How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist in West Virginia
Medical transcriptionists listen to audio recordings made by physicians and other healthcare practitioners and convert them into official written medical records, requiring both good listening and typewriting skills. Editing skills and an eye for detail will also be very important, as today’s transcriptionists are often required to edit documents made using voice recognition software for clarity.
With training, medical transcriptionists will acquire the specialized knowledge needed to work in this career. A few examples of the skills needed in the field include a working knowledge of medical language, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, diagnostic procedures, medical abbreviation and both word processing and health information software. It will also be important to have up-to-date knowledge of the legal and confidentiality requirements for documentation, and to carefully always adhere to them.
West Virginia Regulations for Medical Transcriptionists
In West Virginia, like most states, licensure is not required to work as a medical transcriptionist. There is also no specific oversight committee for the career within the state.
Those looking to obtain training in the field will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to enroll in an educational program. Specialized training can be acquired through a reputable training program, either in person or online.
Medical Transcription Training in West Virginia
Training is available through one on-campus program in the state of West Virginia; however, there are many programs available online. Two options for West Virginians include:
- Martinsburg College offers a comprehensive medical transcription training program. Topics covered in the program include medical terminology, medical records, transcription process and guidelines, types of documents and laboratory tests. Case studies are used to give hands-on experience to students. The course requires students to complete 16 credit hours to receive a certificate.
- Penn Foster College offers a medical transcription training program entirely online. The program uses simulations as teaching tools and promises to train students in the skills needed to begin working in the field upon graduation. Students will have access to the program 24 hours per day and the ability to interact with other students, peer learners and career services.
Additional Certifications for Career Advancement
In order to enhance career development, medical transcriptionists are encouraged to seek additional certification. Obtaining accreditations is a great way project a degree of professionalism and expertise to potential employers.
Many in the field obtain certification through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), beginning with their Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) designation. This certificate can be earned by taking and passing an examination consisting of multiple-choice questions, listening exercises and a sample transcription.
Salary and Career Growth Projections in West Virginia
In spite of being listed as the non-metropolitan area with the highest concentration of medical transcriptionists in the nation by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the outlook in the state for this career is below the national average. The BLS reported an average annual salary of $34,470 for medical transcriptionists in West Virginia in 2018. The national reported average was $36,350 for the field for the same year.
As far as career growth, the field is experiencing a nationwide decline to the tune of 3.3 percent between the years 2016 and 2026, according to Projections Central. In West Virginia, the data looks even worse, with a decline of 19.1 percent predicted within the same time period.
West Virginia Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists
According to the BLS, the highest concentration of medical transcriptionists work in business support services, physician offices, hospitals, offices of other healthcare practitioners, and employment services. The highest-paying industries for medical transcriptionists include local governments, accounting services, laboratories, dental offices and hospitals.
A few potential employers of medical transcriptionists in West Virginia include River Park, Army National Guard, Mobile Dentists, CareStaff Partners, Interim HealthCare and Allegiant Services.