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
- Discharge summaries
- Medical history reports
- Referral letters
- Consultation reports
- Progress notes
- Autopsy reports
- Diagnostic imaging studies
- Operative reports
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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