Medical transcriptionists take aural reports from doctors and other health care professionals and turn them into written records, reports or other administrative documents. These documents are then returned to the medical professionals for verification, and then become part of the patient???s records or the administration information systems. This process used to be carried out by means of a Dictaphone or some other similar apparatus, but increasingly it is done by computer networks and often the internet.
Medical transcriptionists must understand enough of the medical processes and terminology to be sure that they are transcribing accurately. They often have to refer to standard medical reference materials, and they have to comply with specific standards for medical records and similar documents. They also have an ethical and legal obligation to treat all their information as confidential.
Many medical transcriptionists work in doctor???s offices or clinics, hospitals or laboratories. However, there is an increasing move for them to work from home, as many use the internet to receive reports and to research materials, and to deliver them back again. As intranets become more widespread, and security issues are solved, this move is likely to get more popular. This also means that medical transcriptionists often get paid by the word or piece, or by the hour rather than on a fixed weekly or monthly basis.
Medical transcription training usually takes the form of a one year certificate program or a two year associate degree, concentrating on anatomy, physiology, medical terminology and the use of the English language.
Pay is usually at an hourly rate, around $12.15 in 2000. Prospects are good, as jobs are growing at a faster than usual rate, according to the US Department of Labor.
Directory of Schools Offering Medical Transcription Training