What skills are needed for a medical transcriptionist?
Having the proper skills before getting started will help ensure your success. Below is list of skills you need to learn and/or already know to become a medical transcriptionist (having past experience in data entry, computer, or secretarial work is a plus and is a start to achieving the skills required).
Good listening skills, good grammar skills, and knowledge of medical terminology are all required to become a medical transcriptionist (you will learn more about this when you take a medical transcription course online, which we will get into later) and if you are going to work at home, self-discipline is another skill required. You have to be able to separate your home life from you work life.
Skills required for a medical transcriptionist:
- Excellent spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills.
- Good listening skills.
- Own your own computer and have basic computer skills.
- Excellent research skills (look up words when needed).
- Medical terminology (you will need to take a medical transcription training course online).
- Ability to type (your speed will increase with experience).
- Must be detail oriented.
- Ability to work unsupervised and stay motivated.
- Ability to maintain work deadlines.
- Ability to sit and focus for long periods of time.
I am going to tell you from experience that being a medical transcriptionist is a rewarding career for a lot of people, but it is not for everybody. It takes dedication and a desire to learn new medical terminology.
A medical transcriptionist must have excellent research skills. You will have to go way and beyond and look up drugs, abbreviations, names of other doctors to get the correct spelling, etc. Physicians will abbreviate words and phrases, and you have to be knowledgeable to know where to look for the meanings of the abbreviations.
Medical Transcription Skills
A medical transcriptionist also must know how to type, although speed is not a big factor when starting out. Speed automatically improves with practice, it did for me. I always looked at the keys when I first started out. If you can only see me now!!!
Medical transcriptionists that are successful are usually very organized and very self-sufficient. They do not require someone looking over their shoulder telling them when to get the work done or how to do it. Again, if you work from home you must be self-disciplined and know when you have to get out of bed every morning.