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. So, you probably have some Medical Transcription questions.
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 what Medical Transcription is or how it works, this post is for you.
In this post, which can be read in under seven minutes, you will have these Medical Transcription Questions answered:
Medical Transcription is the process of converting doctor-dictated reports into tangible medical files. Primarily, Medical Transcriptionists listen to doctor-dictated reports, format them, and type them out. These medical reports are then filed into the patient’s virtual portfolio.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Still not convinced? Here is a podcast AQuity recently held discussing Medical Transcription questions and, most importantly, whether it will ever die.
This is one of those Medical Transcription questions that stands out. MTs are needed so that medical reports can be made virtual and transferred to where they are needed. If you don’t have medical reports transcribed from doctor-dictated reports, you don’t have accessible medical information.
Let’s say you live in 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.
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.
One of the most frequent Medical Transcription questions asked is, “It is worth becoming a Medical Transcriptionist?” It’s worth it, if you…