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Contracts....burnout.......etc....open and read

Posted By: MT.IC on 2006-12-17
In Reply to:


I was just reading your post and I do understand where you are coming from. First of all, let me start by saying I will never do a non-contracted job again and every job that I have is contracted. :)

Secondly, I know how you feel about being "stuck inside"--Yep, been there, done that....burnout. I was so ready to go to work in the big world again. So, I left transcription at home, hired a babysitter and went to work in my secondary field as a medical assistant. After three months of it, I was so ready to come back home, and I missed my transcription so badly...AND MY KIDS.

I came back home, been here again for over a year. I can say it is better this time around, I appreciate MT more and I am absolutely taking in every moment I can with my kids. At least I know when my babies get sick, I will be the one nurturing them..and bringing home a paycheck at the same time. :)

Sometimes it is hard to balance everything at once, and the thought of going back outside the home to work seems like an easy answer, but believe me, it is better to be home. :)

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I read a book once that burnout was caused by being out of balance. sm
Working too much and not giving time to other parts of your life is the culprit in the job arena. Variety is the spice of life, so focusing on balancing your job, your need for a good cash flow, with times to enjoy yourself is essential.

It takes work, and fortunately I have an S/O that demands that I take time for us to have fun and for "me" to have fun as an individual.

You have to open it and read it.
It's a hidden prize...
He already is...From what I've read, he's been doing open act for
anyone else not able to open & read posts??
I dont read them usually. Typically open and
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. 
Three-job burnout
A co-worker took on a second and now a third job. I can see where in trying to get a "balance" her work is suffering especially in turnaround time and also some quality issues. I believe that if you take on additional work, your first obligation is to your first job, second obligation to your second job, and so on. If the second and/or third jobs pay more, that matters not. I think it is called honoring your committment. Anyhow, too much work will eventually leave you burned out and you may end up sick and/or running as far as you can from this work. Would think very carefully about divying yourself up into too many pieces. Best regards.
So, if your post is correct it seems you probably need a vacation, at least. I have done what you say you do and, believe me, it can suck you dry. It is hard to do so many things 24/7/365, used to find myself sitting in my chair at home in the same pajamas I had on 14 hours before. I found I needed a better quality of life. My best advice to you is to take a break and post us when you get back and feel better and not so offensive/defensive. Good luck.
WOW - I couldn't have said anything better than these posters. Have been there several times over the past 25 years - the last after my son died, and am so thankful I didn't get fired the several years it took me to get back up to speed afterward. Truly, maybe working inhouse would be a good thing for a while for you.

Love, blessings, hugs, understanding.
Would it be possible for you to take a part-time job doing something -anything - else to get out of the house and be with people and cut down a bit on your transcription hours?  I know you have to make your bills, but if you're not producing would you be losing a lot by trying something else?  Or maybe at least ask for a different account?  Or maybe find a different service for whom to work?  I know this is scary to think about, much less do, particularly as we age.  My guess is I'm a bit older than you, having been in transcription for 31 years, but perhaps not.  Perhaps you are a late bloomer (she smiles).  I've been where you are, and sadly, the road I'm traveling down at the moment is starting to look familiar, like I'm headed back to that same spot.  In my case, the first time around, I took a temporary part-time job in Geographic Information Systems for a local municipality.  I'd taken the classes for fun at the junior college but had no experience.  I was given very low-level work, but it was different from transcription, I was learning more about GIS than I had at school, I loved it and the people were super!  When I came home to start transcribing, I was in a much better mood and production increased.  I hope you can find something, because your pain is coming through loud and clear.
ahh, burnout

After about 12 years of being an MT, I found myself suffering from burnout.  Right about that time, I was offered the job of 1st & 2nd grade teacher at the tiny Christian school my kids attended.  I was really looking forward to something new.  After only 2 months, I was over my burnout but I was committed to finish out the rest of the school year.  It was the longest 7 months of my life.   

I think the burnout came from having had the same account for so long (nearly 10 years).  Every day was the same.  Maybe just learning a new account or a new specialty would help you get over the burnout.  Although I hate the pay cut that invariably comes with any new account, I always feel proud of myself for rising to the challenge and learning new things.  It keeps things interesting. 

This may sound silly, but do you have any scenery where you transcribe?  I sit in front of a picture window in my office and watch the birds and squirrels.  I have become quite an avid birdwatcher while I work.  It doesn't take a lot of time out of the day, but it gives me something else to look at besides the computer screen. 

on the edge of burnout
It sounds like you're on the edge of burnout.  I was there a few years ago.  You just have to force yourself to stop working at 5 (or whenever your shift is done) and close the door and not look back at that computer.
Dealing with burnout


Is anyone out there dealing with burnout due to their transcription job? I have been doing this for 7 years as an Independent with only 1 vacation in that time. I work weekends and holidays and feel like I am about ready to yank my freaking hair out from the responsibility!!!


How do you handle burnout as MT? Any
suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've only been doing this for 7-1/2 years and I've about had it with all the junk.
severe burnout

I just can't do MT anymore.  I've been doing it for 30 years, the last 6 with a national that begins and ends with an S.  I so tired of their lies and garbage.   I also edit as an IC which I enjoy but can't get steady hours.  I'm presently on intermittent FMLA from "S" for my mom who is a paraplegic and they're giving me all kinds of grief over it.   My supervisor is doing everything she can to put roadblocks in front of me. She won't me change accounts permanently.  I get put on an account I'm good at and can get good line counts on for awhile and then I'm put back on the account I told her I hate and can't make money on.  This happens over and over again.  She also won't let me taking an editing job or change my hours.   I received their "certificates" for quality and attendance, but not for production which is the only thing they care about since only 62% of the company made 98% or more quality.  Some days I just can't sit and work.  I'm totally burned out and the above doesn't help.

I'd leave in a minute if I thought another place would be better, but I'm not convinced it would be.  Add to that the fact that I only have dial-up, need health insurance as I am single and can't afford a good computer at this time. 

Sorry for the long post.  Just needed to vent.  Has anyone been in this situation?  What can I do?   I'm working 50-60 hours a week and still can't make a living.  I'm really ready to go on welfare rather than keep working.


So your answer to the the OP's burnout
the boss and I am a child.  If that is what you got out of the post, then I AM SO RIGHT ALL ALONG!!!! 
burnout/changing companies
Hi everyone - I post here frequently but I need to remain anonymous for this one; hope you understand.

I'm looking for thoughts from MTs about whether switching to a different company alleviated burnout. I am trying to figure out if it's MT itself, or just the service I work for, that is causing my severe burnout.

I'm on the verge of hauling myself to a doctor for antidepressants (paying out of pocket, of course... no psych insurance coverage as an IC!) and my line counts have dropped drastically. I have bilateral CTS to boot. I'm struggling pretty badly with all the "classic" burnout signs.

Thanks all!
Taking a vacation due to burnout
MTs to boost production.  Having contests to see who can do the most is more like something a 12-year-old would do in my opinion.  Furthermore, this is not a game people play.  This is a job.  The doctors are relying on transcriptionists to do a good job.  We cry we want more money, we have to work for it, and then we cry that we're burned out????      Get a life!
Plain and simple burnout.

I used to carry two pagers for two hospitals all by myself, 24/7.  They went off maybe a couple of times a month.  The chore of being on-call is now shared with a few other people but now the after-hour pages come in nonstop and I don't know why.  Me thinks some deal was made to keep an account or something but I really am just pulling that answer out of my tuckas.  It's gotta be costing the hospitals a mint to have us at their beck and call like that....either that or they got a really sweet deal. 

The other issue is it used to be a much more laid back environment.  You logged on, did your work, and you were left alone.  You kept an eye out for stats yourself and took care of them, because you are there because you are responsible. 

Now you log on, strike up this thing called Instant Messenger, and sit there at your desk working your alloted shift but can't get up because you must be present if you get an IM for a stat...even though you are already on it because it's your job to be.  Want to take a break?  Yeah, sure, once you finish up this stat.  Oh wait, I've got another one here that needs to be done super duper stat....you know what I'm talkin' about too, lurkers.

Ya know the movie, Office Space?  I'm always referring to it with this company.  You know the scene with the TPS reports, where the fella has 4 bosses telling him the same darned thing even though you already know your job?  That's what I'm dealing with and, yeah, I've been reduced to the mumbling dude who worries about his stapler.

I don't blame my bosses at all, but the micromanaging thing is out of control and I have no idea why it has come to be, because it wasn't like this before.  The days of a happier Hayseed with high line counts and company pride are long gone.  I don't know who works there anymore as the folks I knew have all left, and that's made an impact as well.  Ask for new scenery because of burnout, and all you get is a strokin', nothing more. 


I suffered from major burnout about 4 years ago. sm

Was at a major company that I liked for a year, then they made some changes and it was a nightmare for the second year.  I went to a smaller company for awhile, they were great but I found it harder and harder to sit down and pull reports.  I got to the point I was only doing about 300 lines a day.  I made a change to a small company as IC, and chose one where so many minutes were dumped on me for the day.  I knew I had to finish those minutes, and before I knew it I was back to about 800 lines a day, six days a week.  That is all I can do without developing CT myself; I have learned this over the years.  Now I'm starting some editing part time, so I can earn more without losing the use of my hands.

If you already have CT, you might have to get into something different, like editing.  It doesn't seem realistic to keep working, knowing you're doing more damage and will shortly be unable to work anyway.  I'd be looking for a change.

Whatever you do, try to find the motivation that works.  I didn't find thinking about unpaid bills or setting a financial goal each month helped, it just made me depressed when I couldn't reach it.  I focused on the positive, like being able to do 50 lines more daily this week than last, adding minutes each week until I reached my goal.  I also make sure to take two weeks off at different times each year and go some place at least once, something I neglected for years.  I come back refreshed.

Best of luck to you; it's a difficult situation.


How do I get it ST to open when escription is open?

Does anyone have copies of Independent Contractor contract, Non-compete contract and confidentiality agreement.  My hard drive crashed awhile back and all my contracts were on there.  I run a small business and can't seem to find these anywhere on the Web.  Any contracts e-mailed to me would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance, Robin
Contracts out
To Medquist and OSI.  From what I remember, they do not transcribe all that well -- a lot of mistakes.
It is true. The only thing is depending on the contract some guidelines are really strict. They usually ask for a 70-character line count, but it is definitely worth bidding for because if you do a good job it is a 5 year contract in most cases?

I haven't used a written one for years but I basically just outlined what services I would be providing at what price, TAT, and what I expected from the account.  There is usually a 30 day cancellation clause unless it is due to poor quality or not meeting TAT.  My accounts now have been on a handshake and a verbal agreement and have lasted for over 15 years.  
Well..that is a subject all right! I bill on the 1st and 15th. On my invoice, it states, "due and payable upon receipt." That way there is no denying they know I want to be paid now. I actually discuss with the Transcription Coordinator at the time of the contract that I expect to be paid promptly, that I am a small business and that I cannot float paying my MTs and that I must pay them or they will not work for me...MTs are sort of like that, if we don't get paid promptly, we don't work. I hope that helps you and good luck with your new contract.
I have no contracts
When I first started out I had contracts wtih some accouints -- I did the work as spcified, they paid as specified and either count cancel with 30 days notice.  It worked.  I now have 5 accounts, no signed contracts, verbal only.  I do the work as promised, I follow HIPAA rules, they pay on time - no bounced checks, I raise my rates when I need to -- they have been with me for 16 to 6 years.  No difference.  Works for me.  You can cancel the service at any time either side, if they don't pay with or without a contract you can go to court.  I do the job as promised, they do their part as promised.  Works for me.
I do not do contracts
I have worked both ways, as an IC and the MTSO and I do not do contracts but I do try to pay prior to the doctor paying me.  But most of the time I do know the IC's quite well as it is a small circle here in Portland and we just work on trust I guess.  I  have never had anyone try to take my accounts but then I have always been up front and fair with my help.  I would ask though when you might expect payment prior to the big project.   But like I said, we are all pretty local and if the word ever got out that you either took someone's account or you did not pay, it would be all over and could easily ruin your business.    But again, nothing hurt in asking, as a small MTSO I would not have a problem with someone asking me when they might expect payment.    Good luck.   Patti 
need contracts

In hindsight, it would seem a good idea in such a situation would be to have a notarized agreement between yourself and the person you get to fill in for you.  This agreement would stipulate that they are only to fill in for you in your absence when requested by YOU and they are not permitted to seek or accept employment with this client as long as you are their transcriptionist, even if it's your best friend.  This is business, not a Saturday lunch together. 

Then you could also get the facility to sign a notarized agreement with you stating they will not offer employment to your fill-in.  They are to understand that this person is only a fill-in for you and is not permitted to solicit your clients because he/she has a legal agreement with you to not do so.  Should they violate this, you will pursue legal means, etc.  You must protect your job as well as you can.     

You can also put in a contract that you have the first right of refusal to turn down work if the workload increases and the facility wishes to hire more staff.  Then they can't go behind your back and hire others without offering you the work first.  You have yourself covered at both ends this way.  I've done such contracts and they befuddle the client so much that they willingly agree to sign because it sounds like I know a whole lot more than they do.  Get a lawyer to draw something up so all your bases are covered. 

Being nice, honest--that has to do with character and it's wonderful if the people for whom you work are that way.  But in business, it's money that comes first.  The two are not incompatible but it seems these days they aren't often found together anymore.  Do a bullet-proof contract and give it to your clients in a very cordial but professional manner.  They will respect you for it.  Your business and income are every bit as valuable to you as theirs are to them and explain that to them as you hand over the contract for them to sign.  If they can't see that, you don't need to deal with them and move on.  Make the playing field level here and protect yourself.  You are a professional too!

Your information regarding contracts is just what I need.  I never thought I would need to get so "formal" but just when you think you are in a comfort zone, you're not. Much appreciated!!!
IC Contracts - sm
I've got a question for those of you who service your own personal accounts.  I currently work as an IC for another company and I am getting ready to take on a bunch of radiology reports from one doctor.  (I'll work both places) I'm going to be paid by the page.  Have any of you asked for a contract for a guarantee of work, i.e. he will guarantee a certain number of reports a week?  What about contracts? Is there any place where I can download a contract and use it as a template for a foundation? Thanks guys.
contracts are all different SM
I've had contracts that span from year to year and then new ones are signed (if invited to stay on, sometimes they don't need the same amount of workers from year to year).

All of my contracts have stated some type of notice to be given as this could affect accounts if left short-handed. I give the MTSO forwarning, why not, it's called repect.

Also - contracts can be negotiated, you know. If there is something in there you don't agree with, call and discuss it. Ask questions.

and contracts...works for me 20+ yrs..nm
Government contracts

Has anyone out there heard or looked into government contracts transcribing for VA hospitals - a friend called me today with this proposition - she said there were two places to look for work - one is called rsp.com and the other is fedbizops.com.  She put in a bid for a radiology account with 600,000 lines a month and said that she thought that would take two people.  I'm just trying to find out if this is legit or not.  I'm not wanting any extra work for myself, but this just sounds too good to be true.


Govt contracts... been there
done that.  I wouldn't do another one in a million years.  Most are one-year contracts with 4 one-year renewals (their discretion, no guarantee).  Their systems are mostly Dictaphone, some with VPN for voice.  Most of the cost is on you for anything connected to account such as C-phones.  The amount of paperwork and reports they wanted daily was overwhelming.  They call you every 10 minutes 24/7 with "need it right now" stuff.  The 2 facilities I did had about 75% ESL doctors that rotated in/out every few months -- especially if a military hospital.  Then, because it's posted on the web site who was awarded the bid, I started getting a lot of calls from offshore companies wanting to work on the accounts, asking me not to tell the contractor.  I also got a few calls from offshore companies asking if I would "front" for them and bid on contracts cuz they needed an American company to actually have the contract.  As of just a few months ago, you needed evaluation from D&B (your cost $250) and their required liablity insurance limits (varies with accounts).  You don't just go in and bid -- it's a process of applying to be a vendor first and filling out LOTS of tedious paperwork.  (My last contract was about 80 pages long to fill out).  If you miss one little thing in this paperwork, your bid gets bounced.  They do call all of the required references, and if you haven't done the VA contract volume before, it's not likely they will award you contract.  Getting paid took literally months - I was about broke and had borrowed money before I got my first check.   (We didn't do anything incorrectly for billing, just took that long cuz it sat on somebody's desk)  I'm sure others have had better luck - this was just our experience with these contracts.   I wish you better luck!
Sample Contracts

I found this the below link quite helpful, particularly sample contract 2.


Best wishes.

noncompete contracts
I emailed you back.
noncompete contracts

Yes the papers have been served. Seeking legal advice soon.  I don't really fear anything as I know we have done nothing wrong. It's just maddening that this person doesn't have anything better to do than to make other people miserable. She doesn't want to make her own money, she tries so hard to take other people's money. I swear, she works harder at trying NOT to work than she would actually have to work if she would just get a job! Get a job lady!

Noncompete contracts
Has anyone ever been sued for breaching a noncompete contract? Do you know what legal steps are involved? How do these things usually turn out? FYI: The contract was never actually breached.....but this former employer BELIEVES it has been and is suing several of her former employees. She owes one of us money (over $3,000.00) for back transcription. We HAD to quit...she wouldn't pay any of us. But the contract was not breached by any of us (probably by her - dirty hands clause - shady business practices, etc.) Any info would be greatly appreciated!
How many companies or contracts does everyone have.
It seems most Transcriptionist have to have more than one job.  I want to work for just one company but have always worked for two and three to make sure I had work if one was low.  Does anyone work for just one company ?
There are some sample contracts on
www.medword.com.  Google "Transcription contracts".  You can cut and paste into a word document.  You are probably better off charging per line.  Going rate is anywhere from 13-17 cpl depending on where you are located.    
contracts and mergers

This can be tricky.  You need to have a lawyer look at the contract you made with the physician and see if you made a contract with him as an individual or the contract was made with his business and then see what can be done.  If it was made with his business, then you may be covered and be able to fight this more easily. 

I think you also need to know what the new contract for the merger covers -- are all previous services used by that physician automatically transferred over to the merged group?  If not, you may have been cut out of the deal.  OR, you may be included and they are not telling you.  Also, if you are not covered under the new arrangement, you may be able to go after him for expected income based on what your existing contract states with that physician.  You may be able to go after him personally for money owed. 

We're talking 6 months of income here as I see it.  Get a lawyer and go get what you deserve if there is any possible way--either by being retained by the new group or bringing charges of some sort.  Make sure the lawyer stipulates that THEY pay all legal costs involved.  They may be more willing to settle with you, give you what you want, rather than go through all this.  Stand your ground.  You are a business and don't let them cheat you.  There are a lot of things in contracts that a non-lawyer can't see but can very well be to your advantage. 

Good luck! 

contracts and security

Yes, the only real "comfort zone" is what is covered in a legal document.  There's your security to a certain extent.  That's not to say that will eliminate all problems, but it gives people an idea you're serious and professional about your servies and you don't expect to be taken advantage of.  Demand all that you want.   Then decide down the road how strictly you want to hold the other party to those demands. 

Think of how business people operate -- they argue at the conference table over clauses in contracts and then go play golf together the next weekend.  It's expected.  It's part of running a business.  Business is business, social is social.  Draw a line here between the two.  Be nice when you type a term paper for your neighbor's kid.  Be strict when you deal with clients. 

Anyone can challenge a contract or agreement, and sometimes you will lose or it won't be worth the fight to pursue it. Every situation is different.  That's why it's best to get the best attorney you can afford, the most experienced in this, to draw up that contract to begin with.  Obviously the clients for whom we work have their own lawyers and the money to pursue things.  But looking at the overall picture, it's just easier to give into your demands as a Transcriptionist than fight, especially if they really want to keep you which seems to be the case here.  If there is a disagreement and you walk, their work is going to get backed up until someone else is trained and up to speed (in most situations).  Who wants that hassle?  It's easier to give into your demands.  Lawyers aren't cheap for anyone, either side.

I'd sit down with these people and explain what they have done to you because they really may not realize how it is affecting you.  Be pleasant about it but firm.  Then have that contract ready and re-negotiate.  Tell them your lawyer has advised you to do this with every client you have and you are changing your way of doing things to protect your business.  Who can fault you for that?  It makes perfect sense.  Then you'll know where you really stand with them and you can make your decision to stay or move on.  And when you deal with anyone else, present the contract to them and make sure all parties understand what they are signing before you do one bit of paid work for them.   

One other tip:  This is not meant in any way to offend you, as I'm sure your sklls are good, especially if they asked YOU to find a replacement.  They assumed they would get someone just as good as you.  Don't do it.  Don't ever hire a fill-in who is equal to or better than you.  You want them to be exceedingly glad upon your return!!!  Doing this even puts you in a better bargaining position as far as rate increases in the future.  If you want to help out a friend, get her/him an account you don't want.  OR, hire them as a subcontractor for you so that they do not deal one-on-one with the client except to do the work.  They are not to be involved in any negotiations whatsoever.  But I still prefer hiring below your level of expertise.  It's better for you that way. 

Company Contracts

For those of you who work for MT companies, do you have to sign a contract regarding working for other companies as well?

Since supplemental income seems to be a big part for many, I am wondering if there is ever any problem with that.

Internship contracts
I am wondering if anyone has experience with companies requiring an internship contract that states that if the intern quits anytime within 2 years of signing that she will be charged $25 per hour in logged QA fees that could "potentially amount to thousands of dollars" (per contract). The starting line rate is decent, but there is no guaranteed increase, and advancement is at the discretion of the employer/mentor. Is this legal?
question about gov contracts.
Is it standard practice for a VA to 'sanitize' hard drives before paying up?
Getting MT contracts/subcontracting
Are there any MTs on this board who get their own contracts or subcontract directly from the MTSO that individual practices, hospitals, clinics, etc. contract with that would be willing to give me some pointers about getting my own accounts?  You may feel free to email me privately if you want.  Thank you in advance.
Contracts...wouldn't you think...sm
a contract signed between the MTSO and hospital or private practice would involve more legalities and red tape than a contract between an MTSO and your remote MT? I've worked for private practices and from what I've seen,they don't sign or do anything without involving an attorney. I also worked for one small MT company owned by someone I knew that didn't involve much more than a verbal agreement. Fortunately it worked out. Just a thought.
Giving out SS# for new contracts

Is there anyone else, besides me, who's very hesitant on giving out your social security # to new contracts?    Am I better off trying to get a Federal Tax ID # and using that instead?   

I know other IC's who make it part of their contracts that if they are being let go, sm
they require XX notice; fill in the X's. I know one friend, who puts in her contracts that if they no longer need her services, she wants at least a 2 month notice and they signed it. This may protect you for this happening again in the future. If there is no signed contract between the two of you stating that she has to give you notice or vice versa, then it is an "at will" agreement and either party can end it at any time!
There are no long-term contracts
I've rented from them several times, both paying off items and giving some items back when I got something to replace it. You can expect to pay two to three times the price (if not more) for an item then if you just went and bought the item outright which to many sounds outrageous, but some of us don't have the money to fork over for more expensive items. I had a good experience with them each time I rented from them whether I kept something for the whole time or I turned the item back in.