If you’re interested in a career as a medical courier, you’re likely wondering where to begin. What kind of education or experience do you need to become a courier? What pay can you expect, and what types of things will you be doing? Let’s take a look and talk about how to become a medical courier.
What Will You Be Doing?
The main job of a courier, or transcriptionist, is driving medical records and the like from facility to facility. A typical medical courier will be taking x-rays, lab samples, pharmaceuticals and so on to their destinations. The vast majority of the job will involve driving. It’s also important that medical couriers drive safely, act courteous to the public and clients, and generally maintain a positive public face. As couriers interact with the public daily, they are typically required to wear a uniform, or at least have a dress code.
Most medical couriers, or transcriptionists, have to be adept with using word processing software. Keeping track of what is transported and where it goes is vital, so using a word processor is important. It follows, of course, that a good grasp on English and grammar is vital, as is critical thinking. Being able to listen to orders and direction from physicians is also vital to the position.
Education and Experience
Most medical courier positions require you to have a transcription certificate. Such certificates are offered at community colleges, vocational schools and the like, and typically take a year to complete. Knowledge of medical terminology and word processing software are both required. Certification programs will usually cover basic anatomy, the legal issues surrounding medical records and risk management.
As couriers often take sensitive materials from place to place, it is important that they observe the correct procedures in the field. Those who have worked in the medical field already, such as nurses or secretaries, are often able to transition to work as a courier more easily. As they are already familiar with medical terminology and procedures, they are quicker to jump into the job.
Average Salary and Stress Level
The average medical courier or medical transcriptionist makes around $35,000 per year. Those who have worked in the position describe it as repetitive and somewhat stressful but not unmanageable. If you don’t mind having to observe a large number of procedures while performing repetitive bookkeeping, you should be fine. This, of course, occurs between deliveries, which can break up your day and change the pace. If you’re the type of person that likes driving or doesn’t mind repetitive jobs, you’ll likely enjoy this position.
The average salary for this position is relatively high considering you can get the job with only a single year certification. If you’re looking for a decent-paying job but don’t have the time or money for a longer course, consider becoming a medical courier. You could be in the position in as little as a year!