Medical Transcriptionist Job Description
Medical transcriptionists listen to medical reports recorded by healthcare practitioners and transcribe them into written form.
Most medical transcriptionists wear a headset to listen to recordings, and they can stop and resume the audio by pressing down on a foot pedal that’s connected to their computer. By using their feet to control the audio, they’re able to keep their hands free for typing at all times.
Medical transcriptionists play an important role in the healthcare of patients. Errors in their reports can lead to patients receiving improper care. If the errors aren’t caught, mistakes can have tragic consequences.
Before you’re able to work as a medical transcriptionist, you will have to become familiar with medical terminology, anatomy, diagnostic procedures, treatments, and pharmacology. To learn more about the requirements for becoming a medical transcriptionist, see the ‘how to become a medical transcriptionist’ section below.
In addition to their transcription duties, medical transcriptionists who work in a physician’s office may need to perform administrative tasks like answering phones and filing paperwork.
Work Environment and Schedule
Most medical transcriptionists are employed by physician’s offices and hospitals. Others work for organizations that sell transcription services to healthcare companies.
Many transcriptionists are able to work from home, and receive their dictations over the internet. They then submit their drafts online, and clients are able to approve them instantly. Those who aren’t able to work from home normally work in an office environment.
This can be a very stressful occupation, because there is a lot of pressure to complete transcriptions very quickly and accurately. Employers normally expect minimum accuracy rate of 98%, because errors can cause problems with the care of a patient.
Because of the repetitive typing motion, those who work as a medical transcriptionist for many years often develop problems with their wrists and hands.
The majority of transcriptionists work full time, but those who are self-employed or work from home may be able to work part time.
How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist
To become a medical transcriptionist, you will need to earn a high school diploma and attend a training program in medical transcription. These programs are offered by many community colleges, vocational schools, and distance learning programs. You can normally get a certificate in about a year.
Normally, the program does not need to be accredited to get a job, but you may not be able to become certified unless it’s accredited.
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity offers two certifications to medical transcriptionists: Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) and Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT).
The CMT is for transcriptionists who work in different medical specialties, and the RMT is for transcriptionists who work in a single specialty (like a doctor’s office). Normally, people earn the RMT before the CMT.
There are currently medical transcriptionists in the United States, with new medical transcriptionist job openings created each year.
Medical Transcriptionist jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Medical Transcriptionist Salaries
Medical Transcriptionist salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most medical transcriptionists make between per year, or per hour.