Hawaii offers excellent job prospects for medical transcriptionists. The capital, Honolulu, holds a population of about 370,000, which is associated with high healthcare demands. This creates more demand for services rendered by healthcare documentation specialists. If you hold strong critical thinking skills, are a good listener, and are comfortable using computers, you may want to consider becoming a medical transcriptionist. Some modest postsecondary education in healthcare documentation will help you to prepare for the field. Below are key steps to help you get started on a career as a medical transcriptionist in Hawaii.
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Medical Transcription Training and Education Requirements
Training for medical transcriptionists is offered by various vocational schools and community colleges in Hawaii’s metro areas. Educational programs are structured at the certificate or associate’s degree level. If you wish to acquire basic skills in healthcare documentation for an entry-level position in the job market, a certificate program is ideal. You will learn about basic anatomy, medical terminology, transcription technology, and legal issues in healthcare documentation. The usual training duration for certificate programs is six to eight months. An associate’s degree program involves a longer training duration, usually two years. If you wish to build onto your basic medical transcriptionist knowledge in preparation for a more challenging role in the field, an associate’s degree program is a good choice. It helps if you studied algebra, communications, computer studies, and English in high school. The associate’s degree curriculum covers areas such as advanced anatomy, legal issues in healthcare documentation, medical terminology, medical transcription technology, software in electronic health records management, and pharmacology. In most cases, students are required to complete a practicum, which allows them to apply technical knowledge in a workplace setting. Upon completion of studies, students are awarded an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in medical transcription.
Medical Transcription Certification Requirements in Hawaii
Although certification is not a requirement in Hawaii, it pays to be certified. The healthcare industry has one of the most competitive job markets, hence you need to distinguish yourself in the field. Attaining certification in healthcare documentation will help to give you a competitive edge in the industry. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two credentials for professionals seeking to validate their knowledge and skills in the field. For medical transcriptionists who are just getting started in their careers, the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) is an appropriate credential to seek. If you already hold the RHDS credential, and have worked for at least two years in the field, you may want to seek the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). The RHDS and CHDS are issued for a three-year period.
Hawaii State Licensing Requirements
Like many US states, Hawaii does not have licensing requirements for medical transcriptionists. However, by checking with the Professional and Vocational Licensing Division, you will be able to verify if there are any requirements you need to meet in order to practice.
Continuing Education and Staying Current
Recertification is a requirement for medical transcriptionists who hold the RHDS and CHDS credentials. If you hold the RHDS credential, you will need to take a recredentialing course in order to keep your certification active. The AHDI also requires RHDS-certified individuals to take an exam, and attain a minimum pass score. CHDS-certified individuals are required to complete at least 30 continuing education credits during each three-year certification cycle.
Medical Transcriptionist Job Prospects and Potential Pay
With a population of about 370,000, Hawaii’s capital city, Honolulu, offers many job prospects for medical transcriptionists. Most medical transcriptionists in Hawaii draw an annual salary of between $41,200 and $51,500. A similar salary range is found in Hilo and Pearl City, which hold populations in the range of 43,000 to 48,000. In Waipahu, which holds a population of about 38,000, the annual salary falls between $41,200 and $51,500. A similar salary range is also found in Kaneohe and Kahului.