5 WAYS TO SHARPEN YOUR MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTION SKILLS
Two of the most important components of transcription work are accuracy and speed. The former is especially true when working in medical transcription. Even minor errors can lead to inaccurate diagnoses and possibly serious complications for the patient.
Improve Your Typing Speed
If are in this field, you no doubt already have above average typing skills. However, it never hurts to improve your speed, as long as you do not compromise your accuracy in the process.
There are various free online programs you can practice with to increase speed, such as Typing Master and Typeracer. Try to find one that seems interesting and/or enjoyable as you are more likely to use it often.
Seek Clarification Regarding Content
If you are just starting to work for a doctor, ask them for clarification on style and content. Obviously, you need to be as accurate as possible regarding the medical terms mentioned, but what about the rest of the file? If it is solely for a doctor’s use, they may not worry so much about grammar. In that case, you would transcribe exactly what you hear.
However, if the file is for official purposes, such as a legal proceeding, it also needs to be formal in its phrasing and grammar. Do not be afraid to seek this information from your client beforehand.
Are Abbreviations Acceptable?
Check with the client regarding the use of abbreviations. Is it acceptable for you to abbreviate certain terms rather than type them out in full? If so, does the doctor have a set of abbreviations that they would prefer you use? Using clearly established abbreviations is important.
Preview the File
Transcriptionists sometimes work on a tight schedule, but it helps accuracy if you can listen to the file before you start working. Make notes while you listen, and jot down anything that is not clear to you. It also helps to create a brief summary. Contact the doctor and get clarification on these areas before you start typing. Refer to the summary as needed.
This not only helps to ensure accuracy, but also saves you having to go back and make corrections after the fact.
Strive for an Ideal Work Environment
To ensure accuracy and productivity, try to work in a quiet environment that is free from distractions. This is especially true if you work from home.
If you do not need your phone with you while transcribing, leave it in another room in order to ensure quiet and lessen temptation. If you must have the phone in the room, place it somewhere that is out of arm’s reach.
Make sure that you have sufficient illumination. If you are not distracted by what is going on outside, try to sit by a window and enjoying the benefits of sunshine. Try to keep the room clean, uncluttered, and a pleasant place to work.
Eastern College’s medical transcriptionist program is available at the Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John campuses. Running 54 weeks and including an 8-week field placement, the course provides students with the necessary skills and academic knowledge to apply for entry-level transcription positions in hospitals, medical offices, rehabilitation centers, and long term care facilities. Those enrolled also receive an overview of the theory, principles, and practices of the medical transcriptionist, and training on electronic healthcare records.
Contact Eastern now to learn more about the program and when the next round of classes begins!