A medical transcriptionist listens to voice recordings from doctors, nurses, or other medical practitioners and transcribe the recordings into notes or other documents for patients’ medical files. The medical transcriptionist may also work with insurance companies to complete medical reports. To become a home-based medical transcriptionist, you need to have excellent typing skills and some medical knowledge. Any company hiring for these positions usually require experience, but some also consider candidates who have recently completed a certification program.
As a medical transcriptionist, you need to have postsecondary training, which would be either a one-year certificate program or a two-year associate degree. The types of courses required in these programs include anatomy, medical terminology, medical-legal issues, and grammar and punctuation. There are 2 types of certifications: registered medical transcriptionist (RMT) and certified medical transcriptionist (CMT). Certifications require an initial exam, and then periodic retesting or continuing education.
Here are the 5 basic truths about a medical transcriptionist
Medical Transcriptionist is not a get rich quick scheme
Just to make sure that we are on the same page, keep in mind that a transcription job is not a get rich quick scheme. So if on your search for a medical transcription job you bump into an ad that tells you how you can make money overnight with medical transcription even for those without experience and ask you to pay them for a list of where to apply, then it should turn on a red light. A medical transcription job is something you will have to study for or have years of experience doing before you can apply for available jobs or become a home-based transcription professional.
You need proper education
Similar to what I mentioned above, a medical transcription job will require specialized knowledge. So, if you are really thinking of starting a career in this industry then be prepared to take formal training. Proper education is required when you’ve decided to start a transcription career and presently you have two options for training.
One is to take the training online (which will allow you to study at your own pace at the comfort of your house). Online training usually takes up to 8 months to 1 year. If you want classroom interaction then you can apply for an on-campus training which on average will take you up to two years to finish.
You don’t need to become a certified medical transcriptionist
At present, a valid certificate is not yet a government-mandated requirement when applying for medical transcription job though it is ideal to get certified since it will add to your reputation. On most occasions, hospitals and companies hiring medical transcriptionists won’t even ask if you are or not a certified medical transcriptionist. What matters most is you have the proper training and appropriate work experience.
Medical Transcriptionist need a specialized knowledge
Some people may say that performing a transcription task is easy and won’t require proper knowledge or can be easily learned. This is wrong. The truth is a transcription jobs require specialized knowledge. Sure, using a computer and word processing software is easy but that doesn’t mean you can easily adapt to the language used by doctors.
Converting the audio recordings to its text equivalent will require a working knowledge of all the medical terms, procedures and human anatomy. Most of the audio to be transcribed will contain medical abbreviations, and the transcriptionist is required to understand these abbreviations and medical terms.
The medical transcriptionist sector is growing.
This is true. Along with the global increase in demand for health care services, the transcription sector is also growing. As more and more patients require proper health care, the efficient recording and retrieval of patient’s records, analysis and doctor recommendations are becoming more critical to performing fast and accurate service. This caused an increase in demand for well trained medical transcriptionists.
Since technology is the primary platform when doing transcription tasks (connected computers and data access and retrieval), it can be performed in any location as long as those who perform the transcription have fast and dependable way to receive audio recordings, process the recordings to text format and send it back to the source of the audio recordings.This has given rise to work at home transcriptionists who have dependable internet connection, fast computers at home, and have the necessary transcription equipments.
If you are thinking about starting a home-based career as a medical transcriptionist, you can undertake the following online medical transcription courses
- Medical Terminology: Students learn correct spellings and abbreviations of general medical terms, surgical terms and diseases. Focus is placed on deconstructing words into prefixes, suffixes and roots.
- Anatomy and Physiology: Students learn about the human body. Focus is placed on body parts and bodily functions.
- Pathology: Students taking this course build their disease and disorder vocabulary and learn general pathology theories. This includes testing procedures, medications and treatments.
- Pharmacology: This course introduces medication terminology. In addition, individuals taking this course to learn about treatments, drug reactions, pharmacology legalities, medication handling and doctors’ orders.
- Medical Theories and Techniques: Students learn more about diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical procedure terms and practices. Similar courses may be available focusing on lab procedures, including patient preparation and blood drawing techniques.
- Basic Transcription: Course requirements generally include use of a foot pedal and headphones. Students practice accurately transcribing audio files into the typed format. A professional telecommuting internship may be required.
- Medical Grammar and Style: These writing classes are specifically geared toward medical transcriptionists. Students learn to use the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity and American Medical Association stylistic standards.
- Keyboarding: Classes range from beginning to advanced and may require students to maintain a minimum word per minute standard relative to the course level. Basic formatting practices are introduced and developed.
- Computer Information Systems: Students taking this course to learn the basics of Microsoft Office software, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Access. Other topics include e-mail and Internet usage and file organization.
- Speech Recognition Editing: This class prepares students to use speech recognition software to transcribe dictation. Students learn how to use the software including learning keyboard shortcuts. Advanced courses may include taking dictation with background noise.
You can visit study.com to learn more about how the medical transcription courses can build a student’s medical vocabulary by introducing studies in anatomy, procedures, diseases and medications. Students participating in documentation practice classes may be required to participate in online medical transcription internships.