How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Tennessee

The role of a medical transcriptionist, also known as a healthcare documentation specialist or medical scribe, is important in healthcare. These professionals are responsible for listening to physician dictations and creating accurate, edited written reports and transcriptions for patient records.

It does not take a lot of training to become a medical transcriptionist in Tennessee, but you do need to learn some specialized knowledge. This career requires familiarity with medical terminology and transcription equipment as well as the ability to listen carefully and pay attention to details.

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The Steps to Working as a Medical Transcriptionist in Tennessee

There are no official or state requirements for beginning a career in this field. Generally, the easy steps individuals take to become a medical transcriptionist include:

  • Finish high school and earn a diploma or work toward the equivalent, a GED
  • Enroll in and complete a post-secondary program in medical transcription, typically for a degree or certificate and often online
  • Get certified through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), although this is optional

Tennessee Medical Transcription Programs

Most programs that you will find offered by community, technical, and career colleges for medical transcription are conducted online. This allows you to access them from anywhere and even complete the courses at your own pace.

  • Roane State Community College, online. This Roane State program is offered through TN eCampus. This is designed to be a three-semester program, but you can arrange courses so that it takes only nine months to complete. The classes will teach you to transcribe medical dictations and edit medical documents. You will graduate with 32 credit hours.
  • Columbia State Community College, online. Another Tennessee college with an online option for medical transcription, Columbia State’s program is non-credit. It has been approved by the AHDI and includes 905 hours of intensive learning and training. Instruction includes medical terminology, basic medical knowledge, legal issues, and English grammar and editing.

Getting Certified as a Medical Transcriptionist

You do not have to be certified to begin working in this career in Tennessee, but doing so is a good idea. Certification through the AHDI shows that you have received the proper training and makes you more employable.

The first level of certification is called Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist and is for transcriptionists with less than two years of work experience in just one medical specialty. The Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist credential requires you first have the registered credential as well as more than two years of experience in more than one specialty area. Both credentials require a passing score on an appropriate exam.

Salaries and Job Growth in Medical Transcription

Tennessee is currently seeing strong, positive growth in medical transcription positions, according to Projections Central. This is in contrast to a slight downturn nationwide, so choosing to start your career in Tennessee is smart.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide median salaries for medical transcriptionists are $16.72 per hour and $34,770 per year. The average salaries in Tennessee are just a little lower than this, at $16.27 per hour and $33,850 per year. Top earners in medical transcription, those who work for higher-paying companies, with certification, with more medical specialties and work experience can earn more than $51,000 per year.

Finding a Job as a Medical Transcriptionist in Tennessee

There are two main types of employers for medical transcriptionists: medical facilities, like hospitals and physician offices, and healthcare support services companies that offer transcription for those medical facilities. In either case, you may have the option to work at home. Here are examples from actual, recent job listings in Tennessee:

  • Remote medical quality assurance specialist, iScribe Health, Nashville
  • Transcription specialist, Campbell Clinic, PC, Germantown
  • Pathology Transcriptionist, M*Modal, Franklin
  • Medical Scribe, Cherokee Health Systems, Knoxville

These are just some of the types of positions available. To qualify for them and start a great new career, begin looking into medical transcription programs.