How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Indiana
Learning to become a medical transcriptionist is the first step toward a great new career in healthcare. The duties of this job include listening to medical dictations, transcribing them and using that information to create patient history reports, exam notes, referral letters, discharge summaries and other important health documents. Some benefits of working as a medical transcriptionist include:
- The ability to work from home
- The flexibility of choosing part-time or full-time work
- Being a part of the growing healthcare industry
- Training that takes less than a year in most cases
What You Need to Work as a Medical Transcriptionist in Indiana
You don’t need any specific credentials in Indiana to work as a medical transcriptionist. However, most employees will look for a couple of things: that you have finished high school or earned a GED and that you completed a post-secondary program in medical transcription. The latter is usually an online program that confers a diploma or certificate and takes less than one year to complete.
Indiana Programs in Medical Transcription
Most medical transcription programs are offered online, which provides the convenience of studying on your schedule. There are occasional options to learn on campus as well.
- Indiana University Southeast, New Albany. This campus program may include some online courses but requires that you complete at least half of the credits at IU Southeast. The Healthcare Documentation Certificate program is 18 credit hours and includes courses in medical terminology, healthcare documentation practicum, human anatomy and elementary composition.
- Ivy Tech Community College, online. This statewide community college system offers an online medical transcription program that also includes editing of healthcare documents. The program is comprehensive and approved by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
Certification for Medical Transcriptionists
The AHDI offers two levels of certification for medical transcriptionists, also known as healthcare documentation specialists:
- Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist. This first level of certification is for recent graduates. You must pass an exam to get certified.
- Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist. For he second level of certification, you must already hold the first credential, have at least two years of work experience, have worked in more than one medical specialty, and pass an exam.
Career Growth and Salaries in the U.S. and Indiana
While the healthcare industry overall is growing, jobs for transcriptionists are declining across the U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the career is declining at a slow rate of three percent. In Indiana, Projections Central reports a decline of closer to nine percent. In spite of this drop, you can still expect to find work. With people leaving their jobs, there are still at least 100 new positions available each year in Indiana for qualified medical transcriptionists.
Median salaries, as reported by the BLS, are $34,770 per year and $16.72 per hour across all states. In Indiana, the average salaries are $15.67 per hour and $32,600 per year. Top earners can make over $51,000 annually depending on employer and with more experience and certification.
Beginning a Medical Transcription Career in Indiana
As you look for a job in medical transcription, expect to find more opportunities in and around Indiana’s bigger cities, including Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville and South Bend. About a third of transcriptionists work for healthcare support services companies, while 40 percent work directly for medical facilities. You may be able to find work as a freelancer, and many transcriptionists also have the option to work remotely, part-time or full-time.