Some ads promise medical transcriptionist training in as little as eight weeks. It sounds great. Right about two months and you’re ready for a great new career with good pay and good demand. Why not go for it?
I can give you one very good reason to not go for programs that promise that you can complete medical transcriptionist training in just eight weeks. They aren’t going to give you the training you need to land a job. Medical transcription takes more time than that to learn for most people.
You have to learn a lot to become a medical transcriptionist. It’s not all about the terminology. It’s not all about the transcription either. It’s about building the right combination of skills and learning to work effectively and accurately as a medical transcriber.
You can find good programs that will allow you to learn at your own pace. There’s nothing wrong with signing up for an online self paced medical transcriptionist training program. In fact, some of the online programs are the most reputable medical transcription training programs around. Employers know that their graduates will be ready to work.
That’s not true of any of the eight week programs, however.
A good training program can take as little as four months, but it’s not at all uncommon for a student to require nine months or even go over a year. It depends on how much time you spend on your studies, how hard you work on finishing things quickly.
If you already have a job and can only work a few hours, it’s going to take you longer to learn medical transcription than if you’re studying it full time.
It will also take you longer if you don’t already have the basic skills any transcriptionist needs. You must have excellent typing skills. You must have excellent grammar and language skills. Some schools test you in these areas before they’ll even admit you to their medical transcriptionist training program.
An eight week program will try to cram in a lot of information in that time. They’ll throw a bunch of medical terminology in, teach you about formatting, and maybe, just maybe, give you some dictation to practice your transcription skills.
It won’t be enough. Good schools require a lot of transcription practice from real doctor dictation. There will be many hours of dictation to transcribe before you graduate.
Think about it. How many professional level jobs can you learn in eight weeks? Many require years of training. Even many vocational programs take longer than that. It’s just not that simple to pick up the skills, not if you want to work.
That goes double for a career such as medical transcription, where you may be wanting to work at home. If you want to work at home, you have to show that you don’t need someone over your shoulder, and you don’t need someone right there to ask questions and train you on the job. You need to be ready to work with minimal help, just a little training on the particular systems used with the company you work for.
If you want to learn medical transcription quickly, don’t go for a program promising you results in eight weeks. Research and find a program that will let you pace yourself. Make sure the company has a reputation of training good medical transcriptionists. Make sure it has AHDI Approval. Then work hard on your education and see how long it takes you. It will probably be more than eight weeks, but you’ll know you’re spending the time more wisely.