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Friday, August 8, 2008

Homeworking idea : An interview with a medical transcriptionist

According to the [U.S.] Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for medical transcriptionist will be good, and many medical transcriptionists telecommute from home-based offices and work for companies that offer a comprehensive compensation package with benefits and a good salary. Others work in hospitals or in physicians’ offices. Some prefer to start their own business as independent contractors.

In this very interesting interview with one of our own MSN body odor forum members, Ann (a.k.a. Cherubhugs), she explains to us why she elected to work for a company from home, even though she also has the option to be an independent contractor in this field if she so chooses. She shares with us the pros and cons of these alternatives, and tips on how to acquire the necessary skills to do this line of work.

A medical transcription job entails listening to dictated recordings made by physicians and other health care professionals and transcribing them into medical reports, correspondence, and other administrative material. “They [medical transcriptionists] generally listen to recordings on a headset, using a foot pedal to pause the recording when necessary, and key the text into a personal computer or word processor, editing as necessary for grammar and clarity. The documents they produce include discharge summaries, medical history and physical examination reports, operative reports, consultation reports, autopsy reports, diagnostic imaging studies, progress notes, and referral letters.” (OccupationalOutlookHandbook,2008-09Edition )


MARIA: What gave you the idea of starting a home medical transcriptionist business?
ANN: One of my neighbors did medical transcription from home. She invited me over one day to watch her work. She made pretty good money, and I thought I would give it a whirl. The company she worked for suggested a particular online school and I signed up a few months later. I have always loved science and medicine and typing so I thought this would be the perfect fit for me.

MARIA: What would you say are the pros and cons of starting a working from home venture like this, including income levels and benefits (medical insurance, retirement benefits, etc)?
ANN: Well, I didn't really start my own business. I work as an employee for a company. I have set hours and a set schedule. The pros of working as an employee are that I get to work from home, I get to use company provided equipment, all of my taxes are taken out, my check is direct deposited, and they offer medical insurance, 401K. The cons are that I do not work for an hourly wage. I get paid by production. At first you will be very slow until you learn your doctors, account specifics, expansions.

As a medical transcriptionist, I also had the opportunity to be an independent contractor if I chose to. This basically means being self employeed or contracted by a company. I did not choose this route because I did not want to have to worry about paying taxes independently. I also didnt want to worry about billing the client and keeping a lot of records for the business. If I was self employed, I would have to find my own clients and that is just not something I wanted to do. I just don't feel I have enough experience to go out on my own just yet. I need the extra guidance of QA and editing.

MARIA: How do you develop a clientele, by referrals, advertising working with an agency, or to any organizations, etc.
ANN: I actually just applied at several MT companies that were employee status. I got a lot of my information through school and MT forums. I applied at companies that I knew were known to hire newbies. When you apply for a job at most MT companies you have to take a test. The outcome of your test scores determine if you will be eligible for a job with the company and if they have openings available at the time. The MT company assigns your accounts, usually 2. A main one and a backup. You are on 100% editing until they feel that your accuracy level is acceptable and then you will have direct submission priviledges to the client.

MARIA: Is there anything else you want to say to sufferers who might be interested in starting a home-based medical transcription business?
ANN: The reason I love working from home is that I was able to choose the hours I wanted to work. I also like the fact that I am judged for my work and not my odor. I am challenged every single day. Every single day it is something new. I am constantly learning and researching, and that keeps me alert and my mind off of me. It takes a lot of work and dedication and you will get a lot of constructive criticism. Somedays there will be good days and sometimes there will be bad days. It just depends. There are some brutal ESL (English as a second language) dictators out there. If you keep trying and don't give up you will be amazed at how much you will improve. The more improvement, the faster you will get and the more $ you will make.

There are 3 top online schools that most companies hire from,

Andrews MT School---
Career step --

Medical transcriptionist job opportunities around the world:


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