What are the Different Types of Medical Transcription Jobs?

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  • Written By: Karyn Maier
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 July 2019
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Medical transcription involves listening to recorded information and transferring its significant content into writing. Most often, this task is accomplished with the use of a dictation machine, which includes a headset and a foot pedal so that the medical transcriptionist may control the volume and playback speed of the dictation. The transcribed material is usually entered into a word processing program and then printed to become part of a patient’s medical record. The content of the transcribed material may contain examination and diagnosis information, forensic results, or surgical summaries, and may be used to supplement accident reports, insurance claims, or other letters of referral.

In terms of employment outlook, the number of available medical transcription jobs is expected to increase as the need for standardized documentation and secure information sharing in the healthcare industry continues to expand. However, the demand for medical transcription jobs is also driven by an aging society that generally experiences more frequent medical consultation and treatment, the results of which are frequently shared with third parties. Employment eligibility is particularly favorable for certified transcriptionists that have received formal medical transcription training, who are the most likely to obtain employment in hospitals or large medical practice groups.


While the majority of medical transcription jobs are situated in a hospital or a physician’s office, there are other venues that accommodate this career. For one thing, some transcriptionists specialize in a specific field of medicine, such as oncology or forensics. Others may work in a variety of different facilities, such as pharmaceutical labs, government research programs, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, managed care facilities, and medical libraries. In addition, secretaries or other office staff who provide administrative support may also supply medical transcription services.

A growing trend in medical transcription services is self-employment. In fact, a fair number of medical transcription jobs are telecommuting positions obtained through an independent contractor arrangement. This means that the clinician or medical facility supplies the dictation and the independent contractor transcribes the material while working from home. Sometimes, this arrangement may lead to other work than straight transcription. For instance, the contractor may be asked to merge previously transcribed material with new information and update medical records accordingly.

Some medical transcription jobs don’t actually involve transcription services at all. In fact, they may be almost purely editorial. In this scenario, the transcriptionist may be charged with the task of proofreading transcribed material for accuracy and quality. This type of employment or independent contractor arrangement often becomes necessary when the work was outsourced to a foreign country, or if the transcription was generated through the use of voice recognition software.



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