You know you have to study in order to become a medical transcriptionist, and you’ve decided that online courses are the way to go. That’s probably a good decision, as some of the best medical transcriptionist courses are the online programs, and that’s a benefit to your overall career.
You have to find the right online course. They aren’t all created equal, and they certainly aren’t all worth paying for. You’re better off being certain that you aren’t signing up for a program that’s more interested in your money than in training you for your new career.
Even before you choose a course, however, you need to make sure you’re ready to take it. Your basic skills should be up to par in a few areas before you start studying medical transcription. Otherwise you’ll spend too much time building skills you should already have. Worse, some programs won’t accept you if you don’t have these basic skills.
Typing speed is one of those skills. If you aren’t a good typist, you aren’t going to be a good medical transcriptionist. If the position you get pays on production and you don’t type well, you aren’t going to earn much. You should be able to type at least 45 wpm before you even start your medical transcription course.
Your basic grammar and spelling skills should also be excellent. If you struggle with spelling and grammar, or just can’t be bothered to correct the mistakes you make in those areas, medical transcription may not be for you. These are mistakes that are not acceptable in people’s medical records, especially as some mistakes can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Saying a panda eats shoots and leaves is entirely different from saying a panda eats, shoots and leaves.
With your basic skills in good shape, you can consider which online course to sign up for. There are quite a number of them available, but you want to sign up for one that will give you high quality training so you can get a job after graduation. Who cares about being trained as a medical transcriptionist if you never become one?
There are a few good signs to look for in an online course. The first is AHDI Approval, which means their course has been reviewed by the AHDI for quality. The next is how employers feel about the program. If there are a number of employers willing to hire graduates without requiring that they get two years of experience first, that’s a good sign that the training is good. It’s also a sign that if you do well, you will have a chance at a job after graduation.
No matter how good the program is however, if you aren’t a good student, it’s not going to do you a lot of good. You must work hard and really build your skills. Not only does this improve your chances of employment after graduation, it means you’ll be a more productive employee. As many positions are paid on production in medical transcription, this can effect how much you earn for the work you do. This should be excellent motivation to master the skills a medical transcriptionist needs.