Medical Transcriptionist

Pros


  • This is work that supports doctors and other medical professionals to make sure that patients have detailed, accurate medical records.
  • This is a good job for someone who likes communication and writing.
  • Because of the nature of the work, many medical transcriptionists work from home and they often will be self-employed.

Cons

  • This type of work requires a lot of attention to detail as you need to be able to accurately transcribe medical terminology.
  • Being a medical transcriptionist requires a lot of sitting in front of a computer, so strains of the wrist, hands and neck are possible.
  • There can be pressure to perform to a certain standard in this job, and this may be stressful for some people.

Overview

Medical transcriptionists take recordings that are made by various medical professionals and produce written records of them. Because there is so much information that is recorded about patients, there are different types of material that needs to be recorded for transcription. This can include medical reports, vital statistics, correspondence to patients and other administrative material.

Transcriptionists spend their time working in front of a computer, usually wearing headphones. They will use a pedal that allows them to stop or slow down recordings so that they can accurately transcribe material. Because much of the recordings are purely medical notes, it is important for medical transcriptionists to have a good command of medical terminology. Once they have completed the material into a written document, it will be returned to the medical professional who requested it. At that point, the material is reviewed and stored for later use. Quite often the work that medical transcriptionists complete goes into patient records.

One can find medical transcriptionists working in doctor’s offices, hospitals or at a transcription service office. Sometimes they will also have other administrative responsibilities in their workplace. With the popularity of the internet changing the way people work, it is possible for a medical transcriptionist to find a telecommuting opportunity. However, this is usually reserved for those who have a lot of experience or are accomplished in a specialized medical topic.

Education

Along with having and interest in writing as well as working with computers, it is recommended that those who wish to work as a medical transcriptionist to complete a training program before looking for employment. Training can be found in a one year vocational or two year community college program. Through one of these avenues, one can obtain a certificate or an associate’s degree in medical transcription. Although becoming certified is not always necessary, there are a few voluntary certification programs that can help increase employability.

Job Prospects

Unlike other medical professions, those interested in becoming a medical transcriptionist can only expect average job growth prospects. But because of the population demographics requiring more demand for medical services, transcriptionists will continue to be needed. New technology such as voice recognition does not eliminate the need for medical transcriptionists, but it does change their job responsibilities. It requires them to become more productive then ever before, and to spend more time editing and formatting as opposed to direct transcription.

Advancement Opportunities

For those medical transcriptionists who wish to advance, there are opportunities depending on ambition. Some who want to be in management work their way up into a supervisory position working with other transcriptionists. Many who have established themselves with an employer find that working at home is a good benefit of this career, allowing for more flexibility than a regular job would. Another group of entrepreneurial minded medical transcriptionists take their experiences and use them to establish their own transcription service business.