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Info. needed re: Medical Transcriptionists

Posted
by Tutti Tutti Member

I am an LPN and work 3 days a week in a great facility. I could really use some extra cash, but do not want to increase my hours at work, as I have a special needs child who needs attention and sometimes needs to be picked up from school which could interfere with my job.

My latest idea is to become a medical transcriptionist and work part time doing this at home. I have been researching some online courses. But I have no idea if this is the perfect solution for me, or if I am getting myself into something that requires more than I think. Can anyone give me some ideas on this? Has anyone done this or know of someone who does, what is involved as far as time, etc. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I would hate to jump into something I might end up regretting.

Thank you so much in advance!

~Tutti~

Hi Tutti! I also live in the Seattle area! It's a beautiful place to live!

Your post sounds exactly like what I did a few years ago! I am also an LPN working in a clinic setting (Triage Nurse). I job share so I can be home in the afternoons when my special needs child gets home from school. Several years ago, I also did medical transcription part time, along with my day job, which helped to supplement my income. I had taken a med tran course years ago at a local community college after a back injury, to prepare myself in the event I couldn't return to nursing. But, I was able to continue working as a nurse, so I didn't use the transcription skills I'd learned.

With the medical background we have as nurses, it shouldn't be difficult for you if you can keyboard and have a good ear. When I decided to return to medical transcription, I audited a class at a local community college (which they let me do for free, since I wasn't taking it for credit!) to refresh my keyboard and transcribing skills. While attending class, I met a woman who would come to the college looking for students who were ready to graduate, to hire for her home transcription business. She had a couple of clinics as clients, and had 3-4 transcriptionists that worked out of their homes doing transcription. She would pick up the work the following day and deliver tapes to be transcribed. It was nice for me as I worked during the day, and did transcription in the afternoon or evening. I didn't have to go out and look for clients, or drive to and pick up the tapes, etc. However, it did take me several hours, and there were many times I was up until after midnight, proofing, printing, and getting it ready for pick-up in the morning. And then I had to go to my day job! Eventually, I was given the opportunity to take over one of the clients, but I needed the medical insurance my nursing job provided, and opted to work enough hours to keep my benefits, and yet still be home in the afternoons. Besides, I felt that I needed the people contact, and nursing is my first love. So, that's why I don't do it anymore. But it did provide enough income that I could have supported myself if I'd done it full time.

However, I do have a bit of caution....more and more clinics/hospitals are switching to EMR (electronic medical records), and medical transcription days may be numbered as more docs are entering their data on laptops while still in the room with the patient! But there may always be a place for the medical transcriptionist in one form or another! Anyway, I hope some of this has been helpful, and if you have any questions, I'll be happy to talk more with you!

Debbie

QUOTE=Tutti]I am an LPN and work 3 days a week in a great facility. I could really use some extra cash, but do not want to increase my hours at work, as I have a special needs child who needs attention and sometimes needs to be picked up from school which could interfere with my job.

My latest idea is to become a medical transcriptionist and work part time doing this at home. I have been researching some online courses. But I have no idea if this is the perfect solution for me, or if I am getting myself into something that requires more than I think. Can anyone give me some ideas on this? Has anyone done this or know of someone who does, what is involved as far as time, etc. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I would hate to jump into something I might end up regretting.

Thank you so much in advance!

~Tutti~

Debbie,

Thank you for your quick response. That was very helpful. I am wondering the best way to go as far as taking a course would be. I have looked at the local community colleges, and online courses. I don't want to spend much money, since this will not be my career, just a little added income, even if it doesn't last, that's okay. Just somehting for now. Most of the online courses are around $1500-$1900, but I did find one for $600. It doesn't "certify" you, you get a certificate of completion, however, I don't feel I need to be certified since I have other experience under my belt. Any thoughts on that? I don't like the idea of being up until midnight, lol. Did you transcribe for mainly Physicians, or were there others, like Podiatrists, Dentists, etc. I do have a few connections at work. I've worked along side many different kinds of Doctors. Anyway, thanks again for writing to me!

~Tutti~

manna, BSN, RN

Has 6 years experience.

I always thought it was pretty difficult for MTs to find "at home" jobs without some "in house" sort of experience. (I've not done it personally, but have a friend who worked as an MT and took one of those online courses a year or so ago)

Hi Tutti:

I worked for 2-3 docs, family practice and internal med, and also did some radiology...the woman I worked under assigned you a doc, which was good because you typed faster the more familiar you became with his/her speech patterns. As far as certification, I wasn't, and I don't know if that's necessary unless you're working for an institution like a hospital. Having a nursing background is a big plus, as you have a greater understanding of what is being dictated, so spelling, context, etc. is not as difficult. The cost can be a bit of an investment, because you also need the special transcribers to playback the tapes. You can't use a regular tape recorder. They ran me about $200.00 for a micro tape size one, and that was 6-7 yrs ago. They might be cheaper now......you could see if there's any on eBay. (And I have one if you're interested!) You might just go with the cheapest course, because you already have a medical background. The biggest hurdle is hearing the voice and translating to the keyboard. For some, that is the biggest challenge of all. It was easy for me, because I have a good ear for voices, accents, and had no problem. For others, it was too difficult to do, even though they were excellent keyboarders, spellers and knew the medical terms. If you haven't tried it already, you might give yourself a test run and see if you are able to transcribe by listening to an actual doctor tape and try to type what you hear. Check with your workplace.....if they use MT's, get in contact with them and see if they'll let you try that.

Debbie

Once again, Debbie, thank you. That is really good to know. I do worry about being able to hear what they are saying. I've received voicemails at work that I would have to play over and over again, and still never got it, and those were not even doctors, lol.

Anyway, It's something to think about. I'm still not sure if I should invest in this. But, we'll see. Thanks so much again!

~Tutti~

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