A transcriptionist listens to voice recordings that doctors and other health professionals make and transfer them into written reports. They interpret medical terminology and abbreviations to prepare patients’ medical histories and other documents using audio playback equipment in order to control the recording playback speed. In addition, they use word-processing and other software, as well as medical reference materials as required.
Career outlook for transcriptionists is positive as employment of these medical experts is projected to increase by 14% from 2006 to 2016, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand is soaring for transcriptionists due to the growing and aging population. This profession makes one of the best jobs for the ones who want to work from home (Forbes Magazine). But before you pursue this line of work, you must know that the job calls for sitting in the same position for long periods, which can be stressful and physically challenging.
A variety of programs are offered in transcription. Students can pursue the associate degrees or certificate programs. These programs help students learn medical terminology, anatomy, English grammar and punctuation. They may take 1 - 2 years to complete depending on the program and the route students wish to take. In addition to classroom lessons, students may also have to complete supervised work experience in addition to completing on the job training. This experience gives students an exposure to the real world and helps them know how their actual work would be.
Online Transcription Programs
Some distance learning schools also offer programs in this area of study. Students can study at timings that suit their individual route and earn valuable credentials to pursue a career in this field. The online programs allow students to earn valuable credentials through a routine that fits with their career goals and lifestyle. These programs can particularly be very useful for those who want to switch careers without making major changes to their routine.
Certification is also available for aspiring transcriptionists. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity offers certification such as Certified Medical Transcriptionist and Registered Medical Transcriptionist. Earning these credentials can be useful in a competitive job market as they help to demonstrate students’ excellence in the field.
Skills for Transcriptionists
Transcriptionists should have good computer and time management skills. Absolutely critical to this profession is stress management as transcriptionists may have to work sitting at the same place for long period of time. These professionals should also be detail-oriented as the job demands lot of accuracy.
Transcriptionists can work in various settings such as clinics, doctors’ offices, hospitals, and medical and diagnostic laboratories. Opportunities are also available in business support services and Outpatient care centers.
Some transcriptionists work from home, receiving dictation and submitting drafts online. Most of these professionals work full-time but the ones who work from home may work outside typical business hours.
The salary of transcriptionists ranges between $21,000 and $46,000 a year. Salaries depend on the location, experience ad qualification. They may get compensation on an hourly rate or based on the volume of transcription they produce.