Home Jobs & Education What Does a Medical Stenographer Do?

If you’re not familiar with health professions, you might be wondering what does a medical stenographer do? They are in charge with transcribing any type of medical documents provided by healthcare professionals or physicians in audio or other formats.

According to BLS (the Bureau of Labor Statistics), medical stenographers’ average salary in 2014 was $35,580. However, the numbers differ according to employer, experience and geographic location and can be much higher.

A medical stenographer has to be thorough and has to have a keen eye for details. The health care industry does not allow mistakes that could have bad consequences. Medical stenographers are expected to hand in flawless work and do their job under tight deadlines.

What Does a Medical Transcriptionist Do

Since there are various kinds of medical stenographers , the job requirements can differ according to the area they are working in and the employer. The great majority of medical stenographers fulfil the same tasks. The result is generally a medical transcription that can serve as the official medical record of a hospital.

The duties of a medical stenographer also have to factor in the working environment of the employee. While a great part of medical stenographers work in a physician’s office or in a hospital, others work directly for medical transcription companies. These, in their turn, work for hospitals that employ them to transform medical recordings into written transcriptions. Independent or freelance medical transcriptionists telecommute and work from a home office.


What tasks does a medical stenographer perform?

Working as a medical stenographer involves more than transforming audio records into written records. Although the job requirements slightly differ according to the work sector, the great majority of medical stenographers are in charge of:

  • Receiving recorded notes from doctors or physicians containing audio procedures.
  • Reviewing the received recordings for content.
  • Transcribing the reviewed audio recordings into written format.
  • Identifying errors or missing information that could jeopardize patient health care.
  • Reviewing the transcriptions for identifying any mistakes, typos or inaccuracies.
  • Submitting the final written documents to be approved by physicians and included in hospital records.
  • Entering the medical reports into the health system electronic records.


What do medical stenographers do in a day?

It might be difficult to fully grasp what does a medical stenographer do. To better illustrate this, the list below sums up the daily responsibilities of a medical stenographer.

  • Transcribe audio recordings dictated by health care professionals or physicians.
  • Use a headset to listen to the recording carefully once or twice.
  • Use a foot pedal to pause the recordings for follow ups or double checks.
  • Fast forward or rewind in order to clarify inaccurate or inconsistent information.
  • Produce and transcribe discharge records, medical summaries and history, physical exams, progress notes, referral letters, and autopsy results.
  • Employ correct medical terminology to accurately transcribe treatment, diagnosis and outcome recordings.
  • Tackle abbreviations and medical jargon and be mindful of errors and inaccuracies.
  • Follow certain standards that regard the medical records and the legal prerequisites that require patient information stay confidential.


What is the working schedule of a medical stenographer?

Medical stenographers have a flexible schedule due to the work they have to produce. Listening to audio records and transforming them into written form can be done both in an office and at home. Medical stenographers can also work part time or full time.

Those who choose to work from home can determine their own schedule. However, they still have to meet urgent deadlines, which could imply working over hours or during nights.

The job of medical transcriptionist might be flexible, but it requires high accuracy and a keen eye for spotting errors. Medical stenographers who are willing to put in extra hours must be careful not to hand in poor written documents as a result of exhaustion.


What skills do medical stenographers need?

Transcribing medical records might not seem hard work at first, but it requires patience, attention to details and an increased power of concentration. Aspiring medical stenographers should also fulfill the following criteria:

  • Computer skills – medical stenographers have to be familiar with using computers, gadgets and special software that will ease their job. Not only do these help stenographers produce written documents faster, they also ensure the highest quality possible for the papers. Medical stenographers might also need to be comfortable using EHR (electronic health records) systems.
  • Listening skills – this is a crucial skill for any medical stenographer . They are required to carefully listen to the physician or doctor’s audio recordings and transcribe them accurately. Therefore, stenographers need to be able to understand foreign accents, specific terminology and different spellings as well as convey the intended meaning in the medical report.
  • Time management – tight deadlines are frequent in the industry. Stenographers must be highly organized and able to prioritize their tasks in order to meet short deadline and deliver the needed written records on time.
  • Critical thinking skills – stenographers must fulfill two tasks at the same time: listen to the audio medical reports in order to transcribe them and also assess the information, keeping an eye out for mistakes. Critical thinking skills help medical stenographers produce reliable and certified documents.


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Gabrielle Moreno

Hi, my name is Gabrielle, but all my friends call me Gaby. Having a degree in foreign languages, I first intended to develop a career in translations, but then I realized human interaction is more satisfying and got engaged in educational projects. Writing is my second best skill after teaching. I started writing about jobs and education based on my experience of not knowing what career path to choose. Sharing my knowledge and experience is the most rewarding aspect of my work, especially when I see it really touches people. Therefore, I look forward to reading your comments, thoughts and opinions. Feel free to contact me.


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