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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Portland, Maine

If you want to be a medical transcriptionist, the Portland, Maine area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 600 people are currently employed as medical transcriptionists in Maine. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 15% to 690 people employed. 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. 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.

Medical transcriptionists earn about $14 per hour or $30,740 annually on average in Maine and about $15 hourly or $32,060 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for medical transcriptionists are the same as earnings in the general category of Transcription in Maine and the same as general Transcription category earnings nationally. People working as medical transcriptionists can fill a number of jobs, such as: certified medical coder, medical administrative specialist, and medical coding technician.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can study to be a medical transcriptionist, among twenty-three schools of higher education total in the Portland area. Medical transcriptionists usually hold some college courses, so 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

Central Maine Community College - Auburn, ME

Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner Street, Auburn, ME 04210-6498. Central Maine Community College is a small college located in Auburn, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,426 students. Central Maine Community College has a one to two year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated nine 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: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.