A career as a certified medical transcriptionist is a way to have a career in the medical profession without dealing with patients. Instead, your job as a certified medical transcriptionist is to ensure proper documentation of patient care without which errors in treatment would be possible. The process of becoming a certified medical transcriptionist can seem daunting, but you can feel in control of your journey if you know what to expect. This guide can show your plan for becoming a certified medical transcriptionist.
Working as a Certified Medical Transcriptionist
The work of a certified medical transcriptionist is extremely important work, as medical professionals rely on you to provide accurate transcriptions as a way to document and move forward with someone’s treatment. Creating a record of ailments and treatments guides doctors in their ability to know which treatments to apply in the future. As a medical transcriptionist, you can also spot irregularities in the documentation that could point to an error in treatment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
You will use the knowledge you gain in earning your degree or certification in medical transcription to accurately produce these records from voice recordings. It will be your job to ensure patient records from transcriptions are accurate and to discuss any discrepancies in the records with medical staff. This job requires expertise in medical abbreviations and spellings and a meticulous approach, which you will learn in your education experience.
Education as the First Step
Getting an education that qualifies you to be a certified medical transcriptionist is the first step in your journey. In order to be in the profession, you need a certificate or associate degree. The primary concern with your education is that the program has accreditation. Your program must be accredited in order to achieve certification. Your career as a certified medical transcriptionist can make you more in demand with employers than those without certification and help make sure you receive a good starting salary.
The Certification Process
Professional certification signals to your prospective employers your capabilities as a medical transcriptionist. It is also essential for a career as a certified medical transcriptionist. Certification occurs through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). You have two options for certification: Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist or Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist. Both provide certification for your career, but which one you choose is based upon your eligibility. The Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist certification is for new graduates, and the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist certification is for those with at least two years of medical transcription experience, according to the AHDI. In order to sit for these exams, you need to have an education in medical transcription and meet basic prerequisites.
Taking the Exam for Medical Transcription Certification
Even though you have your degree by the time you sit for your exam, you still need to study prior to taking your exam. Look at your school or department for some advice on how to get started. The AHDI also has a number of guides, webinars, and study groups to serve as resources for taking the medical transcription exam. These can certainly help prepare you for the exam itself, but you also need to rely on the notes and information from your education to do well.
The Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist exam consists of 130 questions, and the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist exam has 120 questions. Each of the exams relies upon a multitude of different testing instruments. You need to answer standard format questions in a multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank format. You also have to show your ability to transcribe through listening to recordings and making judgments about the content. Your exam tests your knowledge to meticulously transcribe and your knowledge of the content. Upon successful completion of the exam, you have your formal credentials and certification. Certification must be renewed every three years for both exam types. After earning your certification as a registered specialist, you can take your exam for a certified specialist barring you meet the other requirements.
Finding a Job as a Certified Medical Transcriptionist
In order to be a certified medical transcriptionist, you ultimately need to find a job as one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for a medical transcriptionist is almost $35,000 a year, so you want to start working right away. The career development center at your school can help you tailor your resume and look for a position. Check with your department to see if it has any placement aids as well. Individual clinics, hospitals, private practices, and even insurance companies need medical transcriptionists. Join local and national associations and network with medical professionals so that you find the right position.
A career as a medical transcriptionist is certainly rewarding, but it is a process to get to where you want to be. If you do well in your education and take it seriously, you can do better as you approach your exams for certification.