Medical transcription is the perfect job for someone who has an extensive vocabulary and excellent typing skills. A medical transcriptionist usually works from recordings of verbal notes that doctors make during their examinations. The transcriptionist types the notes into a digital document so that they can be reviewed and edited by the doctor at a later time. The terminology that is used in a doctor’s examination notes can be very specific, so a medical transcriptionist needs to have a deep understanding of the terms that will be used.
Most transcription work is done using a transcription machine that is operated by a foot pedal. The operator can use the foot pedal to start and stop the tape, and rewind when necessary. Transcription work is very detail oriented, and requires strict attention to the smallest syllable. The medical professional expects that the transcript will reflect exactly what he or she notated, and the transcriptionist needs to have the background knowledge and experience to deliver accurate documents.
Medical Transcriptionist Certification Requirements
There are no formal certification requirements for medical transcriptionists. That said, it will be difficult to find employment opportunities without some form of certification of your skills. There are two types of certification that are well respected and can be achieved by anyone who wants to pursue a career in medical transcription work. The Association for Health Care Documentation Integrity is a group that offers certificates to transcriptionists who meet the proper qualifications and have passed a transcription exam. An RMT (registered medical transcriptionist) and CMT (certified medical transcriptionist) certificate can be earned by transcriptionists who have at least 2 years of experience and can successfully pass the exam. There are sub-classifications in each certification level that identify areas of expertise and specialties in which the transcriptionist is adept.
Medical Transcription Training
There are many opportunities for training as a medical transcriptionist. Online courses are available from several credible sources, and there are also on-site classes that you can attend for training. Transcription training will give you a solid understanding of the equipment that is used for transcription, as well as the different fields of medicine that utilize transcription services most often. There is a definite focus on terminology, since it is one of the most important aspects of medical transcription work. You will also be trained in the legal aspects of transcription and medical work.
Medical Transcriptionist Schools and Classes
Most medical professionals prefer to hire transcriptionists who hold degrees or certificates from higher learning educational institutions. Several continuing education, technical, and career colleges offer comprehensive medical transcription courses to fully prepare a transcriptionist for the job market. Since the medical field is constantly updating and changing, most transcriptionists are also encouraged to continue their education with refresher courses once they have entered the job market. Technical degrees generally take one or two years to complete, and many of them offer hands-on experience to better prepare their students for work situations.
Medical Transcription Jobs
Medical transcriptionists work for medical professionals from every field of medicine. General practice physicians, surgeons, specialists, and physical therapists are all known to utilize the services of a medical transcriptionist. Most entry level positions are available at larger clinics that serve a wide range of clients. Once a transcriptionist has gained a certain level of experience, however, it is possible to build a clientele and build your own private business. Many of the most successful transcriptionists work directly with physicians from their homes and set their own hours and workloads. The key to building a successful transcriptionist business is to specialize in a specific area of medicine. If you can become an expert in the terminology of a certain medical field, you will be sought after by physicians who work in that field.
How Much Does a Medical Transcriptionist Earn
The average salary for a medical transcriptionist is $34,590 per year. Your salary depends on your area of expertise, training, and the quality of your work. Transcriptionists who work in highly specialized fields can expect to earn more than those who work in a more general field because specialization requires more training. Transcription rates can vary depending on the individual arrangement between the transcriptionist and the physician. Some work may be paid by the hour, while other work may be paid by the number of pages or number of words. Negotiation is an important skill for medical transcriptionists to possess if they want to make the highest possible salary for their work.