Becoming A Medical Transcriptionist

June 4, 2014

Medical Transcriptionists Offer Doctors Much Needed Support

Medical transcriptionists translate physicians’ oral records into written form, which could be either the more traditional paper form or the latest electronic form. These records usually include a patient’s medical history, their diagnosis, treatment and the outcome of the treatment they received.

Why & When Are Medical Transcriptions Used?

Gap Medics students during their hospital placement After every treatment procedure, a physician ends up spending a whole lot of time writing out the details of the treatment and the treatment results. This can be very time-consuming and the more time spent writing means less time to spend with patients who need to be attended to.

By using a medical transcriptionist, the physician can simply orally dictate all of the complex and private medical information about a patient. A transcriptionist then translates these details from the physician’s spoken words onto paper or computer. Their work allows physicians to focus more on the patient’s health rather than on the time-consuming aspect of writing out records.

Today, advanced speech recognition systems that are available have extended the scope of transcription. These speech recognition systems help record the physician’s oral dictation. A trained medical transcriptionist can then clarify and polish the draft into an accurate and organised completed document. With these sophisticated systems, physicians can make notes for transcription anytime, anywhere without having to lug around heavy equipment. For the transcriptionist it means not having to follow the physician everywhere. Instead, they can even do the transcription work from home. 

Necessary Skills For Medical Transcription

Many people still mistakenly believe that all it takes to become a medical transcriptionist is a keen sense of hearing and fast keyboard typing and related skills.

While the ability to type fast – very fast – is an important attribute for anyone who would like to do transcription work, it is not the only requirement. Some of the other crucial aspects of this specialty are that a transcriptionist must have excellent medical knowledge, sound logic and good judgement as well as the capability and knowledge to identify any medical discrepancies or inaccuracies in the dictation. If something is not right in the dictation, a medical transcriptionist must seek out the correct information to ensure that the report is accurate. For this, solid knowledge and understanding of medicine is important, particularly the complex medical terms used in health care. A medical transcriptionist must also speak and write impeccable English and have a good working knowledge of the medical language used for areas such as anatomy and pharmacology. They need to be able to follow the physician or health professional’s voice precisely during dictation so that the information is accurately recorded.

Studying Medical Transcription

Studying to become a medical transcriptionist is not particularly lengthy nor is it expensive, which makes this an attractive option if you are looking for a healthcare career that requires less preparative training.

A medical transcription course will usually include the training in formal terminology of various surgical procedures and instruments, basic biological sciences, medical language, pharmaceuticals, laboratory testing and a wide knowledge of research techniques used in medicine. Different colleges and universities offer courses of varying lengths, ranging from certificate level to degree level.

Should You Choose Medical Transcription As A Career?

This job is well suited to someone who has excellent listening and writing skills. One of the biggest advantages of medical transcription is that it often allows you to work from home, which is well suited to someone who is interested in a career in healthcare but has to fit it in with existing personal commitments. Also, the lack of direct patient contact may make it more suitable for those who prefer to contribute to peoples’ health but in a more indirect fashion.