Career Development

What Does a Medical Transcriptionist Do?

Find out what a medical transcriptionist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a medical transcriptionist.

Medical transcriptionists are responsible for transcribing medical dictation into written form. This includes taking notes while listening to a doctor’s examination or treatment of a patient, and then typing up the notes into a clear and accurate transcript.

The job of a medical transcriptionist is not only to accurately transcribe what they hear but also to interpret it correctly. They must be able to understand medical terminology and abbreviations in order to accurately record everything that was said during the appointment.

Medical Transcriptionist Job Duties

A medical transcriptionist typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Proofreading the transcribed dictation to ensure accuracy and consistency in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other grammatical errors
  • Recording patient medical histories, physical examinations, test results, diagnoses, and treatment plans in digital audio files
  • Reviewing medical records to identify errors in transcription so they can be corrected
  • Transcribing medical dictation using special software or a computer keyboard to convert speech into written text
  • Providing support to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals by transcribing medical notes, reports, and other documents
  • Transcribe physician’s notes from audio recordings into written reports that include relevant patient information
  • Reviewing incoming transcriptions for accuracy and requesting corrections if needed
  • Reviewing medical records to identify errors in transcription so they can be corrected
  • Providing customer service to physicians, nurses, other healthcare professionals, and patients through email, telephone, or face-to-face meetings

Medical Transcriptionist Salary & Outlook

Medical transcriptionists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $39,999 ($19.23/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of medical transcriptionists is expected to decline over the next decade.

The use of electronic health records (EHRs) and other types of computer software is expected to reduce the need for medical transcriptionists. EHRs allow doctors to type their notes directly into a computer, which will then convert the information into a format that can be easily read by a medical transcriptionist.

Medical Transcriptionist Job Requirements

A medical transcriptionist typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Medical transcriptionists need at least a high school diploma or GED. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in medical transcription or a related field. Courses in English, biology, anatomy and physiology can help prepare students for a career in medical transcription.

Training & Experience: Medical transcriptionists receive on-the-job training from their new employer after they are hired. This training is usually part of the orientation process and may last a few weeks. During this time, the medical transcriptionist will learn about the company’s policies and procedures, the computer system they will use and the specific terminology they will need to know.

Certifications & Licenses: Though medical transcriptionist certification is not often required, it can be earned through online programs or at vocational schools.

Medical Transcriptionist Skills

Medical transcriptionists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Medical terminology: Medical transcriptionists must have a thorough understanding of medical terminology. This is because they are responsible for transcribing medical records that contain medical terminology. Medical transcriptionists can take medical terminology courses to improve their knowledge of medical terminology.

Communication skills: Medical transcriptionists must be able to communicate with patients, doctors and other medical professionals. They must be able to listen to patients and doctors and understand what they are saying. They must also be able to communicate with other medical professionals to get the information they need to transcribe the medical records.

Attention to detail: Medical transcriptionists must have excellent attention to detail to ensure they accurately transcribe medical records. Attention to detail can also help them ensure they transcribe the correct information and avoid any errors. This can help ensure patients receive the correct treatment.

Computer skills: Medical transcriptionists use computers to type their work, so computer skills are an important part of this job. Medical transcriptionists should be comfortable with basic computer functions, including word processing, using the internet and navigating software.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Medical transcriptionists often work with patients who are experiencing a variety of emotions, including fear, anxiety, pain and uncertainty. Being able to understand and empathize with patients can help medical transcriptionists communicate more effectively with them and help them feel more comfortable.

Medical Transcriptionist Work Environment

Medical transcriptionists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, and transcription service offices. They usually work full time, and some may work evenings or weekends to transcribe reports that have accumulated during the week. They spend most of their time sitting at a desk, transcribing recorded dictation from physicians and other health care providers. Most medical transcriptionists work with a foot pedal that starts and stops the recording so they can type without having to pause the dictation. They also use headphones to hear the dictation.

Medical Transcriptionist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how medical transcriptionists work. Medical transcriptionists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Telemedicine

The growth of telemedicine is a trend that is quickly changing the medical industry. With the rise of smartphones and other mobile devices, patients are now able to access medical care from the comfort of their own home.

This trend is having a significant impact on the medical transcriptionist profession, as more and more patients are choosing to have their appointments done via video chat. As a result, medical transcriptionists will need to be familiar with using technology to communicate with patients and doctors.

Patient-Centric Care

As healthcare moves towards a patient-centric model, medical transcriptionists will need to adapt their skills to meet the needs of patients.

Medical transcriptionists will need to be able to work quickly and efficiently in order to keep up with the demands of this new model. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and understand their needs. In addition, they will need to be able to manage their time effectively in order to meet the needs of multiple patients.

More Use of AI in Medical Transcription

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more prevalent in medical transcription, medical transcriptionists will need to learn how to use these tools in order to stay competitive.

By learning how to use AI, medical transcriptionists can save time and effort by letting machines do the work for them. This allows them to focus on more important tasks, such as communicating with patients and doctors.

How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

A medical transcriptionist career can be a great way to enter the medical field. As a medical transcriptionist, you will transcribe audio recordings of patient interviews, doctor consultations, and other medical conversations. This is an important role that ensures accurate communication between healthcare professionals and their patients.

To become a successful medical transcriptionist, you need to have excellent listening skills, be able to accurately transcribe speech, and have strong grammar skills. You should also be familiar with medical terminology and abbreviations.

Advancement Prospects

Medical transcriptionists may advance to supervisory, managerial, or executive positions in medical transcription services. Some may become independent contractors, working from home. With experience, medical transcriptionists may be able to transcribe more difficult material, such as medical reports that are not clearly audible or that require a greater knowledge of medical terminology.

Medical Transcriptionist Job Description Example

As a medical transcriptionist at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for transcribing medical reports, discharge summaries, and other medical records from audio files provided by physicians and other healthcare professionals. This will include patient histories, physical examinations, laboratory and diagnostic test results, and treatments.

You will need to have excellent listening and typing skills, as well as knowledge of medical terminology, in order to accurately transcribe the files. In some cases, you may need to research unfamiliar terms. Once the transcription is complete, you will proofread the document for errors and make any necessary corrections. The finished document will then be sent to the physician or healthcare professional for review and approval.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Transcribe medical reports from physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities
  • Convert recorded dictations into written form using a computer
  • Listen to voice recordings made by physicians and other healthcare professionals and transcribe them into patient’s medical records
  • Edit drafts for grammar, clarity, and consistency
  • Follow specific formatting and style guidelines
  • Research medical terminology and abbreviations
  • Use reference materials to ensure accuracy
  • Maintain confidentiality of patients’ medical records
  • Meet deadlines set by physicians and other healthcare professionals
  • Work independently with little supervision
  • Handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Stay up-to-date on changes in medical transcription technology and practices

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Previous experience as a medical transcriptionist, with strong portfolio of work
  • Exceptional listening and typing skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and other word processing software

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher in medical transcription or related field
  • Experience with specialized medical transcription software
  • Knowledge of medical terminology
  • Familiarity with different accents and dialects

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