1. Find the best resources (word books, best medical transcription practices, drug books, cheat sheets, the list goes on).

Top 7 Tips for All Medical Transcriptionists These will make or break your job as a medical transcriptionist. The experts say you are only as good as your 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 suggestion would be to jot down anything you want to find out later that you don’t have time to look up as you’re transcribing. You want to research those things on a daily basis. Don’t let a list grow and grow. That will only cause frustration each time you come to that question. If you can’t find it in your resource information, find a mentor or a co-worker that will help you with questions you don’t have answers to

2. Use autocorrects or expanders.

These are a must. When you transcribe for a living, every keystroke that you save adds to increased productivity which in turn means more money in your paycheck. It also helps with the wear-and-tear on your fingers and wrists. The autocorrects you can use are endless. You may think you don’t have time to stop and add them, but in the long run it is going to save you just that; 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. The key here is for the autocorrects to make sense to you so you remember them.

3. Use cheat sheets. A medical transcriptionist cannot work without them Top 7 Tips for All Medical Transcriptionists.

The number of cheat sheets you use will depend on the different specialties you type for. There are many of your fellow medical transcriptionists that will share their cheat sheets if you just ask them. You can also ask the MTs you work with to develop one with you since you are all typing for the same providers. 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 flag something that you have looked up before in a reference book is by tagging it or highlighting it. )

4. Receive monthly information on what’s new with medical transcription Top 7 Tips for All Medical Transcriptionists.

Find a place that has a monthly newsletter where they provide you with the newest information pertaining to drugs, medical terminology, changes in rules for medical transcription, etc. It is your responsibility to keep up on all of this. 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. You may want to get on an e-mail list of medical transcriptionists where they pass around information that helps each other. These are excellent ways to stay in touch with what is going on out there in the world of medical transcription.

5. Get resume help. Find a service or a person who can help you with your resume Top 7 Tips for All Medical Transcriptionists.

It is not that you should be jumping from job to job but if the time comes when you need to apply for another position, you should always have a current resume on hand. A good resume is critical. Things have changed over the years as far as what they look for on 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 so many other candidates today that you are competing with. One tip that I can share is that you need to have your resume on one page if at all possible.

6. Find the best document samples Top 7 Tips for All Medical Transcriptionists.

Document samples are the key to helping you in your day-to-day work. There are times when you can type without a sample, but there are more times when you will want a sample. Get a sample of what is in a physical examination and a review of systems. Get a sample of any of the procedures or surgeries that you type. 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. Last but not least, ergonomics Top 7 Tips for All Medical Transcriptionists.

You must be comfortable when you are sitting at a computer and transcribing most of the 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. You must take care of your body. It will keep you working longer and healthier. 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 follow these 7 tips for medical transcriptionists, I really believe you will be more productive and accurate. The best thing, though, about following these tips is that it actually makes your paycheck bigger!

Jeff Dahlberg co-owns this site that provides a help desk for medical transcriptionists. A newsletter is sent out each month as part of a membership that is available to anyone who is interested. An Ask a Question box is another unique feature of the site.