Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: accredited medical transcription schools

4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Start Medical Transcriptionist Training Online

Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of taking medical transcriptionist training online. It’s more comfortable to think of going to school, having your professors right there, having regular assignment due dates, and working with the other students in your class. There’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s a lot to be said for doing your training online.

1. Many programs are self paced.

If you’ve been delaying getting your training because you can’t fit the classes into your schedule, online training may be just what you’ve been waiting for. Many programs are self paced. You start as soon as you get the materials after signing up. You study when you have the time. You turn in assignments as you finish them.

You don’t have to drive to school, fight for a parking space or look for your classroom. Everything is done on your computer.

2. Help is available.

It’s kind of difficult to picture learning some things without a teacher right there to help you. Not everyone understands how you can ask questions when you aren’t in a classroom with your professor and other students, and there are no office hours to go to.

Any worthwhile online training program is going to have teachers available to you in a variety of ways. You can usually contact one by phone, email or chat session. If you’re stuck on something or need a bit of clarification, someone is available to help you.

3. Several reputable programs are only available online.

You may be concerned that online medical transcriptionist training programs are all scams. It’s a fairly reasonable fear, given how many scams are online, but with appropriate research it doesn’t need to be a concern for long. You can find great schools on the internet that will train you better than most local programs could.

Looks for ones that have a good reputation for their medical transcription program with employers. You don’t care what else they can train you for or their reputation in that program. You care that they’ll train you for the job you want, and do it well enough that you can get a job after graduation.

The online courses are some of the most challenging out there. The good ones require many hours of real doctor dictation transcribed by you in order to graduate. These will give you the kind of practice you need to work as a medical transcriptionist successfully.

4. Training at home is good practice for working at home.

Many people choose medical transcription as a career because they want to work at home. With that preference, why would you want to learn your skills any place other than at home?

Being at home to learn or work is very different from doing so outside the home. You have a lot of distractions. It’s harder to keep your focus. You have to get better at keeping yourself on schedule.

When better to learn than during your studies? Better you figure out how to deal with the pitfalls as a part of your education than lose your job because you couldn’t handle it.

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

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.

What Is the Best Online Medical Transcriptionist School?

If you’re going to pay for the training you need to become a medical transcriptionist, you probably want the best training you can get. How will you know when you’ve found the best online medical transcriptionist school?

You just have to know what you’re looking for and what makes a great medical transcriptionist school.

It’s not just the price, of course. A higher price does not guarantee a better education. Good schools will usually cost more than bad schools, but that’s not a guarantee. Schools can set their fees to whatever they think they can get for their training, after all.

AHDI Approval is one good indicator that you’ve found one of the best online medical transcriptionist schools available. They only approve a relatively small number of schools, and only after they meet strict criteria in terms of training, finances and more.

Cost is a factor in terms of what you can afford. If you’re trying to decide between two schools, sometimes it comes down to the one you can better afford to attend. You can’t go cheap, but if all else appears equal, you may not need to go with the most expensive either.

Some things you’ll find to be true of most programs. You’ll often see that online schools allow you to learn medical transcription at your own pace. This is great if you need to work another job while you train or if you have small children or other family members to care for. You can do your training when your other obligations allow. You’ll then also be learning how to manage those obligations once you complete your training and find a job.

Quality programs also have teachers available to you by email, chat or phone. Most students don’t just learn on their own. It’s important to be able to ask for help when you need it. Having a qualified teacher available to you is vital to your long term success.

You also want to know that employers trust the school and will hire their graduates. Otherwise, you’re going to have quite a time getting past the standard requirement of two to three years experience in medical transcription that you see in most job ads. Finding a job with training but no on the job experience is a bear no matter what industry you’re talking about. If the training you’ve gone through is sufficiently trusted by employers, you’ve just minimized the experience issue.

Schools often but not always have job placement assistance. It may be as simple as job boards available to new graduates. You want your school to give you some sort of resources for landing that first job. You can’t always rely on the big employers having a need for new employers. You need to know how to find other employers so that you can apply for as many positions as it takes until you find a job.

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

Why Should You Choose an AHDI Approved Medical Transcription School?

One recommendation you will see sometimes in your search for a quality medical transcription school is to choose an accredited program. For many kinds of online education, that’s a good recommendation. For medical transcription, however, I recommend a different criteria. I recommend seeking out AHDI Approval.

Accreditation for an online school in general is a good thing, so long as it is legitimate. The trouble is that some schools set up their own accrediting agency to make themselves look legitimate.

You can solve this problem by checking to see if the accrediting agency itself is legitimate. Visit to see if the agency is listed. This can help you to determine if the agency is legitimate or suspect.

Accreditation means that the school meets the criteria set forth by the accrediting agency. This can be important if you want your school credits to be transferrable to another college. But when you study medical transcription, your goals are a little different.

This is why I recommend AHDI. They don’t accredit schools. They make sure that they are offering high quality medical transcription training. The criteria they check are the exact ones you need for your future as a medical transcriptionist.

Regular accrediting programs don’t do this. They accredit the college as a whole, and there’s no focus on medical transcription. Some accredited online schools do a poor job of training medical transcriptionists. If this is the industry for you, you want to be certain that your training is good enough to get you a job, not just college credit.

AHDI is the largest professional society in the world for medical transcriptionists and others who work in clinical documentation.

AHDI Approval means the schools follow the AHDI Model Curriculum, provide at least 35 hours of real physician dictation, have at least one CMT involved, uses the AHDI Book of Style, must have existed for at least six months and have provided student placement statistics and must offer course instructors to students, as well as other criteria. This approval is well regarded by many medical transcription employers.

They don’t approve a lot of schools. I see 22 schools on their list as of this writing.

It is vital to note that AHDI Approval is a separate thing from AHDI membership. Don’t be fooled by schools simply claiming AHDI membership. Anyone can join AHDI. It has nothing to do with the quality of the educational program. You need to look for AHDI Approval.

You should also still do your research on approved schools, to be certain that it meets your needs before you apply to the school.

As you do your research, remember your goal in studying medical transcription. It’s not about college credit. It’s about qualifying for a career with good growth potential, flexibility and pay.

My personal preference out of the schools approved by AHDI is Career Step. The quality of their education is good, and they are partnered with some employers, giving you a good chance at finding work after graduation

Choosing the Right Medical Transcription School

A great education is vital to getting started as a medical transcriptionist. Choose wrong and it become very difficult to land that first job that gives you the experience you need to have a great career.

The basic curriculum a good medical transcription school should include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Grammar and style
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Disease Processes
  • Transcription technology and practice
  • Privacy and legal issues

AHDI Approval is a great way to be certain that the school you choose is providing what you need to know to work as a medical transcriptionist.

I strongly recommend taking an online course such as offered by CareerStep if you are going to work at home in medical transcription. This gives you training conditions more like the working conditions you are seeking, and the company has a good reputation with many employers. It also has financing options for those who have concerns in that area. They are AHDI Approved.

Do not just sign up for a cheap course. There are many cheaper courses out there, but they don’t cover all the information you need and you are unlikely to get a job after graduation. Better to spend a bit more and build the career you want.