Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist in New Hampshire
If you are interested in providing a strong and essential supportive role within the medical field, you might consider becoming a medical transcriptionist. In New Hampshire, medical transcriptionists enjoy a relatively stable employment outlook, and nationally are among the highest paid in their field. While it is not necessary to have a degree to be hired as a medical transcriptionist in New Hampshire, those with certification will decidedly have an edge.
A medical transcriptionist, sometimes called a medical language specialist or healthcare document specialist, is adept at listening to audio recordings created by healthcare providers and accurately transforming them into typed documents. The information transcribed might be within one specialty area of medicine, such as pathology or orthopedics, or it might include reports, progress notes, patient histories or physician correspondence. Attention to detail, a good command of the English language and a facility for proper use of medical terminology are important components of the profession.
Medical transcriptionists work wherever medical records are created and might seek employment in hospitals and clinics, private physician offices, and nursing homes or rehabilitation centers. For those facilities that outsource their transcription work, some medical transcriptionists may work from home; they would simply need a headset, foot pedal and a computer.
State Requirements for a Medical Transcriptionist in New Hampshire
New Hampshire does not have state requirements to work as a medical transcriptionist. It is up to the employer to decide what level of experience, training or skills is necessary to fulfill the position requirements. Typically, someone working as a medical transcriptionist has had at least a high school diploma or GED. In some instances, coursework in medical terminology and transcription and at least one year of experience are required. In medical specialty areas, such as pathology or surgery, however, sometimes as much as two years of experience is required. In any case, preference is often given to those who have completed a certificate program. Additionally, such certification can sometimes substitute for experience and can help to determine pay.
Training Programs in Medical Transcription
Relevant education and training will increase the likelihood of employment. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) is a professional body that sets high standards for proper documentation practices and educational and training programs. While New Hampshire does not have any on-site programs, several distance-learning options exist which are AHDI approved. Some are:
- American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group
- CanScribe Career College
- Everett Community College
- Richland Community College
Certification for Medical Transcriptionists
While New Hampshire does not require certification for medical transcriptionists, employers will give preference to those who can demonstrate competency. Certification through the AHDI could provide this competitive edge and increase job prospects. Certification is also a good bargaining tool when seeking advancement.
There are two experience-based credentials offered through the AHDI that assess competency:
- Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS)—For recent graduates of medical transcription programs and those having fewer than two years of experience in acute care
- Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS)—For medical transcriptionists with greater than two years of experience in acute care or transcribing in multiple clinical specialties
The Employment Picture in New Hampshire for Medical Transcriptionists
In New Hampshire for the period 2016 to 2026, the number of job openings for medical transcriptionists is predicted to decline by 3.8 percent. Nationally for the period 2018 to 2028, CareerOneStop figures indicate that employment for medical transcriptionists will decrease by 4 percent. The employment outlook in New Hampshire is slightly better than the predicted national trend.
In a report dated May 2018, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that annual earnings for medical transcriptionists nationally averaged $36,350, with an average hourly wage of $17.48. In New Hampshire, salaries are higher than the national average, with an annual average of $40,000 and hourly rate of $19.23 for medical transcriptionists in the state. Furthermore, within the Nashua, New Hampshire/Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts area, medical transcriptionists are among the highest paid in the U.S., with salaries averaging $44,000 annually and $21.16 hourly. In fact, some of the highest paid medical transcriptionists within the Nashua/Boston/Cambridge region post earnings at $57,530 per year.
Working as a Medical Transcriptionist in New Hampshire
Employment opportunities for medical transcriptionists in New Hampshire are found primarily in hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices. In some cases, however, there exist opportunities for medical transcriptionists to work from home. Although outsourcing and technological enhancements within the industry, such as speech recognition software and the implementation of electronic medical records, have led to job loss nationally, some employers are now seeking highly skilled medical transcriptionists who can provide expert voice-to-text editing services to address errors created when using this new software.