Best 7 Tips for All Medical Transcriptionists Whether New or Experienced – keep healthy

Best 7 Tips for All Medical Transcriptionists Whether New or Experienced

  • Author Jennifer Breuer
  • Published June 21, 2012
  • Word count 974

  1. Find the best resources available to medical transcriptionists; these include word books, drug books, cheat sheets, the list goes on. These resources will make or break you in a job as an MT. Some experts indicate you are only as good as those resources. I really believe that is true. You have to know where to go to get the answer to any question you have, and the quicker the better. One thought is to write down anything you want to research later that you don’t have time to look up as you’re in the middle of transcribing. You want to investigate these things each day. In this way the list doesn’t continue to grow. That would cause frustration everytime you come to that same question. If the answer you need is not found in your resource material then find someone like a co-worker or mentor who will help you with answers to your questions.

  2. Use effective autocorrects and/or expanders. These are a must. If you are an MT, each keystroke that you save adds to your increased productivity which equates to more money in your paycheck. The wear on your fingers and wrists would also be minimized. The autocorrects available for your use are limitless. Don’t be one of those who think it takes too much time to stop and add them; in the long run it will save you tons of time. A medical transcriptionist should only be looking up something once. For instance, if you look up a drug spelling or whether it is capitalized or not, that should be the only time you look it up. Add it right then to your autocorrects for the next time you’ll need it. I put in many shortcuts such as year-old (1yo, 2yo, etc.) and month-old (1mo, 2mo, etc.) that save me keystrokes on a day-to-day basis. Make sure the autocorrects make sense to you and that will help you to remember them.

  3. Use cheat sheets. A medical transcriptionist cannot work without them. The number of cheat sheets you use will depend on the different specialties you type for. Many of your co-workers will share their cheat sheets if you just ask them. Another idea would be to ask those you work with to develop a cheat sheet or two with you since you are all typing for the same specialties. Together you can figure out certain phrases or words that a doctor is using and get them on the sheet for future use. How many times do you see something typed that isn’t actually what the doctor dictated? A little research would eliminate that and putting something that is “close” to what they are dictating is really a disservice. Another way to identify information you have looked up before in one of the reference books is to tag or highlight it.

  4. Receive monthly information on what’s new with medical transcription. Locate Web sites that provide a monthly newsletter that highlights the newest info pertaining to medical terminology, changes in medical transcription rules, drugs, etc. It is up to each of us to keep up on this new information. I have found that our community really wants to help each other. You will be able to help others when you gain more experience and return the favor. Also, get on and e-mail list with other MTs who pass information around that helps each of you. These are a few examples of how to stay in touch with what is going on in the world of medical transcription.

  5. Get resume help. Find a service or a person who can help you with your resume. The time may come when you want to apply for another MT position so you should keep your resume current. A great resume is essential. Things have changed over the past few years as far as what a potential employer looks for in a resume. There are many do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of to even have your resume considered on the first go-round. There are countless applicants out there for every job you’re competing for. One tip I can share is that your resume needs to be one page in length, if possible.

  6. Locate the best document samples. Document samples are the key to helping you in your day-to-day work. Where there are times you can type without one of these samples more often you will want one. Get samples of what is in reports like a physical exam and review of systems. Get samples of any procedures or surgeries that you type on an on-going basis. How many times have you wondered if something went under musculoskeletal or extremities, cardiovascular or respiratory? Does this sound familiar? Get the information before you need it.

  7. Understand the ergonomics of your position and equipment. You want to be comfortable when sitting at a computer and transcribing for at least 8 hours a day. Do not be afraid to get up and move around when you feel the need. This will be doing yourself and your employer a favor. Taking care of your body is paramount. It keeps you working longer and feeling better. Make sure you take your breaks and lunch. It is a fact that you actually type faster and more accurately when you take your breaks and lunch on a daily basis. Make sure that you have the right chair and that your posture is correct for typing. It is critical to have the screen at the right level. If you did not set up all of these items when you first set up the space for your office, do so now.

When you follow the above 7 tips for MTs, I know you will be more accurate and productive. The best thing, though, about following these tips is that it actually makes your paycheck bigger!