How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

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A medical transcriptionist is the person in charge of changing recorded medical records into appropriate paperwork. He may also have to take dictation from doctors, make sure medical records are properly written and formatted, and provide updated paperwork for archiving and monitoring. Most medical transcriptionists work from home, on their own computers and then transfer the records to their employers once a week.

  • Take a course. There are no official educational requirements to become a medical transcriptionist. There are, however, many short programs that can help you prepare and teach you how to process medical records, use specialized words and abbreviations, and handle computer programs needed to upload the information. The American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT) offers the only long-term, accredited course in the subject, but many others are as well respected.

  • Find a part-time job at a local medical or dental office that already employs a medical transcriptionist. If you know the basics of medical terminology, some offices may be willing to take you in and train you in the profession, especially if they already have somebody there who can act as a tutor.

  • Learn medical terminology. If you have no medical background, you can try catching up by buying books on the subject or taking a short class that covers the basics. Many of these classes are available online, some for free.

  • Promote yourself by bringing your resume to local medical offices, hospitals and dentists. Offer your services as an add-on to whatever they already have, such as taking surplus work or last-minute transcriptions.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don’t answer ads for job placement. These are more than likely scams that will sell you some kind of software and then tell you to go find your own clients. You can do this on your own. If you see an ad promising job placement, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints logged on against them.

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