Medical Transcription Careers in Pennsylvania
Preparation and sharing of medical documents is an important way for healthcare providers to communicate with each other regarding a patient’s health status, disease process or specialized procedure. Medical transcriptionists serve as an important part of the healthcare team by ensuring that dictated notes and notes generated using speech-recognition software are properly typed, before addition to the patient’s permanent medical record. Those interested in the field will need to have good writing and listening skills and an attention for detail.
Medical transcriptionists use a variety of tools including word processing software, data entry software, health information software and specific reference materials. In order to work in the field, transcriptionists will need to be well-versed in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical abbreviations and medical procedures. Transcriptionists will also be responsible for ensuring proper adherence to legal and confidentiality requirements.
Regulations in Pennsylvania for Medical Transcriptionists
Pennsylvania does not have specific requirements for medical transcriptionists to obtain licensure, nor is there an oversight board for the profession within the state. Proper education will, however, be required. Those wishing to complete the training for medical transcription will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, at minimum, prior to applying for a training program. Training programs can be completed either in person or online and range in expected time commitment from six weeks up to one year.
Pennsylvania Programs for Medical Transcriptionists
There is only one college in Pennsylvania that offers a training program for those wishing to become medical transcriptionists; however, there are also many online options throughout the country. For those who want to attend a Pennsylvania-based college:
- Reading Area Community College offers a Credit Certificate for Medical Office/Health Record Specialist. Students will learn the basics of keyboarding, proofreading, language skills, medical terminology and editing. In addition, those attending the program will become familiar with the various components of medical records, word processing and health information software and the legal aspects of medical charting. Graduates will be prepared to enter the workforce in entry-level positions upon completion of the program.
Optional Additional Certifications
Obtaining additional certifications is a great way for medical transcriptionists to highlight their skills and professionalism to prospective employers. One highly-regarded organization that provides certifications is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Their Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) credential is obtained through passing an examination, which consists of multiple-choice questions, audio exercises and a sample transcription.
Salaries and Career Growth Projections in Pennsylvania
The news is mixed for medical transcriptionists seeking employment in Pennsylvania. On the positive side, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists Pennsylvania as one of the top five states with the highest concentration of employment in the field. Salaries are also looking better than the national average, which was reported by the BLS as $36,350 per year in 2018, with Pennsylvania’s mean annual salary listed as $38,770 in the same year.
The less favorable news lies in the career growth potential. Medical transcription as a profession is experiencing a nationwide decline to the tune of a 3.3 percent expected decline between the years 2016 and 2026, according to Projections Central. In Pennsylvania, the news is even worse, with an expected 17 percent decline in the same time period.
Medical Transcription Opportunities in Pennsylvania
For those looking to find the most lucrative opportunities, the BLS lists the top-paying industries for the profession as local governments, accounting firms and laboratories. The career also has significant potential for self-employment and business ownership. A few possible employers within the state include Med Trans, Inc., Women’s Health center of Lebanon, Lower Bucks Hospital and Roxborough Memorial Hospital.