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Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN/LPN) license

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Medical Transcriptionist

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Medical Transcriptionist

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Key Points:

  • Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care, while Medical Transcriptionists (MTs) convert doctor's notes into written reports.
  • LVNs typically earn higher salaries than MTs.
  • The demand for LVNs is expected to grow faster than the demand for MTs.
  • LVNs require in-person training and a state-issued license, while MTs can often train online and do not need a license.
  • LVN training programs are generally more expensive and longer, typically taking 1-2 years, compared to MT training, which can be completed in 6-12 months and at a lower cost.

The healthcare industry offers a wide range of career opportunities, and it's important to choose a path that aligns with your interests, skills, and goals. Becoming a licensed vocational nurse or a medical transcriptionist can both be rewarding careers, but they have distinct differences in terms of job responsibilities and required education and training.

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What is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Medical Transcriptionist?

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN): A licensed vocational nurse, also known as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in some states, provides basic nursing care to patients under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians. They work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare agencies. LVNs perform tasks such as taking vital signs, administering medication, dressing wounds, and assisting with activities of daily living.

  • Medical Transcriptionist: A medical transcriptionist is responsible for transcribing recorded medical dictations into written reports. They listen to audio recordings made by healthcare professionals and convert them into written documents, such as medical histories, discharge summaries, and consultation reports. Medical transcriptionists must have excellent listening skills, attention to detail, and knowledge of medical terminology.

Difference between a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Medical Transcriptionist

  • Job Responsibilities:

    • LVNs provide direct patient care, including administering medication, monitoring vital signs, and assisting with personal care needs. They work closely with patients and are responsible for ensuring their comfort and well-being.
    • Medical transcriptionists, on the other hand, have a more behind-the-scenes role. They listen to recorded dictations and transcribe them into written reports, which are then used by healthcare professionals for patient care and documentation purposes.
  • Work Environment:

    • LVNs work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare agencies. They may work rotating shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays, as patient care is needed around the clock.
    • Medical transcriptionists often work remotely from home or in an office setting. They typically have more flexibility in terms of their work hours and may have the option to work part-time or full-time.
  • Level of Patient Interaction:

    • LVNs have direct contact with patients on a daily basis. They provide hands-on care, communicate with patients and their families, and play a crucial role in ensuring patient comfort and safety.
    • Medical transcriptionists have minimal patient interaction, if any. Their main responsibility is to transcribe medical dictations accurately and efficiently, focusing primarily on the written aspect of patient care.

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Medical Transcriptionist: Job Description

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse:

    • Administer medication and treatments to patients
    • Monitor vital signs and report any changes to the supervising nurse or physician
    • Assist patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating
    • Collect samples for laboratory testing
    • Document patient care and communicate with the healthcare team
    • Educate patients and their families on self-care techniques and medication management
  • Medical Transcriptionist:

    • Listen to recorded medical dictations and transcribe them into written reports
    • Edit and proofread transcribed reports for accuracy and clarity
    • Ensure that transcribed reports adhere to formatting and style guidelines
    • Research medical terminology and procedures as needed
    • Maintain patient confidentiality and comply with HIPAA regulations
    • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to clarify dictations or gather additional information

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Medical Transcriptionist: Education and Training

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse:

    • LVNs typically complete a vocational nursing program, which can be completed in about one year. These programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and some hospitals. Upon completion, graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to become licensed.
    • In addition to the formal education requirements, LVNs must also possess certain skills, such as strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. They must also have a compassionate and caring nature, as they work closely with patients during difficult times.
  • Medical Transcriptionist:

    • While formal education is not always required to become a medical transcriptionist, most employers prefer candidates who have completed a postsecondary training program in medical transcription. These programs are usually offered by vocational schools, community colleges, and online institutions. The duration of the program can range from several months to one year.
    • Medical transcriptionists must have excellent listening skills, as they need to accurately transcribe medical dictations. They also need to have a strong grasp of medical terminology and be proficient in using transcription software and equipment.

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Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Medical Transcriptionist: Career Outlook and Salary

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse:

    • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected due to the aging population and the increased demand for healthcare services.
    • The median annual wage for licensed vocational nurses was $48,820 in May 2020, with the top 10 percent earning more than $63,360 per year.
  • Medical Transcriptionist:

    • The BLS projects that employment of medical transcriptionists will decline 2 percent from 2020 to 2030. This decline is attributed to advancements in voice recognition technology and the outsourcing of transcription services.
    • The median annual wage for medical transcriptionists was $35,270 in May 2020, with the top 10 percent earning more than $51,480 per year.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in the healthcare field is a significant decision, and it's important to consider your interests, skills, and long-term goals. Both licensed vocational nursing and medical transcription offer opportunities for fulfilling careers, but they have distinct differences in terms of job responsibilities, required education and training, and career outlook. By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about which path is right for you.

Explore Dreambound's programs, conveniently offered in multiple locations. Learn more about these two vocations by visiting:

Pia Yapjoco
Written by
Pia Yapjoco

Pia Yapjoco is part of the school growth and sales team at Dreambound. She helps facilitate school partnerships that expand educational opportunities for aspiring students in allied health and other trades. Beyond work, she curates her pup's Instagram, hunts for hidden coffee gems, and escapes into cozy gaming.

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