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Medical Transcription Certification and Certificate Programs

A medical transcriptionist is responsible for transcribing recordings made by licensed physicians in hospitals, doctors' offices and other healthcare centers for the purpose of keeping records, maintaining files and coordinating case studies.

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Essential Information

A certificate in medical transcription prepares students to work in a number of settings, from doctors' offices to insurance companies. Upon completing a medical transcription certificate program, individuals are eligible to become registered medical transcriptionists and may obtain jobs transcribing medical histories, discharge summaries, autopsy reports and diagnostic analyses.

Most hospitals and many other employers seeking to hire medical transcriptionists look for individuals who have completed one- or two-year training programs and have earned medical transcription certification. Common fields for medical transcription programs include health information management, business English and speech recognition technology. Medical transcription certificate programs require that students have a high school diploma or an equivalent as well as competency in English, math, typing and computer literacy.

Certificate in Medical Transcription

A student enrolled in a medical transcription certificate program learns how to use recording and transcribing equipment, such as a word processor and tape recorder. They also learn the basics of editing, grammar and medical terminology. The following are some of the courses found in this type of program.

  • Basic healthcare concepts
  • Medical terminology
  • Math for medications
  • Word processing applications
  • Advanced medical transcription
  • Basic pharmacology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Employment opportunities are expected to decline for medical transcriptionists by 3%, from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of May 2015, the median salary for a medical transcriptionist was $34,890 per year, while the top ten percent in the field earned a median annual salary of $50,230 or more, according to the BLS.

Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity offers voluntary credentialing as Registered Medical Transcriptionists (RMT) for those with less than two years of experience in the field. Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) is for transcriptionists with more than two years working in the field using various transcription methods. With additional certification in health information management, medical transcriptionists can also advance in the field to become health information technicians or administrators.

Certificate and certification programs for medical transcriptionist teach students how to use the tools, medical terminology and communication technologies used in medical transcribing. Jobs can be found at hospitals, doctors' offices and insurance companies, though employment opportunities are expected to decline by 3% between 2014 and 2024.

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