4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life as a Medical Transcriptionist

Medical Transcription4 Comments

Medical transcriptionists have always played an important role in the healthcare industry. Their most basic role is to transcribe dictation received from a doctor and convert it into a written report. Transcription services help make a doctor’s life easier, but let’s not forget about the medical transcriptionists too! There are a variety of tools that can help improve a transcriptionist’s productivity.

Speech Recognition Software
This is one of the most well-known—and both loved and hated—tools in medical transcription. Speech recognition software converts speech to a text format.

This software has two options: front-end and back-end software. Front-end software allows the doctor to speak directly into the device and instantly converts it into text and generates a report. The doctor then takes the report to the transcriptionist who edits the report. Back-end speech recognition software, also known as delayed speech recognition software, records a doctor’s dictation but the document is automatically sent over to a medical transcriptionist for editing before the report is generated.

WAVpedal
The WAVpedal is a foot pedal that controls the recorded dictation sent to a medical transcriptionist. While a medical transcriptionist’s fingers are busy punching the keyboard, their feet can play, pause, rewind, and fast-forward the recording with the pedal. It’s actually quite fun—you almost feel like a drummer working the bass pedal! All you have to do is connect pedal to your computer using a USB port or Serial port, and you’re ready to go.

Noise-Cancellation Headphones
Listening to doctors can be tricky. And cutting out all of the noise in your surroundings makes all the difference with a difficult account. There are many noise-cancellation headphones on the market are amazing. They can completely silence everything going on around you and allow you to listen as closely as possible to the dictation. These are a great investment for any medical transcriptionist and can make big difference to your productivity.

Ergonomic Chairs and Leg Rests
If you are a medical transcriptionist, you have to be in front of a computer. This means a lot of sitting, which can be hard on your back and, surprisingly, your heart as well. Ergonomic chairs are a great investment because they fit the natural curve of your spine and help alleviate back pain. It has also been proven that raising and resting your feet from time to time takes stress off your chest and abdomen. Taking advantage of ergonomic chairs and leg rests are a subtle but important way to make a difference in how you feel if you sit for long periods of time.

If you’re already a medical transcriptionist share your favorite productivity tricks below in the comments! If you’re interested in learning more about this career and the training you’ll need to be successful, please consider Career Step’s medical transcription training!


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  1. Rita Leonard August 22, 2014

    Hello,  I was a very good medical transcriptionist for many yrs.  HOWEVER, NEVER on computer or at home.

    I am recently widowed, and have been looking for something to supplement my income, and working from home. 

    How much does this training cost and how do I get started to make money.  I saw this add
    in our local newspaper - please advise.

  2. Career Step August 22, 2014

    Hi Rita,

    Our Medical Transcription Editor program is $2,995 and the training can be completed in as little as 4 months (though most students study part time and finish in about 6-9 months). Once you’re finished, you’ll have access to our Placement Direct database, which has over 115 employers who prefer Career Step graduates.

    I’ve passed your information on to our Academic Advisors and someone should be in touch shortly. You can also find more information on our website at: http://www.careerstep.com/medical-transcription-editing.

    Best wishes!

  3. Jennifer Shiakallis August 25, 2014

    I have been doing the coursework for about exactly 1 year now, and I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
    One thing I am having a hard time finding are comfortable noise-cancellation headphones.  So far, every headphone I purchase hurts my ears after 3-4 hours of use. 
    Can you recommend brand to purchase,  where to purchase them, and will most employers provide “professional” headphones upon employment?
    I think we all know how important they are for accuracy and speed as a MT.
    Thank you for your help!

  4. Instructor Alesa Little September 04, 2014

    Headphones are really a personal preference, but there are some brands that we have received recommendations from students on.

    Personally, I use Klipsch brand headphones for transcribing, and they work great for me. I have the S4 (II) In-Ear headphones.  They are very comfortable and have really good sound quality for a reasonable price. I bought mine at Best Buy, but I know you can buy them at many places online. I also have a pair of Skull Candy Hesh headphones, which are over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones. They are comfortable and have good sound quality too, though not as good as the Klipsch headphones.  I like to switch between the two depending on what type of sound I’d like to hear.

    From student/graduate recommendations, the following 4 brands are most commonly recommended:
    Sennheiser
    Audio Technica
    Spectra
    Beyerdynamic

    I would suggest doing a bit of research on those brands to see if there is one that fits what you are looking for more than others.  Sennheiser, Audio Technica, and Beyerdynamic are all studio-quality headsets with excellent sound quality. Because they are more commercial grade, the price can be a bit steeper for them, but they tend to last longer than other brands. You can find these brands at your local Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. You can also purchase them online.

    Spectra headphones are designed for MTs and they have a stethoscope style architecture. A lot of MTs use them and they are very reasonably price with good sound quality. You can find Spectra headphones at http://www.transcriptiongear.com .

    I hope this information helps! Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. Thank you!


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