Medical Transcription Jobs for Beginners

Medical transcription compile patient care notes, lab reports and patient assessments into accurate medical records.
Medical transcription compile patient care notes, lab reports and patient assessments into accurate medical records. (Image: computer keyboard image by Tom Curtis from

Medical transcription is an interesting, exciting and expanding field of employment. In 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, medical transcriptionists held 105,200 jobs. Approximately 23 percent worked in the offices of physicians, and 36 percent worked in hospitals or other medical facilities. Others worked at medical and diagnostic laboratories, offices of audiologists, offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists, outpatient care centers, business support services, or worked from home in telecommuting positions. The job outlook is bright, especially for transcriptionists who are certified.

Training & Education

Medical transcriptionists listen to dictation from physicians, review patient chart notes and treatment assessments and transfer this data into a specified format that becomes part of the patient's medical history. Medical procedures are also coded for billing purposes. Accurate typing and grammar skills, attention to detail and respect for patient confidentiality are crucial. Formal accreditation is not required for most medical transcription positions. However, transcriptionists who have successfully completed post-secondary training offered by community colleges, vocational schools and distance-learning programs are most likely to receive preference over less-qualified candidates. Completion of a one-year certification program or a two-year associate degree that includes course work in medical terminology, anatomy, and legal and ethical medical documentation is recommended. Previous work or experience in the medical field as a secretary, receptionist or medical records worker may be considered in lieu of certification.

Medical Transcription Service Providers

Contact medical transcription service providers. Many companies are willing to hire entry-level transcriptionists and provide training on their choice of dictation and transcription software. Transcription Matchmaker is but one of several companies that help match employee skills with client requirements.

Medical Transcription Provider Directories

Review online directories of medical transcription providers and submit an enthusiastic cover letter and resume. MT Daily is an online website directory that lists providers in every state. Because these are telecommuting positions, you can apply for a position anywhere in the country. The only requirements are a home office with a computer and a fast Internet connection. The majority of companies will supply their preferred transcription software.

Network to Find the Ideal Job

Apply at medical-surgical hospitals, acute-care clinics, medical laboratories and pharmacies. Network with friends, family, business associates. Print fliers and business cards to post on college and hospital cafeteria bulletin boards. Be proactive and talk to your family physician or health care provider. Ask for recommendations and referrals.

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