Entry level medical transcription jobs

Update: Nov 5th, 2013

By Laura Naumann

I didn’t know much about medical transcription employment until a friend of mine became a  transcriptionist.  She graduated from a 2-year course offered by our local community college and found a medical transcription job from home fairly quickly.  I chose online medical transcription training and also had no trouble finding a job.  This was some years ago and I really didn’t realize how much had changed until I started researching for this article.

I learned that a lot of the companies known for hiring a medical transcriptionist with no experience have merged with companies that won’t hire a medical transcriptionist without experience.  Some of the companies I considered as a new medical transcriptionist now require 2 or more years of transcription experience.  I wondered where a medical transcription graduate was supposed to get this experience.  I decided to search online for employment as if I was a new medical transcription graduate.  I went to “apply online” for dozens of companies without actually applying to see if I had enough experience for an entry level medical transcription job.  Here’s what I found out.

While it isn’t mandatory it is pretty much expected that all new nurses will get at least 1-year of hospital experience before moving on to another setting.  The reasoning behind this is to expose a newly graduated nurse to a wide spectrum of patients, illness and symptoms.  This “hospital apprentice” seems also to apply to new medical transcriptionists.  I found openings for in-house hospital transcriptionists on several different job boards.  There were some that required transcription experience but the majority did not.  Some cited a high school diploma as their only educational requirement, so having graduated from a medical transcription course should help your chances of employment.  These positions usually pay about $8/hr and don’t offer the ability to work from home, however you might find the benefits and job stability of working at a hospital worth sticking around for.

Do an online search for every hospital within a comfortable driving distance.  Most offer an online application process.  If there are no current openings find out if they will take your resume for future consideration.

Sometimes this hospital apprentice is just not an option.  Medquist was a big company when I started in transcription and now that they have bought out Spheris I’m sure they are even bigger.  Medquist will accept an AAMT approved medical transcription school graduate in lieu of their 1-year experience requirement.  I have also heard that Medquist provides assistance with equipment for their transcriptionists.

Don’t underestimate the value of “life experience.”  Maybe you have experience in the medical field, typed up church bulletins or acted as a classroom assistant.  Did the course you attended provide an externship or practicum where you can report a specific number of actual transcription hours?  A company such as Alltype, which doesn’t require a specific amount of experience to get past the first step of the application process and promises a call-back from a recruiter, is a good place to showcase your life experience in addition to your medical transcription training.

Finally, contact graduate support of the program you attended.  Some of the larger transcription agencies are partnered with certain training courses and will hire graduates of those programs regardless of their experience.  Career Step for instance is partnered with Amphion and Medquist.

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