What a Start as a Medical Transcriptionist!

Resources and Tools for Medical Transcriptionists

My choice for relatively affordable and reputable medical transcription training.

Once you have your training, it's time to find a job. My personal start after getting hired was something of a comedy of errors, mostly computer, but some human, so just to show you what a difficult start looks like, I'm going to tell you my story.

I was hired by Medquist in October 2001. My computer started having problems right before I took the test, so I took the test using my mother's computer. My computer was under warranty through Dell, so I figured it would be fixed soon.

It wasn't. For months, they sent us parts, ranging from RAM to the mother board. Nothing changed the problem. The computer would come on for a few moments, then shut itself down. My husband and I talked to tech after tech, and no one could figure out the problem. Oh, they all thought they knew, and would send us a new part to fix it, but not one got it right. This went on for nearly two months.

Finally, my husband managed to get transferred to a real manager, one who was willing to give his contact information. After quite a bit of discussion, the manager conceeded that the computer was not fixable, and put in for a new computer for us.

The new computer took forever to get. It went from 3 days, to 2 weeks, and finally took more than a month to recieve, and many more phone calls to determine why it was taking so long. Basically, they didn't make our model anymore, so were having trouble deciding on how to replace it.

Finally, they did send the new computer. It was beautiful. Twice the RAM, more hard drive space, Windows XP, which was brand new at the time.

That started the next problem. Medquist uses DOS, not Windows, and this was the first time my office had to deal with setting someone up in XP. Quite simply, they couldn't get me set up. But, they said, they were expecting to be told any time now what to do for me, so I agreed to wait.

Naturally, that took longer than expected as well. But, they were able after a few more weeks to get me set up.

This was the start of February 2002. I finally got to start working.

Everything was fine for two weeks. Then one day I tried to dial in and didn't have so much as a dial tone.

Naturally, I called the phone company on my main phone line, which was fine. So much for technical issues.

The first person I spoke with informed me that there was a disconnect order on my line. I told him that was impossible and I needed my phone back. After being passed around a few times, I realized there was more to this than an accidental disconnect order, but no one would tell me what. I was about seven months pregnant at the time, and rather emotional.

In frustration, I called my sister, who called the phone company. They told her (and really should not have, they knew she wasn't me) that I had been disconnected for fraud!

Consider the setup I had on this phone. No long distance, 900#s blocked, no extra services such as call waiting or caller ID, and I had been paying for it for two months, as I had expected to be working much sooner than I had gotten started. Not exactly set up for fraud.

I called my Medquist office and told them the situation. My supervisor was shocked, as while she had heard of many problems with the phone company, this was a new one!

I finally got someone to tell me how to contact the fraud department, who said that a disconnect order had been mailed to me after several failed attempts to call me, and I should have recieved it a couple days prior. Of course, I had never seen said order. It arrived that afternoon in the mail, but this was about 10 in the morning.

I was informed rather rudely that the SSN on my account was being used for another account, so they had disconnected me for fraud. Now, this really worried me, because it sounded like my SSN had been stolen.

I asked what could be done, and after quite a bit of insistence on my part, found out that it wasn't my SSN on the account, it was someone else's and as their name was quite similar to mine, they assumed I was commiting fraud and had stolen this man's SSN to set up phone service. They had even called him to confirm that I was not related.

Lucky for me, I had previously worked for the phone company, so I knew immediately what had happened. The twit who took my order had royally goofed. When you place an order with the phone company, they run your information through a database for credit info they may have on you, not a credit report. If you are not in the database, it will sometimes return similar names for the CSR to compare and see if it might be the same person. The idiot had taken the SSN from that report and placed it on my account.

Naturally, the fraud department insisted such a mistake was impossible. But, they did finally allow me to work towards proving that I was me. I had to fax them very clear copies of my ID and social security card and had them call people who knew me to confirm that I was who I said I was. It was very awkward explaining to my in-laws why I had to have them do this, but they were very understanding and shocked that the phone company could make such an error.

When all this was done, the person I spoke to in fraud was suddenly very polite to me. Previously she had been very rude, after all, she thought she was talking to some sort of criminal and treated me as such. Now I had proven myself and pointed out a big problem in the ordering system or in employee training. She got my account set back up correctly. I haven't had a problem since.

I can't say medical transcription is an easy job, and getting started is always interesting, but hopefully most of you out there will not face the same difficulties I had to face. I can look back at all this mess now and laugh, but then, well...

Pregnancy hormones do come in handy sometimes when you ought to be getting mad at someone.

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More Medical Transcription Articles

Taking a Risk and Training Yourself as a Medical Transcriptionist
I don't particularly recommend this method, even though it's the one I used when I started. Things have changed since then, and this doesn't work so well for breaking into medical transcription.

Online Medical Transcription Courses
Online programs are my top recommendation for learning medical transcription. There are three programs that are consistently considered to be the top programs and that have a solid reputation with many employers.

Working at Home as a Medical Transcriptionist with Children in the House
One of the reasons many people choose to start a career in medical transcription is so that they can stay at home with their children. However, having children around makes it difficult to be productive.

Copyright © 2003-2020 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated


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