Medical transcriptionists listen to dictation from physicians, surgeons, and other medical professionals then enter the dictated information into patient records using a specialized computer program. Medical transcriptionists work in hospitals, private medical clinics, outpatient surgical centers, and other settings where medical records are generated. Some medical transcriptionists also work remotely. However, these positions are limited due to the confidential nature of the information involved.
Skills and Training
Most job postings for medical transcriptionists require applicants to hold either a specialized certificate or associate degree in medical transcription. Training programs for this role cover medical terminology, basic human anatomy, and the legal and ethical boundaries of the job. Students also learn how to use the dictation equipment and computer programs needed to perform their duties.
Medical transcriptionists need to have strong communication skills, including the ability to proofread documents. They are also required to type quickly and accurately, use various computer programs, and have a solid understanding of medical tests, procedures, and diagnostic information. In many settings, medical transcriptionists work under pressure with time constraints, and they are bound by confidentiality laws that require them to keep the information they have access to secure.
While certification as a medical transcriptionist is voluntary and not yet standardized in the United States, most successful candidates hold the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) or the and Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) designation. These credentials are awarded by The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), a national non-profit association that seeks to achieve recognition and standardization of the medical transcription profession.