What is Medical Transcription? Can I make a career as a transcriptionist?
Many people have asked this question, and those looking for a job, are still asking the same question. A fresh college graduate or even an undergraduate can make a career of becoming a transcriptionist. People who do not understand what Transcription really is and what a transcriptionist really does mostly ask this question. Transcription basically means converting an audio file of spoken words into written, typewritten, or printed format. A person who does the transcribing from audio to text format is called a transcriptionist.
Audio Transcription Services include Medical Transcription Services, Legal Transcription Services, and General Transcription Services. Many companies in the world provide these services to global clients. A company located in India or China or any other country for that matter, may provide services for clients in the US, the UK, or any part of Europe, or the world. India is a major Transcription Services provider and there are hundreds of Transcription companies with thousands of transcriptionists providing excellent service to clients all over the world. Many students who need to earn money to pay their way through college, individuals who would otherwise have been jobless due to limited skill sets, housewives with time on their hands, have got jobs as transcriptionists, and made an excellent career in this field. But many are still wary of this field and do not wish to make a career in Transcription as it lacks glamour and is equated with Data entry work.
Medical Transcription (MT) involves listening to audio recordings of reports, diagnoses, etc, dictated by doctors, physicians, or other health care professionals, and transcribing the audio files in to text format. So in a way, it does involve typing work. Although Transcription was first started in the 60s, it was mainly utilized to help in the manufacturing process, but was later adapted for MT. Transcription equipment too has changed over the years, from the manual typewriters of yesteryears, to modern electronic typewriters, to computers and word processors. Audio files have changed from plastic disks and magnetic belts, to cassettes and digital recordings. Voice Recognition System is being used increasingly with MT and by transcriptionists and people correcting the transcriptions, although, there are instances where VRS completely replaces MT.
Medical transcription involves formatting and typing to specific formats or criteria and transcribing the audio file of the patient care info into an easily readable written form. Transcription, especially in MT, requires proper and correct spelling of medical terms, correcting medical terms and/or errors in dictation. Transcriptionists also edit transcribed files and documents, print and return the finished documents on time. Transcription reports too should comply with medical and legal issues and concerns, procedures and policies, and pertinent laws regarding patient confidentiality.
There is no formal or special educational requirement to become a transcriptionist. Training and education can be done through a traditional school, diploma or certificate programs, distance learning, online training courses, and training provided in hospitals. Some countries and companies employing transcriptionists require around 18 to 24 months of special Medical Transcription training. For individuals working in MT leads to mastering medical terms and editing, capability to listen to audio and type at the same time, utilization of controls on a transcriber, and using foot pedals to make adjustments to dictations. As a career, a medical transcriptionists job is not bad, and if you are unable to get a better job for lack of proper skill sets, or due to the recession in your preferred, this job does provide a long lasting career, as MT will never see recession.