How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in 3 Simple Steps

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What is a Medical Transcriptionist?

Before we start answering the question “how to become a medical transcriptionist?” Let’s first see what a medical transcriptionist is.

A medical transcriptionists’ work is to listen the recordings of physicians and other medical professionals and transcribe them into written reports. The equipment they use is a headset to hear the recordings a computer with a document writing software like word and a foot pedal that they push in order to stop the recording.

The daily duties of a medical transcriptionist are:

  • Deciding which information you will include or exclude in reports
  • Identifying mistakes and check with doctors to create an accurate report
  • Data entry
  • Producing medical reports, patient-care information, correspondence, medical research records, statistics, and administrative material.
  • Making sense between homonyms, and find mistakes in medical terms.
  • Returning dictated reports in electronic form for physicians’ review, corrections, and signature.
  • Making dictation using headsets and transcribing machines

In order to become a good medical transcriptionist you need to have an in depth knowledge of medical terminology and be able to recognize the differences between the different terms.

You will also need to pay attention to detail as a lot of the times it won’t be really clear what the doctor is saying and you will have to be really focused in order to make sense.

Writing skills finally is another critical skill you need to poses as a medical transcriptionist as a big part of your job will be typing into reports what you hear in the recordings.

The vast majority of medical transcriptionists work at physicians’ offices and other healthcare facilities. They mostly work full time on business hours but this can vary depending on the work hours of the medical facility they work at.

The average salary of a medical transcriptionist is $34,750.
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What is a Medical Transcriptionist

Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist

Step 1: High School Preparation

High School Courses for Medical Transcriptionists

English Courses

It is essential to take as much as English classes as you can while in high school as a big part of your work will be writing reports based on recordings so you need to know spelling and grammar really well.

Science courses

It is recommended to take science courses like biology and chemistry in high school as later when you attend a training program you will have courses like anatomy and physiology. Taking science classes when in high school will help you to get prepared for these courses.

Technology and computer classes

As you will be working mostly with computer systems it is a good idea to take some technology and computer classes when in high school to get accustomed working with computer systems.

Step 2: Complete a Medical Transcriptionist Accredited Program

Medical Transcriptionist Certificate Program 6 months – 1 year

Medical transcriptionist certificate programs are 18 to 45 semester credit hours programs and can be completed either online or on campus.

The admission requirements are a high school diploma or something equivalent like a GED.

Curriculum

  • Medical Records and the MT/MTE
  • Language of Medical Transcription and Editing
  • Grammar Essentials for MT/MTE
  • Anatomy, Physiology, & Disease Processes
  • Pharmacology, Lab Data, and Physical Exam – MT/MTE
  • Introduction to Speech Recognition Editing
  • Focus on Medical Specialties for MT/MTE
  • Shortcuts/Technology/Employment –MT/MTE
  • Beginning Medical Transcription – Clinic Notes
  • Intermediate Medical Transcription – Acute Care
  • Advanced Medical Transcription – Advanced Acute Care
  • Speech Recognition Editing, Clinic & Acute Care
  • Medical Transcription & Editing Test Prep
  • Introduction to Healthcare Documentation
  • Medical Terminology
  • Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology
  • Healthcare Documentation
  • Fundamentals of Pharmacology
  • Healthcare Documentation 2
  • Interpreting Healthcare Records
  • Pathophysiology
  • Transcription Professional Experience

The cost of a Medical Transcriptionist Certificate Program program is between $5,000 and $11,500.

When deciding which college or university to attend, we strongly recommend contacting them for further information and details.

Click the button below to get free info about accredited Certificate programs near you.
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Associate of Science in Medical Transcription Degree Program 2 years

Associate of Science in Medical transcription degree programs are 60 to 80 semester credit hours programs that can be completed on campus.

The admission requirements for these programs are a high school diploma or GED and pass an entrance test.

Curriculum

General Education Requirements (25 credits)

  • Fundamentals of Speech
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • College Composition I
  • College Composition II
  • Introduction to Literature: Short Story and Novel
  • Introduction to Literature: Poetry and Drama
  • Foundations of Humanities
  • Arts and Literature: Origins of Western Traditions
  • World Religions
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Biology I: Molecular and Cellular
  • Environmental Science
  • Introductory Chemistry
  • Survey of Organic and Biochemistry
  • College Algebra
  • Statistics
  • Applied Calculus
  • Concepts in Physics
  • College Physics I
  • Anthropology: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • Economics I
  • World Civilizations
  • Urban and State Politics
  • Sociology
  • Business Communications
  • Writing and Reading for Problem Solving
  • Professional Communication

Core Courses (35 credits)

  • Word Processing
  • Document Processing and Production
  • Transcription Technology
  • Medical Transcription I
  • Medical Transcription II
  • Medical Transcription Internship
  • Medical Terminology
  • Microbiology of Health & Disease
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Business Communications
  • Administration of Medications

Elective Courses (9 Credits)

  • Fundamentals of Accounting
  • Keyboarding Skill Building
  • Starting a Small Business
  • Principles of Supervision
  • Computer Literacy
  • Personal Computer Productivity Tools (MS-Office)
  • Personal Computer Presentation Concepts
  • Personal Computer Database Concepts
  • Intro to Pharmaceutical Concepts
  • Medical Office Insurance Coding and Billing
  • Medical First Responder/First Responder

The cost of Associate of Science in Medical transcription degree program is between $6,489 and $27,300.

When deciding which college or university to attend, we strongly recommend contacting them for further information and details.

Click the button below to get free info about accredited Associate’s Degree programs near you.
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Step 3: Get Certified

While certification is not required for medical transcriptionists most employers prefer employees that are certified. There is one major organization issuing certifications the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity.

There are 2 different certifications you can pursue: (RHDS) Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist and (CHDS) Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist.

Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS)

Requirements

Recent graduates of medical transcription education programs

Medical transcriptionists with fewer than 2 years of working experience

Examination

Pass a 130 questions written test consisted of both multiple choice and fill in the blank transcription against audio questions.

Cost: $150 (members) – $230 (non-members)

Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS)

Requirements

Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialists (RHDS) with a minimum of 2 years of working experience as medical transcriptionists.

Examination

Pass a 120 questions written test consisted of both multiple choice and fill in the blanks transcription against audio questions.

Cost: $200 (members) – $280 (non-members)

How Long Does it take to Become a Medical Transcriptionist and How Much  does it Cost?

Option1: Certificate

Degree Time Cost
Certificate 6 months – 1 year$5,000- $11,500
Certification 1 month$150 - $280
Total 7 months – 1 year$5,150 - $11,780

Option 2: Associate’s Degree

Degree Time Cost
Associates Degree2 years$6,489 to $27,300
Certification 1 month $150 - $280
Total 2 years & 1 month $6,639 - $27,580
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Medical Transcriptionist Training Video


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