How Can I Become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist?

Explore the career requirements for registered medical transcriptionists. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, and certification to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Medical Transcription degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Registered Medical Transcriptionist?

A registered medical transcriptionist is a medical transcriptionist who has earned the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) credential. A medical transcriptionist has the responsibility of transferring audio recordings doctors and healthcare workers make into documents. They must be familiar with medical terminology, as they may need to convert abbreviations into long form. Medical transcriptionists may also review files that were translated using speech recognition software to ensure they are accurate. When they are finished transcribing a report. they will submit it to the appropriate medical personnel for review.

Training Required Medical transcription training program approved by the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP)
Registration Voluntary RHDS credential may be earned from the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) after completing training and passing exam
Other Requirements Understanding of medical procedures and terminology
Job Growth (2014-2024) -3%* (for all medical transcriptionists)
Median Salary (May 2015) $34,890* (for all medical transcriptionists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would I Do as a Registered Medical Transcriptionist?

As a medical transcriptionist, you would listen to recordings made by physicians and translate them into text format for easy referral and inclusion in medical records. You could transcribe recordings from the operating room, an autopsy, a physical examination or many other medical circumstances. The doctor or medical professional who made the recording would review and approve your transcription, which would then be included in the appropriate files.

Many transcriptionists work from home, and with the increased use of the Internet for sending and receiving files, you may be able to do all your work from your home office. You need to understand the procedures and medical terminology that you're listening to on the recordings and the formatting standards with which you'd write the text.

What Education Do I Need?

Because you need to learn the jargon of the medical industry and the specific manner in which medical transcriptions are made, you'll need to attend a medical transcription training program. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), in collaboration with the American Health Information Management Association, created the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP) that approves medical transcription training programs.

In these programs, which typically take about a year to complete, you'll study the terminology used by physicians in their recordings and practice transcribing from authentic dictations. Completing an ACCP-approved program will qualify you to seek registration.

How Do I Become Registered?

The AHDI offers registration and certification for medical transcriptionists. In order to take the registration examination, you must have completed an approved training program. The exam consists of two types of questions involving multiple choice and audio transcription. The inclusion of audio questions in the exam helps to test your practical skills and assess your proficiency as a medical transcriptionist. After receiving a passing score on the exam, you can use the RHDS credential.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Court reporters and secretaries have some professional duties that are similar to the work that medical transcriptionists do. Court reporters transcribe everything said in a court hearing, deposition or trial. Like medical transcriptionists, they need to complete a postsecondary training program and be able to transcribe at a high speed with accuracy. Secretaries do not necessarily need any postsecondary training, but they do need strong typing and clerical skills. They type reports and other documents in addition to performing common office tasks. They may also transcribe information that's been recorded.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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