Transcriptionist Job Description
A Transcriptionist, most often referred to as a Medical Transcriptionist, primarily transcribes audio recordings of doctor’s notes into written documents. Transcriptionists employ the knowledge of medical terms and spellings to create and edit these documents. They might also produce summaries for insurance purposes as well as referral and new patient letters.
Transcriptionists can be employed by hospitals or clinics as well as private physician offices. A decline of 3 percent in the medical transcription field is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2024. The increasing use of speech recognition software by many healthcare professionals will impact the need for Transcriptionists. Outsourcing transcription services is a common practice and will also continue to negatively impact the employment growth of Transcriptionists in the U.S.
Transcriptionist Duties and Responsibilities
Transcriptionists perform several tasks to fulfill the duties of this occupation. We have analyzed a sampling of Transcriptionist listings and have found the following to be the most commonly mentioned tasks associated with this job title.
Transcribe Physician Recordings
It is the main role of a Transcriptionist to listen to the voice recordings of physicians and transcribe this information into written reports. These recordings can include diagnostic summaries, patient histories and doctor’s notes.
Create Medical Record Summaries
Sometimes, insurance companies might request a summary of a patient’s medical notes and chart when reviewing a client’s claim. Transcriptionists are most often responsible for creating these documents.
Type Other Medical Documents
Some physicians or medical facilities turn to Transcriptionists to produce other needed documents. These might include patient referrals, new patient welcome letters and correspondence with insurance companies or other physicians.
Listening, written communication and typing skills are the main capabilities that successful Transcriptionists should possess. As Transcriptionists most often handle time-sensitive materials, it is crucial that those in this profession display strong time management skills. Transcriptionists should also be detailed-oriented critical thinkers who can work independently and maintain organizational and literacy skills. In addition to these important abilities, it is critical that Transcriptionists are able to do the following:
- Understand medical terminology and abbreviations.
- Employ the use of transcription software.
- Proofread and edit transcribed reports.
- Type letters, correspondence and other medical documentation.
Transcriptionist Tools of the Trade
Transcriptionists must have knowledge of several tools to meet all job requirements. If you wish to become a Transcriptionist, you should be familiar with the following:
Transcription software – it is imperative that you are familiar with medical transcription and speech recognition software for this occupation.
Transcribing equipment – you must be able to use headsets, foot pedals and line counters if you are seeking to work as a Transcriptionist.
Microsoft Office applications – the use of Outlook and Word are most important to correspond with physicians and create medical documents.
Transcriptionist Education and Training
While most employers do not require candidates for a Transcriptionist position to hold a college degree, they do prefer completion of a certificate program in transcription offered at many community or technical colleges. These programs typically train students in the use of transcription equipment as well as teach them medical terminology, abbreviations and anatomy. Voluntary certifications, such as the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS), are not generally required but can be helpful for professional purposes.
The BLS reports that Transcriptionists earn a median annual salary of $35,720. Top earners can earn $51,640. The highest salaries for Transcriptionists in the U.S. are seen in northeastern and West coast states. The District of Columbia ($48,230), Massachusetts ($47,710) and California ($45,650) top the list of the states where Transcriptionists realize the highest salaries in the U.S.
If you’re looking for more information about becoming and working as a Transcriptionist, we have supplied some additional resources below. Click on links to blogs, books and more to get more details about what being a Transcriptionist entails.
Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) – From certification to learning opportunities, AHDI is the main association for Transcriptionists. This organization offers live webinars, conferences, networking forums, and training courses.
For the Record – An online magazine for Transcriptionists offering articles on industry news and trends, best practices, discussions about transcription equipment and much more.
Rapid Care Transcription Blog – This blog offers various articles about compliance issues, Transcriptionist roles, the use of speech recognition software and the importance of transcription to the medical industry.
Transcription Outsourcing Blog – Review various blogs that focus on transcription uses, tips and customer service practices, among other topics.
The Book of Style for Medical Transcription, 3rd Edition by Lea M. Sims and John H. Dirckx – This book provides details about industry standards, practical applications and examples to give Transcriptionists a clear view of the duties and responsibilities associated with this occupation.
Medical Transcription: Techniques and Procedures, 7th Edition by Marcy O. Diehl – From overviews of speech recognition technology to proofreading and editing tips, this book offers a detailed look at the work of a Transcriptionist. Helpful hints and exercises are offered. The book is written by a medical transcription instructor.
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