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Answer to your questions

Posted By: romey on 2005-08-09
In Reply to: CRUELTY CLARIFICATION - converting soon?

I am sorry I don't have time to answer your questions in detail, but the most reliable source and largest supporter of farmed animals is farmusa.org.  Go to their site and click on links.  There you will find all the answers to all your questions.  Thanks so much for wanting to be informed, that is all that is neccessary in some cases to allow you to switch to a compasionate way of eating by eliminating meat from your diet.  Wish you the very best and spread the word once you see for yourself. 

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Could you please answer some questions? (sm)
Did you have a learning curve with this keyboard?  I was reading about it yesterday.  I understand the home, page up, page down, etc. keys are on the left-hand side of the keyboard.  That would make for some serious re-learning on my part!  How have you coped?  Thanks to both of you in advance
In answer to some of your questions...sm

How did you get your accounts and what line rate did you start with? Also do you pick up and drop off? Who do you speak with (Doctor or office manager) when you have a question about dictation?  What is your normal TAT?


Pounded the pavement 12 years ago, introduced myself in medical buildings/offices that I chose to walk into, handing them my business card, spending a few minutes with them, giving a resume if requested, showed a little of my personality, asked for their business cards, followed up with them with a phone call.  I did this once a week, a different medical building in my area(s).  I started charging at 12 CPL.....never upped them until this year.  They so appreciated that.  I pick up and deliver and also supply plain white paper if they request the work be printed on that versus their letterhead.  I also never charge for just one word on a line, no matter how long that one word might be, and I give them free 5-line headers as it's only 2 Keystrokes for me.  (Most docs like to see something for *free*).  I spoke originally directly with the doctors and some of them I still do talk with them, but many times I just deal with the office staff.  I rarely have to call though.

Hope that helps and good luck to you. 

Let me see if I can answer some of your questions.

Let me first tell you about my background.  I've been an MT for 15 years and QA for 7 years.  I have also worked as a supervisor of a MT department in a large inner city hospital.  I went to a business college and enrolled in their newly established MT program and it was awful.  I paid nearly $5000 for my "education" in 1992.  Fortunately, I lucked out and was able to get a p.r.n. MT position with a local hospital and one of the instructors at my school worked at the hospital.  She became my mentor at school and on the job.  I learned more on the job than I did from the school.  I started out making $7.86 an hour!  It seems like peanuts now, but I took it and ran with it.  Best thing I ever did.  I am a firm believer that every newly graduated MT simply MUST work in an office for at least the first year.  You learn so much from other, more experienced MTs.  You develop a trained ear by having someone else with experience listen and tell you what you should be hearing. 

I owe my career to Martha, Jane, Sherri, and Helen.  They are all retired now, but they were MTs back when they used typewriters and recording belts!  They were my mentors in the beginning and everything they taught me is still with me today!

what type of school is nec.? Personally, I feel that you can take a medical terminology course, anatomy and physiology I and II, and English at your local community college and that is a good start.  I don't feel like any of the online schools out there really prepare anyone for the real world of transcription and their tuition is outrageous!  You can go to a community college for half of what you pay some of those "business" or "career" colleges.

is school required? Those courses I listed should be required.

what is an apprenticeship? can i work as an apprentice and get paid? I think an apprenticeship is an excellent idea.  After you completed the necessary course work, on-the-job experience is the next step in the learning process and an essential step.  As far as being paid, there are companies out there that pay a minimal line rate (usually 5 or 6 cpl) to newbie MTs who are still learning.  Even if you don't get paid, it's still excellent training and education.

can i work at home straight out of school or do i have to work at an office or hospital first?  Unfortunately, you can work from home right out of school, but I don't recommend it.  Like I said above, there is a gigantic learning curve the first year or two out of school.  And even after 15 years on the job, there is still a little bit of a learning curve.  For at least the first year, you need to be in an office with other experienced MTs.


There's no one answer to any of your questions. sm
Some companies might want you to have experience in QA; others might not. Either way, they'll want to know that your experience in transcribing covers the range of whatever kind of work you'd be checking, and that the quality of your own work is high.

Some companies might expect you to transcribe and do QA if the volume of work you'd be checking isn't enough to justify having you do nothing but QA.

If you're thinking of advancement within your own company, check with your supervisor about these things. If you're thinking of applying for a job with another company, hopefully the job description will indicate what the requirements are and whether it's full-time QA or would also involve transcribing. If not, you can ask during your interview.

Oh, and same with regard to pay. Some companies pay QA people an hourly wage, some pay "production" rates. Again, you just have to ask when you're applying for the job if the job posting doesn't tell you this.
An update and to answer some of these questions...
The account is psychiatry. The doctor speaks clearly, no big words. I scored her second one at negative 42%. She had no blanks and guessed at everything. Did not read over to see if anything made sense at all, so many sentences were completely OUT OF WACK. I am not able to speak to the MT directly, my boss does that. I have not sent the scores in/back yet. I would like to first speak with my boss on this, as I have no idea what to do about it. There were 8 reports, she did 4 of them, so obviously, I am typing the other 4 (THANK GOD). I come across A LOT of newbies and they do great and have a lot of potential, but this MT, to me, just seems lazy and unwilling to try. I see no potential here whatsoever. She is getting English words as well as medical words wrong and spelled incorrectly. I am at a loss!
what's the difference if they answer your questions or not
they're gonna be a bunch of lies anyway! 
no easy answer to some of your questions
I was lucky enough to get my first account in response to a letter I sent - one of 100+ letters sent out. I've never been successful with advertising since then. The rest of my accounts I got through word of mouth - one office likes my work, the OM is asked who she uses as far as transcription by another OM, etc. So make sure you do your very best no matter how "small" the account is - you never know. As for what to charge, that depends on your area of the country, what will that market bear? That's a hard one - need to do some snooping as far as what the "average" is. Don't want to undercut but don't want to price yourself out of the marketplace either (personal experience - I've done both while learning). As far as questions re dictations, I try to dope it out myself - I purchase a reference book for that particular specialty if I don't already have one, ask on message boards, research the reputable web sites, stand on my head and howl at the moon - anything before I resort to asking either the doctor or the OM. As a last resort, I will leave a blank and flag it with a note that I couldn't understand what was said, or whatever the problem was. I used to pick up and deliver, but ALL of my work now is via digital dictation, so I don't pick up or deliver anything - everything transferred via secure ftp. Hope that helps some.
Put your condescension away and answer the questions
I understand it might be difficult to answer the question because there isn't a difference, but try.

Amen, Amen, AAAAmen! We could work together! Thank goodness for like minds on this topic! Now I can feel good the whole rest of the day!
can any answer a couple if Winscribe questions?(sm)

I'm a fairly new MT and have done all my MT-ing so far with C-phones.  I am being switched to a Winscribe system.  My question is this:  Will the MTSO be able to monitor how fast or slow I'm transcribing?  I'm not trying to get away with anything.  It's just that I've read horror stories from some MTs on certain platforms where the MTSO can see (and calls) whenever they're "off the system" (bathroom breaks, looking up a word, legitimate coffee-breaks) etc.  I work as an IC and have a window in which to get my work done rather than a set number of hours.  What I'm wondering is if the MTSO, with this new system, will now be able to "see" if I'm not typing every single minute.  TIA

I agree with you. If a recruiter cannot answer your questions and you sm
are not satisfied, then you should move on to the next interview. I try diligently to have all the answers before I advertise for a position because I know what it is like being an MT and looking for work.

One thing I must say though is this, sometimes we try and still it is hard to pinpoint all the issues (and I know I try) . I know in my case there are different departments and while I do ask all the necessary questions, there are conflicts in the answers. I do my best to pull the answers from the managers prior to advertising for a job opening and believe me, if I can't do it, no one can. I understand what you are saying, but all of us are not alike. Some of us work very hard to think of anything you could possibly ask.

Now, if you have a recruiter that has never been an MT, they might not approach things like those of us who have been MTs and QA people in our career.

Just keep your chin up and stay firm in what you want and don't back off on it.
The links inside may help answer some of your questions:
You might wan to check out the CMT Candidate Guide: http://www.aamt.org/scriptcontent/Downloads/CMTCandidateGuide.pdf

To paraphrase from the CMT guide regarding retakes of the exam: If a candidate fails and wishes to retake the CMT exam, they must wait until 6 months have passed to re-apply to AAMT. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate may
retake the exam (it just cannot be taken more than twice per year). The registration fee is charged each time the exam is taken.

You can also check here for more info on the exam and answers to FAQ. http://www.aamt.org/scriptcontent/chub.cfm

You might also want to check out the CMT Review Guide, available from the AAMT: http://www.aamt.org/source/Orders/index.cfm?section=Orders&task=3&CATEGORY=INV%2DPRO&PRODUCT_TYPE=SALES&SKU=STED%5FCMTREV&DESCRIPTION=&FindSpec=&CFTOKEN=65179116&continue=1&SEARCH_TYPE=find&StartRow=11&PageNum=2

Good luck! :)

They did answer the questions. Then got swore at and had people

NumbersUSA has done their homework on this issue. If you have questions, ask them. They will answer
tell you exactly how their petition is bound legally. NumbersUSA has made HUGE differences in curtailing illegal immigration.  They are really a great group of people.
Since the poster below didn't really answer your questions, I'll try...
While I agree that things are being done to try to do away with transcription eventually, I think that hope is a long way off. Here goes:

1. A lot of work is being outsourced to places like India because they can do the work much, much cheaper than a US MT. Some hospitals won't all their work to be outsources, but the thought on this board generally seems to be that most don't care or don't know.

2. In order to work at home directly after school, it is highly recommended that you only attend one of the top schools. Two of them are Andrews and M-TEC.

3. Most companies, if you are an employee (not independent contractor) will provide you with all the equipment you need. You will have to have an internet connection and pay for that yourself most likely.

4. I believe the average you can expect to start is in the 6 to 8 cents a line range. How much you make depends on many other things, though. If you studied very hard and have a knack for MT you will do much better.

Hope that helps a little. But just remember...yes, working at home is a nice benefit for some, but there is a con for every pro to doing this.
Keyboard Kelly - Many thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions.

I really do appreciate it. 


Meditech questions and Cerner questions. Any input is appreciated. SM

I just recently went back to work in the office at a local hospital. We type in both Meditech and Cerner, depending on what you are typing, i.e. Medical Records reports versus Radiology.  We are currently typing blindly in Meditech, meaning we do not have access to our line counts and must depend on management to give us our totals.  In Cerner, we are able to run a line count report and print out a hard copy of our line counts at the end of the day.

We are finding that 800 lines in Cerner equals about 500 lines in Meditech.  We are not paid per line nor do we have an incentive plan, but we have a new HIM Director who would like to institute an incentive plan and the administrator over our department has laid down the law and decreed that all transcriptionists not making minimum in the department will be written up.  Problem is according to Meditech line totals that we have been given, that would be about half the department.

The transcription supervisor has taken our concerns to the new director who told the MT Supervisor to hold off on writing people and has taken home all the line counts from the last month and she is going over them with a fine tooth comb this weekend.

I am not a very trusting soul by nature, so I am doing a little research on my own.  I've been in this business for about 15 years.  I started out in a hospital and have worked for a few services at home and am now back in the hospital setting.  So I know a few things about line count and I consider myself to be pretty well informed on trends and technology in the industry.   I would like to walk into our next department meeting armed with as much knowledge as possible.  So I have come up with some questions that I would like some fellow MTs to answer, give opinions, and maybe even direct me to websites or individuals who could give me a better understanding of Meditech and Cerner.  Here are my questions:


  1. Is it possible for an MT to have access to her line count in Meditech or is strictly a management function?  Any MTs that work in Meditech on this board, do you currently have access to your line counts and if so, how do you check them?  Is it an option on the main menu after you log into Meditech?

  2. How is a line defined in Meditech?  (i.e. 65 cpl, with spaces, without spaces)

  3. How is a line defined in Cerner?

  4. What abbreviation Expanders work with both Meditech and Cerner?

  5. Examples of incentive plans (if anyone would like to share that with me that would be great, if not I completely understand).

  6. Measuring productivity by minutes of dictation versus typed lines.

    1. What would be the minimum minutes required for an 8-hour day?

    2. How would one structure an incentive program based on minutes?

I was thinking of presenting the idea that we keep track of productivity using minutes instead of lines since there is such a discrepancy in Meditech.  I also worry that if an incentive plan is put into place and we are still typing blind into Meditech, what's to keep management from shaving off a few lines here and there?

Feel free to email me or post here any responses.  Either is fine.  I really appreciate any input, comments, or just plain old supportive posts would be nice too! 

A simple google search will give you your answer...I'd give you the answer,
but how would that help you learn to research on your own...and I'm in a rush to get to the next post. 
re questions
yes i drink green tea, but prefer black tea. No, i've never had any such symptoms from it though and have no idea why it would happen, unless there are other things in that brand of tea that might irritate the colon?

i am very interested in taking courses on mt and would like some help in guiding me in the right direction....can someone help me on that


Questions about VR
I am getting ready to train on VR and I am wondering if this is part of the latest, newest technology in our industry that I have been hearing about.  Are just some companies going to use this or is this something that is going to be required in the future from us throughout the industry? 

If a person takes a job and finds out they aren't happy and then looks for another job, what happens if the recruiter overpromised?  Do they find another job?  And if they find another job and that one is running out of work all the time, do they start the search again? 

Final question....if they do all this, why do so many people on the boards call people who complain about companies good-for-nothing job hoppers who are never happy?

Looking for a new job. What are some questions...sm
I should ask besides pay, benefits, and hours to make sure I don't miss anything and then find out I've been screwed later?  Should I get pay in writing to make sure they pay me what they tell me. I never worked for a National, so I am unsure how a lot of things work with them.  Thanks.
IC Questions
Hi. I just accepted my first job as an IC and I am nervous!  Did I do a stupid thing by going IC instead of employee?  They are paying 8.5 for 65-char line including spaces and returns.  Does this sound reasonable?  How do I pay my taxes?  What about social sec? HELP!
Any questions to MQ

you can be an employee and ask, what will be my new

pay under the new plan.......NOBODY KNOWS.

you can ask what do you pay to be an Editor of voice recognition....


But at the same time they want people to work for them.

Now you are saying there's a new mystery something?  This is


No legit company every does business this way.

two questions
I am also single and 50K is what I am thinking as well. I have very minimal bills. My only "dependents" are my 3 kitties and bird. To be honest, I got into medical transcription after my first year in college. I wanted to be a veterinarian. As much as I love animals, I really love what I do and honestly cannot say what else I would want to do.
Ok, I do have some questions...
Is it possible to speak to you via private messages or something? This board is a bit awkward to use and I have a few questions for you.

Thank you both... I have a few more questions...

Is this something that will happen on a regular basis?  How often do bipolar people get like this?  Is this the worst of it?  We both watch each other's kids a lot, and my kids absolutely love her.  But I'm a little worried now that it might not be safe. 

I'm also concerned for her as she just started a new job and is working on her master's degree.  I'm afraid that she may fail at both if she doesn't get this under control.  Is there anything I can do to help her? 

ok, so you have 2 questions?
1. i'd think that is great money.

2. i gross about $1200 weekly in 40 hours as an employee.

More questions

Do you find their work flow to be consistent - you don't run out or anything? It is really hard for me to decide to make a move - am not happy where I am at and want to come back home, but have really good insurance for family - I know there is no perfect place to work, but I would just like to enjoy getting up and working again without all the office politics. Thank you for being so open in talking - I find this board much easier to talk on than the previous one I was on - more open answers. Also, what kind of platform is used. Do you have to type in demographics and if so, do you get paid for them? Do you have a good word Expander and macros? It is so hard to make changes and want to know as many specifics as I can before I apply.

Thank you so much.

more questions

Do you charge more for printing?  How did you know the price range to charge? I live in a rural area and I have no idea what people are paying for this and I would feel stupid asking them what they are paying.  Did you go to the office in person and sell yourself or did you do mailings?  I don't know anyone in my area that is doing this so I am kinda walking bling here. I am sure I can do the work, it is just sollicting the accounts that I fear.  THanks to all that responded

Have all the same questions
you do. Also does anyone have a used c phone for sale?
your questions--sm
There are no connection problems with this voice player, as you are not on the internet while you use it. You type into Word and then connect to the internet to return the files. As far as the quality of the voice file goes, the digital player has nothing to do with that either. It depends on how the file was recorded from the company you are receiving it from. my files come from a call-in service on my employers server. If the docs use the telephone connection, like they are supposed to, the quality is great. If they use a speaker phone, cell phone, or head set, it can have more *interference* on it. I have one doc who dictates onto a tape recorder, then calls in on the *system* and plays the whole 30 minute tape. He uses the tape over and over again, so it degrades with time, but I have learned to understand him anyway. I have another doc who also uses a tape recorder, but likes to do it while he is waiting for a train at a depot and while on the train. I mostly hear the background noise, which is awful, but I can still make out what he says...most of the time. so, the file is only as good as the person recording the dictation. you have good ones and bad ones, just like any other dictationists. anything else, just let me know. relax, it will be fine.
good day to everyone.  i have just finished my medical transcription course.  however, i have questions regarding how to put negative points on errors on my transcription. how would you rate the gravity of an error in punctuation marks as against an error in the MEDICATIONS SECTION of the report.  for example, my punctuation error was given a negative point of .5.  in the same manner that the dictated KCl (potassium chloride) was transcribed as KCL.  would you also give the latter a negative point of .5?  if not, how many negative point would you give? thanks a lot and i hope you could help me.
More Questions

To those of you who so kindly gave me advice on working from home:

What kind of equipment should I invest in?  Do most companies us the internet. One company I talked with still has clients that us Lanier equipment.

#1 I would think would be a wav pedal and headset but what about an LX-219?

What do you use?


Your IC Questions
You are responsible for your taxes. I recommend w/each paycheck, you put 20% in a savings account so when you file taxes, you don't have to scrounge up the money to pay IRS - or you could do like others and file taxes quarterly. You will have a 1099 instead of W2/W4. You don't establish yourself...as an MT you are either an employee with insurance benefits, 401K and taxes withheld or not.
Questions about DQS
Good morning, I am about to start with a company that uses DocQScribe and I understand that MQ uses it also. Since there is a specific MQ board here I thought I might get some answers here. I really like Stedman's Spellchecker, and want to know if it is compatible with DQS? Also use ShortHand for Windows, wondering about that. I have used built-in spellcheckers in other platforms, and just don't care for them, they just don't seem to be as good as Stedman's. And in general, your opinions about the DocQscribe platform itself. Thank you.
VR Questions

I have an office going to EMR with voice recognition software.  The OM tells me I will still have this account because there is no way the VR will work for their Indian doctor and another doctor that mumbles horribly.  Is there anyone that has experienced this?  Also, will editing of the VR be needed?  The OM mentioned that if it does work, she will need me to edit reports.  How much does one make per line for editing VR?

I know I have lots of questions, but this is my largest account and with a disabled hubby and three kids, I'm a panicked breadwinner right now.


More questions
Does he hold out your taxes?  Do you have benefts?  Do you get paid the same amount no matter how much or how little you transcribe or if you take time off?   Have you figured out how much you get paid per cpl or hour?  I would figure out how much I am making per cpl or hour and go from there.  Be sure to figure in the time you are not working and getting paid.  That is a little unusual to be an IC and paid monthly and not on production. 
Are you using an Expander along with the keyboard? (I sometimes mess up by assigning F keys to things that I shouldn't).  I've linked an article from Computer Hope that might help.  If it were me, I'd just go out and buy a new keyboard.  Nothing more frustrating than a semi-functioning keyboard (except perhaps a semi-functioning toilet).
asking questions

I get the feeling that many MTSO do not liked to be asked questions.  If I am looking to make a switch I am just looking out for myself.  Mind you, I send in the resume and THEY call me. While I may get some that offer 3 insights to the job right off the bat, if I ask if there is a chance to make more of a base pay I either don't hear from them or they think I should look into something else.  I have run across 1 company that was very very informative without me asking too much, but they didn't have direct deposit, and they were on the other side of the country from where I am and was just not too keen on the thought of a check by mail. I guess I'm just kind of feeling not to happy right now with all of this.  Thanks for listening. 



You have several hundred addresses typed out, but are they in a table format or free style?  If table, then keep the doc open, then go to Tools, Envelopes and Labels, select the label you are going to use under options (refer to the Avery label sheet for label number).  Then you click New Document.  Go to the doc where you have the addresses, select all and copy and paste.  You may have to copy and paste by table row, to make it work correctly.

If you are trying to integrate them into a Word Mail Merge doc/letter, I can explain but Word help does a much better job.  Look in Help, Mail Merge, data source, show data source, or something like that.

two more questions....

What companies do you use and what were the up-front costs?  I believe the monthly fee is around 50 dollars from what I've seen.  Thanks in advance.

I did ask those questions!!!!!!!!!!!
I did ask those friggin questions!!! My company did what a LOT of companies do--they tell you one thing in the interview and then when you actually work the job, they change it! There is no reason under the sun that I shouldn't be able to work a split shift. One of the women who has been there 30+ years said it's possible.

I know what I was told in the interview and it was that women with small kids are their "ideal candidates". Certainly they don't think an ideal situation would be to have toddlers running around while you are trying to type.

Give me a break.
FTP questions...

I work for a small doctor’s office and the time has come for us to have outside transcriptionists working as independent contractors.  How do I set this up for them to send me their completed work via FTP? Help!! The only thing I understand about the FTP is you can transfer files from computer to computer securely – the rest I am totally lost about.  How do I set it up? How/where do I log on to get the work? How/where do they deliver the work? 

While I am asking questions
the voice file is coming from a service out of Oregon who posted a job position on MTStars.  She did not give her company name, but I found it on the Internet.  It is BMT Office, or Bassel Medical Transcription.  Has anyone heard of it?
Two Questions

Does anyone sit on an exercise ball while working?  I am wondering if it would be too difficult to balance because of the foot movement and the typing. 

Also, about running enrichment (from previous posts) ... can anything similar be done in MedRite?  That would be awesome if I could search out the common phrases used!

Thanks for any input! 

If I can help with any questions...sm
feel fee to email me!
Why can't you ask questions for
This board is a resource for information, just as any other internet sites are resources for information.
IC tax questions
First of all, I apologize if this post comes up twice, but I don't think I did it right the first time and am trying again. I would appreciate anyone who could give me some generic answers. I know it's best to speak with a tax specialist, and I do plan to do that.
1. If you're an IC for a national company making, say, 1600.00 monthly, do you need to pay quarterly or can you pay at the end of the year if you want to?
2. Does one HAVE to pay into social security, or is it optional not to?
3. If you file jointly with your spouse, can you pay what you owe in a lump sum at the end of the year or are there different "sections" or "departments" that you have to pay to? I hope this makes sense, and I thank you for any replies you can give me. Reb
No to all 3 questions.