Is becoming a medical transcriptionist right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming a medical transcriptionist is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a medical transcriptionist or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become a Medical Transcriptionist
To become a medical transcriptionist, you can follow these general steps:
- Education and Training: Obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent. While formal education is not always required, completing a postsecondary certificate or diploma program in medical transcription can provide valuable training and knowledge in medical terminology, anatomy, transcription techniques, and documentation guidelines. Look for programs accredited by the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP) or the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
- Develop Transcription Skills: Practice and develop strong transcription skills, including listening comprehension, typing speed, and accuracy. Familiarize yourself with medical terminology, abbreviations, and common healthcare practices. Consider taking transcription courses or participating in online training programs to enhance your skills and accuracy.
- Gain Experience: Seek opportunities to gain practical experience in medical transcription. This can be through internships, volunteer work, or entry-level positions in healthcare facilities or transcription companies. Practical experience helps you refine your skills, build your confidence, and familiarize yourself with real-life medical dictations and documentation practices.
- Obtain Certification: Although certification is not mandatory, it can enhance your credentials and job prospects (see below). These certifications require passing an exam that tests your knowledge of medical transcription guidelines, practices, and proficiency.
- Job Search and Networking: Begin your job search by exploring opportunities in healthcare facilities, transcription companies, or remote transcription positions. Utilize job boards, professional networks, and online resources specific to medical transcriptionist positions. Networking with professionals in the field and joining relevant industry associations, such as the AHDI, can also provide valuable connections and job leads.
- Maintain Continuing Education: Stay updated with industry changes, advancements in technology, and evolving documentation practices by engaging in continuing education. Attend workshops, webinars, or conferences related to medical transcription to enhance your skills and knowledge.
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two certifications for medical transcriptionists:
- Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS): This certification is designed for entry-level professionals or those with fewer than two years of full-time experience in medical transcription. To be eligible for the RHDS certification, candidates must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of medical transcription guidelines, editing skills, medical language, and healthcare documentation practices.
- Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS): The CHDS certification is intended for experienced medical transcriptionists with at least two years of full-time experience in the field. Candidates must pass an exam that assesses their advanced knowledge and skills in medical transcription, editing, and healthcare documentation.