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Medical Transcriptionist Training

Working as a medical transcriptionist, you may listen to dictated recordings from physicians and other health care professionals describing different patients' ailments, procedures, and other medical reports and information. While listening, you may be transcribing these verbal notes into written communication, editing for grammar and clarity when necessary. The notes you record may then become permanent documents in patients' files, and may give physicians and other health care professionals a record from which to make important medical decisions.

How to Prepare for a Medical Transcription Career

What Does a Medical Transcriptionist Do?

Medical transcription generally involves listening to the recorded dictations made by licensed doctors and other health care professionals before transcribing them into medical correspondence, reports, and other materials for administrative use. Transcriptionist may listen to the recordings using a headset and a foot pedal for pausing. They will key in the text into the word processor and edit it for grammar and clarity.

Individuals who work as medical transcriptionists may also provide:

  • Medical history reports
  • Physical examination reports
  • Consultation papers
  • Discharge summaries
  • Diagnostic imaging studies
  • Referral letters
  • Progress notes
  • Autopsy reports

Afterwards, they may return these documents to the physician who dictated the recordings for review, correction and signature. These documents eventually become part of the permanent medical files of the patients.

Basic Skills

In order to effectively transcribe the dictated recordings, medical transcriptionists need to understand diagnostic procedures, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, treatment assessments, and medical terminologies among others. It is key for medical transcriptionists to have the capability to transcribe abbreviations and jargons in their expanded format. Experienced transcriptionists may spot inaccuracies in a medical report easily. Their ability to transcribe accurate information provides effecient care to the patients.

Work Environment

A medical transcriptionists may be employed in a comfortable environment such as hospitals, transcription service offices, clinics, physician's offices, laboratories, government facilities, and even their own homes. A transcriptionists may also work via telecommuting arrangements with their employers.

Trainings and Certifications

Having a postsecondary training may be preferred by employers. Writing and word processing skills may also be a requirement. Training may be provided by community colleges, vocational schools, and even distance-learning programs.

Completion of a one-year certification program or a two-year associate program with coursework in medical terminology, anatomy, legal issues related to health care documentation, and grammar and punctuation may be recommended for career grwoth. Educational programs may also involve on-the-job training. Transcriptionists who have worked as a medical secretary or nurse may easily enter this field because they are already familiar with medical terminologies.


List of Schools Offering Medical Transcriptionist Programs



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