Medical Audio Transcription: Everything You Must Know About this Field

Medical audio transcription is when a transcriptionist translates dictation into text. Dictation may be recorded in the form of tape cassettes, but more and more common dictation is recorded and sent to transcriptionists digitally.

For example, you may receive an audio file of a doctor dictating the diagnosis of a patient in detail, including prescribed medication and symptoms. You will then transcribe this information in a text format, usually format guidelines are given to you by your employer or client, and once the document is approved, it will then be placed into the patient’s file. The job of a medical transcriptionist is essential for keeping accurate medical records. Transcriptionist may work in the background, but are an integral part of the healthcare community.

If you have always wanted to work in health care, perhaps as a nurse or emergency medical technician, but certain obstacles have prevented you from fulfilling that career path, as a medical transcriptionist you can still make a great and valuable contribution to the world of medicine.

There is a growing need for skilled medical transcriptionists because of the increasing older population in the U.S. The need for skilled and experienced medical transcriptionists is in demand, especially if you are certified. Many medical transcriptionists work from home, making this a viable career or business move if you prefer to work at home.

Medical audio transcription services requires a set of skills, below are some skills that every successful medical transcriptionist must possess:

Fast and Accurate Typing

Medical transcriptionists type a minimum of 65-70 WPM with little to no errors, some type up to 120 WPM. The faster you type, with few errors, then the more you will be able to earn as many employers and clients pay by production. As with any skill, the more experience you have the better you will become. If your typing speed is not quite at par, it is something that can be improved with time and practice.

Solid spelling, grammar, and punctuation

The reports that medical transcriptionists produce will most likely end up in patient files. It is imperative that a medical transcriptionist has a keen eye for spelling, grammar, and punctuation as these reports are used in patient diagnosis and treatment. A small spelling error or dictation that is lost in translation because of sloppy grammar and punctuation may affect the ongoing treatment of a patient, which is why so many medical training programs dedicate a lot of time to these areas of study.

Extensive knowledge of medical terminology

Having a firm grasp on common medical terms is a good skill to begin with, building upon your medical vocabulary will certainly come with time and practice. Medical audio transcription requires that transcriptionists have working knowledge of medical terms, medical abbreviations, medical acronyms – you get the idea. Yes, there are medical resources online and medical transcriptionist reference books available, but learning and retaining basic and common terms will allow you to be more productive. Beyond just basic terms, you should consider getting familiar with different specialties within medicine so that you can branch out to take on more difficult assignments.