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.