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Summary Report for:
31-9094.00 - Medical Transcriptionists

Transcribe medical reports recorded by physicians and other healthcare practitioners using various electronic devices, covering office visits, emergency room visits, diagnostic imaging studies, operations, chart reviews, and final summaries. Transcribe dictated reports and translate abbreviations into fully understandable form. Edit as necessary and return reports in either printed or electronic form for review and signature, or correction.

Sample of reported job titles: Clinical Medical Transcriptionist, Documentation Specialist, Medical Language Specialist, Medical Secretary, Medical Transcriber, Medical Transcription, Medical Transcription Supervisor, Medical Transcriptionist, Radiology Transcriptionist, Transcriptionist

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Take dictation using shorthand, a stenotype machine, or headsets and transcribing machines.
  • Return dictated reports in printed or electronic form for physician's review, signature, and corrections and for inclusion in patients' medical records.
  • Review and edit transcribed reports or dictated material for spelling, grammar, clarity, consistency, and proper medical terminology.
  • Transcribe dictation for a variety of medical reports, such as patient histories, physical examinations, emergency room visits, operations, chart reviews, consultation, or discharge summaries.
  • Distinguish between homonyms and recognize inconsistencies and mistakes in medical terms, referring to dictionaries, drug references, and other sources on anatomy, physiology, and medicine.
  • Translate medical jargon and abbreviations into their expanded forms to ensure the accuracy of patient and health care facility records.
  • Produce medical reports, correspondence, records, patient-care information, statistics, medical research, and administrative material.
  • Identify mistakes in reports and check with doctors to obtain the correct information.
  • Perform data entry and data retrieval services, providing data for inclusion in medical records and for transmission to physicians.
  • Set up and maintain medical files and databases, including records such as x-ray, lab, and procedure reports, medical histories, diagnostic workups, admission and discharge summaries, and clinical resumes.
  • Perform a variety of clerical and office tasks, such as handling incoming and outgoing mail, completing and submitting insurance claims, typing, filing, and operating office machines.
  • Receive patients, schedule appointments, and maintain patient records.
  • Answer inquiries concerning the progress of medical cases, within the limits of confidentiality laws.
  • Decide which information should be included or excluded in reports.
  • Receive and screen telephone calls and visitors.

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Technology Skills

  • Accounting software — Patient billing software
  • Calendar and scheduling software — Calendar software
  • Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software Hot technology ; Database software; dBASE Plus; FileMaker Pro Hot technology
  • Desktop communications software — Sylvan Software DropChute Pro
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Information retrieval or search software — Medical terminology databases
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Medical software — Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS Hot technology ; MedQuist DocQment Enterprise Platform; PCC EHR; SpectraMedi EasyFlow (see all 8 examples)
  • Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
  • Spell checkers — Spellex AccuCount; Sylvan Software Complete Medical Pharmaceutical Spell Checker
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Voice recognition software — Crescendo Systems DigiScribe-XL; g-net solutions MTP; Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical
  • Word processing software — Boston Bar Systems Corporation Sonnet; Microsoft Word; SpeedUp Trans; Sylvan Software ShortCut (see all 9 examples)

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Desktop computers
  • Dictation machines — Desktop transcribers; Dictaphones; Transcribing equipment
  • Franking or postage machines — Postage meters
  • Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
  • Laser printers
  • Notebook computers
  • Personal computers
  • Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems

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Knowledge

  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

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Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Prepare medical reports or documents.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
  • Maintain medical records.
  • Process medical billing information.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.

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Work Context

  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 89% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 89% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure — 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 88% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 53% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 74% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 40% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 47% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Letters and Memos — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “40 hours.”
  • Electronic Mail — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 40% responded “Every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
56   Post-secondary certificate Help
26   Some college, no degree
11   High school diploma or equivalent Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: CR

  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $17.17 hourly, $35,720 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 70,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Decline (-2% or lower) Decline (-2% or lower)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 14,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Medical transcriptionists external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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