Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: become medical transcriptionist (page 1 of 2)

Is It Worth the Cost to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

There’s a lot of very reasonable concern about whether or not it’s worth the expense of medical transcriptionist training anymore. Many people are concerned that with electronic medical records and voice recognition software that medical transcriptionists will soon be out of work. And I’ll grant that a lot of changes are happening in the industry. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to work as a medical transcriptionist.

For one thing, there’s a new position called medical transcription editor which relates to the changes caused by these technologies, and you still need medical transcription training for it. At some schools you can sign up for both types of training so that you’ll be ready to move with the technology rather than be left behind.

For another thing, there’s still job growth in the medical transcription community. There’s a lot of demand in most medical careers due to the aging of our population. It’s not going to vanish overnight.

It’s certainly a smart move to gain the skills to do whichever sort of medical transcription work comes your way. You don’t want to be out of a career because you couldn’t keep up.

You don’t have to learn both jobs at once. It is possible to learn medical transcription and then pick up the medical transcription editor skills later when you’re more comfortable with your transcription skills. It’s not necessary to do that later, but if that’s how you’re most comfortable, it’s reasonable to go that way.

Don’t let the changes in the industry scare you away if you really want to become a medical transcriptionist. It’s entirely possible to make that happen, and you can build skills that will work with newer technologies.

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

How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist With a Toddler in the House

Toddlers are fun to have around and are usually full of energy. That’s great when you have a lot of time, but many at home parents eventually come to the conclusion that they’ll need to work at home in order to stay at home. That’s when some decide it’s time to become a medical transcriptionist. How do you manage that with an active toddler in the house?

The first thing you have to do is take medical transcriptionist course. I suggest an online course because there are some excellent ones available and they allow you the flexibility to work around the needs of your child. If you can get most of your studies done while your toddler is napping, in bed for the night or before he or she gets up in the morning, you may be able to get enough studying done without your toddler being underfoot or feeling ignored.

If you need more time than that, as many parents do, you will need help. Most times you can ask your spouse, another family member or a friend to help out, but if that’s not an option you will need to consider paying a babysitter, mother’s helper or signing your child up for some time in a daycare program. If you need the income, sometimes that’s what you have to do.

Toddlers are perhaps the most difficult age to have around when you want to work from home in any job. They aren’t quiet and don’t usually stay distracted long enough for you to get serious work done, which is a problem both when you’re studying to become a medical transcriptionist and after you find work. You need to figure out during your studies how to handle the situation so it doesn’t become a problem once you start working.

Even though you aren’t getting paid, and most online medical transcription courses don’t require you to keep to a particular schedule, I strongly suggest you keep to a schedule. This will help you get through your studies quickly and will build valuable habits for when you find a job. It’s all too easy to slack off when you work at home, so learn to fight that temptation before it’s your job on the line.

One of the best things you can do is set up a home office where you can close the door. This will help keep distractions out of the way, not just your toddler, but other family members and the noise of other people in the house. Toddlers won’t fully understand when they can and cannot open your office door, but you’ll only really be able to close it when someone else is caring for your child or they’re asleep anyhow.

For those times when you just have to work and there’s no one else there to help with your toddler, have supplies ready for the situation. Keep some toys that are only available when you need a bit of quiet time. It’s always smart to prepare yourself for when things aren’t going quite right.

Be prepared to take a few months on your studies, and don’t assume a job will be available right away. One might be, but just as with any other industry, sometimes it’s hard to land that first job. Make sure you keep your skills up even if it’s a bit difficult to get that first job, so that you test well when you get to that point with an employer. You want them to be confident that you’re a great fit for their company.

Finally, don’t give up when things get difficult. If this is really what you want, find a way to make it work. There’s no career that goes perfectly all the time. Choosing one that allows you to be home with your toddler changes the challenges, but they’re still present. Plan ahead and you’ll have a better idea for how to deal with them.

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

How to Ensure Your Medical Transcription Schooling Is a Waste of Time and Money

So you’re in a rush to get through your medical transcription schooling and start working. That’s great. Wonderful in fact. That’s one of the best ways to ensure you waste your time and money on training that won’t actually get you work as a medical transcriptionist after graduation. But there’s still more you can do to make yourself as unemployable as possible as a medical transcriptionist.

1. Fail to research school quality.

You might hit it lucky and pick a great medical transcriptionist school, or you might pick one of the worst. Don’t do your research and let Fate take you where it may for your education. This way you can later complain that there’s no way to get into medical transcription and that it’s all really a scam.

2. Skim through your studies.

All a medical transcriptionist really does is type up what the doctor says, right? You don’t need to pick up all that terminology or learn about procedures and stuff. You can make it work by just listening to the dictation. No problem.

3. Only work your self paced course occasionally.

It’s one of the great things about self paced medical transcription education. You can do it on your own time. So if there’s a party or something you’d rather go to, head off. Then find other reasons to skip out on your studies the next night, and the next. Hey, there’s that great TV show you’ve been meaning to watch. School will be there later.

At least until you find out you’ve run out of time on the program you signed up with. Why can’t they give you a reasonable amount of time to finish the course? It’s not your fault you didn’t get it done, is it?

4. Don’t review assignments after you finish them.

The grades don’t really matter, or what you missed on the test. All that matters is that you’re one section closer to done. You can pick it up as you work. Employers don’t care about how well you did in your training, do they?

5. Choose the school with the least time spent on practice transcription.

You want to get moving fast, don’t you? You can build up your transcription skills more when you’re getting paid for it. All you need in your training is enough of it to learn the basics. It won’t matter that you’re earning less than others and really not being productive later because at least you’re getting paid to do the work.

While none of these will guarantee that you’ll never find success as a medical transcriptionist, they can make the path to your career much more challenging, and may well keep you out. Medical transcription is a highly demanding career, and employers expect a lot from their employees. Make sure you make a good choice in your training so that you get off to a good start with your career.

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

What Is the Easy and Fast Way to Learn to Be a Medical Transcriptionist?

Why wait to get your career started longer than you need to? It makes sense to get your career going as fast as possible, but it’s not so easy to figure out how to do that when you want to become a medical transcriptionist. Is there any easy and fast way to learn to be a medical transcriptionist?

That depends on how you define easy and fast, not to mention the quality of training you expect. You want a good education, fast isn’t strictly what you’re going for. It may not be as fast if you take longer to get a job because your education wasn’t as good as it should have been.

I consider self paced medical transcription courses to be the best choice for those who want to get their career moving as fast as possible. This way the only thing slowing you down is you. If you need more time for study, you can take it. If you need less time because you already know part of the information, you can go faster. You don’t have to worry about how fast the other students are progressing. How long it takes you to complete your training is up to you.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy. Learning to be a medical transcriptionist isn’t easy for most people. There’s a lot of information to absorb, and it takes time build really good transcribing skills. Many terms sound similar but have very different meanings, and you must learn to tell them apart. You also need to understand the terminology well enough that you can help catch mistakes that could otherwise end up in the patient’s medical records. A good transcriptionist will note where the doctor needs to check the records when something doesn’t sound as though it was dictated correctly.

Getting into the easy and fast mindset is usually a mistake when you’re trying to train for any career. If it’s challenging enough that you have to get training on your own, it’s not going to be so easy that you can get it done in just a few weeks. If it were that simple, employers would be willing to do on the job training from scratch, and that just doesn’t happen in medical transcription. It takes too long to teach everything a medical transcriptionist must know and to learn all the skills you must have.

If speed and simplicity are the main criteria you consider when choosing a course, it’s not likely to do you a lot of good. While there’s good demand for medical transcriptionists, not every person who trains for it gets a job. Your training has to be good enough and you must be able to show that you gained the skills you need. Without that, your job hunt will be neither easy nor fast.

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

Is It a Good Idea to Go to School to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

A career in medical transcription is interesting to a lot of people, but there are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the career as well. The idea that you might be able to work at home is appealing to a lot of people. Concerns about electronic records and voice recognition software make it less appealing. Is going to school to become a medical transcriptionist a good idea? Is it still worth it?

You absolutely need to consider the future of medical transcription. It’s extremely relevant even when you’re training up for your first job. Good training will allow you to consider what’s happening within this industry.

It must first be noted, however, that there are still a lot of jobs out there for traditional medical transcriptionists. It has not vanished, and won’t for some time. Electronic medical records don’t automatically end the need, and not all doctors use voice recognition software. It takes time to make those changes.

Those won’t entirely do away with the need for medical transcriptionists anyhow, and if you have the right training you might just be able to take advantage of that. Places that don’t need medical transcriptionists because they’ve gone all electronic may still need help with their medical records, with transcriptionists working in an editing capacity. You’d be catching the errors the software makes in the record, and make no mistake, they will be there. Voice recognition is far from perfect.

Paying attention to where the industry is going is how you make your schooling worth it even if you don’t specifically take medical editor training. You may prefer to do the basic medical transcriptionist training to start, then add in medical editor training once you have some experience. A medical editor will still need to know how to do the work of a medical transcriptionist in order to do that work accurately. Such jobs will keep being out there for some time; the U.S. Department of Labor expects medical transcription jobs to grow by 11% by 2018. This could change as it’s only a forecast, but it is a good indication that the jobs aren’t going away too soon.

There is one more thing to consider when you’re wondering if going to school to become a medical transcriptionist is a good plan. That’s your own dedication to your training. It won’t be worthwhile if you aren’t a serious student. Taking classes isn’t a magic pass to a job. You have to gain the skills. You have to do hours and hours of practice transcription from real doctor dictation. You must learn the vocabulary. If all you want is to get through the classes fast, they might not be the best choice. You’re better off if you plan to take the time you need to learn all the skills.

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

Where Are the Certified Online Courses to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

Figuring out how to become a medical transcriptionist can be a bit confusing. Sometimes people are surprised to find out that they have to pay for training to get into this career. Once they get past that, the next question is very natural. Where are the certified online courses to become a medical transcriptionist?

A search online can add to the confusion. There are a number of schools out there, and of course they’re all trying to look good to you. Probably several are good, but you don’t know how to check them to see if they’re certified or otherwise a good program to teach you how to become a medical transcriptionist.

Certification isn’t precisely what you’re looking for, however. It’s too easy for a course to say that it’s certified or accredited in this way or that. I much prefer to suggest that you consider AHDI Approval, as it is entirely about the medical transcription training course, not about anything else the school may teach. AHDI considers several factors to determine whether a medical transcription training course is offering the right sort of training to prepare students to work in medical transcription.

It’s pretty easy to find out which courses have this. They’re listed on the AHDI website.

You can check the websites of different schools and request printed information from them. This can help you to figure out which one is going to work out well for you. You’ll want to balance the quality of the course with what you can afford to pay for it. These kinds of courses aren’t precisely cheap, but when you compare them to what you could be earning once you start working as a medical transcriptionist, they usually aren’t all that unreasonable. It’s an investment in your career.

As with any other sort of investment, make sure you do so wisely. Don’t feel you have to go for the first online course you hear about. It might be the right one for you, but it might not be. It is possible to choose a school that advertises its courses well but doesn’t really give you the training you need to do the work and doesn’t have the trust of potential employers to help you get past the experience requirements. The time you spend doing a touch of research on your options will help you to avoid such mistakes.

Just remember that it’s not certification as such that makes an online course worth taking. It’s whether or not you’re likely to gain the skills you need to work as a medical transcriptionist that matters.

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

Do You Really Have to Attend a School to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

You’ve heard about working as a medical transcriptionist, perhaps even at home, and you’re eager to get your career moving. You’re pretty confident about your typing skills and your ability to use them as a medical transcriptionist. Are you really going to have to spend a bunch of time in school to become a medical transcriptionist?

Probably, yes. Especially if you think a medical transcriptionist just types up what the doctor says. The job is just not as simple as that.

First and foremost, it’s hard to get into medical transcription without experience, never mind without training. It’s a career that demands near perfect accuracy. Going to school to become a medical transcriptionist will help you to build the skills and knowledge you will need to do the work.

Even nurses who want to go into this field are usually better off going to school first. It’s very different dealing with patients than it is transcribing doctor’s dictation. You can’t get by with almost knowing how to spell all the terminology. You must get it right.

Nurses and others with a medical background do have some advantages, as medical terminology, physiology, anatomy and pharmacology will be much more familiar. But a refresher won’t hurt, and if you choose a self paced online school you can work through the familiar parts more quickly. But nurses and other medical personnel will still need to learn how to transcribe, and that’s a skill that comes only with hours of practice.

Transcription itself can be extremely challenging. Doctors usually speak differently when they dictate. Many speak as fast as they can, to get the work out of their way. Others will eat or do other activities as they dictate. Then there are strong accents to deal with. The only thing that will help you to cope is a lot of practice. The best place to get this is through a medical transcriptionist school.

Learning to transcribe will be a huge help when you first become a medical transcriptionist. You’ll be faster at it than you would be if you’ve never transcribed before. If your job pays on production, you want every advantage you can get when it comes to speed and accuracy.

Unless you know someone who wants to hire you with no training and no experience, attending school will be a big help in getting that first job. Provided you attend a good one, of course. There are many schools that are not worth the time or expense to attend. There are others that are very much worth both time and expense for the quality of their training.

Going through a good medical transcription school and getting good grades on your work is one way you can show potential employers that you can do the work. Without some sort of proof that you’re a competent medical transcriptionist, most companies won’t give you or your resume a second look.

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

What Classes Are Mandatory to Get a Job as a Medical Transcriptionist?

Getting your first job as a medical transcriptionist is rarely easy. Most companies want experience, two years or more of it. The rest will consider people who have taken good enough classes to learn medical transcription, but they must have been good classes that really teach you the skills you need to work at your job as a medical transcriptionist.

So, what classes are mandatory?

If you sign up for a good online medical transcriptionist training program, all of them!

Let’s make that a little clearer. There are certain things the classes must offer in order for you to be well trained and ready to work after graduation.

1. Medical terminology

This is an obvious one. You must be able to understand what the doctor is talking about. If you can’t understand it, you can’t always type it accurately, and you’re more likely to cause mistakes to enter into the medical record.

2. Grammar and style

There are a number of rules for grammar and style in medical transcription, and they aren’t always the same as they would be for any other kind of report. You must be able to produce a transcribed medical report or other file that is done in the style expected.

3. Anatomy and physiology

These classes will help you to understand what the doctor is talking about. This is a huge help in keeping your reports accurate, as doctors do make mistakes and misspeak. If they’re talking about one body part, then report a symptom or procedure that is only done to another part, you know there’s a problem in the dictation that needs to be noted.

4. Pharmacology

Pharmacology is one of those areas that is constantly changing, but you need to learn as much as you can during your training. New medications come out all the time, but you’ll still regularly deal with reports on patients using more familiar medications, and you should have some familiarity with them. You’ll also need to develop your ear for the difference between similar sounding medications, and the differences between brand name and generic medications.

5. Disease processes

You will need to have a general idea as to how diseases tend to go in patients. Once again, this helps with accuracy.

6. Transcription technology and practice

The technology used by medical transcriptionists has been going through some changes in recent years. It used to be normal for medical transcriptionists to pick up tapes at the doctor’s office or hospital, transcribe them at home using a Dictaphone, print out the reports and drive them back to where they came from.

Now it’s more common to send and receive all work over a secure internet connection. It’s much simpler for all involved. Some transcriptionists as well as some doctors even take advantage of voice recognition software to simplify their transcription work.

It takes a lot of practice to become a good medical transcriptionist. You should be required to do many hours of dictation practice in a good class.

7. Privacy and legal issues

Patient privacy is a huge issue for anyone dealing with patient information of any sort. You are required by law to protect the patient information you deal with in your work. A good class will help prepare you for this, and any employer should have policies in place that you will need to follow.

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

How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist via Online Courses

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.

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

How Long Do You Have to Go to College to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

You often hear that you have to go to college for two years to become a medical transcriptionist. Other schools claim they can train you in as little as eight weeks. How long do you really need to go to college to become a medical transcriptionist?

That depends.

It depends on a few factors. The first is which medical transcription program you sign up for. There are a lot of options out there. You don’t want to sign up for a program that promises you can graduate in less than four months – that’s too fast. Most people simply cannot acquire the skills needed to be a successful medical transcriptionist in less than four months. As a matter of fact, nine months is a reasonable estimate for many people in self paced training courses.

Community colleges and some other schools may have programs that take two years to finish. You don’t have to take that long. These programs may be offering an Associate’s degree in medical transcription, which is not necessary to find work. They may require you to take unrelated courses as well. That’s not a problem if that’s the way you want to go about training for this career, but it’s not as fast as more focused, self paced programs.

I like the self paced schools that give honest estimates of how long it takes most students to complete their programs. No false promises that you’ll know enough to find a job in just two months or that the average pay rate is higher than it is. You need honest information when you’re trying to start a new career, not hype and vague promises.

With a self paced program, a big part of what determines how long you have to go to college is you. If you work hard on your studies, you may be able to finish faster. But when you come to parts that are more challenging for you, you’re still able to take the time you need to really get the information down, no worries about holding the rest of the class up or needing to catch up with classmates who got it sooner. You can even take extra time if events in your life cause you to need to slow down for a bit.

As you look into various colleges that may train you to become a medical transcriptionist, consider what it is you want from the training. Quality is obviously a major factor, as is cost, but how long it takes to complete the course should be a factor too. Don’t go for promises of a lightning fast education, but also remember that you probably won’t need to study for two years to acquire the skills you need for this career. There’s a good balance that will help you to finish your training in a reasonable amount of time and be ready to work when you find a job.

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