By Kathryn Whittaker
Medical transcription the industry that renders doctors dictated reports, procedures and notes into an electronic or paper format in order to create files representing the treatment history of patients. Usually health practitioners dictate what they have done after performing procedures on patients.
Nature of the work
A medical transcriptionist listens to recordings made by doctors and other health care professionals and transcribes them into reports, letters and other administrative material. They usually listen to recordings through headphones, using both hands to type while pausing the recording as necessary with a foot pedal. The recordings will cover a variety of medical areas, including patient histories, exam reports, consultations, autopsies and discharges. After the information is transcribed, the documents are sent back to the physician or other health professional who dictated them for review, signature and corrections. The transcribed documents are then part of the patient’s permanent record.
A medical transcriptionist must know medical terminology relating to anatomy and physiology, diagnostic procedures, pharmacology and treatment assessments. They should also know what medical jargon and abbreviations mean. To help with this, there are standard medical reference materials in either printed and electronic forms that transcriptionists use to identify medical terms; some of these reference materials may be found online.
The compensation methods for medical transcriptionists vary depending on the company. Some are paid based on the number of hours they work or on the number of lines they transcribe, while others receive a base pay per hour with incentives for extra production. Employees of transcription services, as well as independent contractors, usually receive production-based pay. Independent contractors earn more than the employed transcriptionists, but independent contractors incur higher expenses, receive no benefits, and have a greater chance of being terminated. While medical transcriptionists employed by others receive lower compensation, they do receive medical benefits and are protected by labor laws, providing them with more job security.
There are two ways to search for medical transcription jobs – online or through a subcontracted transcription services. If you apply online, you become an independent contractor, while through a subcontracted transcription services you become an employee – either way, your job will be entirely the same.
Here are some steps to applying online:
1. Read the form and instructions carefully before filling it out.
2. Make sure that you understand all the questions.
3. Take note of the company’s layout preference – like the order in which the ask for names and dates.
4. Print a copy of the form and file it for future reference.
5. Never leave blank boxes – your application may be rejected if it looks incomplete.
6. If there are sections that do not apply to you, insert N/A in the box.
7. Refrain from including any information that's not specifically requested.
8. You may be required to submit an online curriculum vitae via email. This should be a condensed version of the CV you have designed.
In designing your online CV you have to remember some things:
• Include your CV in the body of the text as it is similar to an email.
• Keep it short and concise.
• Make sure that you use a clear, readable font since it will be read on screen.
• Your email address should appear first, then your home address, which should be placed at the bottom of your details section.
• Don't forget to add your skills, qualifications and experiences.
• Always fill in the subject line clearly. Example: Vacancy: (position desired)
The steps for applying for jobs in transcription services is similar to applying for any type of job. The only difference is that you're required to have good typing listening skills. There are tests given when applying for transcription positions to test your listening and typing skills.
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