The profession of a transcriptionist maybe a tiring one in the initial phases of one’s career. Constantly typing on the keyboard and listening to digital materials and even cassette tapes may not be every ones forte. However once a person is able to adapt and grow into this then there is no turning back. And it’s a rich rewarding experience.
So how does a professional transcriber go about spending his day at work? A transcriptionist is a person who has to type out spoken speech into text by listening to it. This transcription job involves lot of typing.
A professional transcriptionist hired by a transcription company can transcribe mp3/wav interview recordings into text anywhere from 45 minutes of an audio to 90 minutes of an audio in one day alone. In contrast people with average typing speeds or non professionals are able to transcribe half that length in twice or usually three times the days.The typing job involves being on the computer for very long hours, and of course lots of rewinding and pausing. Transcribers use a software which is called a transcription software. The software is a misnomer in the sense that it does not transcribe the audio by itself but it only assists the typist in their job. How? A transcription software like Express Scribe (by NCH software), one loads the audio or the video that is to be transcribed into the software. So with the help of the software the typist can vary the playback speed of the audio so that it matches his or her typing speed.
Note that not all transcribers would need to work on a keyboard. Legal transcriptionists work on a special form of a keyboard which has inbuilt shorthand capabilities. So in court room hearing or a deposition hearing for example, the legal transcriptionist is able to transcribe nearly instantaneously. It’s important that there is no lag since court room depositions and court room hearing might be needed to be transcribed on a rush basis and the defendants, the lawyers, jury and the prosecutors might not be willing to wait for late delivery of legal transcripts. Rates for legal transcription vary on either a per minute basis or a per line/word basis.
Many transcription services are offering what are called home based transcription jobs. The typist can be located anywhere in the world and could be working from the comfort of their homes. The only equipments need for one to get going is a good internet speed, a transcription foot pedal, transcription software and 24×7 availability. 24×7 availability is crucial for rush typing with fast delivery and turnaround times. How Does Lynda Spend Her Day Transcribing?
Lynda M, a transcriber by profession works at an Australian transcription service. She is a home based freelancer and a mom of 2 children. Although she works for a Melbourne based company however she resides in Ohio, US. How? Thanks to the internet!
We asked her how does she spend her day at work (which is at her home of course). Lynda said “I get up in the morning and do the basic chores of the household. Afterword at around 8 or 9 AM I check my emails to see if I have received any transcription work from my company. When I receive a file for audio transcription I start working on the files immediately. Then after the audio conversion to text has been completed I then submit the files back to the company.
I spend about 6-8 hours, sometimes more depending on the work load and the quality of the audio files. Some audio files are easy to transcribe as they are noise free recordings. And some are hard due to backgrounds noises and even the Australian accent. So these type of files takes me an extra hour or two.” And We Asked Her What About Her Free Time?
She replied “Well, I usually am able to finish my work by 5 PM. And then I am free. I don’t work on Sundays. Sometimes I might be busy on Saturdays as well if some household emergency comes up. I email my employer and tell them about the urgency. And they usually are soft on this issue. So I am easily able to manage a work day off when needed in an emergency situation or things that I have to attend to outside of my work schedule.”
Health Issues A Concern
Lynda told us that she loved her job so much. But she did have on concern which was her health. She is worried that sitting on the computer for long hours on stretches might not be good for her neck and lower spine region. Also long typing means using excessive hand movement (which could result in Carpal Tunnel eventually) in a particular way. So she is looking at alternative forms of exercise and health rejuvenation such as Yoga, breathing exercises, Pilates and the every green home based power exercises to keep her going at her work.
We talked to Lynda on her future plans which we’ll cover in the later blog posts. It was absolutely wonderful to talk to Lynda and we will definitely be catching with her soon.
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AllTranscript.com Transcription Service.