Medical Transcriptionists in Texas
The primary responsibility of a medical transcriptionist is to convert audio recordings from physicians and other healthcare providers into written medical records. This may take the form of typing an entire record from a dictated report, or editing a report created using voice-recognition software. In either scenario, the medical transcriptionist is an important part of the healthcare team, as the person who facilitates communication between various providers.
Working as a medical transcriptionist requires an eye for detail, good listening skills and a working knowledge of both word processing and health information software. Training should include an overview of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, common disease processes, medical abbreviations, pharmacology and medical, surgical and diagnostic procedures. Transcriptionists will also bear the responsibility for ensuring proper adherence to all legal and confidentiality requirements.
Texas Regulations for Medical Transcriptionists
There is no licensing board for medical transcriptionists in the state of Texas, as licensure is not a requirement for employment in the field. Those wishing to work as a medical transcriptionist will need to seek the proper training through an appropriate training program. Medical transcription courses can be completed either in person or online and generally require a high school diploma or equivalent as a prerequisite. Depending on the program, the length of time to completion can be anywhere from six weeks to one year.
Education for Medical Transcriptionists in Texas
There are a few programs in Texas suitable for those looking to work as a medical transcriptionist. Online courses are also available in various locations throughout the country. These include:
- Texas State Technical College offers a certificate as a Medical Office Specialist at their Abilene campus. While not a focused medical transcription program, students in the course will learn the basics of health information systems, disease pathology, medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology as well as the legal and ethical requirements for patient charting.
- Trinity Valley Community College in Athens offers a certificate course in Medical Transcription. Students will learn the basics of keyboarding, medical terminology and administrative support. Graduates can apply credits toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in either Office Technology or Medical Office.
It’s important to distinguish oneself as a professional in a competitive career field, and acquiring additional certifications can help those looking for advancement to set themselves apart from the competition. One organization often used by medical transcriptionists is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Their Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) credential can be earned by passing an examination consisting of multiple-choice questions, listening exercises and a sample transcription.
Texas Wages and Job Growth Potential
Although the medical transcription field is experiencing a nationwide decline and reorganization due to advances in technology, the general outlook in Texas remains stable. According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical transcriptionists in Texas reported a mean annual wage of $36,780 in 2018, somewhat higher than the national reported mean of $36,350 that same year. Job outlook in the state is also higher than average, with the BLS listing Texas in the top five states for highest employment in the field. The job classification is expected grow by 5.4 percent between the years 2016 and 2026. This is good news compared to the expected nationwide decline of 3.3 percent for this field.
Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Texas
As a career, medical transcriptionists enjoy the ability to work remotely or possibly even own their own business as a freelancer. However, data from the BLS show that most medical transcriptionists work for business support services, physicians’ offices and hospitals. A few possible employers in Texas include Med Trans, Inc., Medely and Specialty Care.