How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Mississippi

Medical transcriptionists are vital to the healthcare system, because these skilled professionals transcribe audio reports from doctors and other healthcare workers and convert them into written documents that are included in a patient’s medical records. Transcriptionists often use voice recognition software to edit reports. This job requires excellent listening skills, the ability to recognize and fix errors, and a keen eye for detail.

Since specific skills are needed to work as a medical transcriptionist, some training is necessary. These skills include being able to use word processing software and being familiar with medical abbreviations and medical terminology.

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Regulations for Medical Transcriptionists in Mississippi

Like most states, Mississippi does not require that medical transcriptionists hold certification or licensure to work in the state. The main educational requirements is a high school diploma or GED and, although post-secondary education isn’t mandatory, most medical transcriptionists complete some type of program to gain knowledge and experience. These programs are generally offered at community colleges or online and most can be completed in a year or less.

Mississippi Educational Programs for Medical Transcriptionists

There are no colleges in Mississippi that offer medical transcription programs on campus. However, you do have online options. These include:

  • The University of Mississippi. The medical transcription program available at the University of Mississippi is offered online as a part of their ed2go programs. Students learn how to transcribe medical reports that are used in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The program consists of 24-course hours and can be taken as a six-week course that is taught by an instructor or as a three-month self-paced course. All instructional equipment and transcribing software are included in the course tuition.
  • Penn Foster College. Penn Foster College also offers a medical transcription program that can be completed online at the student’s pace. This is a nationally accredited medical transcriptionist program that also prepares students to take the AHDI certification exam. Tuition can be paid as one payment in full or in installments. The length of the program will depend on how quickly you can complete coursework. However, most of the programs that are available through Penn Foster can be finished in less than a year.

Medical Transcriptionist Certifications

One way to stand out in this job field is to obtain certification as a medical transcriptionist. Most transcriptionists use the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) as their certification agency. The AHDI offers a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist designation, which requires students to pass an exam that is comprised of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions and sample transcriptions.

Salary and Growth Projections for Medical Transcriptionists

The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) reports on job growth in most career fields. According to their data, medical transcriptionists are expected to see a 3.3 percent decline in job availability nationally between the years 2016 and 2026. Projections Central, which is the website that displays the PMP data, did not have any information about predicted job growth or decline for medical transcriptionists within the state of Mississippi.

Salary-wise, medical transcriptionists made an average annual salary of $34,770 nationwide in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mississippi medical transcriptionists made a yearly average of $31,640, or $15.21 per hour, that same year.

Opportunities in Mississippi for Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionists may find work in business support services, doctor’s offices, hospitals, medical clinics, mental health centers and medical and diagnostic laboratories. Many medical transcriptionists work from home. The cities you might find the most job opportunities in include Biloxi, Gulfport, Jackson, Meridian and Tupelo.