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Medical transcription profession

An individual who performs medical transcription is known as a medical transcriptionist, or less frequently and incorrectly, a medical transcriber. A medical transcriptionist is the one responsible for documenting patient medical records. The term medical transcriber may also refer to electronic equipment used to perform medical transcription.

There are no formal educational requirements for MTs. Education in medical transcription may be obtained through traditional schooling, certificate or diploma programs, distance learning, and/or on-the-job training. But some countries require 18 months to 2 years of specialized MT training. An MT profession requires mastery in medical terminology, adroitness in editing, and the ability to type while listening.

Medical transcription does not require registration or certification; however, some do seek registration or certification for personal or professional reasons. It is important to note that obtaining a certificate from a medical transcription training program does not entitle an MT to use the title of Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). The CMT credential is only earned by passing a certification examination conducted by The American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT). The AAMT also offers the credential of Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT). According to the AAMT, the RMT is a lower-level credential than the CMT.

As of March 7, 2006, the MT occupation became an eligible U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeship, which is a two-year program focusing on acute care facility (hospital) work.


 Job Requirements

High school diploma or GED with 1 to 3 years experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified. Currently, most companies who hire American MTs prefer 3 to 5 years of experience.


 Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Knowledge of medical terminology
  • Transcription skills.
  • Ability to sort, check, count, and verify numbers.
  • Skill in the use of operating basic office equipment.
  • Ability to follow routine verbal and written instructions.
  • Ability to document work in progress.
  • Records maintenance skills.


 MT Duties and Responsibilities

  • Transcribes and edits recorded or written material, including operative reports, discharge summaries, patient history and examinations, physician letters and notes, and pharmacy, rehabilitation, autopsy, and x-ray reports.
  • Verifies accuracy of patient information such as name and identification number; verifies accuracy of transcription for correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling.
  • Maintains logs of medical procedures, incoming dictation, and transcription records.
  • Sorts, copies, prepares, assembles, and files records and charts.
  • Distributes and collects dictation and transcribed reports; follows up on physicians' missing and/or late dictation.
  • Performs quality assurance documentation.
  • May maintain disk and disk back up system; may order supplies and report equipment operational problems.
  • May collect, tabulate, and generate reports on statistical data, as appropriate.
  • May assist with telephone coverage.
  • May take minutes of transcription department meetings.
  • Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.


 Distinguishing Characteristics

Position requires: a) Transcription, verification, and editing of various recorded and/or manuscripted medical reports, documents, and correspondence. b) Maintenance of multiple logs and records. c) Sorting, filing, copying, and preparation of files, records, and charts. d) Collection and distribution of dictation, to include followup of missing and/or late dictation. e) Quality assurance of dictation output.

All text of this article available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

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