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How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Do you find yourself fascinated by medical field, but not too eager to get up close and personal to actual humans and their health issues or problems? Would you love to work from home and set your own hours? Do you have an excellent ear for detail and writing skills to match?

Whether in hospitals or offices, doctors can see hundreds of patients in a day. Have you ever wondered how they manage to keep an accurate record for each patient? The answer to all these questions can be explained by one essential medical career: that of a medical transcriptionist.

What Does A Medical Transcriptionist Do

A medical transcriptionist takes the dictation from a doctor’s audio report on a patient and records it into a legal document. Often the report will include the patient’s history and any notes made during a consultation or an exam. Every step of the treatment process must be recorded. Medical transcription is an exact procedure, requiring attention to detail, computer literacy, efficient typing and recording skills, excellent listening skills, high quality English editing skills, and a broad knowledge of medical terms, acronyms and abbreviations. Once every word is converted to text, the medical transcription is sent back to the doctor for record keeping. Voice recording technology is advancing rapidly, along with internet based communication, making it even easier to obtain clear and accurate recordings.

The work of a medical transcriptionist can be done in a doctor’s office, hospital, laboratory, or at home. If a medical transcriptionist works in a doctor’s office, there may be other responsibilities to her job. The work week of a medical transcriptionist is usually no more than 40 hours. If you work from home and manage your own contracts, you can literally design your own hours.

Medical Transcriptionist Certification

The road to medical transcriptionist certification starts with a high school diploma or GED. Those with a 1 year certificate from a vocational school, or a 2 year Associate’s degree in medical transcription will have the better pick of available jobs. That is because the degree and certification programs include all the medical knowledge necessary to interpret and accurately report on a doctor’s notes. That having been said, certification is not mandatory. If you do choose to get certified as a medical transcriptionist, be sure to check out the programs that are properly accredited by organizations such as the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP), or the American Health Information Management Association.

There are 2 main certifications out there: Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) and Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). Recertification is also appreciated and can increase job success.

The Salary Of A Medical Transcriptionist

The salary of a medical transcriptionist is not bad: around $40,000. And the more you can work, the more you can earn. Some earn as much as $70,000.

The BLS reports that a medical transcriptionist salary (by the hour) can range from $10.00 to $ 22.00, with most earning somewhere in the middle.

Medical Transcriptionist Job Prospects

The medical transcriptionist job outlook is predicted to stay optimistic over the next few years. It could grow as much as 18% by 2018. Along with the rest of the medical field, transcriptionist will have a steady employment rate due to the increased need for elder care.

The job prospects for medical transcriptionists will always be brighter for those with more experience and training. Those willing to relocate to a new geographic area or move laterally through the job market can expect continued job security in the field of medical transcription.

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