How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Pennsylvania
To become a medical assistant in PA, job hopefuls must have the necessary training and education so they can perform their roles successfully.
Also, being a medical assistant can be a stepping stone to other healthcare careers.
Education and Training
What Do You Study?
During a medical transcription course, students take basic anatomy and physiology classes and learn the medical terminology and healthcare documentation skills they need to do the job. Many schools also set up internships at local doctor’s offices and outpatient clinics so students can gain hands-on experience in a real medical setting.
How Long Does it Take?
Depending on which Pennsylvania medical transcription school you choose and how flexible your schedule is, you might be able to attend classes part-time and complete your programs in as little as six months. However, most students enroll in a full-time course and earn their certificate in one year.
If you plan to pursue nursing, work in healthcare management, or obtain other medical degrees in the future, consider enrolling in an associate’s degree program. Along with taking the classes you need to get a medical transcriptionist job in Pennsylvania, you’ll take other generalized coursework over the two years it takes to earn your degree.
Pennsylvania Medical Transcriptionist Requirements
Similar to the standards in most states, the minimum requirement to become a medical transcriptionist in PA is having a high school diploma or GED.
Candidates must then pass a drug screening and criminal background check before they are eligible for hire.
Basic Computer Skills
Some employers may also prefer applicants who know how to use particular word processing platforms like Microsoft Word or Word Perfect.
Having an official certificate or degree in medical transcription can give you an advantage over candidates who don’t. Employers often prefer to hire educated, experienced workers who can do the job well with minimal training.
Some healthcare providers may also be willing to offer higher pay rates to those with a degree or certificate.
Medical Transcriptionist Certification
Like a certificate or degree, an official healthcare documentation specialist certification is an extra credential you can earn to improve your chances of getting a medical transcriptionist job in PA.
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers licensing exams for those looking to obtain the following certifications:
- Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS)
- Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist(CHDS)
- Certified Healthcare Documentation Professional (CHDP)
Recent graduates of a medical transcriptionist program and people with less than two years of experience in the industry can take the RHDS exam, which tests candidates’ knowledge and applied interpretive judgment when transcribing medical notes.
A CHDS is a second-level certification that showcases the advanced editing abilities of those who hope to work in supervisory positions.
People with advanced clinical knowledge may consider getting a third-level CHDP license.
Having this credential typically showcases an ability to transcribe in-depth information from several different allied health professionals, including:
Those who earn this credential can eventually become clinician-created documentation auditors and analysts. A CHDP may also qualify for a high-ranking position at a research hospital or complete a business or business administration certificate program and start a third-party company for medical facilities that outsource their medical transcription work.
Medical Transcriptionist Salaries in PA
The average medical transcription salary in PA is about $37,140 per year. However, this figure may differ depending on your education level and certification.
Those who complete a formal trade school or community college program and pass their licensing exam can sometimes negotiate higher wages.
Some medical transcriptionists work part-time so they can attend other healthcare courses and continue their education. Full-time healthcare documentation specialists typically make more than these part-time employees.
Your salary may also differ if you live or work in the following areas.
While these salaries are the standard for non-emergency medical transcriptionists in Pennsylvania, those who work in trauma centers and emergency rooms might earn upwards of $50k per year.
Trained medical transcriptionists with CHDS or CHDP certifications can earn an annual salary of over $60k, or maybe even more if they open their own transcription business.
According to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers throughout the United States can expect 9,300 medical transcriptionist job openings to become available in the next decade. However, experts also predict a seven-percent decrease in demand for these roles between 2021 and 2031.
More medical transcriptionist jobs in PA should continue to become available as workers in the industry retire or change career paths. Some people choose to pursue medical assistant jobs instead, and use their medical transcriptionist skills to make themselves more attractive to potential employers.
Hospitals, doctor’s offices and other medical facilities typically prioritize candidates who can perform in multiple roles, so an applicant who can do both medical assistant and transcriptionist tasks could be an asset to any company they work for. You may also be able to negotiate a higher salary if you go this route and do two jobs for a single employer.