Home     Contact Us    
Main Board Job Seeker's Board Job Wanted Board Resume Bank Company Board Word Help Medquist New MTs Classifieds Offshore Concerns VR/Speech Recognition Tech Help Coding/Medical Billing
Gab Board Politics Comedy Stop Health Issues

Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

To those disillusioned about being an MT

Posted By: just me on 2008-09-10
In Reply to:

I have a few things I need to get off my chest to all you seasoned transcriptionists as well as the hopeful newbies.

Let me just say this, and I'm not trying to be mean or tacky, just telling the truth. The fact that someone is a professional nurse, medical assitant, doctor's wife, husband of a doctor - or even a DOCTOR for that matter, doesn't mean that she / he can transcribe.  A person can memorize the Dorland's Medical Dictionary and still not be able to transcribe.  I've seen it over and over.  Before I started transcribing, I actually worked for quite a few different specialty doctors' offices, and thought that I knew it all.  I found out the hard way that I didn't know much at all. Acute care, radiology, etc., is another whole ballgame.  I suggest that any hopeful start out small like I did, working at a particular specialty to pick up some major lingo and at least take a course or two.  I also took a course at a local college in Physiology and Anatomy that was a tremendous help.

Good transcriptionists just aren't born in a day... I'm sorry to say. I worked in many physician's offices over the years and the first time I tried to do acute care, I actually cried and wanted to throw the typewriter (that proves how old I am) down the stairs.  And.., it's not just memorizing the words... it's knowing where and when to use them, how to understand the words that sound exactly alike and mean totally different things.  You must learn to understand doctors who don't speak good English, dictate from their cars with the windows down in traffic noise, talk into their armpits at the same time that their children are playing tennis in the living room and the TV has Playstation running.  This is not a joke.  These are the things we MTs deal with on a daily basis.  I'm seriously not looking to discourage anyone from doing this job - just trying with all my might to let you see what you are getting yourself into.

When I finally opened my own transcription service, I actually had a woman come in and tell me that her husband was a doctor and she could most certainly do this job - NOT!  A nurse from a major hospital came in and the same result - she couldn't do it.  The chances of just picking up the language and names of drugs, instruments, surgical techniques, laboratory values and the names of the lab tests... you name it... it just does not happen.

Did I fail to mention money?  We are all in the same boat... with 25 years + experience, having been a CMT for 15 years, I still make the same amount of money, .0825 cpl, but the worst thing is that after being in the business, I know how much the MTSOs are charging the hospitals and we are getting ripped off every day.  If I didn't love what I do so much, I would have to tell them all where to put their dictation machines.  I have tried ad nauseum to work for another company; however, they want to start me at the same rate or even lower. Give me a break.

Transcription services over-contract with hospitals and physician's offices with not enough MTs to the job... then, you get the MTSOs that hire too many MTs and don't have enough work to go around.  It's a constant battle no matter how you look at it.  For the most part, the management is bad....

I truly wish I had some answers to all these problems, but there are no answers. There is no glory in it.  We either love it and do it because we love it or not do it. Easy as that.  You know, do it or get off the pot.

I hope you all don't think badly of me, but I'm just telling you the absolute truth.  I could tell you stories that would curl your hair. 

Complete Discussion Below: marks the location of current message within thread

The messages you are viewing are archived/old.
To view latest messages and participate in discussions, select the boards given in left menu

Other related messages found in our database

The entire world is not full of mean people. I also work from home, and I think its great to have a place to come to for support, and chats. I'm sorry you had some bad luck speaking with someone who was less than supportive. Sorry to sound like Mary Sunshine.Hope things get better.
Disillusioned new MT

When I graduated six months ago, I was full of hopes and dreams for a bright future as an MT. The closer I got to graduation, the more I read the various MT forums but found it hard to believe that so many MTs were struggling to find the right fit. Now that I have been working for six months, I understand better what those MTs are talking about. Despite the fact that there is such a lack of qualified MTs, there are very few companies willing to take on the task of hiring a new MT. From what I know and have read, most new grads are very eager and willing to work hard to learn the skills of the trade in the real world (versus the unreal world in school).

Those companies that I have dealt with and do hire newbies basically just give a newbie a job but offer no feedback, no guidance, no advice. There is a big difference between filling in the blanks a newbie leaves and helping a newbie become a well-trained MT. I supposedly had a mentor the first few months but cannot recall ever receiving any support from that mentor. On the contrary! I taught my mentor a few things about terminology and the BOS!

I have applied for a new job with a few companies but most of the time I receive no responses to my emails after they have offered me jobs even though they promise that they treat their ICs better because they are soooo honest and supportive! Why do they offer me a job and then do not get back? Is it because I want to know more details about the company, the platform, the pay, and the types of accounts or because they have filled the position and see no need to communicate with me any longer? Well, the lack of communication tells me to stay away from that company and that that MTSO has pretty low standards, which I want nothing to do with.

Where I am working now promises have been made and not kept. Pay is on time and no one ever bothers me with annoying IMs or phone calls. The only time my manager talks to me is when I address her with a concern or question. Pay is okay being not the lowest I have been offered but also not that high. Work has been slow lately due to the holiday season, I suppose. Honestly, I believe they have overhired and that some of the MTs there are working more than they should be, which leaves others with little to no work. I do my best to turn in error-free reports and research doctor's names, drugs, terminology, proofread my reports and sometimes relisten to them before turning them in. We can look at old reports, and almost every time I do that to look up a name or drug because I just cannot hear it well enough, I find multiple errors in those reports. Either drugs are wrong or a doctor's name or things like must written as mist or quiet written as quite, not to mention that once a Latex allergy turned into a Lasix allergy, and I believe because the MT at the time did not proofread, do research or pay attention to the story being told. Those are times when I ask myself two questions: 1. How can these MTs get away with so many errors and without proofreading? 2. Why bother to take the time to turn in an error-free report, which is slowing me down, while the others are making so much more money? I have no answer for question 1, but as far as question 2 goes, I do believe that it is worth the "bother" for the sake of the patient and because I take pride in my work. Until I can combine quality with quantity, I will just have to work harder and longer than those who are interested in production. I just find it hard to believe that I am the only one who has noticed this, and I am also surprised that the doctors have never noticed.

I am looking for a job where accuracy counts without going overboard. What I mean by that is that I am not "scolded" for a missing comma or hyphen. I am looking for a job where I have my own doctors I am responsible for. Working out of a pool works for some but not for me. Maybe down the road I will not have a problem dealing with 100s of doctors, but at this point in my career, I consider myself still at the beginning and would prefer to take smaller steps. I am looking for a job that has trained, skilled and experienced MTs that really know what they are doing and can answer a question with a firm answer and not "I guess." I do not have a problem accepting a lower cpl rate in the beginning if I receive training, guidance, support and dedicated accounts. I am not interested in an unpaid internship because after a very good education with one of the leading schools and working for six months, I am capable of producing error-free reports although at times I still have to leave a blank or two. That is where I need guidance and support because so far I just do not know how to fill in those blanks. My worst QA rating so far has been 99.96! I just do not feel comfortable working for a company that submits so many reports with errors in them!

After telling you all of this, this is what I would like to know: Are there any honest MTSOs out there that ensure that all of the reports have a 98% or higher accuracy? Are there any MTSOs out there that realize how much they would actually benefit by hiring newbies from the good schools? Like I mentioned earlier, I believe that most new grads are eager and willing and cannot wait to finally work. There is not only a lack of MTs, there is also a lack of qualified MTs. Why do not more MTSOs utilize this new generation of MTs that have a solid education? Why are so many MTSOs dishonest? Why do you promise one thing and do another? Why do so many MTSOs put up with the many doctors that dictate so poorly? Why do you not approach the doctors and tell them that they are endangering the patient's life by submitting such poor dictations? Don't you think that if all MTSOs put demands on those doctors, the doctors would have no choice but dictate clearly? If all MTSOs put those demands on the doctors, then they could not go running to an MTSO that accepted the lousy dictations. I intentionally left out the financial aspects of this conversation because this message is long enough as is.

I hope that plenty of MTSOs come forward in a positive and constructive manner. I accept that some people out there will disagree with me, but I do hope that those persons that choose to respond do so in a positive and constructive manner. I have noticed a lot of bashing on here lately, and I suggest to those who find joy in doing so that they need to apply their time and energy to making this profession a more honest and enjoyable one! 


To those disillusioned about being an MT
Finally, someone says it all.  I can't tell you how many people I run across that think that can transcribe because they can type or is an RN and knows everything about medical terms. Just by listening to some nurse practitioners dictate, some of them can't even pronounce medical terms or drugs. I totally agree with you 100%!!!
I've become disillusioned with the prez myself and I voted for him... SM
TWICE!!!  Now I just feel like I voted myself out of a job.
Many of us on the Company board are very disillusioned and feeling unwanted of late. nm