How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in South Carolina
Medical transcriptionists are responsible for transforming audio recorded by physicians and healthcare practitioners into official medical documentation. Working as a medical transcriptionist requires an eye for detail and an ability to understand medical terminology as well as knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical abbreviation and word processing software. Other important skills include active listening, reading comprehension, writing and critical thinking.
During training, a medical transcriptionist will learn to use appropriate reference material, health information software and how to transcribe accurate and professional notes for patient charting. Transcriptionists will also need to have awareness of the current legal and confidentiality requirements for medical documentation. With current trends in technology, editing will also be frequently needed for documents created using speech recognition software.
South Carolina Regulations for Medical Transcriptionists
There is no statewide licensure requirement for medical transcription in South Carolina, nor is there an oversight board for transcriptionists within the state. For those wishing to pursue a career in medical transcription, a high school diploma or equivalent will be needed as well as successful completion an appropriate training program. Programs for medical transcription are usually certificate programs, requiring up to one year of training.
Medical Transcription Programs in South Carolina
Although no schools in South Carolina offer on-campus training for medical transcriptionists, one school does offer a suitable online course.
- University of South Carolina in Aiken offers an online course in medical transcription. Students can either enroll in a six-week, instructor-led, intensive program or a self-structured course of up to three months in duration. Training covers the nine types of reports and their components as well as a grammar review and clinical knowledge. The program is recommended for those who already have a prior knowledge of medical terminology and touch-typing. Graduates will be prepared to enter the field in either an inpatient or outpatient setting.
Optional Certifications for Career Advancement
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers certifications for those wishing to acquire professional credentials and advance their careers. The Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) certification allows potential employers to have confidence in a candidate’s level of expertise in the field. Credentialing is achieved through the passage of an examination, which consists of multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the blank questions from audio recordings and a sample transcription.
Growth Projections and Salaries in South Carolina
Both projected growth of the career field and salaries are below the national average in South Carolina, leaving an uncertain future for those wishing to pursue this career in the state. According to data from Projections Central, medical transcription jobs in South Carolina are expected to decline by 7.4 percent between the years 2016 to 2026, compared to the national decline rate of 3.3 percent in the same time period. This translates to an average of about 90 new job openings annually within the state.
Annual salaries, while still lower than the national average of $36,350, are a little less concerning, with medical transcriptionists in South Carolina reporting an average annual salary of $34,740 in 2018, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Medical Transcription Opportunities in South Carolina
Medical transcriptionists often enjoy the ability to work from home and may also choose to start their own businesses. However, data from the BLS show industries with the highest rates of pay for medical transcriptionists are local governments, accounting/tax preparation firms and medical and diagnostic laboratories. In South Carolina, some possible employers include Med Trans, Inc., Spartanburg Regional Healthcare, Quest Diagnostics, Harbor Retirement Associates, Medely, Humana, LMC Extended Care and Newberry County Memorial Hospital.