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Medical transcription schools

Which types of jobs are available for those interested in medical transcription?

Medical transcriptionists take dictated recordings by those in the health care industry, namely physicians, and transcribe them into documents as part of patient files. The work is typically done using a headset and foot pedal, for ease of pausing the recording, and a computer where documents are typed and edited. Once the document is complete, the physician or health care professional that dictated the recording reviews the document for sign-off. Transcribed documents might take the form of discharge summaries, medical history and physical examination reports, autopsy reports and referral letters.

With advancing technology, some medical transcriptionists make use of speech recognition software to create the initial document, which can then be edited for completeness and accuracy. Likewise, with increased use of the Internet, some medical transcriptionists are able to receive documentation via the Web, and once transcription is complete, quickly resubmit it. Because the job duties of a medical transcriptionist don't require much more than a computer and the dictation itself, medical transcriptionists are often able to work from home.

Potential challenges also exist in the day-to-day worklife of a medical transcripionist. Because of the advanced nature of medical terminology, medical transcriptionists must be trained and knowledgeable about the health care field. The nature of their work can often be stressful, although medical transcriptionists typically work in fairly comfortable environments. Medical transcriptionists encounter additional challenges, such as the pressure to comply with the standards of writing in a specific document format, as well as to understand the implications of keeping patient confidentiality. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition medical transcriptionists should be aware of, as well as other pain related to the amount of time they spend sitting and using repetitive movement.

Formal training required to work in a career related to medical transcription

Most medical transcriptionists complete some level of postsecondary education, usually in the form of an associate degree or certificate program from a vocational school or community college. Coursework usually includes anatomy, medical terminology and English grammar and punctuation. The most desirable job candidates often hold voluntary certifications. The Association of Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) awards two certificates--the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) and the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). Both require successfully passing an exam, and the CMT requires at least two years of experience.

The typical career path of someone interested in medical transcription

Medical transcriptionists often begin their career as nurses or medical secretaries. Regardless of their previous experience in the health care industry, medical transcriptionists must have a good understanding of medical terminology and strong writing and listening skills. A career in medical transcription can advance in many ways. Some move up to positions in management and administration, while others consult or teach. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 36 percent work in hospitals, while about 23 percent worked in doctors' offices.

Job outlook and salary information for those interested in medical transcription

Medical transcription jobs are in high demand for a few reasons. First, as our aging population continues to grow, more and more transcription will be required to document the increasing volume of medical tests and health care services. Additionally, the increasing need for medical records to be in electronic format requires medical transcriptionists, as well as the need to correct medical documentation from sometimes inaccurate speech recognition software. The BLS reported 82,810 medical transcription jobs nationwide in 2009. States with the highest concentration of medical transcriptionists included South Dakota, North Dakota, Maine and Wisconsin. Those states that paid the highest salary to medical transcriptionists included Massachusetts, Alaska and California.

The BLS anticipates that employment of medical transcriptionists will increase by 11 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is about as fast as the average for all other occupations. The best job opportunities will go to those who are certified. The BLS reports 2009 mean hourly wages of $16.03 for medical transcriptionists. The basis of compensation varies from position to position. While some are paid per hour, others are paid per transcribed line.

 

Which types of jobs are available for those interested in medical transcription?

Medical transcriptionists take dictated recordings by those in the health care industry, namely physicians, and transcribe them into documents as part of patient files. The work is typically done using a headset and foot pedal, for ease of pausing the recording, and a computer where documents are typed and edited. Once the document is complete, the physician or health care professional that dictated the recording reviews the document for sign-off. Transcribed documents might take the form of discharge summaries, medical history and physical examination reports, autopsy reports and referral letters.

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