Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist

Steps to becoming a medical transcriptionist

  1. It is a good idea to job shadow a medical transcriptionist to see what their job entails on a daily basis and make sure it will be a good fit for you.
  2. Take a class or practice to improve your gross words per minute prior to entering in a transcription program.
  3. Brush up on grammar and punctuation skills.
  4. Enroll in an Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity approved medical transcription certificate or associate’s degree program.
  5. Upon graduating from an approved program, sit for the RMT exam.
  6. Apply for jobs as a transcriptionist.
  7. After practicing in hospital documentation for two years, sit for the CMT exam.
  8. Maintain the 30 continuing education credits in a three-year period.

Learn more about medical transcription certification.

Is there room for advancement in this field?

There are plenty of medical transcriptionists moving into the editing side of the industry or into quality assurance specialist

What are some “hot topics” in this field?

Standardizing the field of medical transcription is constantly a topic of debate. Members of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity are in favor of requiring professionals entering this field to have graduated from at least a certificate program or even an associate’s degree program. This organization is trying to set higher standards so that those entering this field meet at least a minimum number of criteria.

Another topic of debate in this industry is centered around President Obama’s funding of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) adoption through the High Tech Act which will work to move all health records in an electronic database so they are more assessable to all healthcare providers. This will change and impact what transcriptionists do to ensure the records they’re capturing are reusable and consumable for whatever the future of EHR will look like.

Learn more about medical transcription training.

There is also a lot of discussion in the industry about the fact that the Department of Health and Human Services is working on a definition for what meaningful use of an EHR entails. This definition is going to shape the future for medical transcriptionists. If the definition includes a requirement for EHR systems to support a dictation/transcription interface, then the role of the traditional transcriptionist will be preserved as our nation migrates toward EHR integration. Without this requirement, the supportive services of the transcriptionist may be phased out in some EHR settings. To find out more about the medical transcription industry, selecting an approved school, or seeking professional credentialing, visit the AHDI website at www.ahdionline.org.

What qualities should an individual possess that would make them a good fit for this career?

Having a strong affinity for language and a good interpretive ear is important. Those who have an interest in health care and medicine may be a good fit for a job in this field. Since most of the people in this industry work from home, it is important for them to be self disciplined, have a strong work ethic, and have the ability to perform in a production-based environment.

Medical Transcriptionist Schools