Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist in Hawaii

Working as a medical transcriptionist could be a rewarding career for anyone wanting to be a part of the healthcare profession while potentially working remotely. The primary responsibility of medical transcriptionists involves listening to audio recordings of notes from physicians and other healthcare providers and typing them into written medical documentation. Increasingly, with current advances in medical technology, medical transcriptionists are also editing reports made using voice recognition software.

Those working in the field should have good listening and writing skills as well as pay careful attention to detail. Transcriptionists will also need to know when and how to use appropriate reference material and have a solid working knowledge of medical terminology, medical procedures, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, medical abbreviations, word processing software and health information technology. Transcriptionists are responsible for ensuring their reports always meets proper legal and confidentiality requirements and will need to keep up to date with regulations.

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Regulations in Hawaii for Medical Transcriptionists

Hawaii does not have a requirement for licensure for medical transcriptionists, nor is there an official oversight board for the profession. Those interested in the career will need to obtain appropriate training through a reputable training program as well as have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to enroll. Training programs can be completed online or in person, but online training is more common and plentiful. Courses generally take anywhere from a few weeks to a year to complete.

Training in Medical Transcription in Hawaii

It might be difficult to find in-person training for medical transcription in Hawaii; however, online options are abundant. Two of these include:

  • University of Hawai’i’s, Hawai’i Community College offers online medical transcription training. Students will learn the nine major types of reports along with their components and formatting. Lessons will also include the basics of transcribing, grammar and punctuation, listening skills and medical terminology. Audio transcriptions will give learners hands-on experience with producing reports.
  • Ashworth College also offers an online training program for medical transcription. The program includes the basics of transcription, medical terminology, medical disorders and treatments. Also included in the course fee is the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) examination through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).

Certifications for Career Advancement

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers an examination for the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) designation. Acquiring the certification, though optional, can help transcriptionists stand out in a crowded career field by projecting a higher degree of expertise and professionalism. The certification exam consists of multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank listening exercises and a sample transcription.

Wages and Growth Projections in Hawaii

Wages for medical transcriptionists in Hawaii are well below the national average, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting a mean annual wage of $29,070 in 2018. In contrast, the national reported mean annual wage was $36,350 in the same year.

According to Projections Central, the career can expect neither growth nor decline in the state between the years 2016 and 2026. While not especially good news, nationally the field is expected to decline by 3.3 percent in the same time period, leaving Hawaii a little ahead of the curve.

Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Hawaii

For the highest-paying opportunities, medical transcriptionists will want to seek employment in local governments, accounting firms, medical and diagnostic laboratories, dental offices, and medical and surgical hospitals, all of which are reported by the BLS as the highest-paying industries in the field. There is also good opportunity for those wishing to work as freelancers or own their own transcription business. A few possible employers in the state of Hawaii include CareStaff Partners, Army National Guard and U.S. Renal Care.