February 18, 2021
For the past 60 years, healthcare has been among most rapidly growing industries. Many jobs since then have been invented to facilitate interaction process between doctors and patients. One of such professions is medical transcriptionist. If you have ever thought about how to become a medical transcriptionist or consider trying it as part-time job, it will be important to know a few things about this profession.
In short, healthcare transcriptionists listen to audio recordings of healthcare specialists including doctors, nurses and transcribe them. In reality, however, their task is not limited merely to put audio tracks in written form. Medical transcriptionists engage in formatting recordings into documents following industry standards. They also proofread utterances and make sure that all terminology in document is used correctly. Main job of transcriptionists is checking that all records and reports of healthcare stuff in audio form are precise and correct in their written form.
The primary responsibilities of medical transcriptionists include:
Additional responsibilities may be:
Medical transcriptionists are needed in a wide range of settings. For the most part, they work in hospitals, private practices, laboratories, doctors’ offices. However, they are also needed in med schools, rehabilitation facilities, health and wellness centers, healthcare organizations, government sector. Some might have an opportunity to work from home if their work does not need frequent interactions with healthcare specialists. But the majority work with recordings on their computer, although some rare cases of traveling might also occur depending on employment place.
Salaries of medical transcriptionists may depend on several important factors. Apart from job experience, location and employer, medical transcription certifications are very important in wage-formation. As per the data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, median medical transcriptionists’ pay across the country is US $33,380 per year, which is US $16.05 per hour as of May 2019. Highest wages are observed in diagnostic laboratories, while lowest-paid is transcriptionists in administrative and support services. Some healthcare transcriptionists are paid for the number of transcriptions they produce, which can make earnings uneven from month to month and depend on current demand. Others have specific hourly rate or an annual salary, which is more secure from financial standpoint.
Medical transcriptionist work presupposes that one isn’t only able to transcribe recording correctly but also has decent knowledge of healthcare, anatomy, specific terminology, ethical principles, legal aspects. It makes becoming a medical transcriptionist in three months practically impossible. Formal training and certification may last for at least 1 year.
Minimum demands for starting medical transcriptionist career in postsecondary education, which could be a high school diploma, community college, GED, or distance-learning program. Once this education requirement is fulfilled, next step is getting certified. There are several possible options in this regard. Associate degree in medical transcription is one of them. Such training takes approximately 2 years and prepares specialists knowledgeable in all technical, medical, as well as legal aspects of healthcare transcription.
Another alternative would be taking an online program at an accredited institution. There are several good options for medical transcriptionist course on the web that provide training in all the necessary areas for medical transcriptionists. After completion of such a program, person must take a test that would lead to certification. Course duration for the most part is from 6 months to one year. The advantage of this option is that person may study remotely and have flexible studying hours.
In the US, if one wants to work as medical transcriptionist, person should take practical training. This might be part of learning program or internship. If not, an aspiring medical transcriptionist training in a real-life setting should take place under certified professional’s supervision. Practical training includes learning to use necessary tools for work including software for transcription, typing, proofreading, and documentation formatting, understanding terminology, and record context.
Certification demands for this profession in many states differ. For the most part, a medical transcriptionist certificate is necessary prerequisite to start career in the field. Certification could be obtained in different places including local higher education institutions, healthcare faculty, online program, or specialized organization. To find out whether person can work as transcriber without a license, one should study regulations in their state.
It’s also possible to get certified by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). They provide two major options for transcriptionist certifications – Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). The main difference between them is that RDHS medical transcription certificate is offered for specialists in a specific healthcare area or single-type healthcare facility. For example, it may be a private physician practice or pediatrics med institution. CHDS, on the other hand, is an advanced program. This certificate is available for transcribers who already have decent work experience that’s more than two years within the industry. CHDS allows medical transcription certification for a wide area of facilities with multiple specializations. It requires an applicant to have knowledge across all healthcare fields to transcribe records of different healthcare specialists accurately.
Work of medical transcriptionist incorporates several important aspects of working the audio recordings in healthcare area, text procession, legal concerns. It creates a unique skill set that a specialist in this field is required to have, including both technical matters of their job (hard skills) and necessary personal qualities that are crucial for working process (soft skills).
In short, here are all the basic steps on one’s way to become a medical transcriptionist:
In conclusion, a medical transcriptionist is a profession that has good perspectives in contemporary healthcare. Probably soon decoding of transcripts might get even more facilitated with help of artificial intelligence. But still, human supervision will be required for control over process and editing. If you are into precision, accuracy, and listening, medical transcriptionist job might be a good fit for you. Use our tips, hang out with people who already work as transcribers, and can give you some valuable advice. Pursue your dream job, take new challenges, do not be afraid to leave your comfort zone. There’s always something exciting ahead!
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