Medical Transcriptionist - How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Medical Transcriptionist

Jump to:

Medical Transcriptionist Job Description

 

In an era when there is a strong movement towards digitizing every healthcare record, medical transcriptionists perform the vital, highly demanded function of transcribing doctor's voice recordings into a permanent electronic record. They're typically equipped with a headset and computer to transcribe recordings, and a foot pedal to pause whenever necessary. 

Speech recognition technology (SRT) is becoming ever more common in medical records work, and generally boosts the productivity of medical transcriptionists (MTs) rather than replacing them. Transcriptionists are required to proofread records produced by speech recognition software to ensure accuracy, as well as other duties including administration, scheduling, and phone correspondence.

.

Responsibilities

 

Medical transcriptionists handle a wide variety of confidential medical records, including referral letters, surgery reports, diagnostic imaging studies, autopsy reports, medical histories, and many similar healthcare records and documents. By law, these records must be kept confidential, private, and secure, and the MT must be familiar with all protocols related to these matters and observe them scrupulously.

Responsibilities common to medical transcriptionists include:

  • Listening to the recordings of physicians and other healthcare professionals and transferring the information into documentation.

  • Transcribing medical reports including diagnostic imaging studies, operations, chart reviews, and emergency room visits.

  • Deciding between what information to include or exclude in transcription.

  • Recognizing and correcting mistakes in language, terminology, particular drug references, and others.

  • Inputting relevant information into databases for storage and retrieval.

  • Producing medical reports, records, statistics, and administrative materials upon request.

  • Returning transcribed reports for review by physicians or other healthcare professionals and making corrections as needed.

  • Translating medical shorthand, jargon, and abbreviations.

  • Performing clerical and administrative tasks as necessary, including mail, phone calls, scheduling, submitting insurance claims, and operating common office machines.

.

Skills

 

Meticulous attention to detail and the ability to remain focused and alert increase the usefulness of the records produced.

Accuracy is key in this line of work, meaning that detailed knowledge of medical terminology and healthcare procedures is essential for a healthcare documentation specialist to correctly carry out their job. They must also detect discrepancies in a doctor's or other medical professional's reports and contact the professional for clarification and correction. Most MTs keep a medical dictionary and other reference materials close at hand while working to ensure top quality results.

Healthcare documentation is a growth industry with an aging population and a highly complex medical establishment. Job prospects are expected to continue expanding and evolving for the foreseeable future.

.

Working Conditions

 

Healthcare documentation specialists work in diverse ways, with some holding 40 hour per week office jobs at hospitals other health care related businesses or organizations, and others working at home as independent contractors (and often putting in more than 40 hours per week). Those at a regular work location may also be tasked with other kinds of office work in addition to healthcare documentation.

These specialists collaborate with all kinds of medical personnel, including nurses, doctors, surgeons, dietitians, physical therapists, and other health related professionals. Complete, accurate reports are often needed on tight deadlines, which can be stressful. Physically, challenges include eyestrain, backaches, repetitive motion injuries, and other problems caused by sitting for long hours in front of a computer screen and wearing a headset. Many healthcare documentation specialists use a foot pedal or key to pause and resume recordings during transcription, editing, and proofing.

 


.

How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist:

 

1. Complete a Certified Medical Transcription Training Program 

 

Aspiring medical transcriptionists must first hold a high school diploma or GED and continue on to complete a certified medical transcription training program. There are multiple avenues of completion for these programs, ranging from 6 months to 2 years. Medical transcription certificate programs can be completed online or through vocational schools, or students can earn an associate's degree from their local community college. 

Choosing a school approved by the The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) ensures the degree's applicability and usefulness.

Generally, medical transcription programs broadly cover the following topics:

  • Medical terminology

  • Laboratory terminology

  • Pharmacology

  • Disease processes

  • Pathology

  • Anatomy and physiology

  • Medical transcription 

  • Computer applications

  • English

Healthcare documentation specialists satisfy their initial academic requirements with programs lasting from 10 months to 2 years at vocational schools, community colleges, or even via online degree programs. Choosing a school approved by the The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) ensures the degree's applicability and usefulness.

A specialist in this field masters complicated medical jargon, computer use, and rapid, accurate typing and transcription skills. Study also includes medical language, pharmacology, lab terminology, disease processes, healthcare procedures, and many other related topics that permit informed, superior transcription.

 

2. Earn the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) Credential

 

Recently-graduated students are eligible to earn the RHDS certification by completing the associated exam. It's based on the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity's medical transcriptionist job description, core competencies, and model curriculum. The exam is designed to assess the candidates acuity with the skills necessary for everyday medical transcription.

For eligibility and requirements, content, exam blue print, and sample questions:

 

Learn More About the RDHS Exam

 

After earning their certification, candidates will be recognized as a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist. The RHDS credential is valid for 3 years after completion and candidates must recertify prior to expiration.

 

3. Earn the Certified Healthcare Documentation (CHDS) Credential

 

After two years of hands-on experience, candidates become eligible to earn the CHDS credential in addition to their RHDS certification. The exam is based on the same guidelines as the RHDS exam and is designed to further assess core competencies at a more advanced level.

For eligibility and requirements, content, exam blue print, and sample questions:

 

Learn More about the CHDS Exam

 

.

Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
The PCCC department transcriptionist is primarily responsible for transcribing/editing cancer center reports in an accurate and efficient manner according to regulatory requirements. Other critical duties for the PCCC transcriptionist include...
12.05.2016
This position is responsible for : A. Transcribing and/or editing dictation regarding patients and departmental affairs from the dictation system. B. Providing legible, timely information dictated by physicians for attachment to the patient's...
12.05.2016
This position requires working onsite at our Springfield, Illinois, location. Hours: Days, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday Transcribe clinical/technical medical reports from recorded dictation and type hand written reports using word...
12.05.2016
Find more than a job. Find more in yourself. Find your calling. Essentia Health seeks employees who embrace our commitment to patient-and family-centered care in communities both large and small. Were looking for people who are committed to...
12.05.2016
Find more than a job. Find more in yourself. Find your calling. Essentia Health seeks employees who embrace our commitment to patient-and family-centered care in communities both large and small. Were looking for people who are committed to...
12.05.2016
High School/GED; Additional course beyond High School prefer Position Summary: Scans and indexes medical information into the HPF System as necessary. Adds in loose reports when needed and releases medical information when requested in...
12.05.2016
Are you comfortable using a computer? Are you interested in positions located in Fort Wayne, IN? Do you have a minimum of five years of experience? Do you have healthcare experience? Do you have medical terminology experience? Summary:...
  1. PCCC MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTIONIST Valdosta, GA South Georgia Medical Center
    The PCCC department transcriptionist is primarily responsible for transcribing/editing cancer center reports in an accurate and efficient manner according to regulatory requirements. Other critical duties for the PCCC transcriptionist include...
  2. Medical Transcriptionist Cookeville, TN Cookeville Regional Medical Center
    This position is responsible for : A. Transcribing and/or editing dictation regarding patients and departmental affairs from the dictation system. B. Providing legible, timely information dictated by physicians for attachment to the patient's...
  3. Medical Transcriptionist Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    This position requires working onsite at our Springfield, Illinois, location. Hours: Days, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday Transcribe clinical/technical medical reports from recorded dictation and type hand written reports using word...
  4. Medical Transcriptionist (1.0 FTE) Duluth, MN Essentia Health
    Find more than a job. Find more in yourself. Find your calling. Essentia Health seeks employees who embrace our commitment to patient-and family-centered care in communities both large and small. Were looking for people who are committed to...
  5. Medical Transcriptionist (2 @ 1.0 FTE) Duluth, MN Essentia Health
    Find more than a job. Find more in yourself. Find your calling. Essentia Health seeks employees who embrace our commitment to patient-and family-centered care in communities both large and small. Were looking for people who are committed to...
  6. Medical Records Technician Gallipolis, OH Holzer
    High School/GED; Additional course beyond High School prefer Position Summary: Scans and indexes medical information into the HPF System as necessary. Adds in loose reports when needed and releases medical information when requested in...
  7. Med Language Specialist/Editor Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    Are you comfortable using a computer? Are you interested in positions located in Fort Wayne, IN? Do you have a minimum of five years of experience? Do you have healthcare experience? Do you have medical terminology experience? Summary:...