How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Kansas

If you’re looking for a career in health care that doesn’t require a college degree, consider training to become a medical transcriptionist. Also known as healthcare documentation specialists, these workers listen to and prepare reports and documents based on physician dictations.

You will need to learn medical terminology, editing and how to use transcription technology, but for most people this takes two years or less. Requirements for getting into the field are minimal, and before you know it you could be working in health care in Kansas.

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Medical Transcriptionist Pathway in Kansas

The state has no official requirements. You don’t have to earn a specific degree or hold a license or certification. This job does require special skills, though, and there are certain things most employers will look for when hiring:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Completion of a post-secondary program in medical transcription
  • National certification

The latter is not always required by employers, but it can be a bonus that gets you hired over another candidate.

Kansas Training Programs for Medical Transcription

Kansas has a few programs for learning to become a medical transcriptionist. If none are in your area, there are also plenty of quality online programs.

  • Cowley College, Arkansas City. Most programs for medical transcription are for diplomas or certificates, but Cowley offers both a certificate and an associate degree option. The degree will take longer to complete, but it will give you more choices later. Credits likely transfer to four-year degree programs in related fields so that you can advance your career. With the certificate program, on the other hand, you can start working sooner.
  • Barton Community College, Great Bend. Another program that will give you more career options is Barton’s Medical Administrative Technologist associate degree. In addition to medical transcription, courses will train you in all aspects of running a medical office. It will prepare you to work as a transcriptionist, a medical biller or coder, and an office administrator.

National Certifications

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) is the leading organization for medical transcription professionals. AHDI offers two levels of certification that will help you demonstrate to employers that you have the skills and experience to do the job:

  • Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist. This level of certification is for new graduates of transcription programs. You must pass an exam, which any good post-secondary program should prepare you to do.
  • Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist. For the second level of certification you must have the first credential, have more than two years of work experience, pass an exam and have experience working in more than one medical specialty area.

Salaries and Job Growth for Medical Transcriptionists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national mean salaries for medical transcriptionists are $34,770 per year and $16.72 per hour. Salaries in Kansas are a little lower, commensurate with a lower cost of living here. The average salaries for medical transcriptionists in the state are $32,630 per year and $15.69 per hour.

Growth is unfortunately negative for medical transcriptionists right now. Across the U.S., there is a three percent decline in positions. In Kansas, that rate is about double. Even so, there will be about 80 positions in the state each year for medical transcriptionists. And other states are seeing big growth, so you can always train here and find work elsewhere.

Launching a Career as a Medical Transcriptionist in Kansas

Although there is no growth in the industry in Kansas, there will be open positions for transcriptionists as people retire or leave their jobs for other reasons. Look for positions with medical facilities, like hospitals, and medical support services companies that provide transcription for these facilities.

In Kansas, you may find more work opportunities in the larger population centers of Wichita, Overland Park, Kansas City and Topeka, but remote work is also possible. Some of the recent job listings in the state include: transcriptionist, Jamison Professional Services, Topeka; medical transcriptionist, American Consultants, Overland Park; and transcriptionist, Psychiatry Associates of Kansas City, Leawood.