How To Become A Medical Transcriptionist

April 15, 2018

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Becoming a healthcare documentation specialist, or a medical transcriptionist means that you listen to recorded dictation for physicians and then translate them into written reports. Medical transcription is a flexible job which means there isn’t a lot of formal requirements on becoming one other than having a high school diploma. Sometimes, education beyond a high school degree however and a certification training can make you a more competitive job candidate though. So what are a few steps to become one? Here are a few to get you started.

1. Earn your GED - As stated before, having a high school diploma, also known as a GED is the only real formal requirement to becoming a medical transcriptionist. If you’re an adult without one, you can take a test to earn your GED. Most states require that you are at least sixteen years old before you can take the GED. You can even take the GED without attending classes, but it does help to review the material before you take the test. There are also many online resources available and nearly every town offers GED classes.

2. Assess Your Typing Speed - As a medical transcriptionist, most of the time will be spent listening to the doctor's dictations and transcribing that information into a written form. You’ll need to be able to keep up a good typing speed as you transcribe. However, you don’t need to be extremely fast. About forty-five words per minute is an average speed to allow you to transcribe quickly and accurately. You can test your typing speed on various websites and if you’re a slow typer, these online typing courses can help increase your speed.

3. Choose Your Credentials - This is not a necessary step but getting credentialed will give you an edge in the job market. There is two certification available in the medical transcriptionist field. There is a CHDS also known as a Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist or an RHDS which is a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist. Both are offered through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity or AHDI.

4. Work In A Physician's Office- Physician’s office's employee medical transcriptionists to work on site either in their clinic or hospital. The best way to look for job openings in that field is to make a list of hospitals and physician’s offices in your area and call. You can also look at job posting websites like Monster or Craigslist.

5. Third Party Transcription Service Office- Perhaps instead of working within a hospital, you’d like to work in an off-site area from the hospital. These tend to have a more traditional office-like atmosphere where you will work in a cubicle surrounded by another medical transcriptionist. If you like a structured nine-to-five environment, working for a third party transcriptionist service may be for you. This option may require you to be at work for specific hours every day. You can also find these listings on Craigslist, Indeed or Monster.

6. Work From Home- A huge benefit to becoming a medical transcriptionist is that many physicians or hospitals can allow you to work from home! This option will give you the most flexible as you are able to make your own hours. It may require you to purchase your own equipment, You’ll need a good computer with an internet connection, a foot pedal and transcription software plus a place somewhere within your home to work. What’s a foot pedal? This allows you to start and stop recordings as you are transcribing without having to lift your hands off the keyboard. You can purchase a foot pedal and the software online such as Amazon or Office Max.

Image: iMedX

Thinking of starting today? A great company to look into is iMedX. It was founded in 2002 and is an integrated medical document management and health information solutions company based in the Atlanta, Georgia area. It offers a full suite of high-value revenue management solutions including those that are in the medical transcription field plus coding services, result-based consultation, education, training opportunities and data analytics! If you want IMedX to focus on driving your company with positive results and success of thousands, it’s one that you can count on day in and day out to help with all your transcribing needs.

As always keep it southern y'all!

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