How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Delaware

Medical transcriptionists play an essential role in the healthcare field. They turn audio recordings by physicians into written documentation that goes into a patient’s medical records. If you have a keen eye for detail, the ability to type and edit documents, and are a good listener, then you might want to consider working as a medical transcriptionist.

To work as a medical transcriptionist, you will also need to understand medical terminology, medical abbreviations, pharmacology, and be familiar with various software programs including transcribing and word processing software. You will not need a degree, but you will need to be trained in the previously mentioned areas.

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Regulations for Medical Transcriptionists in Delaware

Delaware does not require that you be licensed to work as a medical transcriptionist in the state, nor are there any other statewide requirements. The minimum education requirement both for work and to enroll in a training program to learn the specialized skills you’ll need is a high school diploma or equivalent. Any other conditions will be left up to the employer.

Delaware Programs for Medical Transcription

Medical transcription training programs can be taken online or through a campus program at a community or technical college. Most of these programs can be completed in less than a year. There aren’t any on-campus options available in Delaware, but there are a couple of online programs to choose from, including:

  • Ashworth College. Ashworth College has an online medical transcription program consisting of five lesson groups of medical transcription coursework. The length of the program is determined by how quickly you complete the curriculum. You are eligible to take the AHDI Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist certification exam once you have completed the program, and the fee to take the exam is included in your tuition.
  • Penn Foster College. Penn Foster College offers a medical transcription program that can be taken online as well. This course can be completed at the student’s pace, but how slowly or quickly you complete each part determines how quickly you complete the entire program. Most Penn Foster programs are completed within a year or less. This nationally-accredited program also prepares students to take the AHDI Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist certification exam.

Certification for Medical Transcriptionists

While it’s not mandatory, obtaining certification can work to your benefit when looking for employment. It will show employers that you are dedicated and set you apart from others in your field. The principal credentialing agency for medical transcriptionists is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). To get certified as a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist, you must pass an exam. The exam will consist of multiple-choice questions, audio exercises and transcriptions samples.

Growth Projections and Salaries for Medical Transcriptionists in Delaware

This profession is expected to see a 6.3 percent decline in the state of Delaware, and a 3 percent decline nationally, between the years 2016 and 2026. While a reduction in the number of medical transcription job is not necessarily good, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about this career, either. Jobs will become available as people retire, move or change jobs or careers. Working remotely from home may also increase your chances of employment.

Within the state of Delaware, the average salary for this career is just slightly below the national average but still decent. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that, nationally, medical transcriptionists were making a yearly average of $34,770 in 2018. Medical transcriptionists in the state of Delaware made an average of $33,220 that same year.

Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Delaware

Working as a medical transcriptionist may mean working in hospitals, physician offices and other medical clinics, for administrative support services or even from home. Many transcriptionists who work from home freelance and contract out their work or own their own business. They may also work for government agencies. If you don’t work from home, some of the Delaware cities where you may find employment are Dover, Newark and Wilmington.