How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in Wisconsin

For a career in healthcare that is flexible and doesn’t take years to train for, consider learning to become a medical transcriptionist. In this career you can work at home or in an office. It involves listening to dictations made by doctors and other healthcare professionals and then transcribing them into reports. You must understand medical jargon and be able to interpret the audio file in order to create, review and edit accurate medical reports.

What You Need to Start a Medical Transcription Career in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, you do not have to meet any specific requirements to work as a medical transcriptionist. You do have to have certain knowledge and skills in order to do the job, though. The recommended steps to take to become a medical transcriptionist include:

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  • Graduating from high school or earning a GED
  • Completing an online or in-person post-secondary program in medical transcription
  • Getting certified as a medical transcriptionist

Not all employers require certification for transcriptionists, but it can make you a more desirable job candidate.

Training Programs for Medical Transcriptionists

It’s fairly easy to find an online program that will train you in the skills needed to transcribe medical reports. In Wisconsin, you have a few options for learning online and on campuses:

  • Wisconsin Technical Colleges, Lakeshore and Waukesha. Two campuses in the Technical Colleges system offer a medical transcription program. Classes include anatomy and medical terminology as well as working with real medical transcripts for practice. Some work is done online, but there are also on-campus classes. By completing the courses you will earn a technical diploma.
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, online. This program is conducted entirely online and is approved by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Students get one-on-one support from instructors and assistance graduating and finding a job.

Getting Certified as a Medical Transcriptionist

AHDI offers national-level certification for medical transcriptionists. Employers may or may not require that you are certified, but by earning a credential you may be a better candidate for jobs and even earn more.

The first level of certification is Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and the second level is Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). You can become an RHDS by passing an exam if you have two years or fewer of work experience. To become a CHDS you must already hold the RHDS certification, pass another exam, have more than two years of experience and have worked in multiple medical specialty areas.

Job Growth and Salaries in Wisconsin and Nationwide

Unfortunately, the job growth in medical transcription is actually a decline. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nationwide decline is three percent, but in Wisconsin it is more than nine percent. There will still be open positions available every year in the state as people leave their jobs for retirement or other reasons.

The national median income for medical transcriptionists is $16.72 per hour and $34,770 per year. Wisconsin medical transcriptionists earn more. The state average earnings are $18.31 per hour and $38,080 annually.

How to Start Working as a Medical Transcriptionist in Wisconsin

Many transcriptionists work from home, which provides some flexibility in location. If you are looking to work in an office, you’ll find more opportunities in Wisconsin’s larger population centers: Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and Kenosha. Most transcriptionists either work directly for medical facilities or for support service companies that provide transcription services for them.

For an idea of what is available, consider these recent job listings for medical transcriptionists in Wisconsin: transcriptionist associate for Winnebago County in Oshkosh; transcription assistant for Examworks Group, Inc. in Madison; word processor/transcriptionist for Jamison Professional Services in Madison; and medical scribe for Aurora Health Care in De Pere.