According to Wikipedia, medical transcription, also known as MT, is an allied health profession which encompasses the process of transcription or converting voice-recorded reports as dictated by physicians and/or other healthcare professionals into text formats.
The medical profession is growing rapidly. Doctors, hospitals, clinics and insurance companies are in need of skilled medical transcriptionists.
Medical transcriptionists translate diction from physicians and other health care professionals, into written reports, correspondence and other documents so that it can be used for medical records. Medical transcriptionists who work outside the home can find employment in hospitals, doctors’ offices, MT services and home based offices for medical offices and law firms. Those who work in doctors offices also have additional clerical duties. Most MTs who are self employed generally work on a contractual basis.
Because the medical information is increasingly received over the internet in recorded form, transcriptists must have knowledge of medical terminology and be able to spell medical terms accurately. They produce discharge summaries, operative reports, autopsy reports, progressive notes, diagnostive imaging studies, history and physical examination reports and referral letters. Medical transcriptionists will also edit documents for grammar and clarity, look for inconsistencies and errors in the documents and check with the physical or healthcare professional in order to correct them.
These reports are for medical history files, thus a transcriptionists must be able to type quickly and still maintain accuracy in grammar and spelling. They do not come into contact with patients but they need to understand the laws regarding medical record documentation because they are dealing with confidential information.
Medical transcriptionists must be organized and pay close attention to detail. Good analytical skills are a must as well as being able to work well under pressure.
A background in word processing, algebra, introduction to business, business computers applications, English, shorthand, record keeping, composition, health occupations/medical profession education and cooperative office education are an asset to this career. Although many companies train on the job, and state that the transcriptionists are not required to have post secondary education, most employers prefer to hire people who have an associates degree in medical transcription or a certificate. This training can be acquired through community colleges, vocational schools and distance learning programs. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, law and ethics in medicine, computer literacy and applications, and English grammar and punctuation.
Medical transcriptionists earn $10-$40 an hour. Some companies however, pay per line, in which case the transcriptionists may earn 7 cents per line for hospital transcription. Those who hold a certificate or degree in earn more than those without. Medical transcriptionsts without a degree make around 28,000 a year while those with post secondary education can earn as much as 50,000 a year.
Employment of medical transcriptionists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012.
The overall growth in the health service industry should be a major contributing factor for the expansion of this job market. The greater the demand the better it is for those working on a contractual basis from the home. Of course offline workers will also find that there is enough room for everyone in this job market.