Work-from-home medical transcriptionists are becoming more popular as recent advances in technology transform the way medical transcription is performed. Nowadays, rather than having a medical transcriptionist listen to a complete dictation to manually produce a transcription, many medical documents are prepared using speech recognition technology to produce an initial draft. The transcriptionist is then required to review the draft for accuracy and make any necessary changes. When you become a home-based medical transcriptionist, you will be able to work flexible hours, but may also be required to work outside normal office hours.
Here are the steps you should take to begin working in medical transcription from home:
1. Gain Medical Transcription Training
Medical transcription training is where you will get the skills and medical knowledge you need to build your foundation. You can enroll in a medical transcription training course online or at a campus-based junior college or university. Many courses offer to help you find a medical transcription position once you have graduated.
You can usually choose from either a 1-year certificate program or 2-year associate’s degree. Once enrolled you will learn:
Healthcare Documentation Confidentiality and Legal Issues
How to Transcribe Dictation
How to Use Speech Recognition Software
How to Spot Inconsistencies and Ensure Accuracy
There are several advantages to taking your medical transcription course online. These include:
Flexibility – You can study as and when you have time. This is great if you already have a full-time job, family or other commitments.
Cost efficiency – Often, online courses cost less than traditional classroom-based courses because there are fewer overheads, fewer materials are needed, and you will not need to commute
No classrooms – When you study online you won’t have to spend any time in the classroom. All your lectures and course materials will be sent electronically via the Internet
2. Get Your Certification
Once you have earned your certificate or degree in medical transcription, you may choose to become certified. Although this is not mandatory, some transcriptionists prefer to obtain certification.
There are two certifications offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. These are:
Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT)
Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT)
The CMT is designed for medical transcriptionists who are qualified to handle dictation in a number of medical specialties. The RMT is designed for recent graduates who work in a single medical field, and who have acquired less than two years’ experience. Both credentials require that you pass an exam and meet requirements of continuing education or periodic retesting.
3. Start Your Career as a Work-From-Home Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcription is a growing field due to the increase in the volume of healthcare services, medical tests and procedures. As a home-based medical transcriptionist, you can work flexible hours in the comfort of your own home. You will need to have an up-to-date computer with a voice recognition software program. A medical dictionary software program is also a necessity, and a medical spellchecker is very useful.
When you are about to set up your medical transcription business at home, bear in mind your initial start-up costs, including advertising as well as equipment, your marketing strategy, and your business goals. Once you have become established and are working consistently, it’s just a matter of time.
Peter King is a writer for several career and education websites such as The Medical Transcriptionist. There you can learn more about working in medical transcription from home, and find other valuable career and training information.