Being able to do transcription, for me, is a joy. I look forward to work every day. I enjoy what I do and love the idea that I can continue to expand my skills every day. I do not know everything, but this is the job that can teach me every day.
I believe honesty is always best. I don’t pull punches when it comes to my job and the assistance I offer my clients, or what I expect from my team. I expect their best. Whatever their best is. I expect that if they do this job, they want to continue to learn how to do it better.
Not everyone is cut out for transcription. This may not be a surprise to many, but it is a surprise to many of those who spent countless hours and unimaginable amounts of money to attend ‘schools’ for training, graduate ‘with honors’, and then find that what they learned in school is not even half the battle. They may last a day, a week, or a month, but then they realize it isn’t for them.
They can type, yes. They know medical terminology, yes. They listened to hours and hours of audio recorded specifically for classes. And they did well.
What they didn’t learn was that real doctors, or anyone for that matter, do not speak into recorders the same in real life dictation as they do when reading a script for tapes to be used in a class. They did not learn how to utilize the programs, many, many programs, that are used by hospitals and other companies to receive, play, transcribe, and return audio recordings and reports. They did not learn that hot keys and templates do not always save time when working on transcripts and yes, sometimes they are a waste of time.
They did not get the whole speech recognition software that they downloaded to be super fast would mean that either they train that software to each and every client or they listen and repeat each and every audio they receive if they work for themselves and not a company as either an IC or an employee.
Now, there are many transcriptionists that are great with all of the programs. They can do their job without a worry in the world, but they didn’t start that way. Many, if not all, learned by the seat of their pants AFTER spending time and money in school. Others, well they are self-taught, and kept their mind open to the many possibilities and challenges that every client gave them.
I have found after working with newbies, that they wanted this so badly they put everything they had into learning the trade through a school, and then have no clue how much more there is to learn.
I can’t tell you how many times I can give a template and be told ‘that’s not how I did it in school’ when I ask why their reports do not look anything like what I asked them to look like.
I do not blame the transcriptionists. I blame the schools who train only the very basic and make it sound as if they got it covered.
Before you put money out for ‘training’ as a transcriptionist, do your research.
- Do they train you in different FTP or other transfer programs?
- Do they train you in different pedal/player programs and options?
- Do they train you how to set up your spellchecker to properly check your transcription jobs?
- Do they train you in grammar as well as the medical language?
- Do they train you in multiple formats and templates?
- Do they train you to type without the use of templates?
- Do they train you in proofing your work thoroughly?
- Do they explain the ‘minimum 2 years experience’ that is required for most medical transcription companies?
- Do they offer internships with transcription companies to allow you to get the minimum experience other companies require?
- Do they explain that it is never a bread and butter career choice to start, but can be with hard work and an open mind?
Transcription is a great career if you have the patience to learn. And when I say learn, I mean every day. I tell my team don’t limit yourself. Take those difficult audios and do your best, eventually they come easier. Take the time you can to research. Blanks are okay, but what you type must be accurate.
And proof, proof, proof.
For my newbies I suggest they transcribe and then listen and read along to catch their errors, clean up punctuation, and research those blanks to see if they can fill them in. Give me their best, no matter how bad they think it is. That’s what makes a great transcriptionist and that’s what gets then the increases, both in workload and in rates.
The flexibility that transcription as an IC offers is a wonderful thing for those who have young children, need extra income, have personal responsibilities and obligations that do not allow them to hold a regular full-time job. But what many do not learn in school is that many transcription companies ‘hire’ them as an IC, but expect hours of availability, minimum daily or weekly line counts, and that flexibility they thought they would have is out the window.
Many feel that with a typing speed of 80 wpm will make them more money, but in this business speed is not an option, accuracy is. Your availability and willingness to learn is what makes you the money – not how fast you can type a report that may need more work than it’s worth when complete and returned to the client. Speed comes with time. The respect you have for your work – that’s what is priceless, because your work will be respected ten-fold.
The best transcriptionists will tell you, even they reach out to others in this field for help, guidance and support. (http://www.facebook.com/groups/mtwords/). No school can even come close to the sisterhood/brotherhood that is transcription.
So, yes, I said it. Not everyone is cut out for transcription, but if you think you are, know that you belong to a family that is growing and is in great demand. It is the one career where every day is an education and that graduating with honors is achieved with every report you complete.
www.clktranscription.com Medical and non-medical transcription services. We love what we do!