Medical Transcriptionist Overview

When we go to any type of doctor, be it our family doctor, a specialist, a hospital, a clinic and even a dentist, we know that all the information from the visit becomes part of the medical record. While many doctor’s offices are now computerized, with electronic records, there is still the matter of the specific examination information that needs to be added. That’s where medical transcription jobs come in.

In the case of medical transcription, it is generally taking the audio files a doctor, specialist or other medical personnel has recorded about a specific case or patient and writing them into the facility prescribed format. There are several formats for medical transcription including the DAT and SOAP, but we’ll get into those later.

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What skills are needed to do medical transcription jobs?

While general transcription and medical transcription have many of the same skills, there are a few that are different. We will discuss each of these similarities and differences so that you can decide if this is right for you.

  • Typing: You must be able to type accurately and quick. Most medical transcription jobs do require a typing speed of at least 60 wpm (words per minute), while many general transcription jobs don’t. You will also need to have excellent keyboarding and numerical skills as these are often used quite a bit more in medical transcription than in general transcription.
  • Ability to write what you hear: This sounds both easier and harder than it is. In general transcription, there can be various rules regarding verbatim, dropping certain words and formats. This is not always the case with medical transcriptions. You will be able to drop the ahs, ers and other such pauses, but much of medical transcription must be verbatim, or word for word. As you work in this field, you will get a feel for exactly how translates into actually typing the dictation.
  • Medical Terminology: Obviously, you don’t need this for general transcription, but for medical transcription, it is a requirement. You have to know how to spell the various anatomical words, diseases and other such medical language with relatively little error. There are several courses you can take online, but many jobs may require some certification or testing regarding medical terminology. Because medical terminology has a base in Latin or Greek, learning the base words will also help you to know where they are talking about.

Is an education required to have a job in medical transcription?

There is really no simple answer to this. You don’t have to have a specific education or degree. However, you will need courses in medical terminology, ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding (because you may need to know these general numbers if the doctor refers to them) and general medical procedures.

There are several courses out there that offer certification in medical transcription, both online and in local community colleges and specialty colleges such as Charter. Either way, receiving your medical transcription certification can only serve to give the best opportunities in winning medical transcription jobs.

What type of training will help you be good with medical transcription?

This goes along with the education. You will need training in both typing speed and accuracy, keyboarding and the 10-key pad. You will want to know formatting skills for Microsoft Word or whatever program the particular company assigns you.

Depending on whether you work at home or in an office, you will want to have general computer skills as well, along with a good understanding of the system you will be working with. A good understanding of how to search the internet (to help you find information as required) as well as understanding how the various OS (Operating Systems) such as windows, Unix, Lynx and so on, work.

Again, there are many online classes as well as classes that are offered locally in a physical location. Deciding which program is best for you will depend on your learning style.

How much do medical transcription jobs pay?

This question is harder to answer. There are a variety of different payment formats that include by the page, by the audio hour, by the job and hourly and will also depend on whether you work in an office or at home and what state you live in.

You can make a decent living at this, but you will need to check with the company, client or specific office to determine exactly what your rate of pay will be. Hourly can range anywhere from $10.00 to $15.00 per hour and if you work in a specific office or for a specific company, you may be eligible for benefits.

Where can I find medical transcription jobs?

There are a wide variety of places to find medical transcription jobs. Here, we will discuss the best places to find them online. These jobs may be either for freelance transcription or for a company or office.

TranscriptionJobsHQ.com: We have partnered with top companies to offer you a very easy-to-use job search engine that pulls all listings from Simply Hired, Monster, and Indeed to show you just about all of the legal transcription jobs that you can find on the internet. If you can’t find your job here feel free to keep searching elsewhere, but we are confident that our database has most of them.

Upwork.com: The transcription jobs on this website range from large to small. Once you create a profile, start out by charging a reasonable rate by audio/video minute and then build up your profile to eventually have a higher cost and repeated clients. It takes some time, but this can be a great way to get multiple clients coming back over and over again.

Rev.com: This is a great company to join if you'd like consistent transcription work provided to you. The problem with joining this company is that you'll be paid less per audio minute because they have to make money too, but they are very consistent with the work that they get.

Simplyhired.com: This is a job listing site that covers a wide range of industries. You can search by keywords such as transcription or corporate transcription. You will want to have a general cover letter that you can edit for each job and a relevant resume as you apply directly to the company itself. These jobs can be at home or in an office.

Careerbuilder.com: One of the largest of the job listing sites, careerbuilder.com has been around for well over 15 years. Again, you will want to upload a relevant resume and have a general cover letter that you can review and edit for specific companies. Since companies can also search the database for relevant workers, it is good to have a copy there as well.

Again, using key words, you will search the database for relevant jobs and apply per the specifics listed in the job details.

Monster.com: Another large job listing site, you can upload resumes, use the resume builder, develop cover letters, search the database for position and review job details. You will apply to each job per the instructions listed in the job details.

Corporate transcription jobs are a highly specialized section of industry. While there are no required educational requirements, having skills such as typing quickly and accurately, understanding grammar and punctuation, along with formatting and terminology, you can decide whether this is the right thing for you.