How To Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Sushobhan Bhandari
November 2022

How To Become a Medical Transcriptionist

Have you ever wondered how medical transcriptionists turn doctors' dictated reports into written documents?

It's a process that requires keen listening skills, strong attention to detail, and excellent typing speed and accuracy. If you think you have what it takes to become a medical transcriptionist, read on to learn more about this career.

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What does a medical transcriptionist do?

Medical transcriptionists (aka. medical transcribers) play an important role in the healthcare industry. A medical transcriptionist is a professional who specializes in transcribing medical reports and other medical-related documents.

Medical transcriptionists listen to medical recordings and then convert them into written documents. To do this, they must have a thorough understanding of medical terminology and be able to type quickly yet accurately.

Medical transcriptionists work for hospitals, clinics, and private doctor's offices. Their job is to provide an essential service that allows doctors to spend more time with patients and less time writing reports.

Doctors can then use the transcripts to submit to insurance companies, which saves both parties time and money.

Steps to become a medical transcriptionist:

  1. Your education matters: At the least, a medical transcriber must have a high school diploma or GED.

  2. Completing a medical transcription certification program: Medical transcriptionists in many states must hold a medical transcription certificate. They may need to pass specific online courses or finish programs at a nearby institution or hospital.

    There are two specific certification program:

    • Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) is a specialization course for a single specialty. For example, Gynecology, pediatrics, etc.
    • Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) is a course that deals with many specialties.
  3. Having experience through training: Medical transcriptionists should learn how to use dictation software and improve their typing skills. They also need to comprehend medical language. The training could also include hours of on-the-job training while being supervised, depending on where they received their training from.

Skills needed for a medical transcription job

Typing speed:

A medical transcriptionist must have excellent typing skills to be successful in the field. They must be able to type quickly and accurately to keep up with the dictated medical reports. Typing accuracy also matters because there is no margin for error in medical documents.

Knowledge of medical terminology:

A medical transcriptionist must have a strong understanding of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, diagnostic procedures, and treatments. Medical dictionaries can help with transcribing terminologies. However, the majority of employers prefer individuals with strong medical knowledge.

Computer skills:

Medical transcriptionists should be able to use and operate specific computer software applications. This covers tools for altering audio files as well as word processors like Microsoft Word.

Attention to detail:

Work in medical transcription is meticulous. Transcribers must listen to files and reproduce what they hear. The medical transcription must be proofread for inaccuracies and ensure the terminologies are accurate. Focused, meticulous, and attentive professionals are most likely to thrive in this field.

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