Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist in Arizona
Jobs in the healthcare industry are always in demand. If you’re interested in a healthcare career that doesn’t involve hands-on care of patients, consider a career as a medical transcriptionist. As an Arizona medical transcriptionist, you’ll listen to voice recordings made by doctors or other medical professionals and prepare written documents that will be added to the patient’s permanent medical file such as medical histories, diagnostic lab results and pathology reports. Another job title for this position is healthcare documentation specialist.
Requirements for Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist in Arizona
In Arizona, postsecondary education is usually required to work in the field of medical transcription. Most training programs are certificate programs that can be completed in a year or less. Community colleges, vocational schools and distance learning programs are some of the options of places where you can get the training needed to work in this field.
Education Programs for Medical Transcriptionists in Arizona
Training programs include coursework in medical terminology, anatomy, grammar and punctuation and legal issues that might arise involving healthcare documentation. Examples of training programs in this field in Arizona include:
- Pima Community College. Located in Tucson, AZ, this school offers a certificate program in medical transcription that begins monthly and is offered during the day. The program consists of both classroom training and a medical transcription externship.
- Arizona Western College. This college offers online training in medical transcription. Students can choose between an instructor-led course, which takes six weeks, or a self-paced course with three months of online access. The course prepares students to work in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Licensing or Certification of Arizona Medical Transcriptionists
Arizona doesn’t require medical transcriptionists to be licensed or certified. Obtaining certification from a national organization proves to potential employers that you’re knowledgeable and committed to the field. The most well-known organization that offers certification of medical transcriptionists is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
AHDI offers two levels of certification. When you’ve been trained as a medical transcriptionist but have less than two years’ experience, you’re eligible to take the exam to become a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS). After you have two years’ experience, you can take the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist exam. Both tests consist of multiple-choice questions and fill-in-the-blank transcription.
Medical Transcriptionist Job Outlook and Salary Expectations in Arizona
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for medical transcriptionists nationwide in 2018 was $34,770. In Arizona, medical transcriptionists earned between $40,810 and $51,069 as of December 2019, with the average medical transcriptionist earning $45,810 according to Salary.com.
Across the United States, projected employment for medical transcriptionists is expected to decline slightly. CareerOneStop projects that the number of people employed in this field will drop from 58,000 to 56,000 between 2016 and 2018, a decrease of approximately 4 percent. The state of Arizona is a great location for people who wish to work in this field, because in this state job growth is expected to increase by approximately 14 percent between 2016 and 2026.
Working as a Medical Transcriptionist in Arizona
Medical transcription is a career that requires a lot of attention to detail. You’ll listen to dictation, review and edit drafts from speech recognition software, translate medical abbreviations into long form and identify errors or any missing information that could compromise patient care.
Opportunities for medical transcriptionists are available at hospitals, doctors’ offices and medical laboratories across the entire state of Arizona, particularly in large cities such as Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa. You may be able to work as a medical transcriptionist from home, which may allow you to work flexible hours.