Becoming A Medical Transcriptionist: Page 4

Becoming A Medical Transcriptionist

Page 4

Equipment Needed To Transcribe Dictation   

Most medical transcriptionists today are using word-processing software as their means of getting the physician's dictation onto paper. Using keyboard skills with a word-processor is more than typing and should not be confused with typing on a typewriter. Word-processing allows for automation of certain aspects of what is being typed or what is to be typed, and also allows for complex manipulation of text once it has been entered. Being adept at using a word-processor and macros (small programs used to repeat actions) can be an integral part of performing transcription quickly but accurately and therefore more efficiently. Word-processing software for transcribing the dictation should be a version of MS Word, at least 97, preferably higher, or the latest version of WordPerfect, but no less than version 8.0 for best results.

The word-processing software has to run on a computer of course, and thankfully these days computers are very reasonably priced and usually come with excellent warranties if purchased through large retailers, or directly from companies like Dell, Gateway, IBM, etc. These companies also often will offer very economical monthly business leases to make it even easier to start your business.

If your clients are using dictation tapes, of course you will require a transcriber machine. Transcriber machines are simply machines that play back audio tapes, but with greater control over the speed, and also have functions to help track different dictation starting points on the tape, as set by the person when dictating. You may need more than one transcribing machine if you have several clients using different size recording tapes. The tapes can be a standard size which is the size used commonly for recordings such as music, books-on-tape, etc. The other two sizes are mini and micro, both used in small handheld voice recorders.

You should also consider buying a system that allows you to upload and/or download then manipulate voice files with dictation on them and then use your computer like a transcriber machine to play the voice files while you are transcribing. There are a number of programs available, but we recommend the WAVpedal software, as it was the first to do this and still offers very good value for the cost. It also includes the special foot pedal and headset to plug into your computer

If your clients prefer dictating over the telephone, you may need a system that takes voice signals from the client's telephone call and compresses them into voice files on your computer. These types of systems afford a lot of control over scheduling and reviewing pending dictation to be transcribed.

Other equipment you are likely to need would be a fax, a copier, and any other small business machines one might like in their office, including a laser printer or bubble-jet printer, and even a color printer. There are "all-in-one" units available now that are comprised of a fax, color and/or black and white printer, photocopier and some even include scanners for scanning text and images into your computer. These units are a very economical choice for a home-based small business. They are versatile, affordable, and take up very little desk real estate.

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