If you have an interest in the medical field and enjoy office work, you should consider a career in medical transcription. Demand in this field continues to grow and each year there are more job opportunities.
Medical transcription clerks quickly and accurately transcribe medical records that are dictated by doctors and other medical professionals. You will be working with clinic notes, physical reports, office notes, consultation reports, operative reports, psychiatric evaluations, laboratory results, pathology reports, and x-ray results to name just some of the record types.
The clerk receives the information on a dictation tape which is then listened to using a Dictaphone machine and transcribed into a word processing program. Different doctors use different word processing software but all have medical dictionaries. There are several that are required including medications, medical definitions, and abbreviations.
In order to do this job you must have good computer and language skills. You must also be well versed in medical terminology, laboratory terms, surgical terms, procedures, and abbreviations. Medical transcription clerks must be accurate as they are responsible for correctly transcribing patient medical records.
You can complete a Medical Transcription certification program online. The length of programs varies depending on the level of training you undertake, but on average they take anywhere from 6 months to 9 months to complete.
You will then be qualified to work in a hospital or medical office as a transcriptionist. There are also job opportunities in the field becoming available online. In the United States you can expect to earn around $10.00 per hour to start, and with just a few years experience this can jump to $20.00 per hour or more. National transcription companies require 2-5 years of hospital experience, but they pay substantially better! Online, in a self employed environment, you can earn up to $40.00 per hour.
Although membership in a professional association is not required, it is recommended. The AAMT, The American Association for Medical Transcription, was founded in 1978 and provides you with the bimonthly Journal of the Association for American Medical Transcription, discounts on professional services and products, access to educational conferences and seminars, access to AAMT professional staff, and the opportunity to become a Certified Medical Transcriptionist.
If a career in medical transcription is for you, check with the many online universities about their program requirements.