Typing Tips for the Medical Transcriptionist

Why it’s Important?

transcription typing tipsTyping speed and accuracy are a critical part of a medical transcriptionist’s job. As such, your job performance will be judged based upon your ability to reach high levels of WPM (words per minute). Boosting your WPM can drastically improve your productivity, making you a far more valuable employee than you would have otherwise been. For example, if you are able to type 30 words per minute, you would be able to finish just two 900 word transcriptions within one hour. If you could  increase your WPM to 70 (an average rate among professional typists) you could finish nearly five 900 word transcriptions within an hour.

Tips to Boost Your WPM

  1. Use Proper Posture – Have you ever seen a court room transcriptionist on television or in person? Did you notice their posture? Transcriptionists who work for the court are widely known to have impeccable posture. Why? Because proper posture alone can increase your ability to reach higher WPM levels. When it comes to typing, proper posture means two things. First, keep your body relaxed and your feet resting on the floor. Second, sit up straight with your arms in a position that allows you to have your wrists level with your keyboard.
  2. Make Use of Short Cut Keys – When you type for a living, every second counts. You can easily save some time by using pre-defined short cut keys. For instance, if you are filling out a form—on or offline—you can move to the next fillable field using your “Tab” key. To move back to the previous field just use “Shift+Tab.” This can keep you from moving your hands off of the keyboard to use your mouse. From within your word processor, you can complete various functions using your keyboard as well. Instead of using your cursor to click file and then save, you can simply press “Ctrl+S.” Similarly, to open a document you can use “Ctrl+O.” You can view or customize your shortcut keys within MS Word from the “customize keyboard” window found under the “tools” tab.
  3. Type With Your Fingers, Not Your Eyes – It be difficult at first, but the most important part of learning to type quickly is to keep your eyes on the screen (not on the keyboard) as much as possible. This habit is important for a few reasons. First, it will force you to memorize the location of the keys which leads your fingers develop muscle memory and will allow you to type a letter without thinking of its location first. Second, if your eyes are on the screen, you are able to catch typos much faster.


For a more comprehensive approach to increase your typing speed and accuracy, you may want to purchase premium typing software. Here are a few options for you to consider:

  • Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing: Mavis Beacon is a household name, and for good reason. Their software has been the “go-to” choice of business professionals for years. If you want to gain access to many helpful features (such as the ability to create custom lessons) and can do without features like posture training, Mavis Beacon is what you want.
  • Typing Instructor for Business: While it may not have all the bells and whistles, this software comes with everything you’ll need to increase your typing speed and accuracy. If you find that extra features only seem to distract you, Typing Instructor is the way to go.

For the medical transcriptionist that has a lot of work to do, they may want to use a text expander software.  This can help you increase your LPH (lines-per-hour), by using short abbreviations. We will be discussing this more in our next article so stay tuned!

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