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How To Become A Medical Transcriptionist

Updated on March 23, 2011

In the fast growing field of health care, there is a growing need for Medical Transcriptionists. Some Transcriptionists, once they have created a client base, are able to work from home.

To become a successful Medical Transcriptionist, you must have a good command of the English language, good computer skills, good hearing and the ability to work independently as well as with others when necessary. You must be able to sit for long periods of time.

Medical Transcriptionists use head sets to receive dictated reports, and other material from doctors, and other health care workers. This material contains medical reports, physical and diagnostic reports, correspondence, medical referrals, reports dictated during surgeries, interviews, and autopsies, and general correspondence. This material must be transcribed with absolute accuracy. Once transcription is complete, it must be reviewed and edited for grammatical errors and spelling. It is then returned to the sender for review, revision, and signing.

To do their work properly, Medical Transcriptionists must have an exacting knowledge of all medical terminology and procedures, as well as medically specific abbreviations and jargon. Often research is needed to clarify information. Transcriptionists must understand the moral and legal ramifications of the information they receive.

Medical Transcriptionists work in doctors' offices, hospitals, and transcription service offices. Those that work in offices usually work a forty hour week. Those that work independently, may need to work longer hours until a specific job is complete.

Training required for this career may vary. Those who are moving into medical transcription from other medical careers may need only on the job training. Be aware that most employers prefer those who have graduated from a Post-Secondary Training Program. Such programs are available in Community Colleges and Vocational Schools. There are also some On-Line training courses. Make sure you check into the reliability of any course you are contemplating.

After a one year post-secondary training course you will receive a certificate. After a two year course you will receive an Associate Degree. Though Accreditation is not always essential, it does provide concrete confirmation of both your training and skill. To be Accredited you must pass a written and practical exam which is available through the American Health Information Management Association. Remember that employers will always prefer those who are most qualified so get the best education you can afford.

With additional experience and training there are opportunities available for advancement to supervisory, and instructional positions.


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    • Madurai profile image

      Madurai 6 years ago from Online

      Well..nicely written and good advice

    • Madurai profile image

      Madurai 6 years ago from Online

      Well..nicely written and good advice

    • profile image

      Medical-Attorney 8 years ago from New York

      Thanks for the useful article

    • Dao Hoa profile image

      Dao Hoa 8 years ago

      This is a good career for someone who wants to work in the medical field without dealing with blood.