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Transcription Tools

Inquiring Minds Want to Know – Transcription Tools

Audrey Kirchner, CHDS


When we think about transcription tools, things like foot pedals, speakers, or even software programs might come to mind. However, an area that we sometimes forget about as being a tool is defining our career path. Concentrating on our goals for our future
as a healthcare documentation specialist is one of the most important adjuncts to our future within the MT industry and something we should all spend time reflecting upon.


Where do we plan on being in two years in our career? What do we plan to achieve in five years? These are important questions that put us on the path to success and keep us forward thinking. One thing about the healthcare industry that stands out most
is that it never stays the same. It is always changing, always evolving and that is perhaps the lure for those of us who join the documentation ranks. It is never boring! 


Our career likewise should not be boring. When we begin planning to go to school and enter a program for a certificate, we have a specific goal in mind – getting that certificate. Our next goal is usually securing a job. However, those catch phrases of
“ongoing education” and “lifetime learning” should not allow us to stop there. Today’s HDS student has the phenomenal gift of having free AHDI membership as a student member, which opens doors and windows inviting an enlightening view of the inner
workings of the governing body for healthcare documentation. It also puts students in the position of networking with some of the veterans of this profession as well as their own peers. It also affords graduates to become part of the New Professionals


The OWLS Academy, created and supported by the Educators Alliance (many of whom are instructors in various MT programs around the continent) allows students the opportunity to Observe (check out what fellow students are doing or volunteer at AHDI), Work
(check out the career map or take a pre-hire test to ramp up your skills for online applications), Learn (find answers to all the questions you have on how to transcribe a specialty or use shortcuts), and Succeed (learn more about taking the RHDS
exam and get tips on credentialing).


By becoming involved in the OWLS Academy and continuing to gain knowledge about the industry, the logical next step points one to the step on the career path of credentialing. Because medicine is full of ongoing revelations in terms of procedures, medications,
and treatments for diseases and conditions, it makes sense that the people working within the documentation sector would continue their education consistently and constantly, keeping alive that thirst for knowledge that makes documentation so vital
to the medical profession. Without ongoing education, no one can be expected to keep abreast of all the changes that occur daily in the medical world. Why then stop at getting a certificate? Ongoing education means continuing to grow and expand a
knowledge base and what better way to do that than credentialing?


If a student becomes involved in the OWLS Academy, this is a perfect opportunity to increase skill sets and broaden a knowledge base across multiple specialties, learn production tips, and even network with peers and other professionals, which might in
turn lead to career opportunities. If continuing education becomes part of a set of standards within a person’s timeline for the future, credentialing is the ultimate goal. When someone has earned a credential, that means that the person has reached
the highest level that they can achieve within that profession with the experience they have, and has demonstrated that they possess the core knowledge to excel at their job. Obtaining a credential should be the goal of anyone who has invested time
and effort in a career as the attainment of that credential is the pay-off for all that hard work!  Studying for and securing the RHDS (registered healthcare documentation specialist) is the brass ring for someone coming out of an
MT/HDS program.


Credentialing is the multipurpose tool in the toolbox that will serve many purposes for a graduate of an HDS program. This tool will enhance self-esteem and boost pride simply because it is an incredible achievement to study for and obtain that credential.
That tool can open doors and make someone more marketable. In some arenas, it can result in an increase in pay or even certain benefits if the institution or the company values credentialed workers. This tool also affords its owner the key to go on
and further credential after two years of working in the industry to become a certified healthcare documentation specialist – another brass ring to grasp and another tool to put into the toolkit. This tool may also be a “super” tool if healthcare
documentation continues to push for and secures the requirement of a credentialed workforce.  


All of these tools, however, serve a greater purpose. Student membership, the OWLS Academy, credentialing as an RHDS and eventually as a CHDS all mean that continuing education is alive and well. Whoever decides to use these tools reinforces their commitment
to accurate healthcare records every day and furthers the cause of integrity in medical records. As in any industry, we can only be as good as the tools we have at our disposal to use. AHDI has provided us with a fantastic set of tools and a career
path on which to travel with them. We never know where the steps along the path will take us but it is up to the individual professional to secure the tools necessary to do the best job possible.


What tools are in your toolbox and which would you like to add?