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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Huntsville, Alabama

Medical transcriptionists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Huntsville, Alabama area. There are currently 1,800 jobs for medical transcriptionists in Alabama and this is projected to grow 22% to about 2,190 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for medical transcriptionists, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.2% over the next eight years. Medical transcriptionists generally use transcribing machines with headset and foot pedal to listen to recordings by physicians and other healthcare professionals dictating a variety of medical reports, such as emergency room visits, diagnostic imaging studies, operations, and final summaries.

A person working as a medical transcriptionist can expect to earn about $13 hourly or $27,470 yearly on average in Alabama and about $15 per hour or $32,060 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Medical transcriptionists earn the same as people working in the category of Transcription generally in Alabama and the same as people in the Transcription category nationally. Jobs in this field include: radiology transcriptionist, documentation specialist, and certified coding specialist.

The Huntsville area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree as a medical transcriptionist. Given that the most common education level for medical transcriptionists is some college courses, it will take a short time to learn to be a medical transcriptionist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Transcriptionist

Medical Transcriptionist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical transcriptionists use transcribing machines with headset and foot pedal to listen to recordings by physicians and other healthcare professionals dictating a variety of medical reports, such as emergency room visits, diagnostic imaging studies, operations, and final summaries. They also transcribe dictated reports and translate medical jargon and abbreviations into their expanded forms.

Medical transcriptionists distinguish between homonyms and recognize inconsistencies and mistakes in medical terms, referring to dictionaries and other sources on anatomy and medicine. They also translate medical jargon and abbreviations into their expanded forms to insure the precision of patient and health care facility archives. Equally important, medical transcriptionists have to return dictated reports in printed or electronic form for physician's review and corrections and for inclusion in patients' medical archives. They are often called upon to inspect and edit transcribed reports or dictated material for spelling and proper medical terminology. They are expected to transcribe dictation for a variety of medical reports, such as patient histories, physical examinations, emergency room visits or discharge summaries. Finally, medical transcriptionists transcribe dictation for a variety of medical reports, such as patient histories, physical examinations, emergency room visits or discharge summaries.

Every day, medical transcriptionists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for medical transcriptionists to take dictation using either shorthand or a stenotype machine, or using headsets and transcribing machines; then convert dictated materials or rough notes to written form. They are often called upon to identify mistakes in reports and check with doctors to obtain the correct data. They also produce medical reports, correspondence, reports, patient-care data and administrative material. They are sometimes expected to run data entry and data retrieval services, providing data for inclusion in medical reports and for transmission to physicians. Somewhat less frequently, medical transcriptionists are also expected to execute a variety of clerical and office tasks, such as handling incoming and outgoing mail, completing and submitting insurance claims and operating office machines.

Medical transcriptionists sometimes are asked to prepare and maintain medical files and databases, including records such as x-ray and procedure reports, medical histories, diagnostic workups, admission and discharge summaries, and clinical resumes. They also have to be able to execute a variety of clerical and office tasks, such as handling incoming and outgoing mail, completing and submitting insurance claims and operating office machines and receive patients and maintain patient archives. And finally, they sometimes have to identify mistakes in reports and check with doctors to obtain the correct data.

Like many other jobs, medical transcriptionists must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Transcriptionist Training

Snead State Community College - Boaz, AL

Snead State Community College, 220 North Walnut Street, Boaz, AL 35957-0734. Snead State Community College is a small college located in Boaz, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,234 students. Snead State Community College has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated six students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Medical Administrative Specialist: This certification is for medical administrative specialists who serves a key role in medical office, clinic and hospital settings.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Registered Medical Transcriptionist: AHDI offers a voluntary credentialing exam to individuals who wish to become Registered Medical Transcriptionists (RMTs).

For more information, see the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity website.

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.