Medical Transcriptionist Jobs

Medical transcriptionists take dictation and transcribe, listening to recordings made by physicians and writing the information given into medical reports, records, general correspondence, or other administrative material.

Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Medical Transcriptionist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics many medical transcriptionists work from home, while those who work outside the home are generally employed at hospitals or physicians’ offices. Those transcriptionists working in hospitals or offices generally work a regular 40-hour week. Those transcriptionists working from home may have more flexible hours, working full or part-time, and may also work more irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.

Medical transcriptionists usually listen to recordings by physicians or other health care professionals using a special headset attached to a foot pedal that allows them to pause the recording as needed. While listening, they type the text into a computer, editing when necessary. Depending on the medical transcriptionist’s place of work, the documents he or she transcribes may include anything from patient medical histories to autopsy reports, patient exam notes, hospital discharge summaries, and more. Once they have completed a document, the medical transcriptionist returns it to the physician who completed the dictation, and he then reviews it and signs off on it. It is then appropriately filed.

General Requirements and Training

Employers tend to prefer those who have graduated from a postsecondary training program for medical transcriptionists.

Many vocational schools, community colleges, and distance-learning programs offer medical transcription programs, usually a one-year certificate program or two-year associates degree, often with on-the-job experience included. To do the job well, medical transcriptionists need to be knowledgeable on a variety of topics: medical terminology, legal issues, anatomy, and more. Excellent vocabulary and grammar skills, as well as computer knowledge, are also key requirements.

Medical transcriptionists are not required to become certified but many choose to do so. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers a number certification options for medical transcriptionists.

Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for medical transcriptionists is $32,060 as of May 2008.

According to Payscale.com a medical transcriptionist with one to four years of experience earns an average of $10.23 to $14.18 per hour, while a medical transcriptionist with twenty or more years of experience earns approximately $14.31 to $19.02 annually. Salary.com reports the mid-50% earnings range of medical records transcriptionists to be $33,203 to $40,754.

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