Category Archives: Career Fields

5 Careers for the Creative Mind

5 Careers for the Creative Mind
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Source: http://By Holger.Ellgaard 10:53, 21 October 2007…

Creative folks usually defy convention. They are the ones who would rather fail at what they love doing than excel at something they have not the heart for. This is why you hear so many stories about starving artists and creative people who continually find themselves at a crossroad.

In a world where commercialism and mass production rake in huge millions, creative folks need to step out of the ubiquitous box and to incessantly prove themselves. With a few career moves and even a career shift however, you don’t necessarily have to starve just to follow your heart. Or worse, take up just any kind of high-paying, painfully boring desk job that will guarantee you some sort of stability.

Here are 5 career choices for the creative soul; and whether or not the pay ends up being decent will ultimately depend on how good and committed you are at what you do.

Copywriter/ Creative Writer

Sure, there are millions of technical writers around, but for the more creative minds, writing a product manual or being stuck writing how-to articles doesn’t sound very interesting. Don’t get me wrong – some of the best technical writers are paid very huge sums. And technical writing is a serious, time-consuming, highly gratifying occupation. However if you’re someone who likes creative writing – describing people and places, writing stories, persuading people, or marketing an idea, concept, or product – a copywriting job may be a better option for you. There are many successful copywriters who choose to go freelance but if you like the perks of bonuses, paid leaves, and healthcare (I mean, who doesn’t?) consider working at an advertising or marketing agency. This way, you are doing something you love and are paid handsomely for it.

Events Photographer

People are going gaga over photos these days. This has greatly to do with the proliferation of social networking sites where people can publish photos and stalk their so-called friends’ photos in the same breath. Now if you are someone who’s handy with a DSLR and you love capturing memorable events on photos, a career as an events photographer will be very fulfilling – and financially rewarding. To get started you can perhaps build your portfolio by taking photos of events for free. A cousin of mine here in the Philippines is an events photographer who works for a more successful studio, while doing freelance photography work on the side. Working for a bigger photography studio allows him to get the training he needs, while freelancing gives him the chance to enhance his skills on his own, and to make a name for himself locally as well. He covers weddings, baby showers, baby pictorials, engagement shoots, birthday parties, and other occasions and events. He now accepts photography bookings on a regular basis, and has been able to transform his hobby and his sporadic gigs into a full-time, thriving career ever since.

Chef /Pastry chef

What is a bad day without ice cream? What is a wedding without a lovely cake? What is a good dinner without a delectable dessert? I’m guessing you get my drift. It’s almost impossible to picture a world without pastries and desserts. For someone who loves working in the kitchen (which means working on your feet for hours on end), has an amazing attention to the tiniest details, and is blessed with a flair for taste, texture, color, and design, a career as a pastry chef is definitely one of the most fulfilling career choices there is. You can go freelancing and focus on a niche, such as wedding cakes or specialty cupcakes, or you can diversify to include a range of products, from regular cheesecakes to the fancier truffles. You may offer dessert bar services for parties as well, and get to advertise your company and your products on site. Another option is to work with a team of professional chefs in restaurants or in hotels.

Graphic designer/ Web designer

Web design and graphic design are occupations that both require visual creativity. In order to successfully communicate an idea or market a product, graphic designers and web designers make use of text, images, layout, and design effectively. Web designing primarily involves the design of pages within a website, while graphic design has a broader job description, encompassing both print and online projects. A graphic designer may be tasked to design a business logo, create a magazine advertisement, a poster, or illustration. While a web designer may be tasked to perform some graphic designing duties in the development and updating of web pages, it’s clear that both occupations require an excellent dose of flexibility and creativity. To communicate ideas effectively in graphic design you need to be able to use both art and technology successfully. As a web designer moreover, you need to design, create, and update web pages and websites, thereby effectively marketing the business or business products to their respective markets or audiences on the Internet.

Events Coordinator/ Events Designer

Not all creative people prefer to work alone. Some of the most interesting creative folks work best when they are part of a team or interacting with other people. So if you are a people-person who has a flair for design, an events coordinating or events designing career might suit you best.

An events coordinating job requires flexibility, coordination with other team players, and lots of planning. You also need to have access to the right suppliers to ensure that the event goes through without a hitch. An events designing job on the other hand focuses more on the design, the transformation of a place or a venue so as to achieve the desired ambiance for any event – from fashion shows to product launches to weddings. As an events designer, you are bound to work with props, lighting, flowers, and entertainment so the ability to think creatively is a must.

With these interesting, decent-paying creative careers, there is every reason for you to ditch that boring 9-to-6 desk job. Not that there is anything wrong with a stable office career, not at all. But if you know you can handle something else, something less conventional – and maybe even more fun – well, there are interesting choices for you out there. By trying your hand at these creative careers, you might end up discovering the world of difference between getting paid for something and getting paid for something that you actually love doing.

Note: All photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Source: http://By Janet Hudson [CC-BY-2.0…

Medical Transcription Tools Of The Trade

Medical Transcription Tools Of The Trade
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Source: Wikipedia

Online Careers: Medical Transcription Tools of the Trade

If you’re considering an online career and you are leaning towards the field of medical transcription, you’ll need to know about some of the tools of the trade every medical transcriptionist must have. 

With the availability of the Internet, it makes it possible to work from home quite easily if you have the proper education in medical transcription under your belt and if you also have the correct equipment and tools to do the job accurately and seamlessly. 

While online careers might at first glance appear totally different from traditional jobs, there are some similarities that the person seeking an online career should consider. 

Just like traditional jobs, an online career does demand that you are educated in the job skills for the position that you seek and most importantly, once you secure a position with an online company or facility that you’re able to compete with other people doing the same job. 

Like most jobs today, online medical transcription is a very competitive field and knowing how to do your job to the best of your ability will make you a more valuable employee or addition to a company or institution.

Let’s take a look at the must-haves for an online career in medical transcription and some of the tools of the trade you need to help you be a success!

Infinity IN-USB-2 Foot Control Pedal 3 Button Transcription and Dictation New
Current Bid: $4.25

The Basic Tools of the Trade for Online Medical Transcription

These are things that are essential to pursuing an online career in medical transcription and without them, having an online job in this field would be impossible. There are other opportunities of course in medical transcription other than online but these are all prerequisites of an online career.

Up to date or state of the art computer – most companies require certain parameters and operating systems for you to work for them online. Outdated computers or operating systems won’t stand a chance for programming reasons so your computer should be the best that you can afford and have plenty of available space
High speed Internet access that is virtually foolproof. While we all experience Internet outages from time to time, transcription services by and large and facilities contracting with or employing medical transcriptionists do not tolerate repeated Internet outages. They also do not tolerate low speeds because it detracts from efficiency in downloading and uploading voice and document files. Most usually DSL is preferred though some will tolerate fast cable though it is not as reliable – dial-up most often will be declined
Foot pedal and/or software that plays digital files. There are free programs out there and some can work but most often, a company or institution will require you to have programming installed on your computer that allows you to operate a foot pedal. This is the only guaranteed way to assure that you get all the dictation as programs such as Mediaplayer or other digital sound programs do not have the ready capability of backspacing that a foot pedal offers. Some people do work without a foot pedal and backspace with manual controls but this can slow you down. Most people prefer foot pedals for ease of use
Printer. A printer is essential even in an online career such as medical transcription and is a valuable tool because you can print out examples or instructions or lists as necessary
Speakers. These can be internal on your computer though for the online career of medical transcription, it is recommended that you invest in better-than-average speakers. I have Bose speakers and would not trade them for anything. Garbled dictation and English as a second language dictation sounds so much clearer on these speakers than standard or low-end speakers and it is well worth the investment
Phone service. Most companies and institutions want to be able to get hold of you immediately if need be so a phone is essential wherever you set up your work station. Most companies don’t mind if it is a cell phone with the caveat that it must be turned on and that you are available during your work shift for contact
Headphones. There are a myriad of headphones available and most are a matter of preference. Bose makes one of the best sets of headphones around but in my case, I find them too heavy and cumbersome for doing transcription. Since I invested in state of the art Bose speakers, I find that I can hear everything clearly and accurately with just a standard set of earphones that are lightweight
Office equipment. While this is not mandatory, if you pursue an online career in medical transcription, it will quickly become evident that it can be a physically daunting task to work long hours. Carpal tunnel syndrome and other overuse syndromes occur in medical transcriptionists at an alarming rate, as well as back pain, neck ailments and other various physical maladies simply from sitting so long and not moving; also using your hands (and feet) constantly. It is recommended to have an ergonomic chair to adjust positions, a traditional computer desk or setup, a really good keyboard and mouse, a larger than average sized monitor to prevent eye fatigue and even a foot rest for your foot pedal. Taking frequent breaks helps alleviate many physical problems but the truth remains that medical transcription is a very taxing profession

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We’ve come a long way! (photos public domain or by Audrey Kirchner)
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The Book of Style for Medical Transcription, 3rd Edition
Amazon Price: $59.98
List Price: $70.00
Bose Companion 2 Series II Multimedia Speaker System
Amazon Price: $99.00
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
Amazon Price: $28.00
List Price: $50.95
Quick Look Drug Book 2013
Amazon Price: $33.92
List Price: $41.95
Quick Look Drug Book 2013
Amazon Price: $33.92
List Price: $41.95

Other Tools of the Trade for an Online Career in Medical Transcription

Now that you have the physical tools of the trade for an online career in medical transcription, let’s examine some of the other components that you must have. Most of these are required by transcription companies or institutions as ‘necessaries’ in the performance of your duties as a medical transcriptionist and they are usually not negotiable.

Correct operating system to ensure compatibility with accounts you will be working on
Security measures such as firewalls or secure connection if you use wireless
Word in whatever version is required or ability to convert it to a specific version
Adobe for access to .pdf files (usually lists and account information sent in pdf format)
Zip program if needed
FTP transfer protocol program if needed
File conversion program that actually converts a file from a different format to a .wav file for example
Reference materials for medical transcription by system (more detail below)
Book of Style for referencing grammar and punctuation
Up-to-date drug index
Medical dictionary
English dictionary

While some of these references can be accessed on the Internet (for example looking up a word online in the dictionary might be faster than looking it up in a traditional dictionary), most companies want to know that you do have references at your constant disposal because let’s face it – the Internet is a confusing place sometimes. What you look up on the Internet can yield you 3 different spellings and unless you are 100% positive that you have verified the correct one out of three, you are making an error.

Having rock solid documentation is always the best bet and knowing how to use documentation sources to the best of your ability is a great tool that is also invaluable. While it may seem in the beginning that there is a great outlay for references, these sources pay for themselves over time in terms of your knowledge base.

The beauty of the present day in terms of online medical transcription and having the proper tools is that instead of numerous books sitting on a bookshelf at your desk, you can pretty much buy everything and anything in downloadable format, whether it is on CD or as a direct download on the Internet to add to your reference library. 

Some invaluable references I own and use every day

Dorland’s Medical Dictionary – though you can use an online medical dictionary
Book of Style
Quick Look Drug Book for the most current year or CD updates
Medical and Health Sciences Word Book
Webster’s Dictionary
Stedman’s GI and GU Word Book CD
Stedman’s Equipment Words CD
Stedman’s Abbreviations, Acronyms and Symbols CD and in book form
Stedman’s Organisms and Infectious Disease Words CD
Stedman’s Pathology & Lab Medicine Words CD
Stedman’s Plastic Surgery Words CD
Stedman’s Oncology Words CD
Stedman’s Radiology and Oncology Words CD
Stedman’s Ophthalmology Words CD and in book form
Cardiology Words and Phrases by Health Professional Institute
Psychiatric Words and Phrases by Health Professional Institute
Quarterly Drug Index
Stedman’s Orthopaedic & Rehab Words
Stedman’s Surgical Words
Gray’s Anatomy

Those are just my most used references but I find that having them at my fingertips and being able to document what I transcribe is essential – even though I’ve been doing this almost 40 years!

What You Need to Learn to be a Medical Transcriptionist

Headset, E-102 Extended Cord
Amazon Price: $14.95
List Price: $16.99
Infinity USB Digital Foot Control with Computer plug (IN-USB2)
Amazon Price: $44.95
List Price: $99.95

Online Careers: Medical Transcription and Tools of the Trade

Last but not least, it is imperative to mention that anyone pursuing an online career in medical transcription needs to be aware of the most important tool of the trade and that is confidentiality. Imagine if someone were transcribing someone you love’s medical record and allowed that information to get into anyone’s hands. Most likely, you would be devastated and rightfully so.

Transcription of medical records is a grave responsibility and selecting a career in medicine in general always carries the caveat that the information that you see or hear on a daily basis is of a most confidential nature and should not be shared with anyone. Does that mean that just because you don’t talk about your reports that you are doing all you can to promote confidentiality of patient information?

Not really. If you pursue an online career in medical transcription, it is imperative that you observe patient confidentiality boundaries by protecting said patient information while it is in your keeping. That means having security measures in place on your computer so that no breach of patient information occurs. It also means that you have a designated computer that you are using for medical transcription to which no one else has access (or at least the portions where you do medical transcription).

It is also important to maintain privacy when you are typing medical records. Even if someone dialing into your computer is performing maintenance on your computer, having someone’s medical record up on your computer screen is a violation of HIPAA which means that you have not properly protected patient information. It is a fineable offense if you are caught.

Entrusting medical records to medical transcriptionists is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Again, think of someone you love and who you would want perusing their medical records. We all must work together to protect the most important part of the career of medical transcription, whether it is online or you are physically working in an institution – the patient.

Patient care is at the heart of medical transcription and their medical records should be viewed as sacred things in terms of protection from people who have no business seeing those records.

All in all, an online career in medical transcription can be and is a wonderful thing if you have all the proper tools of the trade but keep in mind that the most important tool any of us can have is ethics!