Becoming a Dental Transcriptionist

Dental Transcriptionists play a key role in converting the oral dictation of dentists and other medical staff into text reports. They ensure that the transcription report is correct, complete, and accurate. Their responsibilities include listening to the recorded dictation of a dentist; interpreting the dictation and various dental terminologies while preparing patients’ medical histories and other documents; editing the draft speech; entering the transcription reports into electronic health records systems, so on and so forth. These professionals mostly depend on various audio playback equipment such as headset, foot pedal along with specialized software connected to computer.

Dental Transcriptionists may find employment in various settings such as dentists’ offices, hospitals, transcription companies, military services. They can also work as an independent transcriptionist. These skilled professionals usually work full time. However, they may also work in night-shifts or weekends, if required.

Educational Requirements

To become a Dental Transcriptionist, the aspiring candidates need to complete an associate’s degree or certificate in medical transcription, which is offered by many vocational schools, community colleges, and distance-learning programs.

The syllabus includes dental anatomy, transcription techniques, medical ethics, pharmacology, medical procedures, English grammar and punctuation etc.

Certification and Licensure

Since a Dental Transcriptionist requires to be licensed in many states, the aspiring candidates need to pass the licensing examination. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers certification to these professionals.

Skill Set

Dental Transcriptionists possess various skills such as familiarity with dental terminology, excellent listening skills, attention to detail, critical thinking abilities, time management skills, strong verbal and written communication skills, tolerance to work in pressure situation, competent in computer operations etc.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Dental Transcriptionist remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 8% from 2012 to 2022. The average annual salary of a Dental Transcriptionist was $34,020 in May 2012.