Interested in working from home as a Medical Transcriptionist? Here’s an overview of what you need to know to get started.
WHAT DO MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTIONISTS DO?
Medical transcriptionists might do one or more of the following tasks on any given day:
- Listen to the recorded dictation of a doctor or other healthcare professional
- Transcribe and interpret the dictation into diagnostic test results, operative reports, referral letters, and other documents
- Review and edit drafts prepared by speech recognition software, making sure that the transcription is correct, complete, and has a consistent style
- Translate medical abbreviations and jargon into the appropriate long form
- Identify inconsistencies, errors, and missing information within a report that could compromise patient care
- Follow up with the healthcare provider to ensure the accuracy of the reports
- Submit health records for physicians to approve
- Follow patient confidentiality guidelines and legal documentation requirements
- Enter medical reports into electronic health records systems
- Perform quality improvement audits
WHAT KIND OF EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED?
Employers prefer to hire transcriptionists who have completed postsecondary training in medical transcription.
A 1-year certificate program or 2-year associate’s degree program from a community college or distance learning program normally includes coursework in anatomy, medical terminology, risk management, legal issues relating to healthcare documentation, and English grammar and punctuation.
WHAT SKILLS/PERSONALITY TRAITS ARE IMPORTANT?
Medical transcriptionists must be comfortable using computers and word-processing software. Because dictation must be done quickly, medical transcriptionists should also be comfortable working under short deadlines. Being a good listener and having a strong grasp of the English language are two other important traits.
HOW MUCH DO MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTIONISTS MAKE?
Some medical transcriptionists are paid based on the volume of transcription they produce. Others are paid an hourly rate or an annual salary.
The median annual wage for medical transcriptionists was $34,020 in May 2012.
WHAT IS THE JOB OUTLOOK FOR THIS FIELD?
Employment of medical transcriptionists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
* This information has been adapted from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a fantastic service of the United States Department of Labor.