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What is Medical Transcription?
An individual working in the field of medical transcription will be required to take recorded notes by physicians and other medical professionals and transfer them to digital transcripts available for access in the future. The work requires individuals to carefully listen to notes provided, and accurately document them. The need for accuracy is high due to the transcripts being used in patient histories, with errors possibly having negative results in future treatment or care. Employment is normally offered through specialized offices or medical centers such as clinics or hospitals.
A medical transcription degree qualifies an individual to transcribe oral notes of physicians and hospital administrators. An education in medical transcription requires an individual to have excellent hearing and a large medical vocabulary, including abbreviated and slang terms in order to accurately record what has been said in order to attach it to the permanent record of the patient. Certificate and associate degree programs are available to aspiring medical transcriptionists with the program taking between one and two years to complete.
Courses that may be offered in a medical transcriptionist program:
- Legal Terminology
- Healthcare Documentation
- Medical Terminology
Employment and Certification
Medical assistants will work with doctors and administrators to ensure that all notes and recordings pertaining to patients are accurately cleaned, edited and transcribed so that they may be placed within the patient file for future reference. Medical transcriptionists typically work 40 hours a week within the hospital, clinic or office. A medical transcriptionist should have excellent hearing and command of the English language.
Though it is not required, most employers prefer individuals who have graduated with a certificate or degree in medical transcription. Additionally, certification in medical transcription is available through the Association of Healthcare Documentation Industry (AHDI). To increase job security and obtain higher pay, medical transcriptionists are encouraged to become registered medical transcriptionists (RMT) or certified medical transcriptionists (CMT). Those who pursue certification will have to update that certification every few years through continuing education courses.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
The need for medical transcriptionists is expected to increase over the next decade as the population gets older and more administrative assistance will become necessary in the managing of hospital operations.Additionally, the expansion of the healthcare industry in the United States has created a need for transcription services due to increase patient care and a reduction in available time by physicians and others to perform such duties on their own.
The average salary of a medical transcriptionist is $27,000 – $38,500 per year.
Individuals interested in medical transcription may also be interested in health care administration, medical administration, or medical office administration.
For additional information, read our Career Guide on Medical Transcription on the MatchCollege blog here.