Why Medical Transcriptionists Need to Be Certified

The medical transcription industry is expected to grow at a rate of 11 percent through 2018 says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS further states that even if outsourcing transcription work to other countries has become the norm as relaying information over the Internet has become safer, this is only meant to "supplement the demand for well-trained domestic medical transcriptionists." It comes as no surprise that many Americans who possess the necessary skills and training for the job are looking at the medical transcription opportunities that are in store for them.

However, many often find that having finished a one or even two-year medical transcription course from an accredited college is not enough to land them a job. Most, if not all, potential employers, require certification. Entry level transcriptionists often need to hold the registered medical transcriptionist (RMT) designation after passing the Association for Healthcare Documentation and Integrity (AHDI) exam. Those who want to advance in their careers and receive better pay after two or more years of work experience as an RMT will need to pass another exam that will make them certified medical transcriptionists (CMT).

Certification is voluntary but why should you get certified? First of all, medical transcription is not merely the process of transcribing notes. It needs a strong interpretive skill that can only be gained through proper training, an accurate ear and a quick mind. It requires knowledge of medical terms, the diagnostic process and treatment and care that needs to be administered. In addition to this, medical transcriptionists need to be able to be able to piece together understandable reports from narratives that are disjointed or from healthcare providers who do not speak English as a primary language. And even from native English speakers, there are variations in how it is spoken from state to state. A certification is a guarantee that the transcriptionist is able to undertake the job.

More importantly, a medical transcriptionist certification is essential to prevent errors in the transcription process that could potentially endanger the lives of patients. If crucial clinical data is misinterpreted and inaccurately recorded, it will remain on the patient's record forever, ultimately affecting future medical care that will be given. This will also affect a patient's insurance and treatment options.

On a larger scale, certification benefits the healthcare institutions as a whole. When they employ uncertified transcribers, they take a risk upon themselves with potential legal actions and complaints when patients contest their records. In economic times when belt-tightening has become the norm, hiring only certified medical transcriptionists is the only guarantee that an institution has that they will be protected from incurring these extra costs.

Certification is an important step if you want to succeed in your career as a medical transcriptionist. Passing the certification exams from the AHDI is your passport towards better earnings and increased chances of advancement. The Level 1 RMT and Level 2 CMT certifications prove to employers that you are job-ready and competent enough to meet the standards set forth by the institution or the healthcare provider you are interested to work for.

If you believe that you have what it takes to be a Medical Transcriptionist, then the first step is the Certified Medical Transcriptionist Exam Study Guide that walks you through the entire Medical Transcriptionist hiring process.

For more information, go to our page for the Certified Medical Transcriptionist Exam Study Guide.

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