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Medical Transcriptionist

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Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings that physicians and other health professionals make and convert them into written reports. They interpret medical terminology and abbreviations in preparing patients’ medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents. The documents they produce become part of a patient’s permanent file.

Medical transcriptionists typically do the following:

  • Listen to the recorded dictation of a doctor or other health professional
  • Transcribe the dictation into diagnostic test results, operative reports, referral letters, and other documents
  • Edit drafts prepared by speech recognition software, making sure that the transcription is correct and has a consistent style
  • Translate medical abbreviations or jargon into the appropriate long form
  • Recognize inconsistencies within a report and follow up with the healthcare provider to ensure accuracy
  • Submit written reports for physicians to approve
  • Follow patient confidentiality guidelines and legal documentation requirements

Medical transcriptionists use audio playback equipment, often including a headset and foot pedal — to control the recording playback speed — that are connected to their computer. They use word-processing and other specialized software, as well as medical reference materials as needed.

To do their work, medical transcriptionists must become familiar with medical words, anatomy and physiology, diagnostic procedures, pharmacology, and treatment assessments. Their ability to understand and correctly transcribe what the health professional has said is critical to reducing the chance that patients will get ineffective or even harmful treatments. They are part of the team that ensures high-quality patient care.

Medical transcriptionists who work in doctors’ offices may have other duties, such as answering phones or greeting patients.

Career Outlook: 
Career Outlook data is specific to New Hampshire State.
Number of Jobs 2010: 
Number of Projected Jobs 2020: 
Jobs Percentage Change: 
Total Annual Openings: 
Growth Outlook: 
Less Favorable
June 2013 Entry Level Wage: 
June 2013 Mean Wage: 
June 2013 Experienced Wage: 
Salary Range: 
$20,000 - $40,000
Education Requirements: 
Time to Complete: 
1 year

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
Time to Complete: 
1 year

Education Levels:

School Type: 
New Hampshire Community College
License and Certification Requirements: 
Coding Certification Required: 
Coding License Required: 
Certification(s) Required: 
Major Optional Certifications: 
Certified Medical Transcriptionist
Career Categories: 

Types of Work:

Workplace Environment: 
Private Medical Practice or Private Company
Types of Interaction: 
Support Role