How to Search for a Medical Transcription Job - dummies

How to Search for a Medical Transcription Job

By Anne Martinez

It can be plenty tempting to skip the planning part of a job hunt in medical transcription, especially if you’re a freshly minted medical transcriptionist eager to get cranking or an experienced veteran whose current employer has gotten on her last nerve.

As with so many things in life, however, the more pressure you feel to act immediately, the more you’ll gain from pausing to take inventory and get organized before you move forward. Be thoughtful and methodical now so you can be happy with the job you end up in later. Besides, it really only takes minimal time and effort to actually do it!

Identify your perfect medical transcription job

Step one is to explore the characteristics your ideal job would have. You have to know what you’re looking for so you can decide the best places to look. If you could have any medical transcription job in the world, would it be

  • Full time or part time?

  • As an employee or independent contractor (IC)?

  • Acute care, a particular specialty, or clinic work?

  • Production-based pay or hourly pay?

If you’ve researched current pay rates and have in mind a minimum starting rate, add it your list. If there are certain hours you absolutely cannot (or are unwilling to) work, specify that, too. These are your starting parameters.

Creating this list doesn’t lock you in to anything, and it doesn’t mean you should only consider jobs that match it perfectly. It simply provides a ruler you can pull out at any time to measure an option.

Your first medical transcription job should be full time

If you’re a new medical transcriptionist, consider starting with a full-time position if you can possibly swing it. Even if you ultimately intend to work part-time, starting out full time makes a lot of sense for several reasons:

  • You’ll become competent a whole lot faster, which in turn means you’ll be able earn more per hour, be frustrated less often, and have more career options sooner.

  • It’ll be easier to find a job.

There is a major ramp-up involved in transitioning from excellent student to effective medical transcriptionist. Despite the amazing amount of data you’ve recently crammed into your noggin, there are many, many more things to master that only come through experience. Hence, that perennial “minimum two years’ experience” line.

Undertaking a big transition like that on a part-time basis is akin to planning to traverse the Appalachian Trail while only hiking on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At best, it’s going to be a long, slow process; at worst, it’s never going to happen because you’ll end up quitting in frustration.

To put it more bluntly, you need to decide whether to quickly rip the Band-Aid off so you can get that part over with faster, or peel it away slowly. Guess which one employers prefer?

Companies who hire just-graduated medical transcriptionists know all this. Quite understandably, they prefer to hire people who will attain cruising speed and become a contributing member of the team as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean you absolutely can’t start out part-time, but you’ll pay a price for it in multiple ways, including pay rate and ramp-up time.

Once you’ve got on-the-job cred, you’ll find it much easier to drop to working fewer hours and still make a worthwhile income, because you’ll be vastly more efficient and effective — and marketable.