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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

I don't think it is dying, I think it is changing sm

Posted By: Not Henny Penny here! on 2008-10-15
In Reply to: Not really new... - Michelle Anderson

There will always be a need for a hand typed medical narrative. Having said that, how much need is anyone's guess. FOR NOW, many companies are moving towards at least some VR. I have watched my company ramp it up and now ramp it down again. Why? The quality isn't there and part of that is the MEs who are doing them.

Being an ME usually only appeals to someone who can't actually type the report with any speed and accuracy (not a real MT in my book) or an MT who can longer tolerate the wear and tear on her hands (a real MT). The pay is less, which might not be a problem IF the software didn't require so darn much editing! Either the software needs to be a LOT better or we need to be paid more, if they want to the best quality, so that real MTs are doing the ME thang.

What I see happening, even now, is that companies who will hire a traditional, old-fashioned typing MT want the very best they can get at the best price they can get her. It is and will be increasingly a buyers market for our services. It will edge out any MT who is marginal...in speed, in accuracy, in attitude, in work ethic. That is to say, those of us who can stay glued to our desks and produce 99.5% or better accuracy AND do it with speed, will still be around for quite a while yet. The tolerance that some companies for not showing up on time, not getting your minimums, not producing very good work, is decreasing. I see this as a trend.

Less work? Not for some of us. No work, as in we don't need the chaff of this industry? You bet, and it is happening already.

The truly top-notch MT will always be needed. Do you have any idea how very few of us there are? I have not talked to a company who has more than 1 or 2 of us that they consider the cream of their crop. If you want to stay, look at what you need to improve, be it work ethic, speed, accuracy or scope of knowledge. If you don't, you'll be in one of the first groups out of this business.

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MT dying
I have been working as an MT since 1992.  I started at $7.50 an hour - no incentive - just a flat $7.50 an hour - that company was gobbled up by another bigger company - and the gobbling has continued on.  I went to work for a smaller MTSO and at one point was making $80 an hour transcribing a very easy radiology account that was mainly normal reports - everything was a template and the template was the whole report.  I now make no where near that - and have trouble getting up to $18 or $20 an hour.  I am thinking of going back to school to becomeo a pharmacy tech - besides - it gets depressing working at home all the time and never having interaction with co-workers, etc.  The school is just a thought at the moment.  I definitely would not encourage anyone to go into MTing at this point in the game - not with voice recognition and outsourcing to other countries.
MT Dying profession

I don't agree with you.  I'm betting that MT is good for MAYBE 5 more years.  Maybe.  Thinking they won't perfect VR is only fooling ourselves....they will.  I wouldn't recommend MT to anyone looking to enter the field.  Money better spent on something with a better future but what that would be, I don't know.  Seems everything that can possibly be offshored is being offshored.  Maybe we should move to China   Then we can be sure to have jobs seeing nearly everything in the U.S. comes from there anyway.  Or maybe, the way things are going we had all better learn to like rice, cuz that's probably all we'll be eating before long.

Regarding MT being a dying profession...
I have actually read in numerous places that MT is a job with future opportunity, in light of the baby boomers beginning to get old and sick.  That's going to supply us with a lot of medical reports for a very long time.  As for voice recognition taking over...I'll believe it when I see it.  I know an MR who does VR and I've seen the gobbledegook that it comes up with.  Eventually all these companies will realize that they were sold a bill of goods by these VR vendors, but because they've invested so much in this technology, they're going to stick with it until the bitter end.  Just my opinion of course.    Finally, outsourcing.  I'm  pretty confident that  something will happen that will put the kybosh on sending private medical records off to Calcutta for transcription.   I think that practice will also stop eventually.   I could be totally wrong and maybe I'll have to put away my rose colored glasses, but for now, that's my prediction.
MT Dying Profession
Sad when you work for a company that you thought was great and all of a sudden the work is yanked away and you sit with nothing yet you see the company advertising multiple times. When you look at what many posters say, that seems to be one major problem with this profession. The companies have no loyalty to transcriptionists. The best places to work are small local services, if you can find them. I don't recommend to anyone who asks me that they get into this profession. I used to, but not any more.
MT dying profession
I totally agree, Dano. They have absolutely no loyalty to MTs OR QA for that matter - we are nothing to them. I don't feel like a respected professional who is rewarded for her expertise and hard work anymore; I feel like a factory worker in an assembly line (no disrespect to those who work in factories, BTW)who just has to pump out the work as soon as possible - it's all about numbers to them. That's why in addition to working in this field, which I have been doing for 10 years (and would have quit by now if I could!), I am going back to college to get my degree in dental hygiene. I can't wait to get out of here. Used to make good money - no more. Used to be respected -no more. They only want cheap labor. Anyone looking to get into this profession - don't be fooled by the lies - do something else!
Is transcription really dying?
I have another question for all of you...is transcription really dying out?  I haven't seen that where I'm located, we are pretty much in high demand.   I didn't even go to school and I got a job in-house at our hospital starting at over $13.00 an hour.  But, now that I am reading all of these posts I'm starting to wonder what the chances are of me being able to continue this profession, esspecially since we are thinking of moving to a big city in the near future.  I am really considering going into coding school starting in September so my husband and I will both get our degree at the same time.  I'm just wondering if I should get out while I'm ahead.  Any advice is appreciated.  Thanks!
Not dying, just growing!
First of all, HIPAA does not require EMR for all records by 2009. If that were the case, you would have known about it several years ago, because most physicians do not use EMR and have no plans to use EMR at this point. Most HOSPITALS don't use them, either. Even if they wanted to, there aren't that many viable products they could use!

He may be thinking of other HIPAA requirements which have affected his practice and which he doesn't like. HIPAA did require some privacy and security things which he no doubt found irritating. He now has a need to transmit his claims electronically, which probably annoys him.

I would guess that the concept of paying an MT annoys him, too, so he took it out on you by terrorizing you during your recent visit.

Second, nothing about an EMR means you can't dictate and transcribe.

If you're currently doing only small-office dictation, you might want to expand your capabilities so that you can do hospital acute care. I think that job prospects have been better there since internet-based voice file transfers became possible. There are a lot of jobs available with national services and even with large employers who will let you work from home.

MT is a dying profession??
Anyone else dying for school to start? (sm)
Grandchildren had been going to the LatchKey summer program, but they closed for the last 2 weeks before school starts to get the schools ready.  So guess what?  You got it.  Memaw is trying to type with children.  I have to totally admire those of you that do this on a regular basis.  My hat is off to you. 
My monitor is slowly dying...sm
I have a Dell computer and monitor, but my monitor appears to be on its last leg.  I'm already looking for its replacement but instead of ordering another Dell, does anyone know of any other brands that are compatible or not compatible with Dell?  I'd really rather not pay the shipping from Dell, but I do remember when I originally purchased the computer my printer was not compatible.  Thanks for your help.
So, if you were dying in the bed and needed a STAT
You wouldn't mind that the person behind the document only cared about the money? You wouldn't care they put a post on this board like "why does anybody do this?"
Patient would feel slapped in the face.
That would be dying you slapped in the face.
I am really shocked and saddened to see who we serve is forgotten for the sake of money. Yes, we have to survive, and we do well. I have 3 jobs, am exhausted, but proud to say I am behind the document to help a very sick child or dying person, or recovering person, or person who was saved from suicide. I guess the idea of self rather than others is prominent around here, but not where I come from. After 27 years in the business I am proud to say I work behind the scenes and give the best I can for the patient, the doc, the nurse, my boss, the patient's family and so forth. After all, I would expect the same for me and my little boy.
Not on my budget. I usually can find something on if I am dying to watch T.V.
Call, please. The rest of us are dying to find out something. nm
The main problem with this field is it is dying
And there isn't anything that we (as MTs) can do about that.
how did you give up cigarettes, I am dying to quit.
Is medical coding a dying profession like MT?
My income is in the crapper and keeps getting worse and worse. I love working at home, been doing it for over a decade, so looking into something I can do at home. So what about medical coding? Offshore problems? Technology advances pushing out the "real person" coder? Any disadvantages? Worth learning and getting into at this point?
Over 100. Burnt my bare feet on concrete. Plants are dying.
I am feeling so stressed by changes at my company, holidays, friends dying,
not sure where to turn next.  I really feel like I need to dump my whole situation and start from the beginning by doing a job where I am around people during the day instead of the curt phone calls from the office, and not having enough time to even talk or go out of the house to do anything.   Why can't these companies have a little time to just say hello, thanks for a good job, or just something nice once in a while.  Everything in the communication is negative, negative, and more negative.  Team leaders are the pits, too.  It is jusd do more, do more;  they  don't care if you are sick, and it means nothing to them to pile on more stress and more demands so they look good.  They want you to work every day of the week, but they sure do take their days off, don't they. 
Dogs dying from 'miracle drug'. Heads up, doggie owners
Marketed as a miracle drug for man's best friend, Rimadyl is one of the most popular painkillers available for dogs. And it's killing dogs by the thousands.

Vince Sharkey was faced with the decision every pet owner dreads, whether to euthanize his beloved dog King Billy.

Arthritis and deteriorating bones made it too painful for the 8-year-old golden retriever to walk.

His veterinarian recommended putting the dog down.

"He had so much life in him. I said, 'I just can't do that'."

Then Sharkey discovered Rimadyl, a prescription anti-inflammatory drug heavily marketed to owners of older dogs. Sharkey says Rimadyl saved his dog's life.

"Before I had him on the Rimadyl he was not even able to walk. He would drag his back half of his body. The moment we got him on Rimadyl, he was back to being his normal self again.

But Lynne Bradburn tells a very different story.

Her Saint Bernard, Honor, was just 22 months old when he died after taking Rimadyl for a sprained knee.

"He'd been sitting in my lap. And he looked up at me, and he died," Bradburn said.

Honor died after taking just four doses of the drug.

"They tell you it's as safe as aspirin. But it's not. And yes, I'm angry. And I will always be angry," Bradburn said.

The FDA reports some 12,516 complaints about Rimadyl dating back to 1997, including more than 2,300 cases where the dog died or had to be euthanized. The largest number of cases involve liver or kidney failure or internal bleeding.

Rimadyl's manufacturer, Pfizer, maintains the drug is safe, saying some 10 million dogs have taken over a billion doses of the drug, with less than 1 percent of them experiencing any negative side effects.

"There are side effects just as there are benefits with all medicines, with all medical procedures and certainly with Rimadyl. The good news about Rimadyl is that for the overwhelming majority of those 10 million dogs, plus, it has provided safe and effective pain relief," said Pfizer spokesman Robert Fauteux.

But the FDA approved Rimadyl after it was tested on just 549 dogs, raising the question, were the rest of the dogs that took the drug acting as guinea pigs?

Retired veterinarian turned attorney Paul Mabrey says a drug for humans would never be allowed on the market with such a small sample.

In response to continued concerns about the drug, Pfizer sent a letter to veterinarians across the country warning them that some side effects may "occur without warning" and, in rare situations may result in "hospitalization or even death."

Still, veterinarians continue prescribing Rimadyl more than any other drug in its class. But they're careful to warn dog owners looking for a miracle cure.

"There's a lot of people that want the medication not fully aware of everything that's entailed with that but we make sure to do everything we can to educate before they go on the medication," said Dr. Deborah Feltz, a the Elliott Bay Animal Hospital.

It's a warning echoed by those who know first hand what happens when a miracle drug proves imperfect.
How do they think that changing their name....sm
would matter diddly squat in the industry?  If their rationale for considering it is because no one knows who they are then changing the name isn't going to change that.  Seems silly that members and supports would be asked to pay for the costs of changing instead of focusing on marketing.

Well, after the reading and research I have done, I think I agree with one writer that stated that at the rate things are going now in the transcription world that in 5 years 80% of us will be out of jobs!!  Either through technology and/or offshoring!!

So, instead of waiting for another axe to fall on me...I have been chopped up enough by the MTSOs...... I am hoping to decorating cakes for a living!!!

I am waiting to hear back from a local bakery where I just interviewed. 

I have taken all the Wilton cake decorating courses and have done quite a few birthday, wedding, and mother's day cakes in the past...I definitely am not Duff or anyone at Charm City Cakes, but it is something I truly enjoy doing and it was my "therapy" that got me through a divorce about 10 years ago. 

So, I will be working 8 hours a day only, get immediate feed back, paid hourly and not production, and hopefully will be able to transition into this job permanently....

So, I hope and pray that I am wrong about the future of this profession for which I have worked so long and hard....but the stress now is almost unbearable and ain't worth it no more!!!        

Changing Course
That is a great idea. You might work into doing some on the side and go into business for weddings, etc. I had a friend who did that and make good money. She was in great demand too. If you get a business of your own, you would make a lot more and could probably do a lot of it sitting.
Probably not...just changing
I work on a VR account, and trust me, there will always need to be people behind it checking what the computer types.  There are just certain things that need an actual brain to decipher that a computer just cannot pick up. 
Oh, I am not changing what I said
because again, have not seen it ever used with lung.
Oncology because of the always changing...sm
meds. And I have to admit, though I have done ortho a lot in the past and know it well, I just don't like it.
Anyone know anything about changing sim on cell?
Can you remove sim card on Sprint phone and put in a T-mobile?  Please help if you can for I am a "technically challenged MT."
We are changing the company.
Watch and see.  And all your rage and CAPS can't change that.  The lawsuits, the SEC, the shareholders, the clients.  We are all changing the company. 
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.
Who's changing the subject?
and so am I.

Try to keep up.
This is changing the subject a bit, but.....

What about birds?  If people had a bird that they had in a cage, and not let FLY for exercise, is that a bad pet-owner?  Most bird owners that I know of, have birds in a cage and they let their birds poo in a cage on the paper in the bottom of the cage. 

What about cats?  Cats are domesticated animals just like dogs and some people NEVER let their cats go outside.  They let their cats do their business in a litter box. 

I just don't see any difference in this and using the potty pads, and like I said, I have used potty pads with previous dogs I have had.  They do not smell if you pick up the dirty pad right away, which I do when at all possible.  It's the dog hiking his leg on the furniture which is NOT acceptable to me and I agree--it stinks and I have a terrible problem going on with this---I try to clean it up as soon as I can, but he is definitely ruining my floors and thus why I was asking for advice on the hiking of the leg. We need new floors (carpet) in our house anyway and we are planning on replacing them soon but I need to get the dog re-trained somehow before we get the new flooring or else I'll still be in the same boat I'm in now.  I've just got to figure out how to retrain him back to the potty pads.  Wish me luck!

Have a nice day!

Jen, seriously, the face of MT is changing. sm
Get that degree.  Trust me on this.  Yes, it's nice sitting home in jammies with the kids.  I did it a lot of years, but I made way more money then than now.  Things are changing drastically and fast in this field.  Get the degree.
You are changing your position.
I breed Yorkies and was in the pet care business for over 30 years.  Of course, you love your pets and they have a place in your family but you do not let a dog growl at you, as you stated.  One of your original posts you said if a dog growled or bit, oh well, dogs have bad days, too.  That gives a very different impression than the one you are trying to make now.
changing the subject a bit . . .

Does anyone know of a really good hair product for the "frizzies" ?

With summer coming, I'm dreading my hair curling and frizzing with the heat and humidity, have tried a lot of products without success.  Any tried and true methods? thank you  in advance ! 

So what are they changing it to? The Anal
Not sure if changing jobs will help...

There are very few places now that have no ESL doctors.  When I changed jobs last November I thought I would lose my mind because there are so many ESLs on the accounts, but honestly after getting the same ones over and over, they should get easier.  I actually miss the days when I was just starting out getting 5 cpl typing nothing but ER reports.  Yeah, it got boring sometimes, but I was bringing in more money then than I am now making 8.5 cpl.  Ah, the good ole days!

Changing jobs ....
I'm wanting to buy my first house this spring.  Ive been working at home for the same national for the past 3 years.  I have been an MT FT for 9 years.  Does switching jobs really affect your credit poorly?  I think I could be making a lot more money, if I changed companies, but Im afraid it will hurt me being at a new job and trying to buy a house.  I have also heard that as long as you are in the same line of work, it won't matter...Any insight on this?
changing jobs

If you are an IC, it would not matter as you do not have to say "who" you work for - just prove your income.

and the QA people wonder why we ever get anything right. It is always changing.
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 email

Hi Moderator:

Can you please direct me how to enter my new email addy?  Either on line and send it to me at my new one? or what? Thanks so much


The MT's are now the editors. Everyone changing to SR. SM
They are calling MTs "editors" for doing SR. They are also hiring like crazy, since they predict many new "editors" will quit because of cut in pay.
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. 




The field is changing, Just Me, and SM
those whose incomes are dropping drastically are either unable or unwilling to change with it. The unables have my sincere sympathy; but in any case, don't make the mistake of basing your decisiosn on those who are on the way out. If your talents suit the work you'll end up doing over time, whatever that turns out to be (you won't be doing straight transcribing, though), you'll make a decent middle-class wage appropriate to a skilled clerical worker. Which is what we are. If the changes lead you to advance your secondary education and move to a higher skill level, well, hopefully you'll make even more. Best wishes.
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!
Changing jobs
If you are working now, I would recommend you keep that job.

I don't know what you mean by taking classes, but if you have not completed a coding program and learned enough in it to pass an AHIMA or AAPC certification exam *right now,* it is unlikely that an employer will hire you for coding.

Taking a job in medical records might help you break the ice at that facility, but taking a job in other areas isn't likely to help much. Any possible benefit from taking a housekeeping is so small and so unpredictable that it isn't worth losing the job you now have.

This counselor sounds as though she doesn't have a good grasp on the requirements of the coding industry.

Your best bet is to set up a study plan and work toward passing a certification exam in coding, then look for a job.
Changing settings

You can change the settings.   With your mouse on the main desk top screen, right click and go downto properties.  Go over to the settings tab and this will give you options for changing the font size.   You can change it in that setting by changing the pixel settings, or you can click on the Advanced button and change your DPI setting (or both).

Hope that helps.

If they are changing the rules...then all
you can do is keep your emails to prove that you are just doing what they previously told you to do. If you keep deleting, then you don't have a leg to stand on

As far as the ridiculous corrections like a instead of an, that may be ridiculous, but one way is correct and one isn't. I am a QA and my reports get reviewed by the client. If I let one of the ridiculous corrections go through, then you better believe that they point it out. I mean I agree that they aren't the really important errors, but if the client cares, I care. If the client is going to jump on me for it, then I have to correct the MT. So, don't look at as the QA nit picking you...she is just doing what the client wants.

On the other front, save your emails or you don't have a leg to stand on.
It's not going downhill but it is changing
The job is evolving into an Editor process and there is a higher-than-ever ratio of difficult dictators.

The line rates are not something you can count on moving upward but they never have been. Where money is usually made is in production with incentives and bonuses.

Changing to a new expander


You may want to read through Sharon Allred's experience switching from PRD to Instant Text - click on link below. Instant Text  can be set up the way you want it, and you can skip learning all the advanced features if you don't want to use them.

Instant Text  can import your pp2 file with a few clicks so you can use your PRD list as before with some restrictions concerning entries starting with numbers and entries containing symbols.

Like ShortHand Instant Text is a Windows software.

Textware Solutions

Try changing the extension to .vox
Line count changing
I have noticed lately that mine line count has been dropping on a daily basis.  I finally started checking my own lines as opposed to the company line counter and I have realized that I am NO LONGER getting paid for my spaces, without telling me.  I have half a mind to start typinglikethisbecauseifyoudonotpayforthemyoudonotgetthem!!!!!  Is it me?