Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Maine - ME
Maine Medical Transcription Training Programs
Residents of Maine hoping to enjoy a career in an allied health care profession should consider the growing field of medical transcription. Demand for medical transcriptionists is higher in Maine than in the nation as a whole, particularly in the state’s urban centers of Bangor, Lewiston, and Portland. In fact, Bangor, Maine is among the metropolitan areas in the United States where medical transcriptionists are most sought after and medical transcription jobs are most plentiful. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings for medical transcriptionists to continue to grow nationwide over the next decade due in part to an increase in America’s elderly population. As the proportion of Maine’s citizens above the age of 65 is significantly above the national average, this trend should mean job growth for medical transcriptionists in Maine in the coming years.
No particular credentials, educational or professional, are necessary to work as a medical transcriptionist in Maine. However, all medical transcriptionists should have superior command of the English language, facility and fluency with medical terminology, and proficiency in typing, keyboarding, and the use of the equipment and software that are the tools of the medical transcriptionist’s trade. While no particular educational degree or credential is required to build a career in the field of medical transcription, it is difficult, if not impossible, to acquire the necessary skills and grasp of medical terminology without formal instruction or significant work experience in the healthcare field. In addition, aspiring medical transcriptionists who have earned an associate’s degree and a professional diploma or certificate after completion of a formal medical transcription course are much more attractive to potential employers in the health care arena. Moreover, the more credentials a medical transcriptionist has, the higher salary he or she will command. It wise to pursue a program for medical transcription training in Maine. There are both online and campus options.
Maine does not license or certify medical transcriptionists. However, medical transcriptionists may obtain a certification credential granted by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). AHDI awards two certifications: the Registered Medical Transcriptionist or RMT, and the Certified Medical Transcriptionist, or CMT. These certifications are awarded upon the candidate’s passage of one of AHDI’s certification exams. AHDI recommends that new graduates of degree programs in medical transcription and entry-level medical transcriptionists take the RMT exam. The CMT exam and the CMT credential are designed for transcriptionists with at least two years of transcription experience in a demanding medical environment.
AHDI also grants its official approval to medical transcription programs that meet its curricular standards. A list of these programs can be found on AHDI’s website. However, AHDI does not require that candidates taking the RMT or CMT exam to first graduate from one of their approved programs.
To obtain either the RMT or CMT credential, an applicant must first submit an application form, available on AHDI’s website at www.ahdionline.org. The application form must be accompanied by a $10 fee. Candidates should indicate on their form whether they are pursuing certification as an RMT or a CMT. After processing the application form, AHDI will provide the applicant with an “Authorization to Test” letter which will include instructions for making an appointment with to take the appropriate examination. Both the RMT and CMT exams are administered by the testing agency Prometric at various testing sites across the nation. In Maine, there are Prometric testing centers located in Bangor, South Portland, and Presque Isle. The fees for taking the RMT exam are $175 for AHDI members and $200 for non-members. Fees for taking the CMT exam are $195 for AHDI members and $275 for non-members. The exam must be scheduled and taken within 90 days of the candidate’s receipt of the Authorization to Test letter.
Thos taking the RMT exam are allotted four hours within which to complete all work; those taking the CMT exam are allotted five hours. Both exams are divided into two portions, with a fifteen-minute break in between. The first exam section is the knowledge section which includes multiple-choice questions that test the candidate’s grasp of medical terminology and medical concepts and mastery of the English language. The performance section asks examinees to transcribe, edit, and proofread samples of medical dictation taken from a variety of different types of medical records. Both examinations are computerized. Examinees will be provided with a head set along with a WAV player for the performance section of the exam. No spell checkers or similar electronic devices may be brought into the testing area, and test takers are prohibited from consulting dictionaries, glossaries, medical encyclopedias, or any other reference material.After the applicant passes the examination, AHDI will confer either the RMT or CMT credential as appropriate. RMT and CMT certifications expire after three years but can be renewed through the completion of 30 continuing education hours.