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Can You Find Steady Work as a Medical Transcriptionist?

Apr 20, 2008
Especially with the current economic woes, people looking at becoming medical transcriptionists are worried about job security and how much work will really be there. Will there be enough to make a living or will you be constantly on the lookout for more?

From my own experience, I found that while there were occasional slow times as a medical transcriptionist, the work overall was quite steady.

And it never completely dried up.

The main slow time was often around holidays, particularly Christmas. People don't like to make doctor's appointments then. But they do go when they need to, and of course there are still many regular appointments at that time.

And of course doctors take vacations too, which can slow things down.

The key where I worked (one of the big transcription companies) was to get assigned to more than one account. Often one account would be coping with a slowdown, but another would be swamped with work. So the focus would shift from one to the other.

If you're working on your own, on the other hand, shortages depend on the practices you work for. But even then you may be able to find more work by subcontracting from another medical transcriptionist.

One of the best things about medical transcription is that people always have to go to the doctor, so there is always work somewhere. The trick is to find it. The longer you have been working in the industry, the easier it can be, certainly, as experience counts for something, but that's true in any industry.

But what many people worry about are outsourcing and voice recognition. And while these are legitimate enough concerns, their impact so far has not been an insoluble problem.

The trouble with outsourcing has to do with language barriers, quality control and patient privacy. Patient privacy in particular has been a thorny issue, as transcriptionists in other countries are not bound by the same laws as those within the United States. And if English is their second language, it can be even harder to get the work done to a high level of accuracy.

Voice recognition creates other challenges. It has been around for a while, although not of a good enough quality for medical purposes. Some doctors do take advantage of it, however. Many feel that it takes too much of their time to train the software, and would rather leave it to transcriptionists.

For that matter, some transcriptionists use voice recognition software themselves.

But even when doctors use it, someone has to check that work, and that's where a trained medical transcriptionist still comes in. Voice recognition doesn't leave medical transcriptionists completely out; it simply changes how they work.

Overall, the expectation is that medical transcription will thrive as a career option for many years to come. Even as the technology changes, the job is likely to adapt and move forward.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster created http://www.medicaltranscriptionbasics.com/ for people interested in working as medical transcriptionists. Learn more about getting medical transcription training at her site.
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