Medical Transcriptionist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Medical Transcriptionist, or Medical Transcriber, is responsible for listening to audio recordings from medical professionals like Physicians to type and organize medical documents. Their duties include communicating with Physicians and administrative staff to fact-check information and medical terms, typing a variety of medical documents including patient reports or public health advice and ensuring they complete writing tasks within established deadlines for their employer.

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Medical Transcriptionist Duties and Responsibilities

A Medical Transcriptionist is responsible for transcribing and editing audio files. Other Medical Transcriptionist duties include: 

  • Producing medical reports and records, correspondence for Physicians, patient information and other administrative material such as statistics and patient data
  • Reviewing and editing transcriptions for spelling, grammar, clarity and correct medical terminology
  • Maintaining medical files and databases for various records such as medical histories

What Does a Medical Transcriptionist Do?

Medical Transcriptionists typically work for various healthcare facilities, including hospitals, healthcare clinics or private practices to help their employer compose and update documents from audio formats. They can also work for transcription agencies or as self-employed individuals. They work closely with Physicians, Nurses and administrative staff members to confirm patient details and other information to benefit their reports. Their job is to use different technologies like medical transcriptionist software programs to aid in creating medical documents. 

They may also be responsible for overseeing digital filing systems or databases to ensure their employer and healthcare staff have access to well-organized patient files.

Medical Transcriptionist Skills and Qualifications

Medical Transcriptionists need a variety of skills in order to accurately complete their duties. Some Medical Transcriptionist skills are:

  • Using medical dictionaries, drug reference books and medical books to use the correct spelling of medical terms and vocabulary
  • Knowledge of transcription software such as a foot pedal, audio software and word processing software
  • Communication skills to communicate with health care personnel and patients about patient information and work assignments
  • Project management skills to manage time and be organized for several transcription projects at once
  • In-depth knowledge of medical terms and medical language to correct errors in transcripts
  • Ability to keep patient information confidential

Medical Transcriptionist Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Medical Transcriptionist is $15.26 per hour. This exact amount may vary depending on geographical location or the experience level of the applicant. The typical tenure in this position is three to five years.

Medical Transcriptionist Education and Training Requirements

A Medical Transcriptionist usually has an associate degree from a community college or a similar degree from a vocational school. Often a high school degree and a certificate are enough, but an advanced degree makes the Medical Transcriptionist more employable. Transcription education includes how to use transcription software, keyboarding, transcription, editing and proofreading and information management. Classes in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology helpMedical Transcriptionists understand their work as medical employees. There is voluntary accreditation with the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs. These programs are associated with the American Health Information Management Association. Other certificates such as the Registered Medical Transcriptionist and the Certified Medical Transcriptionist designation are available for transcription professionals. 

Medical Transcriptionist Experience Requirements

Being a Medical Transcriptionist requires two to three years of education. The role of a Medical Transcriptionist requires a person to have experience with computer systems, transcription software and management of health care databases. The more senior Medical Transcriptionist roles require that someone has worked consistently five or more years as a Medical Transcriptionist. Some Medical Transcriptionist positions may require management or mentoring experience if the person focuses their work as a Medical Transcriptionist Project Manager or Lead Transcriptionist.

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Frequently asked questions about Medical Transcriptionists

 

What is the difference between a Medical Transcriptionist and a Medical Scribe?

Both Medical Transcriptionists and Medical Scribes convert what they hear into typed documentation. However, they differ in the types of qualifications they receive and the nature of their work environments. For example, Medical Transcriptionists typically need to earn a high school diploma, followed by obtaining a Medical Transcriptionist certification or an associate degree in medical transcription. 

In contrast, Medical Scribes typically earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in an area like human anatomy or pre-medicine. Further, Medical Transcriptionists usually perform their work duties in a separate room within a clinical facility or at home. In contrast, Medical Scribes work within an examination room to record a patient’s symptoms and document a Physician’s observations throughout the exam.

 

What are the daily duties of a Medical Transcriptionist?

On a typical day, a Medical Transcriptionist starts by arriving at an office location or clinical setting to collect audio files from Physicians. Throughout the day, they listen to audio files using headphones and press a pedal under their desk to pause the recording as they type. Medical Transcriptionists take frequent small breaks to keep themselves energized before they start revisions or complete additional tasks. They also communicate with Physicians via phone or email to ask questions, verify statistics or send completed documents.

 

What qualities make a good Medical Transcriptionist?

A good Medical Transcriptionist is someone who has excellent manual dexterity. This quality allows them to type in a quick and efficient manner. They have experience using transcription software or equipment and always look for ways to hone their skills through certification programs or additional job-site training. 

Further, a good Medical Transcriptionist understands medical terminology and proper abbreviations, enabling them to create comprehensive and accurate documents. A good Medical Transcriptionist also has superb attention to detail to identify spelling or punctuation errors on medical documents before publication.

 

Who does a Medical Transcriptionist report to?

A Medical Transcriptionist reports to different roles depending on their place of employment. For example, if a Medical Transcriptionist works for a transcription agency, they report to the Agency Manager. These individuals provide Medical Transcriptionists with client assignments and act as a point of communication for their scheduling needs. In contrast, Medical Transcriptionists working directly for healthcare facilities typically report to the Clinical Supervisor or Clinical Manager.

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