Medical Transcription Training
Looking for medical transcription training? One of the growing industries in the country despite the economic downturn is the healthcare and its allied industries. Within the healthcare industry, medical transcriptionists are highly-valued professionals for many reasons the end result of which is in assisting the physician and other healthcare professionals with voluminous paperwork on patient records. It is a noble profession in its own way.
What Does A Medical Transcriptionist Do?
As the name implies, medical transcriptionists transcribe the dictated recordings made by the physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals in relation to patient treatment, administrative matters and other medical matters into written texts.
The following chart shows the workflow of medical transcription.
The equipment used is a personal computer, a headset plugged to the audio player and a foot pedal to pause/play the audio recording. The medical transcriptionist then keys in the audio recording into the computer with the additional task of editing when necessary to facilitate clarity without losing the main points made by the concerned healthcare professional.
The end results can include medical history, diagnostic-imaging studies, physical examination reports, progress notes, operative reports, consultation reports, discharge summaries, autopsy reports, and referral letters. These documents are then returned to the healthcare professional for his review, correction and approval as evidenced by his signature.
But medical transcriptionists can also perform other functions especially when working in a physician’s office. They can also act as administrative medical assistants with the additional responsibilities of scheduling appointments, handling communications and receiving patients, among others.
Perks of the Job
Medical transcription is in high demand as healthcare industry grows. Also, the fact that medical transcriptionists are well-paid for their services makes the profession attractive to an increasing number of individuals.
Medical Transcriptionist Salary
Salaries vary depending on the number of hours worked, number of years’ experience and geographical location, among other factors. Average salaries range as of April 2011 is between $24,376 and $35,767. Senior medical transcriptionists earn between $31,094 and $42,234 a year.
Medical Transcription from Home
The work is relatively safe, too, as the work environment are typically well-lighted, air-conditioned offices. Many medical transcribing companies have even outsourced their personnel pool such that qualified individuals can now work at home according to their desired schedules and workload. This way, travel and other incidental expenses that come with commuting is avoided by the professional.
Of course, certain educational, training and certification requirements as well as certain personality traits are necessary before becoming a competent medical transcriptionist. In this article, these prerequisites will be discussed in a general manner. Keep in mind that each state may have different requirements so it always pays to ask the local authorities on the matter of education and certification as a medical transcriptionist.
Where To Get Medical Transcription Training and Education
To become a medical transcriptionist, an individual must complete post-secondary training in the field. Technical-vocational schools, community colleges and online learning programs offer either the 1-year certificate program or the 2-year associate degree.
These programs offer a wide variety of coursework including anatomy, legal issues and medical terminology with the main aim being to equip the individual with the skills, capabilities and knowledge to accurately transcribe the audio recordings. It must be noted that the lives of patients and the career of physicians are on the line with each line on the report.
The specific skills required in a medical transcriptionist include but are not limited to:
- Proficient knowledge of medical terminology including disease processes, anatomy and physiology
- Excellent skills in spelling, grammar, and memory communication especially in the medical style
- Above-average ability to deal with numbers from sorting to verifying their accuracy
- Skilled use of computer including its applications
- Good eye/hand/foot coordination to operate the pedal
- Outstanding typewriting speed
- Excellent ability to follow instructions both verbal and written
- Competent ability to maintain office records in an organized manner
Medical Transcription Certification
After finishing the medical transcription training program, the individual can choose to undergo the voluntary certification process. Certifications are offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI, formerly the American Association for Medical Transcription).
There are two credentials offered by the AHDI – Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) and Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT).
An RMT certification is granted to a recent graduate of a medical transcription training program or to a medical transcriptionist with less than 2 years of experience or works in a single specialty environment. The certification exam consists of 130 multiple-choice questions and fill-in-blank transcription with audio. The RMT certification is good for 3 years, then you must be re-certified either by taking the recertification exam or complete the RMT Recredentialing Course offered by AHDI.
The CMT credential is for RMT’s who are seeking advanced level of certification. It requires a minimum of 2 years of experience in acute care settings and passing of level 2 exam from AHDI. To maintain the CMT designation you must earn at least 30 continuing education credits every 3 years.
Naturally, career advancement is possible among medical transcriptionists. Proper medical transcription training, working experience, track records and updated certification are all influential factors in said career advancement.