The USB foot pedal and transcriber software is the latest in medical transcription industry technology. This of course replaces the desktop transcriber and floor foot pedal that used a cassette tape for recording and playing physician dictation. Headset with earphones is still used.

The minimum system requirements most employers prefer home based medical transcribers to operate are:

• Desktop or laptop PC running Windows 2000, XP Home, XP Medial Center Edition, XP Pro or VISTA
• Most employers prefer PCs. Future work environments and MT products may not support Macs.
• CD-RW drive or CD-Rom drive that is able to read CD-RW disks or DVD drives
• 128 RAM or higher
• Sound card – SoundBlaster compatible, 16-bit or higher
• Hard disk space – Minimum 250 MB hard disk space
• USB (Universal Serial Bus) port
• Single-prong headset (earphones)
• Computer with updated antivirus software is mandatory

The Medical Transcriptionist today will need to have a good understanding of MS word or Wordperfect word processing programs and basic computer skills.

Internet Access is required. Knowledge of email is required. An English dictionary is always a staple in the library of a Medical Transcriptionist.

Formal education either through distance and home study programs or on site Medical Transcription schools, business colleges and many Universities now offer full programs in Medical Transcription. Formal education is definitely an asset.

The basic admission requirements for most Medical Transcription Schools and programs include:

• High school diploma or equivalent
• Ability to work independently
• English comprehension
• Spelling and usage competency (spoken and written) equivalent to that of a high school graduate
• Intermediate word processing skills with ability to create, save, format, copy and paste documents
• Intermediate computer skills including ability to troubleshoot basic computer problems, install software, manage files, send and receive emails with attachments and utilize the Internet for research purposes
• Normal hearing acuity

Before you choose a school or home study program take note of whether or not they have a job placement program after graduation.

After formal training and throughout your career in Medical Transcription, you should continue your education through professional memberships and certifications. The Certified Medical Transcriptionist can be acquired through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (formerly American Association for Medical Transcription or AAMT). Certification is achieved upon successful completion of their examination.

In addition to professional memberships and certification there is absolutely nothing like continuing to learn by actually “doing.” Everyday transcribing medical dictation is a new day of education in the field of Medical Transcription.
Where are the Employment Opportunities in Medical Transcription? They include:

• Hospitals and clinics
• Pharmaceutical companies
• Nursing homes
• Physician’s offices
• Visiting nurse services
• Home-based independents
• Surgical centers
• Hospice programs
• Rehabilitation centers
Chiropractic centers
• Physical therapy groups
• Transcription services
• HMOs & PROs
• Dental Offices

You can expect to earn anywhere from $25,000 upwards depending upon the area in which you live, the sector you work in, the method of compensation, and your unique skills. An accurate and speedy Medical Transcriptionist can expect to earn an excellent income and the outlook for this profession continues to look extremely positive.

Technology will continue to create easier and more effective ways to work, however, I do not believe the human behind the equipment will ever be replaced. Medical transcription is probably here to stay and is a secure career choice.

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© 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved

Author's Bio: 

Connie Limon, Medical Transcriptionist. Visit us at for more information about the unique and rewarding career choice of Medical Transcription. Visit Camelot Articles for a variety of FREE reprint articles for your newsletter, web sites or blogs.