- Transcribes medical records dictated by doctors and clinics.
- Filing and attentiveness is important
- Some transcriptionists work from home
A medical transcriptionist transcribes dictated recordings from health care specialists and physicians, generating reports, correspondence, or other materials regarding administrative needs. It involves receiving dictation by tape, digital system or voice file, and requires good listening and language skills, along with computer skills and knowledge of medical terms. As they listen, the medical transcriptionist types the information on a computer or word processor while controlling the tape with a foot pedal, editing and clarifying any grammatical errors.
Compliance with certain requirements regarding medical record format is important to the job of medical transcriptionists, as well as with other requirements dealing with ethics, to ensure patient confidentiality.
Some of the documents medical transcriptionists work with include:
- Release papers and documentation
- Medical history and physical examination reports
- Reports of operations
- Autopsy reports
- Image diagnostic studies
- Notes of treatment and progress
- Letters of referral
These documents are then returned to the physician or specialist by the medical transcriptionist for further approval and correcting.
Experienced transcriptionists proofread medical reports to point out errors or discrepancies and to make necessary corrections. To decrease the possibility of patients receiving improper or damaging treatment, transcriptionists must have the ability to comprehend and accurately transcribe assessments of patients.
An increasingly common way for transmitting documentation is through the Internet. This convenience for transcriptionists makes it possible for many transcriptionists to network, as they can receive and return dictation immediately, allowing for quick client approval.
An additional trend being used is speech recognition technology. This technology creates drafts of reports by electronically translating spoken words into text. It is then necessary to edit the reports for punctuation, grammar and errors in translation, format the reports, and ensure reports are medically reliable. Speech recognition technology is usually used by transcriptionists working in areas with regular terminology, such as radiology or pathology. Nevertheless, as technology becomes more advanced, speech recognition technology will become even more popular.
This occupation presents some risk of repetitive-task injury from sitting in the same place and position for extended periods of time, so it's important that transcriptionists remember to take frequent breaks while working.
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Medical transcription training is offered by vocational schools, community colleges and distance-learning programs.