People with analytical minds and exceptional attention to detail often thrive in medical transcriptionist roles. To qualify for a job in this field, you’ll need to meet the age, educational, and certification requirements for your chosen employer.
How Old Do You Need to Be to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?
Because these professionals are responsible for following federal HIPPA regulations and analyzing confidential healthcare information, medical transcriptionists must be at least 18 years old.
What Do Medical Transcriptionists Do?
Medical transcriptionists review medical notes from doctors and other healthcare workers to interpret and transcribe them into patient history reports, discharge summaries, and other written medical documents.
To ensure accurate transcriptions, these professionals must:
- Review physicians’ medical reports by reading handwritten notes or listening to dictation through audio recordings
- Translate medical shorthand and abbreviations into long-form documents
- Compare reports to find errors, inconsistencies, and missing information that could compromise the patient’s care
- Check transcripts for accuracy and submit them to doctors and healthcare providers for approval
- Enter the transcribed reports into your employer’s electronic health report (EHR) system
What Are the Qualifications for Medical Transcriptionists?
In addition to being at least 18, having a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent is the minimum requirement for becoming a medical transcriptionist. Most employers also expect hopefuls to complete a medical transcriptionist program at a trade school or community college.
Medical Transcriptionist School
During a medical transcriptionist course, students learn legal documentation requirements for healthcare professionals, as well as how to use audio playback equipment, specialized software, and electronic health report systems.
Other medical transcriptionist classes typically include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Terminology and Abbreviations
- Diagnostic Procedures
- English Grammar and Punctuation
Hospitals and clinics often require medical transcriptionist applicants to pass a criminal background check and drug screening before they can be eligible for hire. Some employers prefer to hire medical transcriptionists with one of the following credentials:
- Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS)
- Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS)
How Long is Medical Transcriptionist School?
Most medical transcriptionist training courses are less than one year long. Depending on where you take your classes, you might finish your program in six to nine months. If you attend school part-time, you might graduate in 12 to 18 months.
Options for Underage Hopefuls
You’ll need to be at least 18 to take training courses or apply for a medical transcriptionist job. However, high school English, anatomy, and biology classes can help you gain basic knowledge and learn the skills needed in this profession.