Medical transcriptionists’ job description includes listening to and transcribing dictated reports and medical information by doctors. Transcriptionists use specific equipment such as a foot pedal attached to tape player for pausing the recording. Medical transcriptionists need to have strong knowledge of medical terminology and flawless grammar skills.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for medical transcriptionists is expected to grow to about 11 percent between 2008 and 2018. The main factor that is expected to contribute this growth is the aging population, which is bound to need more medical procedures. The medical transcription salary varies since many employers prefer paying on an hourly basis while some pay per each transcribed line. The median annual wage was $33,530 as of May 2010 (BLS report).
Individuals interested in pursuing a career as a medical transcriptionist have to receive training through a certificate. However, before that, they can obtain a degree or a diploma in a related program from a vocational or a community college. Many of the programs offered by these colleges are accredited by the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP).
One can enroll in an associate degree program (two year program) in medical transcription, the primary objective of which is to equip students with the skill of taking physician dictated materials and transforming them into written documents that can go to patients’ records.
As a student of medical transcription, one has to learn the fundamentals of medical coding as well so they know what the doctor is saying. Aspiring transcriptionists must gain necessary training to type efficiently so the reports become suitable for showing to medical personnel, legal courts and insurance companies.
For enrolling in a vocational or associate degree program, students must have an acceptable grade point average with high school diploma. Upon acceptance in such a program, students will have to complete general core courses as well in mathematics, science and humanities, besides the technical medical transcription courses.
Training Program Coursework
A medical transcription training program such as an associate program may include courses that develop the necessary skills in this industry such as:
• Medical coding
• Medical terminology
• Laboratory procedures
• Applied transcription technology
• Surgery procedures
• Ethics and law in medical field
• Customer relations
• Word processing
• Business management principles
• Office management and administration
After completing an ACCP approved program, one can obtain certification based on the level of their experience through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. With experience less than two years, one can earn the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) credential while for those with more than two years of experience, Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) is the credential to pursue.