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Monday, June 23, 2008

How long have you been transcribing?

How long have you been transcribing?

Our new poll is posted in the sidebar. This week, we want to know how long you’ve been transcribing. Vote and then come leave us a comment about your experiences. How did you get started? Have you always worked at home? Do you currently work more or less than you did when you started?


Sondra said...

I have been transcribing for 10 years. It all began during my junior year of high school. My friend's mom was doing transcription from home for a private psychiatric group and needed some extra help. She knew I could type fast and wondered if I'd be interested in helping out. Being paid to type sounded like a pipe dream to me, like being paid to breathe! Also at this time in my life I played this "game" where I would type along with whatever movie/TV show my parents were watching, for fun, just to see how much I could pick up. (Nerd alert!) :)

When a brand new family practice/neurology clinic opened in our town, and my friend was the first transcriptionist hired, she recommended me as the second hire. I quickly enrolled in a semester-long medical terminology class at the local community college. I worked at the clinic part-time through the remainder of my junior year, and started full-time halfway through my senior year as I was able to graduate early from high school. I worked there for two years and in that short time got experience doing family practice, radiology, neurology, cardiology, and hematology/oncology. It was a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but thanks to my Stedman's books (we didn't have internet at work) and my very patient and helpful doctors, it was a wonderful springboard into what would be my full-time career.

I then moved back to my home state of Ohio and quickly secured work as a radiology transcriptionist at the local hospital. I eventually worked in medical records there as well, rounding out my experience with every type of hospital transcription (op notes to ER to H&Ps and back again), and also picked up work on the side for a pulmonology practice.

I spent four years at the hospital before getting married (to my radiographer boyfriend, thanks x-ray department!). At that time I decided I wanted to try working from home in 2004. I signed on with a very well-known national MT company, and while it wasn't too bad at first, working for them quickly became hell. They did a vast overhaul of their "benefits" package and took away everything good about the job. I was being paid a paltry sum to essentially "train" their speech recognition software, and I finally got sick of it and decided to go another route.

Confident in my experience, I responded to an ad I found on MT jobs.com, although I didn't truly believe I would be offered a position. It sounded too good to be true! Within three days I had signed a contract with a very reputable (global) company, and jumped head first into transcribing medical advisory boards and every type of random corporate and legal transcription imaginable. I accept or reject work as I please (although I have a hard time saying no) and I love being able to make my own schedule, work on the road, and generally be in control of my work life.

I am very happy with my job and I find myself more satisfied in my current position (for the last 4 years) than any other time in my career. As always, it can sometimes be "feast or famine" but since my husband is the main wage earner, it doesn't bother me and I appreciate the down times when they come.

I currently work (produce) much more than when I started, with a 3:1 TAT. However, I haven't used word expanders at all and thanks to this blog I have begun thinking about trying that. I just always figured since I don't do typical "medical" (repeated ROS, etc.) that expanders wouldn't be of much use to me, but I am learning otherwise.

Finally, as far as hours worked, it varies greatly each week. I make myself available for 100 minutes of audio each day or 700/week, and take on extra work as needed. I rarely ever work 8 hours a day, but it does happen occasionally.

Sorry this comment became so very long-winded, but that is my story. I never could have imagined that my friend's plea for help with extra work would turn into my career, or that I'd eventually get a husband out of it! :) I love my job and consider myself extremely blessed that I was able to learn completely on the job.

Keep up the great work on this blog! It is very interesting.

margi said...

Sondra, it sounds like you ROCK the keyboard!

I've been transcribing from home for five years (first with a large law firm and then with other contracts) but since my background is legal, I've been transcribing for over 22 years. (gasp!)

I got started with WAH, when I posted my resume on Hotjobs and got a call from an international law firm. Yeah, I know. I thought it was a hoax, too. I worked with them for three years and then they discontinued ICs. I then contracted with a legal document service company but they didn't work out, so I am now very happily doing general work and doing my city's monthly newsletter (utility insert) along with chasing a two-year-old around every day.

I'm attempting to add medical transcription to my Lil' Bag O' Tricks, but I'm very happy with general right now and am unsure whether to jump into MT (when it sounds like everyone is offshoring all the work and yanking benes).

Currently, I work Monday through Friday until the work's done. Like Sondra, I have a hard time saying no, but I'm learning to balance work and home while working from home.

Everyone thinks it's great that I can work in my fuzzy slippers but they always stop short when I say: "It's work and it's home and you can't run away from it."

Having said all that, I feel very fortunate to have fallen into the profession and I'm doing my best to better myself every day. Transcription Talk has helped me immensely in just the short time I've been coming by and I thank you.

Wendy said...

With Sondra calling herself a nerd and Margi having a legal background, I feel like I'm in good company.

It sounds funny to say, but typing is in my blood. I remember going to my mom's work when I was little and watching her type 75-80 wpm on a manual typewriter. It still boggles my mind.

I worked as a legal secretary for nine years, and it really turned me into a workhorse. Unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble with full-time jobs because of several different health and family issues, and attendance was a real hardship. I lost my last job because of too many absences, and my boss said, "You need to get a job working from home. You type so fast, you should look into transcription."

Losing that job was the best thing that ever happened to me. Now I work from home, where I can take care of my elderly mother, ferry my kids to and from sports, and deal with the craziness that seems to be my life. I can take as much or as little work as I can handle, and I can do it in my jammies!