In spite of the economic downturn, careers related to healthcare continue to be one of the most promising and viable careers within the next couple of years. The growing and the rapidly changing medical industry is one of the reasons why a medical transcriptionist career should be considered by individuals who desire of having higher chances of better job opportunities or prospects. Those interested both in writing or editing and health care should especially consider starting a career in this field.
Medical transcriptionists or MTs are mainly tasked to transcribe or key in text from dictated recordings of physicians and other members of the healthcare profession. This group of trained professionals produces different types of medical reports and administrative materials that would be filed in the permanent files of the patients after review and approval. Medical reports include patient history and physical assessment, laboratory and diagnostic reports, progress reports, referral letters, consultation reports, operative reports, discharge reports and autopsy reports.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics revealed in their most recent report that the demand for medical transcriptionists through 2018 is estimated to increase by 11%. In 2008, there were 105,200 medical transcriptionists employed by different institutions, such as hospitals, offices of physicians, business support services, diagnostic and medical laboratories, outpatient care centers, offices of therapists and audiologists. From this figure, 36% were employed in hospitals and 23% worked in the offices of physicians. The job outlook is good, especially to transcriptionists who obtained their medical transcriptionist certifications from the Approval Committee for Certificate Program or ACCP, established by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity or AHDI.
There is a growing concern about the possible decrease in demand of medical transcriptionists in the country with the increasing number of workers employed overseas to do transcription work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics believe that the number of outsourced work only supplement the demand for domestic medical transcriptionists. To add, most of the work outputs are edited by domestic MTs to ensure that they meet the standard set in the U.S.
In addition to the increasing demand of medical transcriptionists, the salary earned annually is also promising. Medical transcriptionists earn between $13.02 and $18.55 per hour. On the average, an MT may earn $15.41 hourly. Those employed by medical and diagnostic laboratories earn the highest with a medial hourly wage of $17.26. The arrangement of compensation may vary. Some are paid on the number of lines they transcribe, whereas others are paid on the number of hours they work. Although most MTs are employed in hospitals and offices of physicians, the job opportunities in other industries are expected to increase as well. The job prospects are greater and better for those who obtain and maintain their medical transcriptionist certifications.
Medical transcriptionist schools offer 1-year diploma courses and 2-year associate’s degree to interested students. Both programs include classroom lectures and on-the-job experience or training under the supervision of trained and certified medical transcriptionists. Medical transcriptionist training includes courses in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, diagnostic and laboratory procedures, treatment procedures and assessment, pharmacology and courses in introduction and advanced medical transcription.