How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in New Jersey
Medical transcriptionists are an important part of the healthcare team, as they ensure dictated notes from physicians and other healthcare providers are properly typed and added to a patient’s medical record. With advances in modern technology, transcriptionists are also increasingly responsible for editing documents created using voice recognition software for accuracy. As such, those interested in the career should have good listening and writing skills and an eye for detail.
Working in the field would require one to obtain a working knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, common disease processes, diagnostic procedures, medical terminology and medical abbreviations. Medical transcriptionists also need to know when and how to use appropriate reference material as well as have an in-depth knowledge of word processing and health information software. Since medical records are considered legal documents, transcriptionists will need to be aware of legal and confidentiality requirements and ensure they are always met.
New Jersey Medical Transcription Regulations
New Jersey does not have a licensure requirement for medical transcriptionists, nor is there a regulating board for the profession. Anyone wanting to work as a transcriptionist will need to have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent, prior to applying for an appropriate training course. Programs for medical transcriptionists can take the form of an in-person course or online training. Courses vary in length, taking anywhere from a few weeks to a year to complete.
Medical Transcription Programs for New Jersey Residents
Those wishing to pursue training for medical transcription in the state will need to find an appropriate training course. Available programs for those in New Jersey include:
- William Peterson University in Wayne offers online medical transcription training. The course follows the recommended standards set by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) for medical transcription training, preparing students to seek accreditation upon graduation. The course supplies over 300 hours of sample transcriptions.
- Ashworth College offers an online training program for medical transcription. Also based on AHDI recommendations, the program covers the basics of medical terminology, the various systems in the body, medical disorders and their treatments.
Career Advancing Certifications
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), as mentioned above, offers additional certifications with which medical transcriptionists can distinguish themselves as professionals to potential employers. Their Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) credential can be obtained by taking an examination consisting of multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank audio questions and a sample transcription.
Career Growth and Earning Potential in New Jersey
According to Projections Central, New Jersey is expected to experience a 5.4 percent decline in medical transcription jobs between the years 2016 and 2026, which is even higher than the national predicted decline of 3.3 percent for this field over the same time period.
On a more positive note, salaries for medical transcriptionists in New Jersey are above the national average, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, New Jersey is listed among the top five states with the highest wages in the nation, with a mean annual salary for medical transcription of $44,200 reported in 2018. This compares very favorably to the national reported mean of $36,350.
New Jersey Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists
Medical transcriptionists typically find work in business support services, physician offices, hospitals and other healthcare offices. According to the BLS, industries with the highest salaries include local governments, accounting firms, and medical and diagnostic laboratories. The career also has great potential for those wishing to work remotely from home or possibly own their own business. A few possible employers in New Jersey include Hackensack Meridian Health, Inspire Medical Centers, Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital and Quest Diagnostics.