What Is It About Medical Transcription that Differs from Typing?
I usually get asked by individuals interested in a job that they can do at home, “What does a medical transcriptionist do?” Some assume, well “I can type, I can do what you do, right?”
The answer is a great big NO, NO and NO! Medical transcription is all about learning the language of medicine. That should make sense to most people who can remember at least one time speaking to their doctors and feeling like they were talking over their heads, or being impressed while watching Gray’s anatomy as the doctors were shouting drug doses and body parts at each other in the middle of a heated ER!
Yes, medicine has it’s very own language, and much like learning Spanish or Greek or French, you have to learn the language of medicine before you can work in the medical transcription industry.
Let me give you a quick explanation about medical transcription and what the transcriptionist does. Here is the Reader’s Digest Version: When a patient goes in to see a doctor, for any reason, that visit has to be documented by the physician or the physician’s assistant in some way. The doctor needs to “tell your story,” talk about the visit, what he found out about you, what his diagnosis is., etc., and then, all of those findings and information need to become part of your permanent medical record.
The doctor takes all that information and dictates his findings into a digital format, either via phone line, or a hand held device, or his cell phone into a recording that is then given to a medical transcriptionist whose job it is to put that information into the written word.
Once the transcriptionist gets the audio file, she/he then listens to the audio recording via a headset, usually through their computer, and types up what is dictated. The audio is controlled via foot pedal that is attached to the computer and controls the playback of the audio. After the transcriptionist is done with their job, they produce a “transcribed” report. This report is sent back to the client for final proofing, signature, sending out of requested copies and then placed in the patient’s permanent medical record.
So you can see how incredibly important it is for the Transcriptionist to have the right experience and knowledge to take what they are listening to, (which sounds like Greek to an untrained ear!) and putting that into a very important permanent record of a patient’s medical history.