I want to contact an employer. Where do I start?
Contacting MT employers, especially big MTSOs (Medical Transcription Service Organizations) such as M*Modal or Nuance, can be extremely intimidating. You may already be an MT/HDS looking for employment, in which case you want to make a good first impression. Maybe you are new to the industry and are doing your research on a school (we actually put you in touch with our employers to give you the opportunity to ask them about us and our program!). Whatever your situation is for contacting them, don’t burn any bridges. Make sure they get a positive, professional first impression of you, even from the first phone call.
We contacted a few of our MT/HDS employers and asked them what they recommend that potential students, MT/HDSs in training, and graduates do when looking for information or employment. Below are a list of factors to consider when contacting a medical transcription/healthcare documentation agency:
Who to speak to
This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes a search for the recruiter’s name comes up fruitless. When you call, ask for the name of the person in the medical transcription/healthcare documentation agency who is responsible for hiring or awarding contracts with transcriptionists. This is also critical information for your cover letter.
Time of day to call
When you call, ask if it’s a good time to be calling, or if there is a better time to call back to speak to the appropriate person. Many employers say that most of the calls they receive from MT/HDSs looking for jobs come during the busiest time of their day (morning).
Know who you’re calling
Check out their website. Many transcription agencies have a link on their website that allows you to submit your resume online. In this situation, a followup phone call within a few days is appropriate to confirm that they received your application. When you call, mention something that you learned about them from their website that interested you or stood out for you. You never know when you may have a chance to sell yourself on the phone when you call to confirm.
Respect people’s time
The medical transcription/healthcare documentation agency you’re calling is your prospective client. They have something you want; on the other hand, they might not be interested in what you have to offer at this time.
If you’re a new transcriptionist, when you’re asked what experience you have, tell them how many practicum hours you have and what specialties you’re most proficient in. Be ready to share one or two valuable points about yourself. It could be that you type 82 words a minute, or that you were the top in your class in English grammar. Know what your strengths are and be prepared to present them quickly in a positive manner.
Get creative to get experience
When you’re told that they only hire transcriptionists with experience, don’t respond negatively.
If you don’t find employment right away, don’t get discouraged. Find a physician who is currently handwriting their notes and offer to transcribe their dictation at a reduced rate for a specific length of time (either provide a digital recorder or ask them to purchase one). You’ll stay in practice and optimize your opportunities to gain experience. If you are strong in English grammar, offer to proofread transcribed documents for grammar only. You’ll still get experience reading transcribed documents, and continue to build your medical vocabulary.
I know of a medical transcription/healthcare documentation specialist who first contacted a company 3 years ago; her persistence paid off when they were looking for someone with her qualifications.
Inquire how long they keep resumes on file. Make a note and resubmit as often as reasonable. Find out if they want hard copies or soft copies. Find out how they want soft copies submitted – through their web page or by email. And make sure there are zero spelling or grammatical mistakes in your resume.
If you are fortunate to be offered a trial period, make sure you’re ready to go. Be ready with your computer, high speed internet, up-to-date antivirus software and firewall software, Microsoft Word, foot pedal, medical spellchecker, and a list of resources for checking everything from drug names to grammar.
How do I get advice about starting my own business?
If you phone a transcription company looking for information about starting your own medical transcription/healthcare documentation business, be respectful. You are asking someone to take time out of their business day to help you with your business, and even to help you go into competition with them. Offer something in return, such as a piece of marketing information that you’ve found, or a helpful comment on what you liked about their website.
CanScribe graduates get to benefit from lifetime job placement assistance, so if you need advice on how to contact an employer, contact us. We have an excellent relationship with MT/HDS employers, and we know what they are looking for. A reference from us or one of our instructors can get your foot in the door and get you connected with a recruiter!