What Can I Do With an A.A.S. in Medical Transcription?

If you obtain an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in medical transcription, you can work as a medical transcriptionist and eventually become a health information technician. Read on to learn more about what these jobs involve. Schools offering Medical Transcription degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Medical Transcription Career Overview

An A.A.S. in medical transcription prepares you for a career as a medical transcriptionist by providing you with knowledge of medical terminologies and common healthcare practices and building your typing skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical transcriptionists with postsecondary education should have very good job opportunities (www.bls.gov).

According to BLS statistics, most medical transcriptions earned between $22,220-$49,290 as of May 2014. As a medical transcriptionist, you might work at a hospital, physician's office or your own home. The BLS predicts that job positions for medical transcriptionists are expected to decline by 3% between 2014 and 2024.

Associate's degrees in medical transcription are usually offered through community colleges and vocational schools. They generally require the completion of approximately 60 credit hours worth of work, which takes about two years. Courses included in an A.A.S. program in medical transcription include medical transcription, word processing, transcription technology, human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and transcription classes specific to different medical institutions, such as doctor's offices or surgical offices.

Important Facts About Medical Transcriptionists

Professional Certification Voluntary; Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RDHS) or the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CDHS) designations are available
Key Skills Computer competency; time management; critical thinking; active listening; clear writing
Work Environment Typically full-time, but transcriptionists may have a flexible schedule
Similar Occupations Court reporters; information clerks; medical assistants; receptionists

Jobs at Hospitals

According to the BLS, approximately 34% of medical transcriptionists worked in hospitals as of 2012. The BLS reported that the mean salary for these workers as of May 2014 was $37,250 per year. If you work in this field, you'll transcribe patient reports, discharge summaries and other hospital documents as you listen to a doctor's voice on a recording device or over the computer.

You also might need to read over medical reports that have already been typed and correct any grammar or punctuation errors. You must understand the shorthand abbreviations for many important medical terminologies and have good hearing. You also should have excellent grammar and typing skills if you wish to start a career in medical transcription.

Jobs at Physicians' Offices

If you work as a medical transcriptionist in a physician's office, you may need to perform clerical duties besides transcribing medical records, doctors' notes and memos. You might also need to greet patients, book appointments and take office calls. The BLS reported that 23% of medical transcriptionists worked in physicians' offices as of 2014. The mean annual wage for medical transcriptionists employed at physicians' offices was $35,440 as of May 2014, reported the BLS.

Home Office Jobs

Some medical transcription companies might allow you to work from home as an employee or an independent contractor. Employers might provide you with transcription equipment if you're an employee, but if you work as an independent contractor, you typically must purchase transcription equipment and keep track of your own tax records. Most home-based transcriptionists receive their medical recordings over the Internet.

Advancement in the Industry

If you gain greater experience or training, you might eventually advance from a medical transcriptionist position to a job as a health information technician. In this role, you'd work to ensure that medical information is recorded and maintained properly. You'll be in charge of a variety of medical records, including patient charts, payment plans and insurance bills. The BLS stated that medical records and health information technicians made a yearly mean wage of $38,860 as of May 2014.

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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