Medical Transcriptionist Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a medical transcriptionist. Feel free to use our medical transcriptionist job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a medical transcriptionist.
Who is a Medical Transcriptionist?
When one thinks about the medical profession, the first set of people that comes to mind is the doctors in their long and sparkling white overalls. Thus, many people adopt the erroneous belief that only people with knowledge of the human anatomy and its functions can operate in the medical field.
However, there are many other opportunities available to people in the medical field that does not involve dissecting bodies and prescribing medicines. This article is aimed at enlightening the reader about one of those opportunities: medical transcription.
The question now is, what is a medical transcriptionist? A medical transcriptionist is pivotal to the record-keeping success in a health care facility. A medical practitioner translates voice-recorded dictated notes of medical personnel, compiling them into organized and comprehensive documents. A medical transcriptionist is also one who edits and reviews medical documents.
Medical Transcriptionist Job Description
Below are the medical transcriptionist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a medical transcriptionist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
- Transcribing medical reports, obtained from voice records of health care officials and medical practitioners.
- Providing transcribed documents to appropriate health care professionals and medical practitioners, including making corrections where necessary.
- Revising medical documents and reports to ensure they are error-free and precise, to reduce risks to medical liability, and to ensure full optimization of patient care.
- Organizing and maintaining patient records, through the creation of required templates and the utilization of Electronic Health( the use of the EHR- Electronic Health Record is paramount here).
- Maintaining patient confidentiality, in strict accordance with the rules provided by government regulations.
- Interpreting medical jargon in the preparation of medical documents, for the proper understanding of the patients.
- Translating medical abbreviations into their respective long forms in order to enable patients to understand the information effectively.
- Ensuring that patient data is made available to health care officials when requested so that these officials properly manage the patients’ health.
- Utilizing medical transcriptionist software applications to create medical documents.
- Maintaining cyber databases, to ensure that soft copy versions of patient information are rendered secure and easily accessible.
- Assisting medical practitioners in ensuring that patient details are always honest, accurate and up to date, thus allowing them to detect discrepancies in patient information.
- Transforming hardcopy documents into soft copy and vice versa for the proper distribution of information in and out of cyberspace.
- Processing medical billing information(to do this, they ensure strict adherence to the rules of the International Classification of Diseases-ICD)
Due to the intricate nature of the task, you cannot hire just anyone to work as a medical transcriptionist. A medical transcriptionist must meet certain qualifications to be considered for a job offer. These qualifications are academic and skill-related.
For one to be qualified for a position as a medical transcriptionist, that person must have at least a high school degree. Also, that person must have graduated from a certificate program in Medical Transcription. Statistics show that persons with an associate degree tend to be considered more suitable for job offers as medical transcriptionists. Furthermore, to be employed as a medical transcriptionist, the interviewee must be professionally certified, if possible.
Thus, it can be surmised thus: a medical transcriptionist must possess these three qualifications: he must have graduated from a certificate program; he must have obtained a degree in medical transcription, and he must be professionally certified.
You may ask, what is the distinction between these three programs and how can they be obtained? Grading these three systems would take us from the certificate program to the professional certification, with the associate degree rightfully placed in the middle.
A certificate program can be offered online or at a vocational school. Thus, learning medical transcription in such schools is akin to learning a trade for the first time. The reason this qualification is ranked last is that several certificate programs are not accredited, which is detrimental to the graduate. Moreover, the experience level of these graduates is rather low as many of these programs do not offer internship opportunities. As merit, it takes relatively a short time( sometimes a year or less) to graduate from a certificate program.
A degree program can be offered at a vocational school as well, or a community college. As opposed to the certificate programs, it takes relatively two years to obtain an associate degree in medical transcription. The curriculum is broadened for these students and they have access to internship opportunities, which graduates of certificate programs do not have access to. It is no wonder, therefore, why recruiters find it easier to hire associate degree holders.
Professional Certification is one key step to easily obtaining a job as a medical transcriptionist. Statistics show that persons who have been certified stand a seventy-five percent chance of being recruited. The organization responsible for this certification is known as The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. The AHDI provides for two professional certifications, which are the Certified Medical Transcriptionist(CMT) and the Registered Medical Transcriptionist(RMT).
The CMT and the RMT are two different certifications, being that the CMT is a more advanced certification than the RMT. While the RMT is geared towards ‘newbies’ in the art of medical transcription, the CMT is geared towards those with advanced knowledge and skillset in the task. As an aspiring medical transcriptionist, it is necessary that you do not take an unnecessary leap of faith by jumping into obtaining the CMT examinations at once. It is advised that you take the RMT examinations first.
Apart from academic certifications, it is necessary that to be qualified for a job as a medical transcriptionist, one must be acquainted with the Electronic Health Record, Microsoft, and Speech recognition software.
In aspiring to become a medical transcriptionist, is attaining the necessary qualifications enough? Of course, it is not enough. If you are a lawyer, you will need expertise in public speaking and writing. As a banker, you will need proficiency in typing.
There are certain skills that a medical transcriptionist must possess and these skills are outlined as follows:
First of all, it is important to establish that multitasking refers to performing two or more tasks at the same time, with a great deal of efficiency. This is a very important skill set that medical transcriptionists require. In medical transcription, one must learn how to listen, read and record data efficiently. All these must be performed simultaneously.
Without the skill to multi-task, it would be impossible to meet strict deadlines, as the operations in the medical profession are orderly and timely. Once you are unable to multi-task, you will end up being too slow and hence, inefficient.
A medical transcriptionist must be able to communicate in any language as required of him. This communication can take the form of speaking or writing. Of course, communication would be rendered ineffective if the medical transcriptionist in question is not adept in the language and grammar used. Thus, a medical transcriptionist must have excellent grammar skills, to boost communication efficiency. These grammatical skills must manifest in speaking and writing.
Owing to the crucial and somewhat difficult nature of their jobs, medical transcription is required to have critical minds, which will enable them to source out irrelevant information from relevant information. There is no need for a medical transcriptionist who cannot separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’.
It is one thing to be a good typist and it is another thing to be a proficient typist. Since we are in the electronic age, data recording will be done through the use of the computer. Thus, a medical transcriptionist must be an excellent typist ad well.
To be proficient in this regard means the medical transcriptionist must be able to type fast and accurately. There is a need for speed because there are several medical records to be processed and there is to be no delay in the procession of these documents. There is also a need for accuracy because patient data cannot be tampered with. Errors during the entry of patient data would be at the demerit of the patient, and thus, go against the ethical ideals of patient care. It should be noted that the violation of patient care can be very detrimental to the medical transcriptionist and health care facility at large.
An excellent medical transcriptionist is fluent in several languages, intonations, speech dialects, etc. Working as a medical transcriptionist involves listening to health care professionals speak. A medical transcriptionist will find this challenging if they encounter health care officials from different races and cultures.
Imagine a Mexican medical transcriptionist not being able to flow with the intonation of an Indian health care official. At that juncture, there is a barrier in communication, and patient data may be compromised.
How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?
Does one become a skilled medical transcriptionist overnight? No. There are certain steps one must take before that person can become a medical transcriptionist. The steps are outlined as follows:
- Obtain a degree.
- Attain experience
- Obtain certification
- Apply for Jobs
As stated earlier, the least qualification for a medical transcriptionist is a high school degree. After obtaining a high school degree, it is important for you to attend a certificate program or a degree program( the differences between these two programs have been clearly discussed already). Depending on the program you choose, you may spend a year or two acquiring this skill.
However, skills without experience are like a lion without its claws. It is always advisable to apply for degree programs as these programs expose you to internship opportunities, where you get to see how medical transcriptionists actually work. As many say, experience is the best teacher and in medical transcription, this experience can only be obtained through internships.
The last step to take to become a medical transcriptionist is to obtain certification. At this point, you may choose to either obtain the RMT or the CMT. As advised earlier, it is recommended you obtain the RMT first, before you eventually obtain the CMT.
As soon as you become certified, you can begin to apply for jobs. With your certification, recruiters will be more convinced to hire you as many recruiters search for efficient and professional medical transcriptionists.
With these easy steps, you have successfully completed your task of becoming a medical transcriptionist.
Where to Work?
Many people ask the question of where they would eventually work when they become medical transcriptionists. First of all, a medical transcriptionist may choose to be freelance. As a freelancer, the medical transcriptionist may choose to work from home or work with any reputable hospital or firm he sees. It is safe to refer to them as self-employed and many times, their contractual relationships end after the successful completion of one job.
A medical transcriptionist may also work for a hospital. These medical transcriptionists end up being very close to health care officials and gain a lot of experience in the medical field. It is much recommended to work in a hospital as it will widen your experience level, as well as slowly indoctrinate you into the medical profession. Thus, many medical transcriptionists end up becoming medical experts themselves, at least in theory.
A medical transcriptionist may also choose to work in a Transcription Service Company. A Transcription Service Company is a company that hires a lot of medical transcriptionists. Many of these companies are in close connection with health care centers, hospitals, refugees can’t, physicians’ clinics and so many more. One advantage of working in these companies is that you get to broaden your experience by meeting a lot of people like you. However, you may suffer at the cold hands of the competition. After all, everyone wants to be hired for a job.
Medical Transcriptionist Salary Scale
The main essence of a job is to make a living. A job opportunity would be considered unfair if you cannot earn from it. Medical transcriptionists are paid for the services they render. The payment varies from institute to institute. It is for this reason that some medical transcriptionists get paid higher than others.
Typical salaries for medical transcriptionists range from as low as $5 to as high as $50. If as a medical transcriptionist, you earn $8 per hour, then you would earn $192 if you work cumulatively for twenty-four hours. Surely, this is not bad.
As a medical transcriptionist, to land a well-paying job, one thing is required: it is important you develop your skill and work towards your goal. If you are only an RMT certified medical transcriptionist, try obtaining the CMT certification. There is a lot of competition in the industry. Thus, to become a successful medical transcriptionist, it is necessary that you outsmart your competitors by being the best.
Medical transcription is a very lucrative job opportunity and requires a ready mindset. Once you are committed to becoming successful, you will get yourself an amazing career.