Healthcare is experiencing great employment growth in some of its roles—certified medical assistants and registered nurses are just two of the fields expecting double-digit increases through 2026.
Employers are on the hunt for qualified candidates for these positions. But to be completely honest, the outlook isn’t rosy for all positions. Medical transcription is a job currently in flux.
BLS.gov is projecting a 3 percent decline in employment through 2026. Offices have been outsourcing the work, and voice-recognition software has been improving, lessening the need for human touch.
However, don’t let that stop you in your tracks. The industry will still need transcriptionists: Aging baby boomers and more widespread insurance coverage means more people are visiting doctors, and transcriptionists in the workforce now are retiring. The salary is fair, and the field only takes a year to get into, on average.
What Medical Transcriptionists Do
Medical transcriptionists are health professionals who convert voice-recorded reports into a text format. The profession has existed since the early 20th century, when manual typewriters were used. Typewriters evolved from manual to electronic, and then transcriptionists began using word processors. Now, medical transcriptionists use computer software to convert reports to a text or a digital format.
It's your job to edit the reports dictated by doctors into an electronic format and create files that represent the treatment history of each patient. Your responsibilities include:
- Transcribing recorded dictations accurately
- Backing up records and reports as required for safety
- Creating quality reports using computer software and other tools
How To Become One
Education and training as a medical transcriptionist can be obtained through certificate or diploma programs, training on the job, and online learning. Most people choose the one-year certificate, though you do have the option of a two-year associate degree.
Is This Your Future?
So even though the profession doesn’t have the growth rate of some careers, you may find it is just the job for you. Medical transcriptionists are important. You ensure accurate medical documentation for both patients and doctors; you help the flow of information between doctors; you provide medical records and instructions to nurses; and you ensure proper record keeping in hospitals and other health centers. Without the profession, many errors could happen. Talk to a school near you about the program!