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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Transcriptionists in Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical transcriptionists. There are currently 1,090 working medical transcriptionists in West Virginia; this should grow by 8% to 1,180 working medical transcriptionists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical transcriptionists are expected to grow by about 11.2%. 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.

Medical transcriptionists earn about $12 per hour or $25,060 annually on average in West Virginia and about $15 per hour or $32,060 annually on average nationally. Incomes for medical transcriptionists are the same as in the overall category of Transcription in West Virginia, and the same as the overall Transcription category nationally. People working as medical transcriptionists can fill a number of jobs, such as: medical language specialist, documentation specialist, and medical coding technician.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as a medical transcriptionist. 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

Carver Career Center - Charleston, WV

Carver Career Center, 4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, WV 25306-6397. Carver Career Center is a small school located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 391 students. Carver Career Center has a less than one year program in Medical Transcription/Transcriptionist which graduated fifteen 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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.