Medical transcription is an essential part of the healthcare field. Medical transcriptionists transcribe oral dictation of healthcare professionals into written or electronic text. Online medical transcription degree programs provide students with a solid educational foundation and prepare students to pursue a successful career in the medical transcription field. Students learn how to effectively use transcription equipment to transcribe many different types of medical documents. Students develop a sound understanding of medical terms and their meanings and correct spelling and grammar. They also develop and enhance their computer, keyboarding, listening, and critical thinking skills. Read more about online medical transcription degree programs.
In 2006, medical transcriptionists held 98,000 jobs with 41% working in hospitals and 29% working in physicians’ offices (1).
Employment outlook for medical transcription jobs varies by degree and position. The overall employment of medical transcriptionists is expected to grow faster than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 14% and adding 13,000 new jobs (1). Medical transcriptionists with less than 1 year experience earned average annual salaries between $20,106 and $30,521 (2).
Medical transcription deals with transcribing a wide variety of medical conditions and terminology. Students can choose to focus on a particular topic in medical transcription. The medical transcription specialties include cardiology, urology, chiropractics, dentistry, rheumatology, dermatology, radiology, oncology, endocrinology, rehab medicine, geriatrics, gynecology, radiation, psychiatry, pediatrics, hematology, podiatry, and pathology. There are many possibilities and students interested in a particular specialty should select schools that offer a strong program in that specific area.
What to Expect
Medical transcription programs provide students with a solid medical transcription background. Students learn to work with many different medical documents such as examination records, patient histories, discharge papers, and consultations. Students can become prepared to enter the medical transcription field in a variety of ways from diploma programs to bachelor degrees. Diploma programs provide students with the basic concepts and enable students to pursue entry-level positions. Associate and bachelor degree programs require general education courses in areas such as English, science, mathematics, composition, history, and electives. Core coursework varies by program, but most medical transcription programs require courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pathology, medical law and ethics, pharmacology, treatment procedures, medical office procedures, transcription, and career development. Many programs also require hands-on transcription experience.
The End Result
Medical transcription degrees open the door to many opportunities. Medical transcriptionists often work in clinics, hospitals, physicians’ offices, public health agencies, nursing homes, and home health agencies. Some also work at home as independent contractors. Career opportunities for medical transcription degree graduates include:
- Medical Transcriptionist
- Medical Transcription Editor
- Medical Transcription Training Specialist
- Medical Transcription Supervisor
- Medical Coder
- Medical Transcription Group Leader
- Medical Transcription Sales Representative
- Medical Pathology Transcriptionist
- Medical Receptionist
- Medical Records Representative
- Medical Biller
- Medical Administrative Assistant
- Medical Secretary
A career in medical transcription will be rewarding for individuals interested in the medical field and transcribing oral dictations into written and electronic text documents. Medical transcription professionals must pay close attention to detail, have excellent listening and typing skills, and avoid common spelling and grammatical errors. They must understand a variety of medical documents and adapt effectively to many different medical report formats. They must consistently maintain patient confidentiality because they work with vital and sensitive information. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they interact with a variety of medical personnel.
(1) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(2) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey Report