Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist – Everything You Need To Know

Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist – Everything You Need To Know

Sep 04,2021

Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist – Everything You Need To Know

A medical transcriptionist plays an important role within the healthcare industry by helping doctors create accurate clinical medical records. Doctors rely on these records to assess the health of the patient and decide the best course of action. If you are contemplating a career in the healthcare field, you may be interested in learning more about what medical transcription is all about. Let us in the blog post explore everything you need to know about becoming a medical transcriptionist.

What is medical transcription?

It is a process of converting the notes dictated by physicians and other healthcare professionals into a text format for placement on a patient’s permanent medical records. And, while this may sound simple, it provides a big relief for healthcare providers. No wonder, medical transcription has carved a special niche in the realm of healthcare documentation.

What is a medical transcriptionist?

A medical transcriptionist is a healthcare professional who listens to the audio recordings sent in by physicians and other healthcare professionals and converts them into a typed report. This report then becomes part of the patient’s permanent medical records. A medical transcriptionist is otherwise known as a healthcare documentation specialist.

Steps involved in medical transcription

Dictation by healthcare professional

The typical medical transcription process begins with the healthcare professional recording the patient information into a hand-held recording device or using an advanced mobile app, like Scribe4me or Record4me.

Transmission of audio files

Once the voice files are ready they will be uploaded to the medical transcription provider’s secure server. The medical transcriptionist will download these files and start transcribing it into a text format.

Transcribing audio files to text

The medical transcriptionist will listen to the audio files and transcribe it in the template preferred by the physician, using a high-quality headphone and a foot pedal to control the playback.

Quality check process

The transcripts are thoroughly proofread and edited, to ensure consistent delivery of quality and accurate transcripts.

Uploading the transcripts

The completed transcripts are then uploaded to the medical transcription provider’s secure transfer.

How to become a medical transcriptionist?

The steps to getting started as a medical transcriptionist

  • The only prerequisite to work as a medical transcriptionist is a high school education or GED.
  • Having an exceptional typing speed of 60+ words per minute is an essential skill.
  • Earning an associate degree or certification in medical transcription will put you ahead of other applicants in the job market.
  • Additional education and certifications are an added plus. Consider taking the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) exam or the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) exam after gaining two years of experience.
  • Apply for jobs. You can either work in a physician’s office or in a third-party transcription service office or work from home too.

Important skills needed for a transcriptionist

  • Knowledge of medical terminology is indispensable. This covers not only terminologies related to human anatomy, physiology, medications, and procedures but also discipline-specific jargon used by healthcare professionals.
  • Accurate and fast typing is vital to create precise and timely documents from the audio files received.
  • Possess excellent listening skills in order to listen to recordings and create accurate reports.
  • Have strong logical and reasoning skills to spot discrepancies in the dictated files.
  • The ability to multi-task, i.e. listen and type at the same time in order to meet deadlines is crucial.
  • Good knowledge and ability to use computers and related technology effectively.
  • Outstanding research skills and openness to learning.
  • Possess excellent command over English language, including use of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • Need to have the ability to work under tight deadlines and still deliver accurate reports.

How much does a medical transcriptionist make?

In the United States, the average annual compensation for a medical transcriptionist is $39,000, or $20 per hour. However, an entry level medical transcriptionist with less than one year of experience may expect to earn $31,200 per year, with most experienced professionals earning up to $45,825 per year. The good news is a medical transcriptionist is paid based on the volume of work they produce. Greater productivity equals greater income. As you improve your speed and performance, you can easily boost your hourly wage.

Job outlook and work from home options

Statistical studies have revealed that the transcription industry is expected to experience a steady growth of 8% through 2022. Medical transcription is an excellent career choice, especially for those individuals who wish to earn a living from home. However, one has to be aware that it is not possible to become a home-based medical transcriptionist overnight. Besides professional training, gaining the relevant experience, getting the industry certifications, developing a stable clientele base and staying focused and dedicated helps you land a transcription job from the comfort of your home.

Future of medical transcription

In spite of the predictions made by the Labor Department that there will be a 3% reduction in the job market from 2016 to 2026, the numbers demonstrate that medical transcriptionis still a viable career and will continue to increase in demand as healthcare services and technology evolve and grow. This simply means that even though the advancements in technology help healthcare professionals transcribe data, human transcriptionists are still in demand. Physicians may use the ASR software, yet transcriptionists will be required to ensure accuracy. Hence, the medical transcription industry will continue to grow and develop in the years to come.

The Upshot

Medical transcription has grown by leaps and bounds and has emerged as one of the largest segments in the healthcare industry. Medical transcriptionists will continue to be in demand for a long time, but it is important that they stay up-to-date on the newest advancements. The role of a medical transcriptionist has evolved over the years and is no longer confined to just transcribing. They must be able to proofread and edit reports created using ASR technology. Well, if you are an aspiring student and wish to set foot in the healthcare industry but have an aversion to the sight of blood and dread the long, arduous medical school journey then a career as a medical transcriptionist is a good choice.

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