Medical Transcription is not a career many people have heard of. It is a job performed in the background of the medical industry. If you’ve ever been to the doctor, you have had a Medical Transcriptionist transcribe or edit your medical report. It is a vital job that helps keep your reports available to doctors.
Medical Transcriptionists help ensure when you visit a specialist or a different doctor, that your medical history comes with you. They are also known as Healthcare Documentation Specialists because MTs often transition into other positions in the medical field. If you are wondering about what Medical Transcription is or how it works, this is the post for you.
What is Medical Transcription?
Medical Transcription is the process of converting doctor dictated reports into tangible medical files. Primarily, Medical Transcriptionists listen to doctor dictated reports, format, and type them out. These medical reports are then filed into the patient’s virtual portfolio.
How do you become a Medical Transcriptionist?
Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist involves training with a recognized educational institution. Medical Transcriptionists require a strong understanding of the medical language and pharmaceutical properties. Along with those, an MT needs to be able to understand the medical process and the doctors. When looking for training to become a Medical Transcriptionist, make sure the curriculum is comprehensive.
The more practice transcription you get as a student, the better you will do. CanScribe Career College, for example, has over 1000 authentic doctor dictated reports in the Medical Transcription Program. This means you get training on real doctors, not just “some person” dictating.
How long do you have to go to school to be a Medical Transcriptionist?
The length of the training program generally reflects the amount, and quality of training. Courses that are less than 6 months will make it difficult to find employment. Programs that are around the 1-year mark will generally prepare you properly.
It is important to look into the quality of the education and if employers work with the college. If you are interested in taking a Medical Transcription Program, you should look into graduation rates and hiring rates.
Can you get certified as a Medical Transcriptionist?
After you graduate as a Medical Transcriptionist you can gain certification through AHDI. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) is the governing body for Medical Transcription. There are two certifications a Medical Transcriptionist can gain, their RHDS or CHDS. However, you are not required to get these certifications to work as a Medical Transcriptionist.
It is recommended that after graduation you work for a few years before taking the exams. The CHDS certification, for example, requires that you have two years of experience and your RHDS already. Also, these certifications do not mean you will earn more.
Is Medical Transcription still in demand?
Medical Transcription is still in demand for a couple of reasons. The first is because of the aging Baby Boomer population. The more people get sick and go to their local hospital or clinic, the more transcribing that needs to be done. The majority of Medical Transcriptionists are also Baby Boomers and starting to retire. This means there are more reports that need to be transcribed, and fewer people to do it.
Is Medical Transcription hard?
Medical Transcription can be difficult like most jobs, you will have bad days. When you receive high-quality, intensive training, it makes your job easier. Some reports are long, some are short. Some doctors speak clearly, some do not. If you have no training, working as Medical Transcriptionist will be seemingly impossible.
Are Medical Transcriptionist being replaced?
Medical Transcriptionists are not being replaced. What is commonly spoken as the replacement is speech recognition software. This software is a tool for Medical Transcriptionists rather than a replacement. If you have ever used Siri, Alexa, or Google Home, you know that it is nowhere near perfect. Now, imagine that with complex medical words, drugs, and diseases.
Two of the largest companies in the world for speech recognition software are Nuance and M*Modal (AQuity). Nuance powers Siri, and you’ll know if you’ve used Siri, that it can be terrible. In the video below, you will hear the former VP of Global Operations at M*Modal say that his software won’t replace MTs.
Why is Medical Transcription needed?
Medical Transcription is needed so that medical reports can be made virtual and transferred to where they are needed. If you don’t have medical reports being transcribed from doctor dictated reports, you don’t have accessible medical information.
Let’s say you live Kelowna, BC and you need to go to Vancouver for surgery. How is the doctor in Vancouver supposed to know what happened in Kelowna? Doctors don’t call each other after every visit or transfer, it is too time-consuming. Doctors speak into a microphone, which records their explanation of the visit. If the doctor in Vancouver had to listen to the entire file, they miss something. Medical Transcriptionists make it possible for the information to be captured in a hard-copy, readable version.
How much can a Medical Transcriptionist make?
Medical Transcriptionists are paid by production. Generally, MTs will be paid per typed/edited line or per audio minute. The line rate varies based on seniority, accuracy, and whether you are editing or transcribing. In general terms, Medical Transcriptionists can expect to earn between $20,000 and $50,000. The large variation in pay is based on hours worked as well. As noted previously, the majority of Medical Transcriptionists work part-time.
Are transcription jobs worth it?
It is worth becoming a Medical Transcriptionist if you:
- want to create flexible hours for yourself
- need to build your work schedule around your family, rather than fitting family into work
- have a desire to help other people in their medical journey
- want to start a career from home
- are interested in getting started in the medical industry