Medical Transcriptionist
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Occupation Overview

As the population ages, more and more people are seeking medical attention. Most visits to hospitals result in physicians dictating (recording) notes of patients' office visits and operations. These recordings must then be typed on a computer and edited before becoming a part of the permanent medical record. This is the job of the Medical Transcriptionist: transcribing the work of several physicians and sometimes other medical personnel, regarding many different patients.

An extensive understanding of medical terminology is developed during the training for these jobs, and these jobs are available throughout the country. Medical Transcriptionists can work in hospitals, clinics, physician offices, medical research groups and public health organizations.

For anyone interested in healthcare, but not working with patients directly, this job can be very interesting. Many people enjoy this work because it can often be done from home, and a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) can start their own business. Good typing skills are a must!

Speech recognition might play a larger role in this occupation in coming years. Even today, some physicians dictate their notes, which are then transcribed automatically by a speech recognition program, and this transcription is then edited by a Medical Transcriptionist.


Future Growth Opportunities

Opportunities for Advancement:
Medical Transcription Manager.

Skills Transferable to:
Medical Assistant, Medical Secretary, Health Claims Processor (for insurance companies), Data Entry Clerk, and Desktop Publisher.


Job Descriptions

Medical Transcriptionists listen to recordings of physicians dictating a variety of medical reports, such as those reports made after office visits, operations, during chart reviews, and after a death. An extensive medical vocabulary is developed during training, enabling one to understand language, jargon and abbreviations related to medical diagnosis and treatment. Good typing (word processing) skills are essential. Medical Transcriptionists also edit the material they transcribe, so good grammar is also critical.

Part-time work is available in this profession, and some people successfully perform this work from a home-based office. In fact, almost 25% of Medical Transcriptionists are self-employed. Flexible hours are also available at medical facilities, where transcription is performed days and evenings, sometimes seven days a week.

If one works in an office or hospital setting, it is possible that the Medical Transcriptionist would also take care of correspondence, do record keeping, and even answer telephones.

Excellent keyboard skills are required for this job. Some training programs even require the ability to type 40 words per minute before being accepted.

Entry Level: $7 - 12 / hour ($8 / hour average)

Experienced, New to Job: $8 - 15 / hour ($9 / hour average)

Experienced in Job: $10 - 17 / hour ($12 / hour average)

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