Q: What's a typical workday like for you?

The electronic voice files that I transcribe are programmed into my computer. Most are one to two minutes long. I also work with speech-recognition documents, so I'm doing more medical editing. Accents can be a big challenge, but I love them. Once you've heard the same physician a few times you get to understand what they say. If I don't understand a word, I can turn to one of several resources, books and electronic. If those don't work, I can ask a co-worker to listen to it or put it in the quality assurance queue, which a data quality coordinator can access and listen to.

Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?

I see our role as risk managers, making sure that patients' documentation is accurate. If there is a discrepancy, we can flag it and ask for a clarification. Or if there is an obvious mistake, we can fix it before it gets on the record.

Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?

I usually interact with no one; I work from home. We have instant messenger on our computers, so we can ask questions of others in our department. I might e-mail a supervisor or data quality person with questions.

Q: Why did you become a medical transcriptionist?

I had been a secretary for many years and then a stay-at-home mom. When I realized I had to go back to work, I knew I enjoyed typing, learning new words and new languages. I found this occupation and went to school for it.

Q: What do you like about your work?

I love medical language and the English language, listening to stories, learning new words and digging into references to find out what words mean. I also like the flexibility of the hours and working at home.