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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

But it does open our options to move on to careers rather than joe-jobs

Posted By: college degrees open doors on 2006-06-17
In Reply to: certainly going back to college doesn't protect from outsourcing.. - JoV

and bring people the respect they deserve.

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Need Advice - trying to keep options open
I have only worked for one company, namely TL/Medquist, for many years.  They have always supplied the things I need to do my job, computer, transcription equipment, phone line, etc.  With all the job dissatisfaction with MQers in general, running out of work, etc., I would like to keep my options open as far as pursuing a job with another company BUT I don't know what type of equipment I would need or if other companies also supply equipment for you.  Any information/advice about this or anything else that would help me be ready for a change would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks! 
I was surprised at options. I'm 58 and lots of jobs are paying more

For a long time MTing was a stable career (it transferred all acros the country) and a respected one.

Now it is a scam operation. 

There are jobs we never would have considered before because we thought we had valuable skills (typing speed, education, knowledge of medicine/drugs, dialects, computers).  But that value has been brought down to below burger-flipping pay.  In fact most days lately I would have been making more at Burger King.

That's why I say go LOOK.  You will be surprised that you can be paid more for "showing up" than for what you know.  SAD ISN'T IT.  But that's what's going on right now.

They scammed people into thinking "oh a stay-at-home highly paid job"  NOT.

They were taking your money to train you for 6 weeks or 6 months and telling you were qualified enough to do transcription from home without supervision BUT IN MOST CASES YOU CAN'T SO DON'T TRY - but in the meantime these fly by night MT training companies have your $2000 or whatever.  That's the scam.

If hospitals really wanted MTs they would do MT trainee programs.  That's how most of us learned.  The hospitals just got lazy and looked for the easy out which has cost them through the nose and along the way they lost control of the medical records to boot. 

Look around out there.  Don't keep letting these companies make millions off your road to bankruptcy.  And they can surely take you there while you are hanging on trying to make it work.  It's not going to.  The big suits are not going to let you make money - they are going to shuffle the way the money is divided and the most will go to them.  What used to be our benefits is now their profit.  It's really pretty simple.

You can't just open the attachment. You need to save it to a file and then open SM
your wave player and load it. 
I don't think medical billing is the next logical step for MTs. To me personally the logical thing is something else in healthcare, but for other people the logical thing would be what they are interested in, health care or not, or what opportunities arise. I'd like to slowly start to work on something else as I don't see MT carrying me to retirement in 30 years. I'm thinking about radiology tech, ultrasound/MRI tech, health care administration, or nursing in its various levels since there never seems to be a shortage of need for those.

I haven't done billing before but have done coding and don't see it with a long-term future, either.
Changing Careers
I absolutely LOVE medical transcription work. It is the best kind of work for me. I have always, up until five years ago, made plenty of money to support my family (I am a single 45 year old mom).

However, I have become very scared. So, I have 80% decided that I have to go back to school and start over. It makes me sick, but I can't watch my pay decrease every year like this.

I really, really, really want to continue MT work, but it just doesn't feel secure for me anymore.

AND - changing careers at my age is also scary, but I have a friend who did it at 50-something years old, so I guess I can, too.
Changing careers

I have been an MT my entire life.   I had no formal training - just had a knack for it and always had a job doing transcription.  I was sought out many times. However back about 1993 I started hearing rumors about voice recognition. I at that time decided to go to school and get a nursing degree as I wanted to stay in healthcare. I obtained my LPN- RN - then BSN in 1999.   Took me awhile but I did it.  Since that time I have done some coding, worked as a nurse and been promoted to transcription supervisor in 2000.  I also teach transcription at our local college.  Since I have such a broad range of experiences in all the things you are looking at I would suggest nursing - you are going to get the most valuable education in that field - with many opportunities.   If you don't like it you would have the bulk of your education and could easily slip int to coding or transcription.  Just my opinion.

changing careers

It seems a lot of people are feeling the same crunch.  I have been an MT for 10 years  I too used to have a excellent hourly plus incentive with great bennies in-house jobs which was outsourced to an Indian Company. I worked from home and make ok. Now it's hard to even find a decent line count with benefits at all. I am working as an IC at 9 cpl and no bennies. As a single Mother I simply cannot do this anymore.  There companies who offer employee status and bennies but the line rates are so low or they want you to work 2nd or 3rd shift and with my family situation this is not possible.

I too am making a career change plans.  It seems that nursing is all the rage with the high paying jobs and plenty of them. But as a former nursing student years ago before MT I know it's not for me.  Too high pressure and the bullying in nursing school is unbelievable as is the 2 year committment to school full time.

I decided to try Assocaites degree Accounting/CIS. I hope to enter as a clerk or bookkeeper and work towards the Bachelors degree once working as a clerk.  In the meantime I have been brushing up on Powerpoint, Excel, etc and applying for secretarial and admn assistant jobs. 

 I had considered medical billing but I am somewhat soured on the healthcare system and outsourcing.  I figured Accounting is much broader and can work for more than one industry, but have seen accounting positions in healthcare systems too. 

I wondered if people would share what fields they were considering.

For new MTs... the field IS dying between VR contsantly improving and outsourcing/offshoring our jobs are dwindling as are the pay and benefits.  If you are a married-stay-at-home type of Mom with luxury of a second income and your husband's benefits MT might still be ok for a little extra money on the side.  But for anyone trying to support either themselves or their family on MT -- forget it.   Its a good part-time Mom job these days and that is about it. 

Sad.  There are many excellent and quality MTs who have a ton of knowledge.  I wondered how they intended to transfer skills to another profression.  The writing is on the wall.  I hope to be out in 2-1/2 years tops. 




changing careers
After almost 30 years of MT work under my belt, I'm ready to throw in the towel and hit the pavement. I'm already out there interviewing. Even if I make only what I make as an MT, if it's a job that I like, then it'll be worth it. Wish me luck!
When I click Careers and try to get to job back
Am I overlooking something?  Having an operator error?  Or do we not have a job bank anymore?  Thank you!
Legal Scoping Careers?
Has anyone looked into or taken the training course from the lady, Judy Barrett who posts on the "other" board about the scoping career?  I am curious if any one has gone through the course and if anyone has found this lucrative?  Any information on an outcome would be appreciated.  Thanking you in advance.
IMHO and experience, in most, if not all careers-SM
the better your memory and flexibility, the better your success.  If your memory is so-so, then find tools that will increase your success, i.e., account post-its and sample reports, even reading something out loud.  For me, if I handwrite what I am given in print regarding an account/doc, I am more likely to remember it.  Making handwritten notes takes time, but helps things stick in my memory.
And why would you want to switch change careers?!..
I am an MT and not a newbie, about 15 years of experience and I don't make $44,000 a year (oh, how I wish)! Why would you want to break into this business? This career is just going down hill in so many ways. I hear medical coding is on the rise and some seem to be transitioning from MT to just that. I also understand medical coding and billing can be done from home as well. I would be checking into that if I were you. If you are expecting to make $44,000 a year as a new MT, you are SO dreaming! Sorry so harsh, but would hate to see you make a huge financial mistake, IMHO!
Sorry, meant to say change careers
Interesting article about best careers in 2006. sm
Question for MTs pursuing nursing careers.
I am also considering going back to college and studying to become an RN.  I took a 2-year course in "medical records technology" 18 years ago at a junior college and got a lot of the prerequisites out of the way including Anatomy and Physiology I and II.  If I decided to go back to college, how long would it take me to complete an RN program?  Isn't it typically 4 years starting from scratch?  Any help is greatly appreciated!!  Thanks!!
A-M-E-N! The main reason women in all careers - sm
earn less than men (and employers get away with paying them less) is that it's impossible to get groups of women to stick together on ANYTHING, let alone anything that might involve a little initial personal risk before things are ultimately straightened out and this archaic pay disparity between men & women in the US workforce is resolved. Can you imagine the kind of clout MTs in this country would have if they all stood firm together and demanded that they be paid fairly for a job that not just anyone with a PC and a set of headphones can do? A few years ago when HIPAA first came about, we should have taken that and run with it, when it comes to securing our profession on US soil. We didn't do it then, but I think if we were to dig our heels in, and start writing and talking to the right media, we could still use HIPAA to our advantage. Think about it.
What kind of alternate careers can MT's transition into?

Guys, I've finally made up my mind that the profession that we used to know is gone and is never coming back.  The industry leaders have made it their business to turn MT's into the equivalent of sweatshop workers, and I don't find that dynamic at all appealing. 

Can any of you give any suggestions as to what types of careers we might transition into and make a decent income?  I'm polishing up my resume now, but I fear that I've stayed in this industry for far too long and have handicapped myself from being able to take advantage of any other career opportunities that might exist out there. 

Any and all feedback would be appreciated. 

I had a person sound really interested in changing careers and doing this...
until I mentioned that she had to take a really reputable course in this field and that it would cost a fair amount of money but that for this price they would mentor her into a position, and not to pay for a course that offered less than this if it were what she really wanted to do, and this changed her mind quickly.  She didn't know it would cost her!
Time to switch careers. I did and life is much less stressful.
How do I get it ST to open when escription is open?

supposed to be, after people lose their jobs, they are forced to take part-time, lower-paying jobs..
with little to no benefits. service jobs. where are you going to work in a few years, when Medical Transcription is replaced by technology? McDonald's, Walmart? you really going to like that?
Several jobs on Monster & CareerBuilder for inhouse office jobs down there through an
I did 3 jobs for a while about 3 years ago, you burn out quick, I was doing 3 MT jobs though...after
10 months I cut down to 2 as I don't like to have all my eggs in one basket.  But I am considering going down to 1 in September for my sanity, its a good steady job so financally it should not be an issue.  I have 2 right but have not worked the 1 in about 3 weeks due to some problems at their end, supposed to learn a VA account but not sure if I want to pursue it right now or not, they are waiting to hear from me at this point. I still have a lot going on with chemo, etc. so am mulling things over.  But if you have a full-time day job, then I would just go with 1 part-time MT job at night, unless 1 is during the week, and the other weekends only, then of course you will be working 7 days a week, very tiring I know.  I have been working 7 days a week for 3 years now but I do slack off now and then of course to recharge and get sleep etc. But burnout happens fast and I doubt you want to lose your day job so be careful. Good luck.
Ever try reducing your monthly bills by getting a different car with a lower car payment, perhaps a smaller house with a smaller mortgage, and so on? I see no sense of living like that? Do you really enjoy life? Try to take it easy on yourself and enjoy life.

This is just my advice - I know there is no way I could be happy working 3 full time jobs, but if you are then all the power to you. Best of luck in all you do!
there are so many options, but
I would like to work with women in prison, or even preteens in school, its hard to say this early in the game.  Maybe even research. The ultimate goal would be to have my own practice and office and work with people on handling anxiety and depression.  Cognitive therapy has helped me tremendously and its something I believe in.  Just help people's perspective on life, because I have been there before and its all about reprogramming the brain to positive and undo whatever it has learned (for the most part not our fault) in the past. 
Two options

I use the toggle feature (Alt-Tab) to quickly go to another open window, something I just learned recently.  But the best thing is to have Google as your home page.  I keep my home page closed, but use the Web/Home button on my Microsoft keyboard that opens it immediately and I can then just type in the word for search.  It's really fast.  Hope that helps!  The less mousing the better! 

I did try that, but i don't have the same options as you. sm
I don't have the MIDI Synth nor do i have an advanced under the volume to even mess with my bass/treble. thanks though!
Well, there's really only 2 options here.
Either find a daycamp for them during the day, or cut down your hours.

The only other thing I can suggest is for you to change WHEN you work...i.e. VERY early in the a.m. before the kids get up or late at night. You can split up your shift 4hrs a.m./4 hrs p.m.

Of course this means more discipline on your part, and probalby more fatigue as your days will be longer than usual but I've done it this way in the past and, for me, it was worth it, to be able to work and still have plenty of time to do things with the kids.
You can Google a search term like "transcription call-in system" and others that you are interested in and you should get some options to pop up.

I'd recommend Express Scribe (free download) that allows you to play dictation with a USB foot pedal and look into Express Dictate for your daughter's end. I only have experience with Express Scribe, not Express Dictate, but it looks like it may be something she could use to dictate with and then send it to you via the internet.
Go to Options...
Select Playback tab...
Last line under "Playback" section...
set "auto backstep on stop" to up to 5000 ms.

Other options
Maybe instead of doing medical transcription, you could look into doing corporate transcription. There's a company out of New York called Ubiqus (ubiqus.com) and what they do is record things like phone interviews and project presentatoins for corporations and then you transcribe them - I've done this in addition to my other job for about 5 years now - it's really easy work and the pay's not too bad. You might also check with your local police department or Sheriff's office to see if they need anyone to transcribe taped interviews with suspects or witnesses. If they alrady have a company doing this, find out who it is and see if you can get on there. You've already got the transcription skills and there are so many other things to do with them than just medical. I also agree with the poster that said just take a terminology course, buy yourself an American Drug Index (for reference) and then look locally. Believe it or not, there are still some doctors that are using microcassettes for dictation, so you can bring those home, do the transcription and then take the notes back. Good luck to you whatever you choose and good luck with the baby! =)
Here are a few options


Yes, you can try to get it yourself and it may be cheaper but you probably won't get the same coverage.

After our insurance went up (again) we decided to shop around to see what we could get. Yeah, we would've saved $$$ buying insurance ourselves but we would've had to go to a PPO with a huge deductible. It's just easier for us to keep the employer provided HMO since we have kids and you never know what happens or if we'll have the $$$ up front to go to the hosp.
fax options
You can set up the one in Windows, but your computer has to be on to receive a fax.

I highly recommend TrustFax. I've used it for years. It's reliable, you can get an 800 number, & it's very inexpensive.

This is the plan I use:


They have others depending on your usage.

Two jobs very common, 3 jobs not unheard of.
Wishing I had so many options!!
Boy do I wish I had the option of cable vs DSL vs dialup! The cable line ends 1,000 feet from our home and they will extend the line for a mere $10,000 (yes, you read that correctly). For DSL we are to far from town. I even purchased satellite but there was a 10 second lag from the time that you punched in a letter to the time that it appeared on the screen so it was virtually useless for transcription. MQ had told me that I could not do NW acct with dialup 3 yrs ago so I purchased the satellite $500 later after the lag and and service charges and when I told them that I would have to quit they said "Well you can use dialup too". Go figure. Amherst office boo hiss.
:) actually girl I think you have too many options.

choices to you and your kids. 


There are lots of options out there.
Oh, I can relate. It took me 2 years before I made any money, wanted to give it up several times but stuck it out. Now I'm glad I did because working at home is worth all you have to go through in the beginning. Keep watching the job seekers board. You will eventually find something you like. One thing I love about this industry is there is a fit for everyone, if you don't have it now, you can find it. In any case, don't give up, MTs are hard to come by (the reason so many companies offer sign on bonuses). I worked as an IC for 10 years, loved it but had to go as an employee. Anyway, where I'm at doesn't quite cut it so I'm off to a new adventure with a new company. The bottom line is, you can find your dream job, just don't get discouraged in the hunt, but keep looking.
Tools and then Options looks like it may
have commands that determine this
Auto Cap Options in IT

You can disable the Automatic Capitalization in IT by right-clicking on the phrases advisory, then go to Options and Automatic Capitalization. There you can enable/disable the feature and indicate whether or not you want it to capitalize after colons.

Another place to check is in AutoCorrect in Word- that may be automatically capitalizing things as well.

It is very inconvenient not having those options. :( sm
I have tried everything I can think of to get the links to show up on the side bar. I can't imagine why I had them and now I don't as I don't recall making any recent changes to anything. HELP please! :)
you should be able to go into options and configure it
to what you want it to do.  but some are just that way. call their customer service
go to options in preferences.....
Under the operation tab there should be a setting for hot keys. Click on it, and it should come up with the next key you hit will become your hot key. Or similar. I have an older version of shorthand, so if this is not an option, go to help and look up HOT KEYS. I have mine set to F9, since my other software programs never seem to use the F9 key. Hope this helps.
Try using the attachment options. sm
You can choose to send the pictures or use a free utility to zip the files into a self-extracting file. You could also try uploading the files to a free site for pictures like Google, Snapfish or Web Shots, to name a few, then just send a link to those you want to see the pix.

You will have to delete the file that's in your outbox.
Failure to pay and your options
If you are currently an Independent contractor, you are a business. You are hired as a business to conduct work for a MTSO. I strongly urge everyone to be sure that any contract they sign with a company includes a date of expected pay. Also, when hired, note that late payment of services, after a reasonable amount of time for posting, will be cause for a late fee or interest. Be sure to save e-mail or correspondence. The fact that a company notes when payment of your invoice will be ill give them a set time with a reasonable amount of time for postage to get to you.

If, payment is not made, within that reasonable amount of time, and conversations give you the assumption that they will not be paid (especially if it is said we did not get money etc) then it is theft of services. Contact your DA, and the DA of the MTSO. Think of it this way, if you were any other professional, late fees get tacked on if YOU DO NOT PAY, so pass it on. Put it in your correspondence and stick to it. You are an independent contractor supporting your business.

Now, for all of those who think they are an independent contractor but have any of the following terms, you may be considered an employee through the US Labor Board - including scheduled hours of work.

These factors are used to determine if an individual is classified as an Independent Contractor:

* Is the worker required to follow INSTRUCTIONS?
* Does the firm provide training to accomplish the work?
* Is the worker REGULARLY employed at the firm?
* Is the work performed personally by the worker?
* Does the firm DIRECTLY pay the worker's assistants?
* Is there a continuing ongoing work relationship?
* Are there a set number of work HOURS?
* Is the worker engaged full time by the firm?
* Does the worker work on the firm's premises?
* Does the worker work according to a SCHEDULE set by the firm?
* Is the worker required to submit regular reports to the firm?
* Is the worker paid based on time rather than by project?
* Is the worker REIMBURSED for his/her expenses?
* Does the firm furnish the tools and/or materials?
* Does the worker have a vested INTEREST in performing the services?
* Can the worker realize a profit or suffer a loss?
* Does the worker work for more than one firm at a time?
* Does the worker make his services available to the general public?
* Does the firm have the right to DISCHARGE the worker without incurring a legal liability for non-performance under the contract?
* Does the worker have the right to TERMINATE the relationship without incurring a legal liability for non-performance under the contract?

Depending on your responses, you could be an employee or IC - check with your Labor Board BEFORE a problem pops up.
As a professional, we all must protect ourselves and information is key.

I hope those who have problems get them cleared up sooner rather than later.

Here's another one with many search options.
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I am exploring all options..
Like I said, though, switching schools is still hard. Our community is overextended and overpopulated. The classrooms are overcrowded and my son is just not adjusting going from smaller preschool classes to a large classroom filled with 26 other kids.. I think he needs more one-on-one there.. Thanks again for all those who gave advice. It was just something I was considering. It is very distracting to get calls every day at work telling me my child is sitting in the principals office. We are trying to right some of our wrongs. He was getting too much exposure to video games and TV.. that didnt help his "overimagination" and fascination with action shows etc..He is not allow to play on the computer, watch video games etc.. we are hoping that helps. I know alot of it is our fault as parents but I think the school overreacts and overanalysis everything..
While you're researching your options
it might be helpful to you to approach things from the other direction. Try to determine the outcome you hope to achieve and then work backwards to come up with different possibilities to achieve your goal. Maybe after your son has had his depression addressed with appropriate couseling or medication, you could involve him in the decision-making process. He sounds like a bright kid; he may come up with ideas you hadn't considered. In any event, I wish you the best. It's tough enough to be 15 without health issues. He's lucky to have such a caring mom.
Tools > Options > View
Make sure nothing is marked under Formatting marks.
then click on internet options....sm

then click on delete files, then click on delete files offline, then click on delete cookies, and then finally click on clear/delete history.  Then reboot the computer and try it again.  *fingers crossed for you that it works* 

using web cam-chat rooms?? or other options
does anyone know of any chat rooms or something where you are able to have private conversations using a web cam?  my parents are taking my son with them on vacation and this will be the first time I'm away from him.  I was hoping to find another way to keep in touch rather than phone and email while they are gone.  it's going to kill me being away from him but being a single mom I need a chance to have break-even though I'll probably cry most of the time he's gone. boy, talk about a double-edged sword!!!    any info would be greatly appreciated. I know other single moms have gone through this-how'd you get through it???? TIA !!!!