How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Oklahoma
A medical transcriptionist is responsible for listening carefully to physician dictations and turning them into reviewed, edited and accurate documents. To do the job, you must be able to use the equipment and technology, understand medical terminology and have an eye for detail. In Oklahoma, as in other states, training to enter this field usually takes a year or less and can be done online.
Guidelines for Medical Transcriptionists in Oklahoma
No states, including Oklahoma, have requirements for licensing or education for medical transcriptionists. In order to be prepared for a job in the field, you should have a high school diploma or GED and have completed a medical transcription program at a post-secondary institution. You may also choose to get certified as a healthcare documentation specialist, but this is not necessary to get started.
Educational and Training Programs in Oklahoma
You can find a few in-person training programs or courses for learning how to work in medical transcription in Oklahoma. There are also many online options you can access from anywhere, such as the program offered by Penn Foster College.
- Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City and online. Oklahoma State’s Project REACH is a career skills training program that offers courses in several areas, including medical transcription. In addition to learning what you need to start working in this field, the program also provides internship opportunities and job coaching. Oklahoma State also offers an online course in medical transcription that you can take at your own pace or with guided instruction.
- Great Plains Technology Center, Lawton. This tech center has programming for high school and adult students. For adults, the Academic Center offers several classes in various technology and career skills. Here you can learn medical terminology and access transcription equipment for practice. This is more independent than guided learning, but it provides a good introduction to the industry.
National Certification for Medical Transcriptionists
You do not need to be certified to begin working as a medical transcriptionist, but certification can set you apart from other candidates and make landing a job easier. The leading organization for certifying transcriptionists is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
The first level of certification offered by AHDI (Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist) is for recent graduates and only requires that you pass an exam. For the second level (Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist), you must have the first certification, two years of work experience in multiple medical specialties and a passing score on the exam.
Career Growth and Salary Expectations for Medical Transcription
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a small decline in medical transcription jobs across the U.S. Unfortunately, the decline is steeper in Oklahoma, where these jobs are dropping at a rate of 16 percent. You can still find opportunities, though. Projections Central estimates that there will be open jobs yearly as people leave their positions, and many transcriptionists work remotely so you may be able to find an out-of-state job to do at home.
Although job growth is less than ideal, salaries are higher than average in Oklahoma. The national median salary for medical transcriptionists is $34,770. In Oklahoma, the average annual salary is over $39,000. Some transcriptionists earn more than $50,000 per year.
Finding Work as a Medical Transcriptionist in Oklahoma
Job growth is down, but you can still find positions, especially in the larger cities in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Norman. The majority of transcriptionists are hired either directly by medical facilities and physicians or by companies that provide healthcare support services. Here are some examples of jobs that have recently been listed in the state for medical transcriptionists:
- Medical secretary, Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Lawton
- Medical transcriptionists, StenoMed, Yukon
- Pathology secretary, OU Medicine, Oklahoma City
- Medical scribe, ScribeAmerica, Oklahoma City
Medical transcription is a healthcare career that is easy to enter, with minimal training and good salaries.