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A Day in the Life of a Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcription is becoming a popular career choice for those who want to work in the health care industry due to a number of factors including a flexible schedule, good pay, and the chance to feel like a valued member of a team by playing an important role in helping physicians and other health care professionals deliver the best possible treatment to their patients.
Where Do Transcriptionists Work? Work is available in a wide variety of medical settings, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, laboratories, and medical libraries as well as third-party transcription agencies. Many transcriptionists are even able to work partially or fully at home, which makes the job an excellent option for parents who want to be close to their kids during the day. When employed full time, transcriptionists typically work a standard 40-hour week; however, those who are self-employed are often able to work the number of hours they choose and at irregular times, including nights and weekends.
How Much Can You Expect to Earn? In 2012, professional transcriptionists earned on average $16.36 per hour or $34,020 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Growth in the occupation is expected to be 8 percent between 2012 and 2022 (about the same as the average for all jobs) due to the increased need for health care services.
What Exactly Do Transcriptionists Do? Transcriptionists use a headset to listen to and a foot pedal to pause voice recordings sent to them by health care professionals. They transcribe the dictations into word processing software, interpreting medical terminology and abbreviations to create grammatically-correct written reports, correspondence, and other administrative material. Once they are finished transcribing, transcriptions proofread their work to check for mistakes and improve its clarity. Finally, they send off the content for approval to the health care professional who created the recording. Transcriptionists deal with a wide variety of medical information, including:
Physical examination reports
Medical history reports
Diagnostic imaging studies
If you want to work as a medical transcriptionist, you need to have a good knowledge of anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and legal standards in health care. In addition, you should possess good grammar, keyboarding, and computer skills. For this reason, employers in Texas prefer job applicants to have a postsecondary education.
If you hold a certificate such as the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT), you will have a much higher chance of finding well-paid work as a medical transcriptionist in Texas. Training for both certifications is offered through vocational schools, community colleges, and online programs throughout the state.
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Enrique H. Welding
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Juan L. Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator
“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”
Denise S. Medical Assistant
“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”
“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”
Annette D. Business Accounting
“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”
Bonnie M Medical Assistant
“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”
Sidney B Medical Assistant
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“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”
“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”
* Past students’ outcomes, starting salaries, or job prospects are not indictive of the possible job outcomes for future and current students. SCI does not guarantee employment or a starting salary upon graduation, completion, or withdrawal from SCI.