How to Become an Medical Transcriptionist in Illinois
Medical transcriptionist jobs in Illinois are an excellent fit for organized individuals with strong writing and grammar abilities.
You might also thrive in this career path if you’re looking for a non-patient-care-related job in the healthcare field.
Education & Training
Completing an accredited training program at an Illinois trade school or community college is an essential first step for hopefuls wondering how to become a medical transcriptionist in Illinois.
- Medical Terminology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Computer Skills and Typing
- English Grammar, Writing, and Communication
- Healthcare Documentation Practices
- Legal Issues
- Ethics in Healthcare Transcription
Instructors also teach medical transcriptionists in IL to use specialized transcriptionist technology, such as speech recognition and data input software.
Some longer educational programs for medical transcriptionists in IL might include a practical education module where students get to practice their skills in real-world settings and situations.
If your school has a medical simulation lab on campus, your practicum requirements might involve transcribing various mock procedures that other allied health students complete in the lab.
Meanwhile, other schools might partner with a local clinic or hospital to provide student externships and shadowing opportunities. During these programs, hopefuls work under the supervision of an experienced transcriptionist to develop essential technical skills that they can apply to their future careers.
How Long is Medical Transcriptionist School?
Most medical transcriptionist training courses in Illinois are about nine months. However, some programs take closer to one year to complete. Aspiring medical transcriptionists in IL who plan to work in a single-specialty environment, such as pathology, radiology, and private practice, typically enroll in these shorter courses.
Earning an Associate’s Degree
However, those who intend to apply for a medical transcriptionist job in an Illinois general hospital or another multi-specialty facility might consider pursuing a two-year associate’s degree.
Aspiring medical transcriptionists in IL can take their classes in person or online. Generally speaking, an online course might be less expensive than a traditional on-campus program. For example, you might pay between $2,000 to $5,000 to complete an online medical transcriptionist class. Meanwhile, attending classes in person could cost up to $12,000.
Illinois Medical Transcriptionist Requirements
Minimum requirements for becoming a medical transcriptionist in Illinois are as follows:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- Obtain a post-secondary certificate or diploma from an accredited medical transcriptionist program
Earning a Credential
Generally speaking, hopefuls can find medical transcriptionist jobs in Illinois if they meet these qualifications. If you want to increase your chances of getting hired at a specialty hospital or private clinic, you might consider earning a credential from the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
A Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) certification is the level-one credential for medical transcriptionists in IL who have recently graduated from their trade school or community college courses and have less than two years of experience.
During the 120-question certification exam, candidates must prove their expertise by:
- Correctly answering multiple-choice questions
- Listen to audio recordings and complete fill-in-the-blank transcriptions
- Speech Recognition Technology (SRT) editing against audio recordings
Candidates who pass this exam will receive an official RHDS credential from the AHDI, which is valid for a period of three years. To renew your certification, you’ll need to complete 20 continuing education credits (CECs).
If you prefer, you can see if you qualify for the AHDI’s level-two credential and take the test to become a Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS).
Medical Transcriptionist Salaries in IL
The typical entry-level medical transcriptionist salary in Illinois is about $24,391 per year. However, employers at different facilities or in different parts of the state might pay higher or lower. Take a look at the list below to learn about how much a medical transcriptionist in IL might make, depending on what city they live in.
- Chicago $24,391
- Springfield $24,391
- Bloomington $25,143
- Peoria $27,359
- Rock Island $28,503
- Rockford $33,035
Candidates with more work credentials or experience might be able to negotiate a higher wage when applying for medical transcriptionist jobs in Illinois. If you have a certificate or diploma from an accredited program, an official certification, and prior work experience, you may earn $40,000 annually or more.
Medical transcriptionists in IL are responsible for analyzing a physician’s notes and reports and translating any abbreviations and medical shorthand into long-form medical documents. Duties for these professionals include:
- Reading written notes or listening to recorded dictation of patient care reports from physicians and other healthcare workers
- Interpreting and transcribing medical reports like patient medical histories, test results, treatment plans, and discharge summaries
- Identifying missing, incorrect, or inconsistent information in the report that could compromise patient care
- Using speech recognition and transcription software to edit and review the transcription for accuracy
- Submitting a final transcription to physicians and healthcare providers for approval
- Entering the final transcriptions into an electronic health records (EHR) system
Over the next ten years, researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics expect to see a seven-percent decrease in demand for medical transcriptionists, which translates to about 9,300 job openings becoming available each year between 2021 and 2031. Despite this decline, qualified individuals might have an easier time finding medical transcriptionist jobs in Illinois, especially if they’re certified.