This article describes how to become a medical transcriptionist.
As the United States’ population continues to age the demand for health care services is increasing. While many careers are being outsourced to other countries, opportunities in health care, such as occupations like medical transcriptionists, are growing.
Medical transcription can be a viable career choice for those interested in a health care field but who are not able to physically handle the demands of nursing or related fields. Many of the criteria are similar to those of a secretary, but more specialized training is required.
Details on How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcriptionists listen to dictation from doctors and other healthcare professionals and transcribe it into various types of reports such as discharge summaries, operative reports, etc. The transcription process consists of listening with a headset, typically using a foot pedal to pause the dictation. While listening, the transcriptionist types the information into a word processing program while editing for grammar and clarity. After the transcriptionist has prepared the report it is sent back to the doctor for review and signatures. These transcripts become part of the patient’s permanent file.
Training to Become a Medical Transcriptionist
To become a transcriptionist, additional schooling beyond high school or a GED is required. Training in transcription can be obtained through vocational schools, community colleges, or online/distance learning programs. Either a 2 year associates degree or a 1 year certification program is required. Within the certification process it is important that future transcriptionists are educated in the areas of anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, legal aspects of medical care, as well as proper English skills such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
While no formal accreditation is required, the Approval Committee for Certification Programs (ACCP) through the Association for Health Care Documentation Integrity (AHDC) does provide voluntary accreditation for transcriptionists who are interested. They certify Registered Medical Transcriptionists (RMT) and CMT (Certified Medical Transcriptionists). The certification lasts three years as the medical field changes rapidly. RMTs are required to complete a minimum of the 30 hours of continuing education during the three year period. CMTs must complete an online course and final exam.
Benefits to Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist
Many transcriptionists can work from home and receive the dictation transmitted directly via the Internet. As technology is improving, voice recognition software is used to compose drafts which transcriptionists then edit and reformat. Other transcriptionists are employed in hospitals, offices, clinics, and labs. In these settings it is possible that the employee could fill many roles including receiving patients, scheduling, answering the phone, dealing with the mail, as well as transcription.
Hours for medical transcriptionists can vary widely. Some transcriptionists work traditional 9 to 5 hours in traditional settings. Other transcriptionists are needed for all hours of the day and night but have more flexibility through working from home on an as-needed basis.
How Much Does a Medical Transcriptionist Make?
The median income for medical transcriptionists is approximately $15.41 per hour. The highest paid ten percent of transcriptionists make $21.81 per hour.
Those interested in a career as a medical transcriptionist must possess excellent writing and computer skills as well as the ability to manage their time wisely and attention to detail.
If you’re interested in working in the medical field, you may also want to investigate How to Become a Medical Biller or Coder.
We hope that this information about how to become a medical transcriptionist is helpful to you as you pursue your career in this field.