The one problem with trying to start your career in medical transcription is having to get the training required. Going back to school isn’t convenient for a lot of people. There are too many things you have to do in your life, and working school into that is difficult. This is why it’s a great idea to get your medical transcriptionist certificate online.
To make things very clear right from the start, this is not about becoming a Certified Medical Transcriptionist, or CMT. That’s entirely different from getting a certificate from an online training course. You can only get your CMT after a minimum of two years of experience in acute care medical transcription, and only through AHDI.
A lot of schools offer a certificate to show you’ve completed your course. Too often students and graduates assume that this makes them a CMT, but it doesn’t. Employers know that and you’re better off if you know that too. A certificate from a school is more like a diploma. It just says you completed the coursework required to graduate.
There are a few good training programs for medical transcription you can take online. You want to take a good look at the program you’re considering because there’s also a lot of very poor quality programs out there. There’s no point wasting time or money on a course that won’t give you the training you need to become a medical transcriptionist, no matter what they say about the certificate they give you after.
A good training program will have a good reputation with medical transcription employers. The coursework will be challenging, teaching you quite a bit of medical terminology and other information you will need to know in order to transcribe. It will also include many hours of real doctor dictation for you to practice on, building up your skills as a medical transcriptionist.
You should plan on taking six months or more to complete the training. A few will finish sooner, maybe as little as four months, but it depends on how quickly you pick up the information and how much time you can dedicate to your training. Some take nine months, others over a year.
On the plus side, most online medical transcriptionist training programs are self paced. If you need to take a bit more time or a bit less, you can do it. So long as you learn the material and gain the skills, you’ll be in good shape.
Self paced training programs are great when you have work or other obligations. You can work around them, study nights, study early mornings, whatever works for you. No parking hassle to get to class either. You work on assignments on your own schedule and contact teachers as you need them.
There are risks to any sort of self paced online training programs, beyond just the possibility of quality issues. You’re the one responsible for scheduling your work. If you don’t get your coursework done in a reasonable time frame, you can run out of what the school allows for the entire course to be completed. That’s the big limit to these types of courses, but it’s usually quite reasonable and very possible for any committed student to finish the training. Get it done and you’re have your medical transcriptionist certificate, diploma or whatever you care to call it.