Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Medical Transcription careers are becoming increasingly popular as a work-at-home career. Why? The job allows you to work from home with as little as a telephone, a computer and transcribing equipment. You save money on gas, daycare and a fashionable career wardrobe. It's also a career that does not necessarily require a 4 year degree. Sounds easy? Don't be fooled. In reality, a career as a medical transcriptionist is anything but easy and not as simple as those work from home ads would have you believe.
With all the perks, why is it so difficult to enter the Medical Transcription field? Take a moment to consider what the position requires. It requires you to take information from a doctor's notes, either hardcopy or recorder and accurately transpose the information onto a medical record for a patient's medical history file.
A career in Medical Transcription (MT) requires a solid knowledge of medical language, a good knowledge of anatomy, physiology, as well as illnesses and diseases. This information is not readily available from reading a book. The position also requires a command of the English language, excellent grammar and punctuation skills.
While a career as an MT does not require a 4 year degree, you do need a 2-year associates degree or, at minimum, a training program and certification in order to not only work as an MT, but command a higher salary as well. After obtaining your certification, additional continuing educational courses are also needed to recertify every 3 years.
There are different levels of Medical Transcriptionists.
Level 1 - Transcribes notes from doctors and nurses or other health care providers.
Level 2 - Work is completed the same as level 1, however, they may be involved in the research of questions. A level 2 would also have an extensive knowledge of a medical specialty; Level 2's are able to handle non-routine problems.
Level 3 - While technically a transcriptionist, this level actually completes very little transcription. They are often used as a resource - teaching students and helping other transcriptions interpret information other levels cannot.
Other skills required by MT's are the ability to work well under pressure, meet deadlines, have a strong grasp of the seriousness of the information and, most importantly, the ability to keep the confidentiality of the patients whose records they are transcribing.
The "work-at-home" ads to start an "easy" career as a medical transcriptionist are misleading. Medical transcription is a worthwhile profession requiring very detailed and knowledgeable work.