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The future of home medical transcription jobs

Consider this scenario. You’ve just returned to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave. Between frequent calls to your childcare provider and stealing clocks, you can somehow get through another emotionally and physically exhausting work day. Pangs of guilt constantly nag at you as you rush home to your new bundle of joy, along with worries about whether your little one is being well looked after in your absence.

You get home and your child is cranky and refusing to eat. The work may be over for the day, but the real challenge begins here.

Another day dawns, and the same cycle repeats itself, until finally you can’t take it anymore. Does this ring a bell? If so, you are not alone.

Many of you may be wondering what the little scene I just described could possibly have to do with the topic of this post. Make me laugh for a minute as I describe what I gave, and you’ll understand the context I’ve worked so hard to create.

Having a career is great, but anyone who’s been pregnant knows it’s not as great as motherhood. This is exactly why many new mothers decide to say goodbye to their old careers and embrace their new role as full-time caregivers. But it doesn’t have to be so. If you’re like me, you can have the best of both worlds. Don’t think you can’t enjoy motherhood and a financially viable career that allows you to stay home with your baby.

Flexible work from home option

Wanting to stay home with your baby is just one reason people look for work at home jobs. Many people are looking for similar opportunities – college students hoping to finance part of their education, single parents trying to supplement their income, or retired seniors looking to kill time and make some money! But those people have to put up with me, because that’s not what happened to me.

The main purpose of this post is to introduce all of you new moms and others looking for work at home to the best and least expected decision I ever made—getting involved in the lucrative and in-demand field of medical transcription.

For the uninitiated, medical transcription jobs at home involve listening to doctor’s instructions and converting them into clear and logical text called medical records. The purpose of this post, however, is not to give you an overview of medical transcription, but to take a closer look at why it works as a home business option and the future of this profession.

A disclaimer before I go any further – not all medical transcriptionists (MTs) work from home. Many of them find and actually prefer to work out of the offices of doctors, hospitals and business support service providers.

That said, medical transcription is among the most established home based businesses that are both legitimate and provide a steady and profitable income stream. Start-up costs are quite low compared to other home based businesses – all you need is a transcription device and a computer.

However, before you start your home-based business, it’s a good idea to get online medical transcription training from a local community college or vocational school. Although experience in the healthcare industry can sometimes be sufficient, formal training in the field is generally recommended.

I know, I know – for someone who already struggles with commitments at home and at work, going back to school to train hardly seems like a realistic option. But for every problem there is a solution and all you need is the will to find it.

Solve this particular problem? What else, but blessed technology that makes it possible to acquire new skills while sitting on your sofa.

Like many other fields, medical transcriptionist training is also available online and most such programs are of short duration. If you plan a little ahead, finding the time to complete an online medical assistant course to start your home business isn’t that difficult.

It’s all about economics

It is clear why medical transcription works as a home based business for those who provide this service. However, all these reasons will be futile if there is no buyer for this service.

But home-based medical transcriptionists are in demand because the economy works for health care practitioners, too. This lowers their business costs because they don’t have to pay salaries, which are usually higher than hourly wage rates, in addition to saving on overhead and benefits like health insurance and paid vacation.

But if you think this is the easiest $15 you can make in an hour, think again. And if you’ve ever heard of a doctor, you’ll have no problem believing me.

It is usually full of medical jargon that is beyond the comprehension of an untrained ear. Therefore, medical transcriptionists need a good knowledge of medical terms to be able to first understand, then interpret and finally type what is being said.

Not only that, they should be excellent grammarians and typists. Absolute concentration and the ability to work with attention to detail are other qualities expected of an MT. This is why formal medical transcriptionist training is so important!

Medical Transcription – Through the Crystal Ball

If you are planning to start a home-based medical transcription business, I am sure you want to know what the future holds for you.

Well, it’s sort of a mixed bag. The US Department of Labor projects an 11 percent increase in employment of medical transcriptionists through 2018 – an average, but steady increase.2 But the field faces some challenges that are as important as its potential.

The first challenge comes in the form of outsourcing. Such work is very common in the back offices of Indian BPOs. It’s large English-speaking population and low emerging market rates make it a hot outsourcing destination.

Another challenge facing medical transcription is technology itself. Many believe that the advent of voice recognition software that converts recorded dictation into ready text may reduce the demand for MTs.

However, technology’s boon is also its bane.

Software may eliminate the need for a human to manually type dictation, but it still requires someone to convert this prepared text into logical content. Because no software can match human intelligence, and there’s more to this job than just typing words on autopilot. If that’s true, then this post will be relevant to typists (remember those who used to click-clack on typewriters? If not, go to court. There might still be some around).

Returning to voice recognition software, even text prepared in this way requires editing, proofing, interpreting, referencing and formatting to be usable. And this is the work of a man, do not say?

On a parting note, like any other profession, medical transcription has its share of positives and negatives. You have to weigh the positives against the negatives and see if it makes sense in your overall plan.



About the author:
CareerStep is a leading vocational school with nearly 20 years of experience providing online career training specifically designed to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to quickly transition into a successful career after graduation.

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