I'm posting this question for a friend. She started CR school with me and has now decided to give it up :( . She said it's just too hard to keep going. She's thinking about medical transcription or transcription in general. She actually tried to gather info from a local medical transcription school, and they're trying to sign her up. I told her to gather more info because I think she doesn't need to dish any more money out on more schooling, she has enough knowledge with what we learned in CR school. She has already taken all academic requirements for cour reporting. She just got hung up in 180s.

Does anyone have any information I can pass on to her regarding firms that are looking for transcriptionists, medical or otherwise. She needs to collect more information on what skills are required.

All comments are welcome. She really needs to pick up some income, she just lost her part-time job.


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She can go to www.indeed.com. She should look at all the forums regarding medical transcription schools and the jobs. She may change her mind real fast. Like a lot of the American jobs, medical transcription is being moved to India.

If she got to 180, she can make it through court reporting school. When you're near the end, that's when it's the hardest. I really think she should reconsider. She thinks it's "just too hard now", in five years when she's competing in a job market where 200 people apply for one job, that's when it's going to be hard.

Maybe she should take a term off, practice with www.speedbuilders and with realtime coach. I already checked with Stenograph. I can use realtime coach for practice without being on computer.

If she needs income for right now, she should check the school district where she lives and see if she qualifies for substitute teaching. I have been subbing since April 2008.
When I slowed down as a reporter I also checked into doing medical transcribing, but unfortunately I found that you had to go to a school, whether on-line or on your own (I can't remember now) and get some type of a certificate. They didn't care that I had taken doctor depos for the last 12 years and have medical terminology, so I never pursued it because it was quite a bit of money to learn something basically already knew, so I started working with a transcriptionist company (not medical). I found that the time you actually put into it and what you made was not worth it, but of course did it for that little bit of chump change I was getting.

I personally feel that she should continue on with court reporting. We all know it's hard financially right now, but she's gone too far to give up now. If your friend still decides to give up reporting school, have her go to school for a legal secretary or even a paralegal, the income in the long run is much better, but, again, I understand she probably needs to make money now with losing her part-time job.

Now that I just read your post again, you can e-mail me and I can give you the name of the transcribing firm that I used to work with. I don't know if they have increased their page rate since 2008, but hopefully they have. My e-mail is bigrotoo@aol.com. What I used to transcribe were Board of Parole hearings, and then they won a contract with Orange County Superior Court to transcrible all trials (back in 2008).
Hi, Jena.

Sorry to hear (well, read) about your friend!

However, I do agree with Mary Jo.

I used to go to school with a woman who had been a medical transcriptionist for about 15 years. She told me she wanted to learn steno for two reasons: (1) Get faster on her job as a medical transcriptionist (more money!), and (2) become a court reporter/captioner/CART provider, because the medical transcription jobs are being outsourced.

On the other hand, it can't hurt for your friend to take some time off from school (a term, as Mary Jo suggested), do some self-teaching and associated practice!

To that end, Stenograph has a book entitled, "Beginning Medical Stenoscription" that she might be able to put to use. It should come with a disk full of dictation, and a Beta version of the Phoenix Theory Medical Dictionary -- which she is, of course, free to modify as necessary, as it says in the book.

Combine that with "The SUM (Systems Unit Method) Program for Medical Transcription" course, and when she goes back to school, she will be (hopefully) faster, and ready to take down the occasional medical expert when she graduates from school ... and not to mention not getting stuck on medical terminology during her tests!

Another option is to periodically check Craig's List for transcription work.

Yes, I know -- ER. But for students, transcription work can be good experience -- and it provides the student with something few students get: The chance to get paid to basically practice work on improving their writing!

Finally, tell your friend I said to keep her chin up. She's made it to 180, and that is a common place to get stuck, I hear! Have her read "The Plateau." It might have just the advice she needs to get over that hump.

"For a Good (steno) Time ....."
Going to school to get a paralegal degree is not good either. I have a paralegal degree - from an ABA program, and I have a Bachelor's in Business Administration. The job market just really super sucks. The only big demand for paralegals is in the school programs (that are going to get all the student's financial aid money for touting programs where there is no job market).
Thanks for all the input, gang.

She actually has taken a break for about 6-8 months now. And she also did try out the Stenolife thing for a while, but couldn't really pay for it. We used to carpool together an hour away, and when I finished CR school, the tuition doubled which then made it hard for her to come up with gas money to get to school :( . I've tried to be encouraging, but it's not working. She was actually going to sign up again to our local CR school (which is like quadruple the tuition of the other school), but then came up with the medical transcription idea. I've told her to look into scoping or proofreading so that she's close to the business and when she's ready to jump back into, it won't be too foreign to her. I even told her she could practice out on me, if she wanted. She's a single mom with two kids and is really just looking for money now.
I have been a medical transcriptionist and editor for the last ten years. Money-wise, it's not the way to go. I am a fast typist, have software that increases my production and still couldn't begin to compete with the income I make from scoping now. And you do have to have some kind of schooling for medical transcription, either online or actual classroom study. Getting your foot in the door can be difficult as well, unless you go to a school that has job assistance or that a transcription company has a contract with. Just my 2 cents...
I, too, am enrolled in medical transcription school and should graduate within the next few months. However, I've spent endless hours trying to find part-time work just to earn a little extra money but mainly to gain experience. I have had no such luck as everybody wants certification (which I do not have until I graduate) and even after becoming certified, it seems everyone wants 2 - 5 years experience. I am so frustrated right now as I'm starting to think I'm never going to get hired -- how can you gain experience if no one will hire you??? At any rate, I am currently a legal secretary and have extensive experience in transcription. I also worked at a court reporting firm about 10 years ago and helped one of the court reporters with her scoping but my time was very limited as she wanted to do most of hers herself. I would love to get into scoping/proofing/editing and feel my training as a medical transcriptionist can only help me in those areas. Any advice on how to break into scoping and put both my legal and medical transcription skills to use? I'm not opposed to doing just proofing also. Thanks!

I "broke in" to scoping by taking an online course and then marketing, getting my first reporter, joining CR websites, marketing, making a few errors, learning from those mistakes, and marketing.

If you want to just proof, then you just have to have the excellent grammar skills and eagle eye to catch what was missed. No special software required.
What was the name of the place where you took your course, if you don't mind my asking. Also, can you tell me the going rate for proofing, transcribing, scoping, etc. I'm sure it depends on your market area -- I am in Birmingham, AL -- but I just need to know a ballpark figure so I can market myself. Thanks so much for your help!
Jena, I think, number one, you are a true friend. I also like your idea of having her work with you to keep her foot in the door.

Medical transcription is a very specialized industry, one which I believe does require some training. When you have a doctor with accented speech dictating in a room full of noise, it is helpful for the transcriptionist to know the difference between, say, hypotension or hypertension. The two prefixes are quite similar when spoken by, again, a doctor with accented speech in a room full of noise.

Scoping and transcription are both EXCELLENT ways to earn an income, full time or part time, from the home environment, but it is not for everybody. Jobs just don't drop out of the sky.

I just read an ad from an unnamed transcription company on Craigslist that is offering $10 for 15-minute audio files. That is about a buck a page in court reporting lingo. That seems to be the going rate for "newbie" transcriptionists.

Of course, one has to crawl before they walk, and if she really, really wants to get into the transcription and/or scoping industry, she will have to work hard and start at the bottom rung of the ladder.

I know of a few transcriptionists who are pulling in six figures. I also know a scopist who is making six figures in my area, but she has no social life, no children, and only herself and two cats to worry about. In other words, she works 24/7.

If your friend cannot type fast, I would suggest going the scoping route, but she will not make good money in the beginning, whether it is scoping or transcription. She may have to seek part-time employment somewhere until she can get going in scoping and develop a client base.
Mary Jo, has it always "sucked" in Florida or just in the last couple of years? I know in California, from what I've heard, there is a high demand for paralegals, but again the economy is taking a toll on every profession. I suggested paralegal because a few years back I know a person who quit CR school and studied to become a paralegal.
If money is a really big hardship right now, she can use realtime coach. She can use it just for steno practice - without being on computer. She will have virtually unilimited practice material, at the speeds she chooses. I'm going to pay for it this week. The one I chose is like $85.00 for a year.


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