Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

9 Steps to a Successful Medical Transcription Career, Part 1

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 @ 11:00 AM


successMed-Line has been educating healthcare documentation specialists for over 20 years now. We have the experience and track record to back up our training methodologies. Over the next few weeks, we would like to share what we feel are 9 steps that will take you to success in medical transcription. The steps also apply to medical coding.

STEP 1:  ASSESS YOUR ABILITIES

Medical transcriptionists need to develop excellent grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills. In addition, medical transcriptionists must develop critical thinking skills.  Fortunately there are plenty of sites online to help one assess and develop their grammar skills. The Guide to Grammar and Writing offers a lot of information for those looking to develop their grammatical skills. Learning to think critically is a skill that takes time to develop. For the transcriptionist, the first step is learning to never type anything that you do not clearly hear or understand. This is one of the most difficult things for the medical transcriptionist to learn although it is one of the most important.

MTs must have good auditory acuity. Although the profession can be tailored for many challenges, the medical transcriptionist must be able to hear clearly in order to transcribe a document. 

Read steps 2 and 3 next week.

See how Med-Line can help you succeed

Topics: Professional Development, Medical Transcription Training

Learn Medical Coding with Med-Line and Succeed

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 @ 02:01 PM

Online TrainingWith the transition to ICD-10 in 2014, medical coding has gained even more attention than usual as an allied health career with a promising future. In Canada, the transition to ICD-10 resulted in close to 1.5 to 2 coders needed to perform the same volume of coding, and this was after the system was fully learned. To date, there has been no return to ICD-9 production levels. The result, an increase in the need for medical coders. Quite a few sources have projected that many medical coders close to retirement have chosen to retire instead of transitioning to ICD-10. Top this off with the increased workload for ICD-10, and an industry that is already in dire need of coders will be at an extreme shortage of medical coders.  

Med-Line has been educating healthcare documentation experts for over 20 years. Our program addresses weaknesses seen in many coding programs by focusing on a more in-depth medical knowledge training as well as training students in technologies that most programs overlook. In this EHR era, individuals without a strong technology background will be ill-suited and likely to struggle as the industry evolves. Med-Line recognizes this and works to ensure that graduates exceed technology standards in the industry.

Our Comprehensive Medical Coding Course provides:
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Technology
  • Health Information Management
    • Medicolegal standards
    • EHR preparation
    • HIM statistics
    • Medical records life cycle
  • Medical Coding Training
     Hospital
     Office
  • HCPCS II
  • CPT 
  • Prepare for the CCS exam
Learn more about our Comprehensive Medical Coding Course.  

Topics: Medical Coding Training

Think before sending emails

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Jul 01, 2015 @ 06:00 AM

UnknownEmails have become one of the most prevalent means of communication in today's world, overtaking and outstripping more conventional means for virtually every type of person. Unfortunately emails can often be unclear, causing confusion in things such as the intentions and tone of the sender.

It is very important to ensure your email is conveying the right message before you send it. There are many different ways to do this, including implementation of all of the following helpful tips for writing and proofreading an email:

  • Read the email out loud to yourself: .One very helpful way to critique your own work is after composition is completed. Go back and read the email out loud to yourself. Assess whether it sounds the same as when you read it in your head. This practice serves to bridge the gap between written and spoken language, and can often clear up ambiguities in tone.
  • Try to be as objective as possible: This can prove very difficult because objectivity is not easy by nature, but it can be very critical in email writing. It is important to remember that this person is not right in front of you, and their mind will fill in gaps with their own interpretation of your words. It is therefore important to leave as little to opinion as possible; place yourself in the shoes of the reader, and assess any problem areas. These tend to be where literal meaning is mistaken for sarcasm, and vice versa. 
  • Be as clear and concise as possible: Keep in mind that this is not a verbal conversation, so often your ability to clarify things you may have said is much more limited. This makes it very important to be as clear and concise as you possibly can. Often this can mean explaining yourself fully, rephrasing or paraphrasing yourself a few times, and more importantly writing in an active voice. 
  • Make sure the reader knows you exhausted all other options: This is especially important when asking questions, as it removing many unnecessary follow up emails. For instance, if you were to email a question to someone, a very appropriate answer would be "well, have you tried...". If you have already done this, then your email has just wasted both your time as well as the recipient. Instead, be as direct as you can. When asking questions, it is always best to assure the other person that you tried on your own to solve the issue. Try listing all the options that you have exhausted so they can better direct you with their answer. 

Email is perhaps the most convenient means of modern communication for individuals, businesses, as well as students and educators. Unfortunately too often aspects of traditional verbal communication are lost, making it vital to be as clear as possible in speech. This preserves intent of the email, the tone in which you are speaking, and results in a concise email that is efficient for both parties.  

Move Forward, Procrastinate No More

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 @ 06:00 AM

imagesMany of us procrastinate doing something every day. It could a little thing like getting up a few minutes later in the morning by hitting snooze, folding that basket of laundry, or opening the bills. While at times your procrastinating can seem fairly harmless, it can interfere with your life when you start putting off those more important things. Put off those bills too long and you’ll be sitting in the dark. The same goes for procrastinating about furthering your education, you’ll be left behind as you watch others progress in their careers.

Many of us find that putting something off can start off as easily as saying you’ll start working on it in a few minutes. A few minutes becomes a day, a day becomes a week, and before you know it time has flown by. Making the decision that gaining more education is an easy step, it just takes a few minutes to think about it and then decide it’s something you would like to do. This is where many of us stop. You know you need additional education to progress in your desired career path, but you find numerous reasons as to why you need to put it off. Those reasons to put it off are just excuses to procrastinate instead of making the effort to get started on the path to a better you.

You know you want to further your education and have decided on the path you would like to take, so what is stopping you from finalizing this decision, why it’s just you. Maybe you decided that your goal is to become a pharmacy technician, just one job with a growing demand for qualified employees. You could be undecided about a program in medical transcription or medical coding, don’t fret you’ll find that we offer a Healthcare Documentation Specialist program that combines the two. Now that you know it’s what you want to do, don’t procrastinate any longer. Stop watching as co-workers, friends, and others you know move on to bigger and better things while you seem to stand still. Although it can be a little frightening to take that first step forward, once  you’re moving you’ll wonder why you ever put it on hold in the first place.

Med-Line School has been offering career college healthcare programs to help our students move forward in life, both personally and professionally. Let us help you to excel in your chosen career path. At times it is easier to put other things ahead of education, but make the time for it now. Stop watching the people around you move up in life while you sit and procrastinate. No one enjoys being put on hold during a call even for a few minutes, why put your entire life on hold. Contact Med-Line School today and get your admission process started. You’ll find that soon you're on your path to success and will wonder why it took you so long to get started.

Coding: Preparing for Change…or Delay

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 08:11 PM

Medical CodingHealthcare documentation professionals received a serious wakeup call when the implementation of ICD-10 was delayed by another year. The once touted impossibility became a quick reality with very little obvious pushback in congress. And after that chaos ensued. 

Testing bodies had already begun to move away from ICD-9 testing in favor of the ICD-10. Most schools had dropped ICD-9 education even though students might graduate before the implementation date. Even vendors went all out for the change. What was most interesting is that few actually seemed to be prepared for the inevitable delay. When word of the congressional vote came up, there was a panicked effort to change the unavoidable outcome. 

It almost seemed as if many moved burned the bridge for ICD-9. I heard a few mention that if they make it so that they cannot easily go back or they are totally committed to ICD-10, there would be no way anyone would dare to change the implementation date. This line of thinking and planning should have been a major red flag. 

There are very legitimate reasons on both sides of the delay argument. There are even some wanting to wait and move to ICD-11. Physicians, vendors, and healthcare documentation specialists all sit on different sides for various reasons. We could endlessly write on either side of the argument. The intent here is not to take a side, but to be prepared regardless of the outcome. 

The biggest take away from this experience is simple….. Make plans both for a change and also make plans should that change not happen. The stakes are too high for businesses, schools, and professionals to not prepare for multiple outcomes. Hopefully other schools will take note of Med-Line’s strategic planning. Giving students a strong education that focuses on now and the future is the key to success. 

Med-Line's Medical Coding Bridge Course was one of the few courses that continued teaching ICD-9 alongside ICD-10 so graduates would be ready if the ICD-10 implementation was delayed. As expected, ICD-10 was delayed leaving graduates of many programs unprepared to work since their education did not include ICD-9. Our students were ready for this delay. When we let them know about the delay, their response from one was telling “Well, everyone knew that was coming. Good thing we know both.”

Would you like to be ready for whatever changes come in the future? If so, choose Med-Line.

Prepare for Your Future

New Years Resolution for the MT- Learn Medical Coding

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Jan 05, 2015 @ 01:42 PM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionThe most common question I am asked by many MTs who are responding to Med-Line’s medical coding bridge program is why. Medical transcription is not going away contrary to what some vendors say. The demand for highly-trained acute care MTs is very high. It is only the clinic work MT who is really struggling. Fortunately there are ways for click work MTs to uptrain to the acute care level. The reason I am asking MTs to learn coding is that there is no denying three fundamental facts:

  • The healthcare documentation industry is changing at lightning speed. New technology, more opportunities, a chance to reshape the future.
  • MTs have not capitalized on their potential to lead the healthcare documentation industry; however, the new changes are opening up new avenues.
  • Coders ARE leading the EHR changes and reshaping healthcare documentation. An MT who also knows medical coding is a powerful professional combination.

2011 was a great success for Med-Line’s Medical Coding Bridge continuing education. Many transcriptionists took advantage of the only medical coding continuing education designed around the needs of a medical transcriptionist. The most frequent feedback I heard from those participating was their desire to stay ahead of the massive changes being seen in the healthcare documentation industry. They were not leaving the industry. They were looking for ways to position themselves in new roles. Med-Line’s medical coding training program allows this opportunity.

One of the biggest negatives about this industry is that medical transcriptionists are often reactionary. We wait until something happens before doing something about it. With the upcoming changes in the EHR and the many doors being opened, now is the time when many are realizing that they have the ability to get ahead of the curve in a way that really has not existed before. The MT already has a medical foundation that is greater than that offered in most medical coding programs. This allows a much easier transition for an MT learning to code than the reverse.

Nowhere else can an MT learn the skills of a medical coder in six to nine months at such a great value. It is definitely worth looking into and considering. Make 2015, the year you learn a new skill set that will put you well ahead of the pack.   

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Topics: Continuing Education, Medical Coding Training, Career Advancement

Administrative Medical Assisting and Your Career Ladder

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

career ladderWhen the medical field is your dream profession, it is important to slide your foot in the door in order to get an early start. School and further education is an excellent step, but it often takes years before anyone is even willing to offer a job. This doesn't mean you can't obtain a medical position beforehand. Administrative medical assisting is an excellent way to start off on the career ladder, even while you are pursuing your nursing or other medical degree. Just because you’re in school doesn't mean you have to push your professional career to a halt. With administrative medical assisting, you're able to work while attending school; all the while staying connecting to the job field you love and enjoy so much. This makes administrative medical assisting an excellent first rung on your career ladder. 

While attending school for a nursing degree, pre-med or any other medical field position, you probably need to work in order to maintain a residence and pay for the educational experience. You might as well work in your chosen field from the beginning, instead of heading off in another direction to meet your financial needs while in school. As an administrative medical assistant you will gain valuable experience in the medical field and be exposed to a side of the business process that many medical professional know little about. This way, when it comes to applying for jobs after your education is complete, you already have proven experience in the medical community, making you more employable and desirable to potential employers. 

An administrative medical assistant position is an excellent continued learning on the job work situation. Practices require you to have a high school diploma, and with Med-Line’s Administrative Medical Assisting training, it's possible to quickly enter the work environment. As this is part of the medical community, there is always a demand for the position, which makes it a highly desirable profession. A medical assistant typically performs routine administrative duties, which allows the physicians to see more patients during a given day. This experience allows you to gain experience in several different fields while performing your duties. This way, you can not only learn from other assistants and the doctors themselves, but also the computer programming necessary to maintain client schedules and records. This is also an excellent opportunity to become familiar with electronic health records which is necessary as you advance in your career ladder. Regardless of what your desired final job is, serving as an administrative medical assistant is an excellent first step. 

Topics: Administrative Medical Assisting

Do Med-Line Graduates Get Jobs?

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 @ 12:27 PM

Job OfferOne of the most common questions I hear from potential transcription students is “What are the chances of me finding a job when I graduate?” The question is very legitimate as many programs simply churn out graduates, hand them a list of employers who at some point said they will consider their graduates, and then send them on their way. It is no wonder many of these individuals have a hard time finding employment. 

What makes Med-Line so special? Simple. We train well beyond the ACCP criteria. All our MT instructors and our program director are CMTs. We do not offer weak 6-9 month programs that leave graduates unprepared for jobs. We teach our graduates that the RMT is a necessity and not an option for a professional. We offer an internship to qualified graduates that allow an intensive mentoring to work out those beginning job jitters and development of real-world applications.

What really makes Med-Line extra special? Over time our management staff has made contact with many service owners, managers, and recruiters. We give each graduate personal placement assistance. We use what we have learned about the MT, what work they tell us interests them, and what needs our networking contacts have shared with us. Instead of sending a graduate to bang on the door, we are able to introduce our graduate to the right people. This more than gets their foot in the door…It opens that door wide. That is real job placement assistance. 

No program can guarantee a student employment. Not even the elite Ivy League schools graduating physicians can make that promise; however, Med-Line’s individual attention and placement allows a much higher success. 

Find Out More 

Topics: Medical Transcription Training

Can We Finally Set the Record Straight- MT is in High Demand

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

Med-Line School of Medical TranscriptionA bizarre trend keeps rearing its ugly head. Someone interested in medical transcription will call and during the course of the conversation will say “a friend of mine said that medical transcription is going away.” I chuckle a little and explain just how many requests for our graduates we have had in the last couple of months. I get someone who does not know the industry asking the question. It is a valid, responsible question for anyone considering a new career. Here is the head slapper. How many of us have read or heard a medical transcriptionist say “medical transcription is going away..there are no jobs..” How many of us have heard it multiple times this week?

Every time I hear someone say this I want to scream because every acute care transcription company knows this is utter…..had to pause to avoid a bad word…nonsense. Acute care transcription companies are looking for acute care medical transcriptionists in every nook and cranny they can find. My sister who left the industry many years ago received a call regarding a resume she sent 5+ years ago. That is how desperate these companies are for acute care MTs. Not desperate as in they are desperate if they are asking my sister but desperate in the extent they are going to in order to find people. They are dredging their entire past databases of potential acute care transcription MTs.

What people are not fully realizing is that CLINIC WORK medical transcription jobs are becoming more difficult as to acquire as a viable long-term plan. Depending on the type of clinic work accounts, much of the work is the first to go offshore or to 100% speech recognition. ACUTE CARE transcription should be a long-term goal for all because it remains in high demand. For some reason our industry and professional association has failed to emphasize this. People are finally beginning to realize that those 6-9 month courses did not prepare them for long-term success. We get tons of calls from MTs who are looking to step up their skill set so they will be viable long term.

I receive a lot of calls from people interested in our Acute Care Transition program. It is the only clinic work to Acute Care Transition program in existence. This program fills in the gaps left behind by clinic work training, those who learned on the job, or those without acute care experience. Interestingly we get a lot of calls from new graduates of 4-9 month program graduates who were told they were not employable despite their ACCP-approved program. The Acute Care Transition program is designed with one purpose in mind, develop an acute care MT and get them acute care work. The program is designed around preparing individuals academically for the new work types and then immersing them in acute care transcription practice. It becomes a process where the MT is being evolved into the acute care MT and then transitioned into long-term positions. Where else does someone get the opportunity to experience a paid acute care internship where the MT is able to do real acute care transcriptions? Once they complete the program, graduates qualify for individualized job placement.

I am sure the myth of jobs being scarce will continue, but those with acute care training will continue to enjoy their security and in-demand status as more and more clinic work MTs slowly realize that they need additional training to remain viable in a fast-moving industry that is quickly leaving clinic work MTs behind.

Topics: Medical Transcription Training

Tremendous Savings on Continuing Education

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 @ 05:22 PM

Great SavingsWe have some great webinars and great prices with several at only $2 this August.

Through August 31st, all webinars are half off. You can view our extensive list of webinars here. Prices will update once in your shopping cart.

 

Our weekly $2 webinars are:

August 10th to 16th Celiac Disease

August 17th to 23rd Crohns Disease

August 24th to 31st Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

We also have our RHDS and CHDS prep programs at only $35 through the end of August.

 

We hope you take advantage of these wonderful opportunities this month.

Topics: Continuing Education, Webinar