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Medical Transcriptionist vs Radiology Technician

Medical Transcriptionist vs Radiology Technician

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Key Points:

  • Medical Transcriptionists type up patient records, while Radiology Technicians operate imaging equipment and assist in diagnostic procedures.
  • Medical Transcriptionists typically earn less than Radiology Technicians.
  • Radiology Technician jobs are in high demand, while Medical Transcriptionist positions are declining due to technological advancements.
  • Both jobs require formal training, but Radiology Technicians often need an associate's degree, while Medical Transcriptionists may complete online or in-person programs.
  • Radiology Technician training is generally more expensive and takes longer (2 years) compared to Medical Transcriptionist programs (6 months to 1 year).

When it comes to choosing a career in the medical field, there are many options to consider. Two popular choices are becoming a medical transcriptionist or a radiology technician. While both careers involve working in a healthcare setting, there are significant differences in job duties, education requirements, and career outlook. In this blog post, we will explore the role of a medical transcriptionist and a radiology technician, as well as the key differences between the two professions.

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What is a Medical Transcriptionist and Radiology Technician?

Medical Transcriptionist:

A medical transcriptionist is responsible for transcribing medical reports dictated by healthcare professionals. They listen to recorded dictations and convert them into written documents, ensuring accuracy and proper formatting. Medical transcriptionists play a crucial role in maintaining patient records and facilitating effective communication between healthcare providers.

Radiology Technician:

A radiology technician, also known as a radiologic technologist, performs diagnostic imaging exams on patients. They operate medical imaging equipment such as X-ray machines, CT scanners, and MRI machines to produce images of the patient's body. These images help physicians diagnose and treat various medical conditions. Radiology technicians also ensure patient safety and comfort during procedures.

Difference between a Medical Transcriptionist and Radiology Technician:

While both medical transcriptionists and radiology technicians work in the medical field, their job duties and responsibilities differ significantly. Here are some key differences between the two professions:

  1. Job Duties:
  • Medical Transcriptionist: Transcribing medical reports, editing and proofreading documents, maintaining patient records, and ensuring accuracy and completeness of information.
  • Radiology Technician: Operating imaging equipment, positioning patients for imaging procedures, following proper imaging protocols, evaluating image quality, and assisting radiologists in interpreting images.
  1. Direct Patient Interaction:
  • Medical Transcriptionist: Limited direct patient interaction as their primary role is to transcribe medical reports.
  • Radiology Technician: Regular direct patient interaction as they perform imaging exams and provide instructions to patients during procedures.
  1. Work Environment:
  • Medical Transcriptionist: Often work in office settings, such as hospitals, clinics, or transcription service companies. They may also have the option to work remotely.
  • Radiology Technician: Primarily work in hospitals, diagnostic imaging centers, or outpatient clinics. They may also be required to work in emergency rooms or operating rooms.
  1. Specialization Opportunities:
  • Medical Transcriptionist: Limited opportunities for specialization, with most medical transcriptionists working across various medical specialties.
  • Radiology Technician: Opportunities for specialization in specific imaging modalities, such as MRI, CT, or mammography. Specialization can lead to career advancement and higher salaries.

Medical Transcriptionist vs Radiology Technician: Job Description

Medical Transcriptionist:

  • Transcribe medical reports dictated by healthcare professionals.
  • Edit and proofread transcribed documents for accuracy and completeness.
  • Maintain patient records and ensure proper documentation.
  • Follow industry standards and guidelines for medical transcription.
  • Collaborate with healthcare providers to clarify dictations or obtain additional information.

Radiology Technician:

  • Operate medical imaging equipment to perform diagnostic imaging exams.
  • Position patients properly and ensure their safety during procedures.
  • Follow imaging protocols and adjust equipment settings for optimal image quality.
  • Assist radiologists in interpreting images and preparing reports.
  • Monitor patients for any adverse reactions or complications during procedures.

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Medical Transcriptionist vs Radiology Technician: Education and Training

Medical Transcriptionist:

  • High school diploma or equivalent is typically required.
  • Completion of a medical transcription training program, which can be completed in less than a year.
  • Training programs cover medical terminology, anatomy, transcription techniques, and computer skills.
  • Some employers may require certification, such as the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) credential.

Radiology Technician:

  • Associate's degree in radiologic technology or a related field is the minimum requirement.
  • Accredited radiologic technology programs typically take 2 years to complete.
  • Coursework includes anatomy, patient care, radiation physics, and radiographic procedures.
  • Clinical experience in a healthcare setting is a vital component of the training.
  • State licensure or certification is required in most states, which involves passing a certification exam.

Medical Transcriptionist vs Radiology Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

Medical Transcriptionist:

  • The demand for medical transcriptionists is declining due to advancements in speech recognition technology and outsourcing of transcription services.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of medical transcriptionists is projected to decline by 2% from 2019 to 2029.
  • The median annual wage for medical transcriptionists was $34,770 in May 2020, according to the BLS.

Radiology Technician:

  • The demand for radiology technicians is expected to grow as the aging population requires more diagnostic imaging procedures.
  • According to the BLS, the employment of radiologic technologists is projected to grow by 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $62,280 in May 2020, according to the BLS.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in the medical field requires careful consideration of personal interests, job duties, education requirements, and career prospects. Both medical transcriptionists and radiology technicians play important roles in the healthcare industry, but they differ significantly in terms of job responsibilities and training.

If you prefer working with technology and performing hands-on procedures, a career as a radiology technician may be a better fit. On the other hand, if you have excellent listening and typing skills and enjoy working behind the scenes, a career as a medical transcriptionist could be a viable option.

Ultimately, the choice between these two professions depends on your individual preferences, skills, and career goals. It is advisable to research and explore both career paths thoroughly before making a decision.

Dreambound's programs are accessible in various locations. To gather more information about these two vocations, check out:

Sunshine Tupan
Written by
Sunshine Tupan

Sunshine is a member of the School Growth team at Dreambound, where she assists students and schools with their billing and onboarding needs. She is a licensed mechanical engineer. Outside of work, she enjoys road trips with her family, discovering cozy cafes, and exploring her love for art.

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