Trade Schools with Medical Transcriptionist Programs
Becoming a medical transcriptionist can be the pathway to a successful career in the medical sector. In this article, we will discuss what it takes to become a medical transcriptionist and how you can start your career as one.
What Do Medical Transcriptionists Do?
Medical transcriptionists specialize in listening to audio recordings and converting them into written language that can be easily understood by other professionals who need access to the information contained within them.
They often work alongside doctors and nurses in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, recording patient interviews or other conversations related to their care plan.
In addition to listening to recordings of medical professionals’ voices, many medical transcriptionists also make notes regarding any important information they hear during dictation sessions so they can make sure it ends up accurately recorded in documents.
Medical transcriptionists also ensure that their work meets legal and professional standards.
How to Get Started
To become a medical transcriptionist, you’ll need to train to learn how to do this job. You can find courses online or at your local community college, but you must choose one accredited by The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity.
The school may also be able to connect you with an internship or job placement once you finish the program.
Once you’ve completed your training and have been hired by a company or hospital, more training will be available for you to learn how their system works and what they expect from their employees.
Any Requirements for Schools?
Most schools that offer medical transcriptionist training require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
The only other prerequisite might be the ability to type at least 40 words per minute. This might vary depending on the school and the type of program you choose to pursue, so check with them before enrolling.
Courses You Might Take
You can find medical transcription programs at community colleges and vocational schools, as well as online.
However, the courses that you take in your program will vary depending on the curriculum, but here is a list of some common courses:
- Introduction to Medical Terminology
- Medical Coding and Billing Systems
- Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) Principles and Practices
- Ethics and Legal Aspects of Medical Transcription
- Medical terminology
Some employers may also require that you take a course in basic computer science or keyboarding.
How Long Does it Take?
Becoming a medical transcriptionist can take anywhere from six months to two years, depending on your background and the program you choose, but most programs can be completed in just a few months.
- Certificate programs take 9-12 months.
- Associate degree programs take two years.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of becoming a medical transcriptionist depends on the type of education you pursue.
Generally, most programs will cost between $3,000-$5,000 for four semesters of training. A few schools may even offer a financial aid program in which they will pay for your tuition if you qualify for aid.
Licensing & Certification Exams
Certification can boost your career, but it is not required. However, in today’s competitive job market, certification can help you stand out and earn more money.
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity offers two certificates:
- The Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) for transcriptionists with RHDS certification and 2 years of experience.
- The Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) for newbies.
Registered and certified medical transcriptionists must have a minimum level of education and pass an exam to become registered or certified. Continuing education is also required to keep your license.
Places You Can Work
You can work as a medical transcriptionist in a variety of settings.
Medical transcriptionists can find employment in hospitals, medical offices, nursing homes, correctional facilities, governmental agencies, and other organizations that require medical records management services.
What Equipment Do I Need?
- A computer with internet access
- A foot pedal or keyboard shortcut for easy play/pause, stop and rewind functions.
- A headset
- A transcription software program
How Much Money Can You Make?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors: what kind of work you’re doing, how many hours per week or month you want to work, and where in the country you live.
According to The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can make anywhere from $15 to $50 per hour or around $30,100 per year as a medical transcriptionist.
If you decide to freelance as a medical transcriptionist, you could earn more than if you were working for an agency because there are no overhead costs involved with hiring freelancers directly rather than through an agency.
The career outlook for medical transcriptionists is strong, but it’s not without drawbacks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field will decline by 7% between 2021-2031, but there are still around 9,300 new job openings predicted each year.
If you’re looking for a rewarding career with the possibility of earning good money and the flexibility to work from home, the medical transcriptionist field may be just what you’re looking for.
1. Is Medical Transcription for me?
Medical transcription is a great career choice for people who love listening and writing and have strong communication skills.
The best way to determine if medical transcription is right for you is to try it. You can get started by signing up for an online course in medical transcription or taking an entry-level job as a medical transcriptionist.
The field is wide open, so you’ll be able to find something that’s a good fit for your personality and interests.
2. Can I Work from Home?
Yes, you can work from home as a medical transcriptionist. In fact, the flexibility of this career path is one of its biggest advantages.
You can work full-time, part-time, or even just on the weekends. Your schedule is up to you.
Additionally, many transcriptionists have been able to freelance their services to several companies. This enables them to earn more money while still maintaining a flexible schedule.
3. How to Find a Medical Transcription Job?
Medical transcriptionists are in high demand, and work is available nationwide. You can find job listings on sites like Indeed or Monster. You can also check with your local hospital or clinic to see if they have any openings.