My Education: Associate's Degree in health information technology
My Prior Experience: I have worked in multiple doctors' offices over the last 7 years and currently work in a dermatopathology lab.
My Company: I work in a lab that reviews skin samples and then diagnoses any problems.
Job/Career Overview: I do both data entry and transcription. Both of these roles are done on the computer.
For the data entry position, I enter patient information into the computer from requisitions sent from outside doctor's offices. The information I enter includes the patient demographics, site (part of the body) from which the biopsy was taken, the name of the doctor who did the biopsy, etc. Some requisitions are typed and some are hand written. The hand written ones are sometimes difficult to decipher. I sometimes need to verify the spelling of a patient's name through their insurance information, which I have access to online.
For the transcription position, I deal with the same requisitions that I deal with in data entry. The doctors in our office examine the biopsy specimens and will write a code on the requisition which represents the diagnosis the doctor has given the patient. I will type the code into the computer which will automatically generate the information for the diagnosis.
If the doctor has information he wants to add other than what the code generates, he will dictate it onto the computer as an audio file. I can then listen to the audio file and type what the doctor says. The information which is entered in the computer creates a patient report which is sent back to the doctor who took the biopsy so they can make the patient aware of the diagnosis.
I rate this career 7 out of 10.
The best parts of my career are that I do not have to deal with the general public, I work fairly independently, and the stress level is fairly low. I also worked from home for a few years and it is nice to have that option available.
The worst parts of my career are that it is somewhat boring and repetitive. Also, sitting in front of a computer all day can cause eye strain and back pain.
1. I would suggest taking courses in typing and medical terminology.
2. I got started by working through a temp agency. I had no experience and was able to gain experience that way.
3. A lot of people are interested in medical transcription because they hear you can work from home. I would just advise that in most cases, you will not make nearly the amount of money working from home that you could make working in an office. You might not get the same benefits either.