I’m working on a chapter about Medical Transcription for our forthcoming book about work at home jobs, Undress4Success. If the subtitle The Naked Truth About Working From Home was ever appropriate it’s here. There are oodles of nasty scams associated with the field, and the truth needs to be revealed.
Three-quarters of MTs work from home, and on the face of it, it seems like a job anyone with some typing skills could do. Trust me, it ain’t. But that doesn’t stop unscrupulous rip-off artists from preying on people who don’t know any better.
Several industry insiders have told us about one company they love to hate that they affectionately refer to as TransScam. Their concerns are backed up by website reports that describe a scam that goes something like this:
• You post your resume on one of the job sites such as monster.com and mention something about typing skills or anything to do with the medical profession.
• They send you an email saying how impressed they are with your background, and ask if you’d be willing to take a free medical transcription test. If you pass it, they say, they’ll pay for your training and guarantee you a work at home job. All you have to do is buy some piddly transcription software.
• You pass the test with flying colors, of course, and they rave about your potential. You’ll be rich!
• But you’re cautious, and ask if they’re legitimate. “Why of course, silly, we’re members of the Chamber of Commerce,” and email a logo. Now that is impressive, isn’t it?
• So you fork over 400 bucks for what turns out to be awful software, and they try to up-sell you on “professional” software and a foot pedal to make you more productive.
• But that stuff’s junk too, to so you ask for a refund.
• They say read the fine print, we don’t do refunds, have a nice day.
Still, if you have an affinity for language, are good at interpreting what you hear, can learn quickly, and can type about 100 words per minute you are a good candidate for a rewarding job as a medical transcriptionist. There are some very reputable schools, such as The Andrews School and CareerStep that in about six months can teach you what you need to know to make a go of it. And MTs are definitely in demand.
ANY school that you talk to should have the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) approval. But even if they do, do your homework; some companies claim to have accreditation, but it’s only from a phony made-up outfit of their own. Rummage around the web, and see what people have to say about the school you’re considering. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t be thinking about being an MT anyway.
There are other renditions of this theme in every industry, so if your interested in finding a work at home job, in telecommuting, or freelance work look before you leap. In fact, if you want, leave a comment here about a company you’re interested in and we’ll check ’em out.