How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Virginia

As an integral part of the healthcare system, medical transcriptionists are responsible for transcribing reports from doctors and other healthcare professionals into official reports for a patient’s medical record. Transcriptionists will often need to edit reports made using voice recognition software, to make the report more coherent and to correct any problematic translations. The job requires listening skills, an eye for detail and an ability to recognize and correct errors.

Medical transcriptionists will need to acquire training in order to learn the specialized skills needed to perform their job duties. A few of the skills learned during training include a working knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, word processing software, medical abbreviations and medical terminology. Transcriptionists are also responsible for ensuring legal and confidentiality regulations are always met.

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Virginia Regulations for Medical Transcriptionists

Virginia, like most states, does not require a license to work as a medical transcriptionist, nor is there a specific oversight board for the profession within the state. However, those wanting to enter the field will need to have completed certain educational requirements. This includes a high school diploma or equivalent plus a certified training program. Training programs generally take the form of certificate courses with one year of training required to graduate.

Virginia Programs for Medical Transcriptionists

There are no training programs for medical transcriptionists located in the state of Virginia; however, there are online programs available for those who wish to pursue certification without leaving the state. A few of these include:

  • Penn Foster College offers a career diploma in medical transcription. The program uses simulations to develop the necessary skills to work in the field.
  • Ashworth College also offers training through simulation transcriptions. The program promises to prepare students to receive additional certifications upon graduation.
  • Blackstone Career Institute offers a certificate in medical transcription. The program promises to provide students with a working knowledge of medical terminology, diagnosis, abbreviations and procedures.

Special Certifications for Career Growth

Obtaining specialized certification as a medical transcriptionist is one way to stand out as a professional in a crowded career field. For certification, many transcriptionists use the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), an organization that awards the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) designation. Candidates will be required to pass an examination consisting of multiple-choice questions and sample transcriptions in order to acquire the certification.

Salary and Growth Projections for Medical Transcriptionists in Virginia

According to data from Projections Central, Virginia is expected to experience some growth in the field. Specifically, Virginia should experience an 11.3 percent growth between the years 2016 and 2026, much higher than the national projection, which shows a 3.3 percent decline in job openings.

As far as salaries within the state, medical transcriptionists made a reported mean annual salary of $34,110 in 2018, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This falls slightly below the national mean salary of $36,350. The BLS also reports Virginia as one of the top five states in which medical transcriptionists are employed.

Opportunities in Virginia for Medical Transcriptionists

According to data from the BLS, the industries with the highest employment for medical transcriptionists are business support services, physician offices and hospitals, with the top-paying industries for these specialists being local governments, bookkeeping and payroll services, and medical and diagnostic laboratories.

Some specific agencies that hire medical transcriptionists in the state include Med Trans, Inc, Wythe County Community Hospital, Quest Diagnostics, Northern Virginia Community College, Specialty Care, Grifols, Aerotek, Arvon Staffing and Woodlands Health and Rehab Center.