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What Equipment Won't Your Medical Transcription Training Provide?

Aug 11, 2008
The nice thing about some medical transcription training programs is that they provide some of the equipment you will need for working. With the advent of online transcription, for example, more courses are offering software and the footpedal that are basic to transcription work.

You may also get a variety of textbooks and references, such as a medical dictionary, drug book and so forth.

So what else do you need?

That depends on how productive you want to be, and how you work best. There are more reference books that may be helpful, particularly if you transcribe in a particular specialty. Even if you find some great online references, books are sometimes just easier to use.

A medical phrase book can be a real gem. Sometimes you can just catch a part of the phrase, and if you look it up the rest is suddenly clear.

Some things you may enjoy having, but I suggest waiting for your first job to see what's included by your employer. On the other hand, if you're freelancing you will definitely need to provide your own tools.

This includes a good medical spell checker. Depending on the company you work for, you might use Word; then again many companies have their own proprietary software. This may include a spell checker, in which case you don't need to buy one.

But if your employer doesn't provide one, you need one! Everyone makes mistakes when they type, and it's better to have your spell checker catch it than Quality Assurance.

Not to mention the sheer havoc if the doctor can't tell what happened due to inaccurate typing.

Do note that a spell checker does not replace the need to go over your own work, particularly in the early days. If you need to listen to the report again because you think you missed something or got the context of a word wrong, take that time. Quality matters in transcription.

A word expander is a great delight as well as a huge time saver. Some employers will include one in their software, but if not I strongly encourage you to get one on your own. A word expander will pay for itself in terms of increased productivity and fewer spelling errors. It will take some time to figure out all the abbreviations, but when typing "aox" instead of "alert and oriented" is one of the shorter expansions, you can see where the expander can help you.

Most will allow you to add your own expansions in. Do not make the mistake of using common medical abbreviations into expansions, especially if you're working on an account that is to be typed verbatim. Some doctors want their abbreviations in there, which is why I generally had the letter "x" at the end of my expansions. Two if the abbreviation already had one.

You can also use the expander to fix your most common typos, such as "teh" for "the". Huge help!

You will also want a good collection of reputable websites to do your research on. You can't pick just any website, but there are a number of good medical and medical transcription sites out there that will give you accurate information when you're trying to figure things out.

It may be hard to decide to spend a bit more money on your career after spending a lot of money on your education, but like your education the right tools will pay off in terms of increased productivity.
About the Author
http://www.medicaltranscriptionbasics.com/ is run by Stephanie Foster for people interested in getting into medical transcription. Find the right medical transcription training program for you at her site.
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