Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist in Arkansas

If you’re interested in a flexible career in the medical field that you don’t have to spend a lot of time training for, then you might be interested in working as a medical transcriptionist. You can work in an office setting or even from your own home.

Medical transcriptionists listen to audio recordings made by doctors and medical professionals and transcribe them into written medical reports. To create, review and edit these reports successfully, you must be familiar with medical terminology.

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Requirements to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Arkansas

Arkansas has not set any specific statewide guidelines for medical transcriptionists. Employers will determine job requirements. That said, most employers will require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.

Particular skills are also needed for this job, including knowledge of anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and the ability to use word processing and transcription software. You may want to take a medical transcription educational program to familiarize yourself with these skills. Programs can be taken online or on campus at a local community college or technical school. Completing one of these programs will increase your chances of getting hired.

Arkansas Medical Transcription Programs

Education and training will make you a more desirable employee. There are currently no on-campus programs for medical transcription available in Arkansas. However, you may want to consider one of the following online options:

  • Penn Foster College. At Penn Foster College online, you can complete a program for medical transcription. Most Penn Foster programs take less than a year to complete. In this program, students will learn about producing adequate medical reports and how to use speech recognition software. Tuition for this program can be paid all at once or in installments.
  • University of Arkansas. The Medical Transcription program available at the University of Arkansas is offered online via their ed2go program, which is a resource used by many universities in many states. Students will learn how to transcribe medical reports. Grammar reviews and clinical knowledge are taught, as well. This program consists of 24 course hours and can be taken as a six-week instructor-taught course, or students can complete the coursework at their own pace over three months. Instructional equipment and transcribing software are included in the class.

Certification for Medical Transcriptionists

Certification is not required for medical transcriptionists in Arkansas. If you do choose to get certified, the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) is the leading credentialing agency for medical transcriptionists.

Certifications offered by the AHDI are the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). The RHDS is for medical transcriptionists who have recently graduated and have less than two years of work experience. The CHDS is for medical transcriptionists who have already earned the RHDS credential and have been working for more than two years. You must take and pass an exam for each of these credentials.

Salary and Job Outlook in Arkansas for Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionist jobs are currently on the decline nationally. According to the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), the state of Arkansas is predicted to see a 7.5 percent decrease in medical transcriptionist jobs between 2016 and 2026. But don’t let this discourage you if you plan to work in this job field. Many jobs will still become available as people retire or move on to other jobs. Working from home may increase your chances also, because of the flexibility.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in May of 2018 medical transcriptionists were making a national annual average salary of $34,770. The yearly average for medical transcriptionists in Arkansas is just a little below the national rate at $32,490, or $15.62 hourly.

Working as a Medical Transcriptionist in Arkansas

As a medical transcriptionist, you might find work in hospitals, other healthcare facilities and agencies, doctors’ offices and even from your own home. Completing an online training program and earning a certification will help you to be better prepared for employment and may also help you to earn more. If you aren’t able to work from home, you may have more luck finding a job in cities like Conway, Jonesboro and Little Rock, Arkansas.