There are many different career options for Medical Transcriptionists/Healthcare Documentation Specialists that you can branch into over the course of their documentation career. These opportunities can include becoming a Team Lead to a supervisor. It also includes the potential of becoming a QA specialist to help set guidelines for the quality of transcribed documents or rising to a transcription office/department manager.
An MT/HDS could also choose to be a private service owner who works as a single entity or provides employment for many transcriptionists and also seeks new contracts with clients. Many credentialed MTs choose to work with a team of healthcare educators as an instructor at a reputable college, and they can even become the sole program manager for a medical transcription/healthcare documentation training program.
In addition to working in a field related to medical transcription/healthcare documentation, MT/HDSs can choose to supplement their education and branch off from their specialization. Many medical transcriptionist/healthcare documentation specialists become educated in healthcare records, ICD coding, or HIM professions through continuing education. Below are some additional career options that a medical transcriptionist/healthcare documentation specialist could consider:
Team Lead Transcriptionist (Team Lead)
The Team Lead is the ‘go-to’ person for every MT/HDS in the organization and they have the responsibility of helping the other MT/HDSs on a daily basis. This would include on-the-job training of new employees; providing report production guidance, teaching facility policies and procedures, and helping with new dictators by providing samples of reports. Lead transcriptionists also manage the day-to-day responsibilities of the MT/HDSs in the department, which can include answering telephone calls, making deliveries to hospital departments, and other “non-transcription” duties.
A lead MT/HDS would also be required to be proficient with computer systems and programs. Other job descriptions can include ensuring the quality of reports and providing record keeping of production levels for the department. The lead MT/HDS acts as a bridge between the staff and management. They help provide communication and share information vital to the MT/HDSs of the department.
Quality Assurance (QA)
A quality assurance (QA) specialist can work for a hospital, large medical practice or medical transcription/healthcare documentation service—large or small. The responsibilities of a QA specialist would be to assure the accuracy of the work being produced. The QA specialist would need to possess excellent editing and proofreading skills. Editing these reports can require long hours of reading in a post-production review. The reports are sometimes accompanied by the original voice file as an aid in listening to the dictation for ‘real-time’ transcription review.
The QA specialist should have superior knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and medical specialties like cardiology, gastroenterology, and others, along with excellent researching skills for those hard-to-find words. Responsibilities would also include providing feedback to MT? The QA specialist would also be instrumental in establishing guidelines for employees to follow. They also create criteria for improvement in quality for individuals needing help in raising their QA scores.
Stepping into the role of a medical transcription/healthcare documentation manager or department head would require the individual to manage all aspects of the operation of an MT/HDS department including; performing managerial functions like staffing, evaluating performance, scheduling, keeping statistics on overall QA accuracy, and departmental report production.
The manager would also set up policies and procedures governing everything from equipment use, to style guidelines and report appearance preferences. Managers also supervise turnaround times for report production, plan for future needs of the department, manage additional staff, and schedule upgrades of equipment. An MT/HDS promoted to manager requires a combination of technical supervisory and interpersonal skills.
This is one of those career options for Medical Transcriptionists that people often strive for. Once you have become an amazing transcriptionist, you can start learning the business. Learning the business side can then set you up for a promotion that often comes with benefits and a salary.
Billing and Coding
An MT/HDS interested in transitioning into billing and coding would definitely need additional training to move into this role. The command of the language of medicine and experience creating health records are a great asset to any coder. Positions in Canada can be found on-site and from home. It is important to note that a HIM credential is required. The US has both on-site and at-home opportunities for this profession.
If you are serious about starting up your own Medical Transcription Service Organization, be prepared to work very hard and ensure you research the aspects of taking on this challenge. You will not only be responsible for obtaining your own clients but all of the other business operations. These can include purchasing furniture and equipment, building and maintaining a website, purchasing office supplies, securing software, marketing, bookkeeping, sales, customer service, E&O (Errors and Omission) insurance… and everything else required to run a successful business. This can be one of the most rewarding avenues to follow, but it can also require the most work.
To work at an AHDI approved school, MT/HDS instructors need to:
- have either their CMT or CHDS credential
- at least 3 to 5 years’ experience working in the industry
- prepare to take additional instructor related training.
Quality traits for good instructors include patience, empathy, great organizational and communication skills, outstanding computer knowledge. This can be one of the most rewarding career aspirations and a very sought after position.
What About Other Career Options for Medical Transcriptionists?
Medical Office Assistant (MOA)
Many CanScribe graduates have found careers as medical office assistants in doctor’s offices. The medical knowledge that an MT/HDS processes puts them ahead of many other candidates. Often, doctors will hire an MT/HDS as an MOA because they want a transcriptionist on-site.
MOAs work in doctor’s offices rather than from home, however, this can be very rewarding. You are interacting with the very patients you are transcribing reports for.
Administrative Dental Assistant (ADA)
This is a little known career that Medical Transcriptionists are highly qualified for. In addition to being able to work in a doctor’s office, MT/HDS’ can work in dental offices.
MOAs and ADAs have similar job descriptions, however, MT/HDS’ are able to take advantage of their extensive medical language knowledge to find employment in either position. Most of the time you would have to train as either an ADA or an MOA, but MT/HDS are more than qualified.
Medical Language Specialist
Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation Specialst’s are a part of the Medical Language Specialist umbrella. If you are looking for a new career outside of medical transcription, search for Medical Langauge Specialist. There are plenty of jobs available for people who have an extensive knowledge of the medical language.
In conclusion, like other well-known careers, having a solid education from an accredited school plus work experience can open many doors for a medical transcriptionist/healthcare documentation specialist. Do some research and find out which career opportunities will highlight your skills and keep you loving your work!