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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Chicago, Illinois

Medical transcriptionists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 3,190 jobs for medical transcriptionists in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 15% to 3,670 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical transcriptionists are expected to grow by about 11.2%. 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.

Income for medical transcriptionists is about $16 per hour or $33,770 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,060 annually. Medical transcriptionists earn the same as people working in the category of Transcription generally in Illinois and the same as people in the Transcription category nationally. People working as medical transcriptionists can fill a number of jobs, such as: radiology transcriptionist, medical coding technician, and documentation specialist.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a medical transcriptionist, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Given that the most common education level for medical transcriptionists is some college courses, you can expect to spend a short time training to become 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

MacCormac College - Chicago, IL

MacCormac College, 29 E. Madison, Chicago, IL 60602-4405. MacCormac College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 163 students. MacCormac College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated seventy-six and five students respectively in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a one to two year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated five students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated four students in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated two students in 2008.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated ten students in 2008.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has a one to two year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated four 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: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.