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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

Again, we make pretty big concessions to be in our line of work ...

Posted By: Eh on 2008-12-23
In Reply to: I am amazed by how many ungrateful MTs there are - my 2 cents

First of all, I'd like to see this 'lucky enough to work out of the comfort of our own homes' stuff abolished. Many, many professions now work at home, and they do NOT accept a substandard quality of treatment because of that.

I know dozens upon dozens of coders, graphic designers, and support staff who work at home - BY THE HOUR - and get paid for the time in which they are working (or the time in which they are scheduled to be working, but have no work to do).

Let's say I make 9 cpl doing clinic notes (which is a really good gig, if I did that, but that's definitely NOT standard), and I make $19 an hour.

However, the first half hour that I work is answering work emails, starting my day, gathering the info I need, etc. Then, there's another half hour throughout my day that I spend answering emails or instant messages. Then, there's an hour or two during my day where I'm out of work because the company has over hired. Then, at the end of my day, I spend another half hour tallying my line counts, finishing up emails, and filling out a time sheet.

How much am I actually making per hour now?

Now, as a true fact, back when I started in transcription 12 years ago, I did start at 9 cpl. And I had an IC job that paid 13 cpl.

Earlier this year, I had to look for a new company to work for, and I was blatantly told several times by several 'reputable' companies that they would absolutely not start anyone, regardless of experience, over 8 cpl.

In no other profession would you find this, except maybe (MAYBE) fast food or waitressing.

The bitterness many MTs feel makes sense. We are asked to do many things outside of our work time that brings our actual hourly wages down. We are asked to sit for hours and scrounge for work, all without pay. We are consistently stripped of benefits like holiday pay and vacation pay. We are never rewarded for the years we have put into our careers or the knowledge we've gained because of that. We are very, very occasionally thanked (in mass emails) for the hard work we put in, and then immediately asked to flex our time regardless of the lives we have planned in order to suit the needs of our company. Our only hope for more money is to work more hours, or to somehow make our fingers faster and the dictators more audible. We are never, ever able to be dependent on our paychecks, because our line counts vary paycheck to paycheck due to fluctuating work. And, more than anything, we're treated as numbers (by many, but not all), and expendable because we're faceless, personality-less drones.

But it's our fault as much as it's the companies' faults. We've allowed ourselves to be treated this way. We've told ourselves things like, 'Oh well. At least I can do this in my pajamas.'

Can you imagine a coder in a hospital being asked to leave for three hours a day on random days of the week, only to be asked to come back and work those three hours at some time after 7 p.m.? Can you imagine an accountant being told that they are not to conduct company business like responding to or sending emails during their work hours, and that they have to do it on their own time without pay?

I don't condone whining, and I don't think dwelling in negativity is the answer to our problems. I also agree that the complaining can be easily misconstrued as selfish.

But I DO congratulate those who are constructively doing something to elevate our profession to a new level. Even if it backfires, even if it's all for naught, and even if it's misguided, at least it's not just sitting around and complaining anymore.

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I make 4 cents a line, work part and make
over $500 a week on part.
I work on Dictaphone ExSpeech and make .04 per line.
Venting- how can you make money or get line counts when all the work is given to someone else!
Nothing seems fair anymore.  Does anyone else ever have this happen?
C-phone accounts aren't any better, not enough work to make line counts there either. Sigh
Trust me - I thought QA would be a pretty way to make
decent money also but when the company hires brand spanking new MTs and the doctors are absolutely horrible and the MTs leave 30 blanks and what they have typed is usually wrong - there is little to no money to make.... but my MT skills have suffered in the last 4 years - it takes a whole different set of skills to QA - crazy as it seems it really does. Reading/reviewing something already typed is easier but you have to go through it at break-neck speed to make any decent money and you cannot take for granted that what is typed is correct.  Tired tonight so not making much sense - but trust me when I say it's not all gravy - if it was I would be one happy camper and off on a boat or in an RV for the weekend and not searching the job board!
I know.. she's pretty ridiculous and doesn't make much sense
You don't want to steal their expansion program, right? You just want the expansions that YOU thought up and that YOU put in. Not a problem in my eyes. Just figure out where the file is, copy it on to a disk or a little flash drive or something.
So are all you Spheris posters able to make pretty good money there? .... sm

I have more than 25 years in this business, and I have always just steered clear of this company, but I either need to change who I work for or I need to supplement. 

I see they have production incentives, which I like.  I'm guessing you all like their system, if you are happy there.  How about their benefits - are they affordable?  Do you think their base pay is fair?  Are they flexible at all when it comes to you working your hours?  Are you happy with your account(s)?  Thanks for any specific info! 

Thanks for the info! Do you *feel* like you make more with a gross line v. character line? (nm)

Oh, they make money off us. Line rate is 17 cents a gross line.nm
I left MQ for TT. The base line rate was less at TT, but overall I make more per line with the
shift differential (I work second shift) and the incentive plan (I have never once failed to make at least an extra half cent per line on incentives - most of the time a penny). I was scared to death to make that move, as I had been with MQ since back in the Transcriptions Limited days. I have to say, though, that it was the best career move I have ever made and I have never, not once, regretted it.

I hope that was of some help.
That's a pretty good offer. Does the line rate go up for over 175 lph? sm
Will you have VR thrown in there also?
Pretty low line rate, mediocre benefits. I had to turn
And always make sure you don't make line
counts that amount to anything.  They always place you with impossible ESLs as soon as you start making decent money. 
BUT don't they pay on a 55-ch line to make up for it? nm
Not many & you make a lot more by the line anyway
Do you make more that .15/line?

I worked for a company that sounds similar to your situation.  I worked so many odd hours and sometimes long hours to make 24 hour TAT. Made a whopping 11.00/hour.  In today's economy that's not much.  You don't get paid vacation, benefits, etc.  Hated it - in fact, I hate this profession and glad to be getting out soon.


Just not sure, as I would make less per line
at Transcend, a cent less and a cent and a quarter less for VR.
You have been there TWO months and make 10c/line????
I could not make line count
in 4 months
I make 0.105 per line, started at 0.08 but got a
few increases over the past few years.
I make .05 - 65 char line now, what should I be getting?
I have been working for almost 2 years.
Transcenders-Per line how much do you make?

Current Transcenders, how much do you make per line and how much experience do you have?

Is 9.5 cpl any good?

I currently make 3.0 cents per line
and I average about 2400 - 3000 lines per day.
I know...I can't even make my line count
each day. I just saw in the newsletter that some people are going over and that is causing this problem...but I think they have hired too many also. Such a shame!
Unfortunately I could not make line count w/o OT
I make 9 cents per line. I am not

on an account with VR.   Regarding the platform, there are several.  Do you have one in particular?

THANKS! Now as soon as I make my line quota
and can afford something other than thrift stores or Walmart I WILL check them out. LOL

Seriously, thanks for the link. I will keep it.
Pretty sure they do have some clinic work (nm)
Pretty soon they'll have us pay them to work
It's the same with most companies anymore. Here's how to tell a lot about the company before you aggravate yourself with training, etc.

Who has the most job offers posted? How frequently do they post them? If you see a company trying to hire all day, every day of the week they have a problem, because those they do hire do not stay.

A position that has to be posted so frequently is not a job worth having. Someone left that job for a reason, and it's probably the same reason you won't want that job either.

Tell me, does this sound like a job you would want?

IC at 6 cents a line - You have to give them a schedule when you work, and if you aren't working they call and beat you over the head?

Pretty soon, as I said, they will have us working for free, or worse we will owe them money to sit and type all day. LOL.
I know the owner pretty well and having seen her work, I'd....SM
... definitely give it a shot if I were looking. Go for it!
OSi, pretty good to work for (sm)
But the insurance is expensive at least for family coverage. Work flow goes up and down, it just depends on the account. They give secondary accounts if primary account runs low.  Everyone there is really helpful and nice for the most part.
I'm pretty sure we work for the same company
Does the company name start with a V?  Does this QA power-monger's name start with a V?  I started with them about 15 months ago, also.  After 1 week of QA, I felt very comfortable with the quality of work I was sending them, so I stopped sending blank-free reports to QA.  It was that simple.  No one stated I did anything wrong.  Now, only reports with blanks go to QA.  (E-mail me).....
They used to do subcontract work for MQ. Pretty sure that
DSG is nothing like MQ.
Is it difficult to make line count at
Depends. How many characters make up a line?
Are the ESLs really bad and can you make line count?
How can you possibly make any $$ for 2 cents per line???


Am I missing something??

I haven't even tried to make my line count

for MONTHS.  I know the work load has been low and I have some accounts of my own that I can do, so I have done my own accounts and not even touched MDI.  Kinda hoping I won't get yelled at for not meeting my quota but I figure I'll just hang in the background and work when the work is there, and when it is light let the other MTs who don't have anything else to fall back on have it.

Now if my own accounts slow down I will be in trouble...

How can anybody make a decent line count there
I couldn't
The only time I don't make my line count
it is my own fault for wasting time, surfing the net, etc. It's always my fault. Even when we had a dry spell with work trickling in I still hopped on when most people weren't working and I still made my required count for the pay period.
Wow, if you can make that kind of line rate, ...
I am surprised you left at all. Ya'll that make those kind of line rates must have started in a company prior to MQ absorbing them or you live on the West Coast.

I made 2 cents less with over 15 years experience at level 3.

I liked hourly until I found out I could make more on line pay. nm
EASY to make line count!
My experience was the opposite. I routinely did 1600-2000 lines a day, WAY over minimum of about 1200 lines a day. I can't make that now in my current job, but at Spheris it was easy. It does depend on the accounts you're assigned, though, so I don't doubt that it COULD be hard to make line count at Spheris. Just depends.
Can you easily make your line count - sm
Old posts say 1600 lines per day required.  Is that possible on their accounts without going nuts?   I was sort of looking into them too, just in case.
Does Anybody make line count at SoftScript? (sm)

I see multiple negative posts, but have to believe nothing is totally bad. Please confirm there ARE people there making line count and semi-enjoying the company.

I edit Indian work and it's pretty bad
it is still cheaper for the company to pay me an american person.... to edit i suppose...but let me tell you, if i did not, they would not be able to print any of the stuff i edit

The work is pretty darned heavy now!

Seems a pretty good place to work. SM
I do sometimes run out of work. So far, I only have 2 accts, but it seems when my primary is out, so is my secondary, so I'll be trying to pick up more accts. Compared to my past work, I do not find that they have high ESL, pretty normal. I am a level 4. I think they may have 5 levels. Pay seems okay, even better than most. Good luck.
Had interviewed and was then told I'd need a second line, w/o reimbursement. Make sure you ask! I
I get 10-12 cents a line from clients so I can only pay 6-71/2 to make any profit.
There are some clinics/hospital that will pay more but they also want you to do a lot more secretary stuff which the management staff does and you do not see.  I know some of the huge nationals are raking in the profit and not spreading it around to well deserved transcriptionists but us smaller nationals or local companies are not getting those huge accounts that pay 16-20? cents a line.  There is overhead too to pay like your utility bills, dictation equipment and upkeep, long distance phone bills, advertising, paper, printers, ink, faxes, health insurance, etc and then the income for the management team, proofers, and computer techs.  I am not trying to take up for the huge companies that rake it in but if you haven't had your own business in the field then you really can't speak about what goes on after you turn in your work because you have no idea.  Making comments to ad that can't offer more like me does not help anyone.  I find plenty of experience transcriptionists happy with the pay, workload, and TAT.  I wish I could offer more but when you are only making 3-4 cents of profit and still have your overhead that is not greedy.  Your checks are nearly the same as the transcriptionists. If you don't like the pay find your own account - you do the leg work and don't respond to if it does not interests you as it does to a lot of people.
it would only hurt those struggling to make their line count
It could endager their job. If they need just 45 minutes extra a day to meet their count, what does it hurt? No one said you have to work more hours. You could always opt out of working longer than 8 hours.