Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Work Responsibilities & Personal Flexibility

Posted by Chad Sines on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 @ 01:38 AM

FlexibilityExcept for MT, there are not many professions that offer tremendous flexibility.  We’ve all worked at jobs where we had to be responsible and worked hard to provide our employers with dedication and performance over and above what was expected.  I always knew I would provide my employers with a more than adequate performance on a daily basis.  It didn’t make sense to pay a manager to monitor me, perhaps returning 10 minutes late from a well-deserved lunch break – I felt it was pointless because I knew I was going to do all my work and with dedication.  For the most part, I was theirs for 8 hours.  I would have gladly traded extra time and work for some flexibility.  If I could break up the day for a couple hours and go out into the daylight, run a few errands, or work out at the gym, or go over to the school for the kids’ Valentine’s party, the stress cycle would be broken and I would be more productive.  I could perform my job at the same level or better without someone inventing things for me to do because I was on the clock.  Either I was a good worker, or I was not.  My supervisors were not going to change that fact – they were simply going to keep me moving for 8 hours regardless, and for me the days became stress-filled and mundane.  When I worked the 8 to 5 routine, I drove in Houston traffic 2 or more hours each way.  There were few jobs where I could work unsupervised, and I had to be extra lucky to land one of them.  I knew that I was going to give my job 100%, whatever it was, and I knew that I would be an asset to whatever company I worked for, even if I had to put in extra time to compensate for my detour to the nail salon.

My discovery of medical transcription was exactly what I had hoped for.  At first I was nervous and felt a little guilty; however, as time went on and I developed time management techniques, most days went by without a hitch, so long as I met my quota, and my goals for an incredible work situation were realized.  The added perks that were not my main motivator during my pursuit for the perfect job, such as no traffic, less wardrobe, even cheaper insurance because I traveled less, quickly became apparent.  These are benefits I don’t want to relinquish, thus the need for me to develop better organizational skills and stay on task better than I did before – a trade well worth it.

I think a person needs to be realistic and expect to benefit from this type of working situation only if they prepare and plan ahead a bit, but most importantly make a solid commitment to be responsible for their actions and get the work done that is assigned.  Some MTs have positions were they are “logged on” for a specific shift, but if they are reasonable about it, even those MT positions you can get up and throw a load of wash in or start dinner, get on the treadmill, et cetera.  You can decide if you want to put on make up, shower later, or sit outside for a minute and watch the sunrise – or set.  It works for many of us.  Ask an MT if they love their job.

I did have to learn to be an unsupervised worker by trial and error.  It didn’t take long to realize that the best day for me was to knock the work out early if at all possible.  Most days things just click along and I get a great sense of accomplishment and I am always astonished at the extra time I have, mostly because there are no interruptions as one would expect in an office situation.  You have the responsibility to set the ground rules for your workday. It won’t take long to realize how valuable your personal time is and what you can accomplish.  It comes down to a good balance; work responsibilities and personal flexibility.  It’s not difficult; organize tasks and plan ahead.

I like to travel with my laptop and I can very successfully meet the quota I set for myself.  I’ve had a few hiccups and discoveries in doing so.  If I had been nitpicky about organizing ahead, I could have avoided a few headaches.  For instance, if you think that skiing on the slopes for 8 hours and coming back to the hotel to do your hours online is doable – it is, but at a price of being extra tired.  But, sometimes that’s a fair trade in my opinion – as long as I go into that kind of situation with the full expectation that I have to do my work no matter what.

A few discoveries I made while experimenting with a play day/workday (and I did this with the primary goal of allowing myself flexibility but it had to go unnoticed) lead to a few late nights and sometimes hurdles to overcome in a quick hurry.  A few of these could have been avoided had I prepared ahead by calling ahead.  Troubles I have experienced included coming to a hotel finding out that the hotel charges for wifi – sometimes you can explain your need to be online and have this waved, but it is best to call and negotiate and discuss your online needs beforehand so you are not surprised, charged a fee you didn’t expect, or worse – having to move hotels because of inadequate connectability. Know what your needs are head of time.  Another experience was a time at South Padre at a beautiful beachfront RV park.  I wanted to get there Thursday, finish my work that evening so I could arise early Friday and go deep sea fishing.  I called ahead to ensure that they had phone lines and that I was guaranteed a site with a connection.  We set up camp, took everything out, connected the ethernet cable last only to discover that the salt water had eroded the box, so I had to pack it up and move sites.  (Flexibility is what I asked for so I had better be flexible!)  Some of you may think that it’s not worth it – that’s okay, start slow.  A forgotten ethernet cord is easy – run to Walmart.  Exhaustion after a day of play is not so easy – know your limits.

Bringing yourself to a working/playing location is very rewarding and makes you realize how flexible your job can be, but you have to think about what is most important and plan for anything.  In my mind, my work had to come first.  I know if I end up in a campsite my primary responsibilities are confidentiality and getting my work done.  Be open minded, knowing what your responsibilities and goals are if your idea of flexibility is portability.

I would love to hear from the readers about MT experiences and discoveries; maybe share some tips to enhance our flexibility.  Perhaps this seems overboard for some and you may be one who believes if a person wants some time off, take the day off and enjoy.  But maybe there are some of you who like to work, like me, and enjoy the challenge of taking the job to new levels and getting the most out of it.  Medical transcription is far from dull.

Photo Credit: romana klee

 

Maggie Thebeault

Program Director, Med-Line School of Medical Transcription

Topics: Professional Development

Getting The Perfect Job Series- Networking

Posted by Chad Sines on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 @ 12:24 PM

networkingNetworking can be a make or break for an applicant. Often the new graduate of a qualified program is miles above lesser caliber programs; however, they are just a name to a recruiter. Anything you can do to get your name out there and get yourself known is going to benefit you. This is something you need to start now, not the day or month before you are ready for that job. Networking is a lifelong process.

Here was my experience. I joined AHDI as a student and decided to volunteer for the membership committee because I was interested in working with other students. There I met someone who I became friends with and introduced me to people starting the Student Alliance. After helping to get the Student Alliance up and running, I was introduced to my local chapter and state association by a co-founder of the Student Alliance. I decided to run for the treasurer in my local chapter because it was easy and I would meet more people. During that term I got to know several people, one of which offered me a job when I graduated. I was also asked to run as my state’s delegate. As a delegate I met even more people and due to that networking, a friend let me know about a job that very much interested me at the time. Fortunately I had come to know the person doing the hiring through my delegate work so the ice was definitely broken. My current job also came about in large part due to past association work, experience, and having my name out there.

Essentially every opportunity I had came from some type of networking/volunteer activity. People knew my name by the time I was ready for work. That really elevated the playing field in my favor. So how can you do the same?

Although a lot of the information may be above your head in the beginning, you will quickly learn issues that are relevant to the profession as well as see names of the movers and shakers in the industry.

The NPA is composed of students and recent grads. This is a great way to network with current students, graduates, and some volunteers from the Association.

This is where you will make some strong networking contacts over time. Many of the seasoned MTs will take students under the wing so to speak and give them relevant advice on job hunting and even let them know of companies that are hiring.

Consider running for a local office or volunteering for a committee
Often students are afraid of this because they do not know much about the industry; however, there are many ways that you can help out. Sometimes something as simple as helping stuff welcome bags is greatly appreciated. You can volunteer at a registration booth so that you see people’s names and they see yours.

Whatever you do, do not exist in a vacuum. Talk to people. It is easier than you think. You never know which of your current students will be the one to one day offer you your dream job or put you in touch with a company that will meet your needs.

Photo Credit: smemon87

Chad C. Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F
Director of Client Services and Security

Topics: Professional Development, Job Hunt

Getting The Perfect Job Series- Picking the Right School

Posted by Chad Sines on Tue, Mar 01, 2011 @ 05:40 PM

medical transcriptionOne of the most common questions of new or nearing graduates is “How do I increase my chances of finding that great job?” Why do some have it easier than others in the job hunt? We are going to start a series on this topic that will help you position yourself for success.

 

Step One- Attend an ACCP-approved program with industry respect that is fully staffed with CMT instructors.

Anyone looking for a medical transcription school will quickly see that there are many programs vying for your business, some legit, some not. Choosing the right program is vital for success. The program must have the respect of the industry or recruiters will not recognize you as a competent applicant. In all my years working with students through AHDI, this is probably the most common concern. A student attends a program and upon graduation finds out no one will hire them. It can be disheartening to hear from recruiters that you need to go back to a “legitimate” school.

Is the program ACCP approved?
MTSOs are quickly seeing the value in graduates from ACCP-approved programs. This standard quickly weeds out graduates from substandard programs. The reasons why a program is not ACCP-approved are irrelevant. If the program is not approved, walk away.

Are there real instructors who are ALL CMTs?
While there are some program components that do not require a CMT, ie technology education, all MT work should be taught by a CMT. There is no “but” to this statement. If you will not have a real instructor who is a CMT, look for a premium program that values your education. Those in charge of the curriculum and program development should also be a CMT. While there may be additional credentials that educators may possess, the CMT should never be optional.

Does the medical transcription school have industry respect?
How long have they been in business? Call around to potential employers to see who they recommend. Look at pass rates for the RMT. Ask about job placement statistics. Are they more interested in churning out numbers or educating high-quality MTs?


If you are a student or graduate of Med-Line School of Medical Transcription, you more than meet these standards. Med-Line is an ACCP-approved program with CMT instructors, a CMT-run program, with the highest respect in the industry. Med-Line is actively working to raise the standards of MT education so that all students will receive the quality of education that has benefited our graduates. If you would like more information on our premium program, check out our medical transcription school.

Chad C. Sines, MS, MBA, AHDI-F

One of the most common questions of new or nearing graduates is “How do I increase my chances of finding that great job?” We are going to start a series on this topic that will help you position yourself for success.

 

Step One- Attend an ACCP-approved program with industry respect that is fully staffed with CMT instructors.

 

Anyone looking for a medical transcription school will quickly see that there are many programs vying for your business, some legit, some not. Choosing the right program is vital for success. The program must have the respect of the industry or recruiters will not recognize you as a competent applicant. In all my years working with students through AHDI, this is probably the most common concern. A student attends a program and upon graduation finds out no one will hire them. It can be disheartening to hear from recruiters that you need to go back to a “legitimate” school.

 

Is the program ACCP approved?

MTSOs are quickly seeing the value in graduates from ACCP-approved programs. This standard quickly weeds out graduates from substandard programs. If the program is not approved, walk away.

 

Are there real instructors who are ALL CMTs?

While there are some program components that do not require a CMT, ie technology education, all MT work should be taught by a CMT. There is no “but” to this statement. If you will not have a real instructor who is a CMT, look for a premium program that values your education. Those in charge of the curriculum and program development should also be a CMT. While there may be additional credentials that educators may possess, the CMT should never be optional.

 

Does the medical transcription school have industry respect?

How long have they been in business? Call around to potential employers to see who they recommend. Look at pass rates for the RMT. Ask about job placement statistics. Are they more interested in churning out numbers or educating high-quality MTs?

 

 

If you are a student or graduate of Med-Line School of Medical Transcription, you more than meet these standards. Med-Line is an ACCP-approved program with CMT instructors, a CMT-run program, with the highest respect in the industry. Med-Line is actively working to raise the standards of MT education so that all students will receive the quality of education that has benefited our graduates. If you would like more information on our premium program, check out our medical transcription school.

Topics: Professional Development, Credentialing, Medical Transcription Training