Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Category: Medical Transcriptionist Certification

Which Online Schools Offer an Accredited Certificate to Be a Medical Transcriptionist?

If you want to be a medical transcriptionist, an online school sounds like a promising way to get the training you need. Classes on your schedule, not when the school says you have to be there. No parking troubles. No waiting for a new session to start. No need to get childcare if you have kids.

The only problem is figuring out which online schools are worth considering. Do they offer something like an accredited certificate to show that you can be a medical transcriptionist?

No, they don’t. There’s no such thing.

An online school can offer a certificate of completion to show you finished their medical transcription course. That’s easy, it’s something they decide to do, but it doesn’t mean anything other than you finished their course. It doesn’t give you any special qualifications for the work. A Certified Medical Transcriptionist is not someone who has just graduated from their training and been given a certificate of completion. They’re a transcriptionist with at least two years of acute care medical transcription experience who has passed the CMT test given by AHDI. Don’t confuse your school’s certificate with a CMT designation.

An online school can also be accredited. This may or may not mean anything, depending on the accrediting agency. Some are pickier than others about the schools they accredit.

If you want to know that a school has been reviewed specifically in terms of medical transcription training quality, look for AHDI Approval. It is specifically about medical transcription, not the other courses the schools offer. It is not an accreditation as such, but its specific focus makes it a valuable consideration.

The other big thing you should be looking at is what employers want. You don’t need to care about things they aren’t asking for, and that includes a certificate. They want to know you’re well trained, and most have schools they are more likely to hire graduates from when they aren’t requiring two years of experience. Look at the employers to figure out what you should be concerning yourself with as you train for the job. That’s what will matter when you’re hunting for a job.

In choosing an online school to learn medical transcription, pay attention to the things that matter. It’s not the piece of paper they give you. It’s the quality of the education you can get there and the chance to start a new career. Without a good education that will help you get your first job in the industry, your time with that school won’t mean anything much.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

Are a Medical Transcription Certificate and a Certified Medical Transcriptionist the Same Thing?

Medical transcription terminology can be confusing, and sometimes it starts as you begin learning about the industry. You research what it takes to become a medical transcriptionist and see terms such as Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) and see schools offering a medical transcription certificate, and it’s easy to think they’re the same thing.

Problem is, they aren’t. Not remotely.

A certificate showing you completed your medical transcription training means nothing more than that you finished your training. Any school can give you that if they choose. It’s a little something to show what you’ve accomplished in your education.

Becoming a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) is entirely different. No school can give that title to you. You test to get your CMT through AHDI, and they’re the only ones who can legitimately offer that. You must have at least two years of acute care medical transcription experience or equivalent in order to take the test in the first place. A newly graduated student, no matter how well they’ve done in their studies, is not qualified or prepared for it.

That doesn’t mean there’s a problem with giving students a certificate of completion, so long as the school does not refer to it as making you a CMT. You can get a certificate of completion for a lot of things. It’s a not uncommon term. If they do make it sound as though you’d be a CMT after graduation, you know that you’ve found a school you can cross off the list for consideration.

If your school gives you a certificate of completion, it’s important that you don’t list yourself as a CMT on your resume. You aren’t one, and with your lack of experience, the employer you’re applying with will know it. Claiming that title when you not only haven’t taken the test but don’t have any experience would be a major mistake on a resume. Many medical terms can be very confusing if you don’t understand what they both mean, and it’s vital to your success as a medical transcriptionist that you not confuse them. Show an employer that you can’t keep “certificate of completion” apart from “Certified Medical Transcriptionist” and they’ll lose interest in you fast.

These kinds of issues are a part of why it’s so important to attend a high quality medical transcription school. If they’re misleading you about what you can claim on your resume after graduation, how much do you want to trust them to train you right? You’re much better off going with a school that employers trust. There’s not much point in going to school for it if you can’t get a job in the industry.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

Which Companies Certify You to Become a Medical Transcriptionist at Home?

It’s not as easy to become a medical transcriptionist at home as some people think. It’s certainly not impossible, but it’s not something you can do with no experience or training whatsoever.

Then there’s the question of certification. Many people believe it’s necessary to become certified to become an at home medical transcriptionist. Which companies can certify you for that?

Actually, it’s not necessary. You do not have to be certified to become a medical transcriptionist, at home or elsewhere. There are some positions that do require you to hold the title of Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT), but to do the work in general, it’s not required.

If you really must get your certification, you need to have at least two years of acute care medical transcription experience before AHDI will allow you to take the test to become a CMT. The test is extremely challenging, and it takes at least two years in medical transcription to have the knowledge to pass it. This is why they don’t allow new transcriptionists to take it.

Where the confusion often comes in is from the courses that offer a certificate of completion when you finish your medical transcriptionist training. That certificate does not make you a CMT. It means only that you have finished the training course from that school. Employers won’t consider you a CMT for getting that from your school, and you shouldn’t say you’re a CMT on your resume. You aren’t, not until you pass the test through AHDI.

Getting certified isn’t something you should stress about as a new medical transcriptionist. If you want something that looks good on your resume and shows that you know what you’re doing, you can take the test through AHDI to become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT). This test is not as rigorous as the one for a CMT, but it does show that you know quite a bit about the work you’re doing in transcription.

The main thing you should focus on at first is getting your medical transcription training through a good program. A good training program will help you to learn the skills you need qualify for a good job. Certification doesn’t enter into it.

Look for programs that are well regarded by employers. The first job in a new field is always a difficult one to get, but if the school is trusted by employers, you’ve taken one obstacle out of your way. You won’t always get a job quickly after graduation – no employer is hiring 100% of the time for the job you’re after, but you’ll have the skills to demonstrate that you can do the work at the job openings you do find. There are a number of places a well trained medical transcriptionist can work, either at home or in an office.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.

What Is the Difference Between a Medical Transcriptionist Diploma and Medical Transcription Certification?

You need training to get a job as a medical transcriptionist. It doesn’t take long to find that out. But then things get confusing. You hear schools talk about the certificate you get upon completing their medical transcription course. Others offer a diploma. Then there are jobs that want a Certified Medical Transcriptionist. What do all these terms mean?

The first thing you need to understand is that completing a medical transcriptionist training course does not make you a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT), even if it gives you a certificate for completing the course. That’s simply impossible. You have to have at least two years of acute care medical transcription experience or equivalent before you can take the test to become a CMT through AHDI. That’s the only way to gain that certification.

When a school says you get a certificate of completion for your training, that’s all it is. Nothing at all to do with becoming a Certified Medical Transcriptionist.

A medical transcriptionist diploma is another way of saying you’ve completed the course of study. Those employers who are willing to consider freshly trained graduates will want to know that you’ve finished your training, no matter what the school offers you upon completion.

You may also hear of the test to become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist. You can do this with much less experience. It is not required in order to find work, but it is a positive thing to have on your resume.

Don’t worry about not being able to get a CMT designation immediately after graduation. For most job openings in medical transcription, it really doesn’t matter. A CMT gets paid extra in some positions, but it’s not a requirement for employment in the industry. Otherwise, how could you get the two years of experience required to test for that designation in the first place?

It amazes me how often people get confused about these things. I see people complaining on forums that they’re a Certified Medical Transcriptionist, but they can’t find any jobs to get experience. That’s how common it is for people new to this industry to be confused by the terminology used by schools. You cannot become a CMT when you have no experience. You can get a certificate saying you’ve completed your studies, but that comes only from the school you studied with, not from the AHDI, which handles the testing and certification necessary to get the legitimate CMT title.

Don’t worry so much about what your school calls it when you graduate. It’s better to be concerned with how well you’ll be trained so that you can find a job after graduation. Certificate, diploma, whatever, it just needs to mean that you can do the work you spent months training to do.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training.