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What do Employers Look for when Applying for a Medical Transcriptionist Position?

Mar 8, 2008
Transcription developed gradually in the early sixties through different machines like manual and electric typewriters, computers, word processors, magnetic belts, cassettes, plastic disks and digital recordings. In the past, medical reports that were gathered for patients contain handwritten abbreviation notes that were very difficult for common people to understand.

Nowadays, a lot of healthcare providers make use of voice streaming and dictation to make transcription more effective and efficient. However, since the medical spoken language is still too complex to understand, medical transcriptionists are required to convert the spoken medical records into typewritten form.

What is a Medical Transcriptionist?

A medical transcriptionist, also called an MT, is an individual who is in charge of converting or translating a patient's medical records to typewritten layout. Although transcriptions can also be done in handwritten form, a typewritten layout is often preferred because it is clearer and more comprehensible. These transcriptions are usually done for the purpose of charting reports and information. Much of the recordings that a medical transcriptionist works on come from either a Dictaphone machine or recorded tape.

A Medical Transcriptionist should be a practiced typist

Since the market for medical transcriptionists is growing, employers often look for a person who is a practiced typist with outstanding interpretation of what he hears through dictation. A fast typist will be able to lay out the medical records in typewritten form as the recording runs, without having to play back the Dictaphone machine or tape. This makes him more efficient in his job.

An MT should be knowledgeable with medical terms

A medical transcriptionist must have strong knowledge of medical language and terms. Since a medical transcriptionist has to record a lot of medical terms, it is essential that he knows the spelling and pronunciation of such terms. Without a good knowledge of medical terms, it is rather impossible for a person to work effectively as a medical transcriptionist.

Educational qualifications and skills required for an MT position

To be a medical transcriptionist, you must be at least a high school graduate with a diploma that is relevant to the field medical transcription. You will have an advantage if you have at least one to three years of working experience that is in line with the duties and responsibilities of a medical transcriptionist. As a medical transcriptionist, you must be able to comprehend dictation of medical terms and you need to possess short hand skills. You should also be good in verbal communication and spelling, and have excellent memory skills so that you can sort out, count, check and authenticate numbers with accuracy.

Other skills required of an MT

It is essential that you are able to use and operate some of the basic office machines, equipments and computers. A medical transcriptionist needs to possess excellent records maintenance ability and a profound knowledge of medical transcription practices and guidelines. You have to be resourceful enough to be able to use a wide selection of professional reference materials and work under pressure with limited time and minimal supervision.

You must also have the skills to use proper grammar, capitalization rules, and correct punctuations. As you progress in your job as a medical transcriptionist, you will be required to perform quality assurance check to ascertain that the medical reports are correctly done. You will also have to understand and apply important legal concepts like confidentiality.

As a whole, an effective and successful medical transcriptionist has to be able to decide what is essential and vital to medical reports. In other words, a medical transcriptionist has to comprehend the medical terms used in the reports, instead of just being able to identify them. A medical transcriptionist possibly will not be able to determine which parts of a report are important if he has no fundamental knowledge of the terms used by medical experts.
About the Author
triOS Ontario College provides Medical Transcriptionist program careers which gives students the opportunity to work in hospitals, medical offices, rehabilitation centres, long-term care facilities and work-from-home.
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