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© 2010 Ugur Akinci
Writing Medical Transcriptions (MT) is a technical communication niche in high demand, in all countries with a well-established medical and judicial system. Whether the population is getting old as in Western countries or young, as in the rest of the world, the doctors need to have their orally recorded diagnoses and conversations with various parties transcribed into writing. And as all doctors know this fact well, during the daily hustle and bustle of a hospital or clinic, the doctors never have the chance to stop and put things into writing. Instead, they use mini recorders or their computers and smart phones to capture their thoughts and conversations.
However, at the end of the day all that activity needs to be converted into a clear “medical record” both for medical and legal reasons. That’s where medical transcriptionists come into play.
Medical transcriptionists usually work from their home offices. Thus they have a flexible work schedule. It’s ideal for homemakers who have to take care of their children or other family members.
Yet, MT is not a low-skilled job by any means. A transcriptionist must be very familiar with medical and scientific terminology. Moreover, he or she must have a close rapport with the physician in question to understand the acronyms, abbreviations, and telegraphic shorthand expressions used in the recording.
There is a confidentiality and liability aspect to the task as well. Whatever you transcribe is the confidential property of the physician in question. And if you make a mistake in transcribing that might have legal repercussions down the road if and when the written medical records become a part of a law suite. So it’s important to double check with the doctor anything that’s not clear during the transcription process.
If you can type fast that’s obviously an advantage since a transcriptionist is paid either by the word or line. The more words you can type within a given hour the higher your take-home pay will be.
The next time you’re visiting your doctor you might casually drop a hint that you’re a writer and available for transcription work. That might be one doctor’s visit where you become the party who gets paid while receiving medical care.
In terms of hardware and software, you’ll most likely need a “transcription kit” that all professional transcriptionists use. That’s a special machine to slow down or speed up any recorded conversation and help you get every word right the first time.