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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical transcriptionists. About 2,140 people are currently employed as medical transcriptionists in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 22% to about 2,610 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. 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.

Income for medical transcriptionists is about $17 hourly or $35,880 per year on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,060 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Transcription, people working as medical transcriptionists in Washington earn the same. They earn the same as people working in the overall category of Transcription nationally. Medical transcriptionists work in a variety of jobs, including: certified professional coder , certified medical coder, and medical secretary.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a medical transcriptionist, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. The most common level of education 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

Seattle Community College-North Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-North Campus, 9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103-3599. Seattle Community College-North Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,159 students. Seattle Community College-North Campus has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated one student in 2008.

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has a one to two year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated seven students in 2008.

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated six students in 2008.

Everett Community College - Everett, WA

Everett Community College, 2000 Tower Street, Everett, WA 98201. Everett Community College is a medium sized college located in Everett, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,765 students. Everett Community College has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated ninety students in 2008.

Green River Community College - Auburn, WA

Green River Community College, 12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092-3622. Green River Community College is a medium sized college located in Auburn, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,544 students. Green River Community College has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated one student 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.