult words, medical terminology, and medications. I got mine at booksamillion. they are expensive but worth the money. I am trying to go full time with this. Hope everything turns out ok.

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December 5, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, I've been working from home as a transcriptionist for the past three years. Certainly can be done. Contact me if you want any advice or pointers. gpaynter @ telkomsa. net (take out spaces). We've even started our own forum about how to go about doing this, and I've got an e-book on sale, "Working From Home as a Transcriptionist in South Africa". Get in touch if you or anyone reading this would like to.

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April 8, 2010 Flag

I am thinking of getting into medical transcription. Any suggestions or advice? I would like to take classes online so I can still work while I am in school. I am a substitute teacher. I've been an independent rep before and can set and stick to my schedule. I have a Masters in education, but there are no jobs in my area and I need an income. Thanks!

By Mindy

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April 10, 20100 found this helpful
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I have been doing medical transcription and medical secretary work for over 15 years. I currently work from home for a company that hires work-at-home transcriptionists. I realize this is what nearly everyone who is thinking about getting into medical transcription would like to do. You must know, however, that the companies that do hire people who work from home absolutely require that you have at least 2 years "acute care" ie. "in hospital" experience doing medical transcription before they will hire you to work from home. Hospitals usually require you to have some experience in a doctors office first. So, it will take a minimum of 3 years experience before you are even eligible to work from home. This is for a reason - you must have very strong transcription skills and experience before working completely independently from home.

Regarding training - yes! You can take online transcription courses. I actually trained in a community college, but that was before the internet was so widely used (back in the day!). Warning- There are a lot of scams going on - so-called "schools" online that claim to prepare you for a career in medical transcription, but they do not meet AHDI requirements.

Only take a course approved by the AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity). This is the professional organization for medical transcriptionists and medical records professionals. They list approved courses and reference books and study aides. They have a website. Once you finish an approved course, and get some work experience, you should seek certification through AHDI. This will help you get a better job. Good luck!

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January 5, 20120 found this helpful
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Mindy, I would suggest you look for medical transcription schools that are reputed and have experience in offering medical transcription training. I have heard a lot about Career Step (http://www.careerstep.com). You may want to check out their medical transcription online course and see if it meets your time and budget requirements. Their program is AHDI approved, so that should give you some confidence in the quality of its curriculum.

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

A lot of schools offer night classes, if you can't find any online classes.

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April 9, 20100 found this helpful

Hello, I believe that you should find potential jobs before you go through this class as so much of this work is now being done right in the doctor's office by their personnel.

Doctors are very difficult to understand and you cannot afford to make a mistake about a patient.

I now understand that a transcriptionist can be sued if a problem arises because they put the wrong info in a patient's chart.

There are some jobs around and some part time work but it is not plentiful. Not too many are picking up tapes and doing them at home anymore.

Have you considered coding instead? Lots less headache and every doctor's assistant needs to know this now. It is complicated to begin with but less headache than transcription work.

You will probably have to find a job in a doctor's office or hospital to get enough work but these are good skills where you do not have to "treat" patients.

Good luck - community colleges usually offer these courses as well as office software for doctors. You may have to take classes in medical terminology first. ood luck

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April 10, 20100 found this helpful

My daughter took the courses at our local community college - with promises of job placement. Of course, there were no jobs when she completed the course. It is highly competitive I guess and no one was hiring. This did encourage her to go on and take courses for Cancer Registry career and she is now employed at a local VA hospital. But the course for transcriptionist was a bust! Just saying.

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