Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist in Idaho

As an integral part of the healthcare team, medical transcriptionists are primarily responsible for listening to audio recordings made by physicians and other healthcare practitioners and transcribing them into written medical notes. In recent years, the profession is adapting to updates in modern technology, with transcriptionists increasingly acting as editors to documents made using voice recognition software. For those interested in the profession, a good eye for detail along with listening and keyboarding skills will be helpful.

Acquiring the proper training will help medical transcriptionists obtain the skills they will use daily. These include the ability to know when and how to use appropriate reference materials as well as good knowledge of the various software systems used in the field. Other important areas of knowledge include anatomy and physiology, medical abbreviations, diagnostic procedures, medical terminology and pharmacology. It will also be important for transcriptionists to remain up to date with current legal and confidentiality requirements for charting and to ensure constant compliance with them.

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Idaho Regulations for Medical Transcription

Like most states, Idaho does not have specific regulations for medical transcriptionists, and licensure is not required to work in the state. In general, aspiring medical transcriptionists will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and attend a reputable training program. Training can take anywhere from weeks to years depending on the program selected and can be completed either in person or online. Online training programs are significantly more abundant in the United States; however, on-site training programs do still exist in some places.

Training for Medical Transcription

In Idaho, training is available both on campus and online through various programs. A few of these include:

  • Idaho State University offers medical transcription training through their Continuing Education Workforce Training. The program is approved through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
  • Lewis-Clark State College offers on-site training for medical transcription. The program promises to teach proficiency in outpatient transcription, medical terminology, word processing, grammar and proofreading.
  • Ashworth College offers online training for medical transcription. The program promises to prepare students for certification through the AHDI, with examination costs included in the price of tuition.

Additional Certifications for Career Advancement

While optional, the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers an examination for certification as a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS). Acquiring this designation is a good way for transcriptionists to show a higher level of expertise and professionalism to potential employers and improves potential for career advancement. The examination itself consists of multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank listening exercises from audio recordings and a sample transcription.

Idaho Growth Projections and Salary Expectations

The career potential for medical transcriptionists in Idaho is below the national average, with a projected 6 percent decline in jobs predicted between the years 2016 and 2026, according to Projections Central. Nationally, the industry is also experiencing a decline to the tune of 3.3 percent in the same time period.

Salaries in the state also lag significantly behind the national average. According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical transcriptionists made a reported mean annual salary of $29,940 in 2018, compared to a mean of $36,350 nationwide.

Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Idaho

For those interested in the career, a draw might lie in its potential for working remotely, freelancing or business ownership. Salaries can also be maximized by seeking employment in one of the higher-paying industries, reported by the BLS as local governments, accounting firms and laboratories. A few potential employers of medical transcriptionists in Idaho include Kootenai Health and Ada County.