How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Minnesota

A medical transcriptionist, also known as a healthcare documentation specialist, is a trained worker who transcribes medical recordings. Healthcare careers are growing as the industry continues to expand, and if you are interested being a part of it, consider learning to work in medical transcription. Some of the regular duties include:

  • Listening to dictations made by doctors
  • Interpreting and transcribing those dictations
  • Editing and compiling reports based on transcriptions
  • Translating medical jargon into long form content
  • Ensuring accuracy in health records

Becoming a transcriptionist does not require a degree. This is a job that pays well and that you can get started in much faster than many other healthcare positions.

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Requirements for Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist in Minnesota

To become a medical transcriptionist in Minnesota you should have graduated from high school or hold a GED. The state doesn’t require that you have a specific post-secondary degree or be licensed or certified. However, most employers prefer to hire workers who have completed some type of appropriate training program. This could be an online course that takes just a few months, a certificate program or even a two-year associate degree. It is important to learn some basic skills to be able to transcribe medical dictations.

Medical Transcription Educational Programs in Minnesota

You’ll find that most programs that train students for medical transcription are conducted online. In Minnesota you can find both on-campus and online programs:

  • Normandale Community College, online. Normandale is located in Bloomington, but the school’s medical transcription program is online. It includes 640 hours of actual work, including 300 hours of practice transcribing and editing real medical dictations. Working 20 hours per week, it takes approximately seven months to complete, but you can go faster or slower as needed.
  • Lake Superior College, Duluth. Lake Superior offers an on-campus program in medical transcription that includes 32 credit hours of courses. You’ll earn a diploma taking courses in keyboarding, business English, medical office terminology, medical office procedures, medical machine transcription and more.

National Certification for Medical Transcriptionists

Getting certified as a medical transcriptionist is not necessarily required for getting hired, but some employers prefer it. Certification demonstrates your skills and could help you get a job and earn a better salary. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two levels of national certification.

The RHDS, Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist, certification is the first step. You can earn this credential by passing an exam in your first two years of work experience. As an RHDS you can then work toward CHDS, Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist, certification. You must pass the CHDS exam, have more than two years of work experience and have worked in more than one specialty area.

Job Growth and Salaries Nationwide and in Minnesota

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an unfortunate drop in careers available for medical transcriptionists. The decline is slower in Minnesota but is still a decline of about two percent, as reported by Projections Central. This doesn’t mean there will be no jobs, though. As people leave the field, positions open. There are still expected to be about 170 new openings per year in the state.

National salary reports for transcriptionists state that these healthcare professionals earn a median of $34,770 per year and $16.72 per hour. Salaries are better in Minnesota. The average earnings here are $43,200 per year and $20.77 per hour.

Finding Work as a Medical Transcriptionist in Minnesota

Most transcriptionists work for companies that provide administrative and support services for hospitals and physicians offices or directly for hospitals and physicians. Most work full-time, but there is a lot of flexibility in this career. Many medical transcriptionists work from home and some are even freelancers, doing work on a contract basis.

This means you can work virtually anywhere in the state, but if you want to work in an office, the most opportunities will be found in and around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth and Bloomington. Some examples of recent job listings in the state include: medical transcriptionist for Fairview Health Services in Saint Paul; virtual medical scribe for AQuity Solutions; and medical scribe for Emergency Physicians Professional Association in Minneapolis.