Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

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How Can You Learn Medical Transcription While Homeschooling Your Child?

Homeschooling has become a very popular option for teaching your children. It’s a great option when families can afford to have one parent at home, as it gives you more say in what your children learn and the freedom to let them learn in their own ways. Sometimes, however, you still need two incomes, and that’s where learning a skill that may allow you to work at home, such as medical transcription, comes into play. The hard part may be in learning medical transcription while homeschooling your children.

Of course, most homeschooling families are already pretty good at handling scheduling. It comes with the territory. If you don’t know how to make enough time to do whatever educational things need doing, you’re probably having some trouble with the homeschool process. Some homeschool programs are more strict than others about how work is done, and some families go entirely independent, but even so the process of educating your kids at home tends to be a demanding one.

Just how easy it is to add in your own educational needs to the day depends on how much your kids need you. In the early school years you’re probably having to help out quite a bit, while older kids may be able to work for hours with minimal input from you, then need hours of help from you at another time.

I’ll assume here that you hope to become an at home medical transcriptionist so that you can continue to be home with your kids. Not all medical transcriptionists work at home, of course, but it’s not that uncommon to work from home.

A key factor to consider is that even if you work from home, your employer usually wants you to set a schedule and keep to it. They may or may not care what that schedule is, but they want to know that you’re committing to enough hours each week and that they can expect a certain amount of work done during those hours.

That’s something to consider during your education. Even though a good online medical transcription school may give you freedom to pace yourself through the course, you should be preparing yourself for how you will handle the work in the long run. Figuring out a workable schedule while you’re a student will help you when you turn it into a job.

If your kids only need you a little bit during their school days, you may be able to study at the same time they do, and just be prepared for interruptions. But if they need you a lot, you will need to choose other times to work and study. It may take a lot of late nights or early mornings.

If you plan on doing a lot of studying while your kids work on school stuff, you need to figure out how to handle those times when they need you, because it will happen when you work too. There’s a balance that will work for your family and you need to find it.

If you start out with a particular schedule and find that it’s just not working, don’t be afraid to change it. Better to make the change than to continue to work with a schedule that isn’t right for your family.

You probably already know that you can make most anything work for your family if you’re determined enough. Most families find homeschooling challenging at first, but many make it work. You can find a way to make learning medical transcription and going on to make a career of it at home work with that too.

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

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.

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.

Do You Need Schooling to Become an At Home Medical Transcriptionist?

You want to become an at home medical transcriptionist. You’re confident you can pick up the needed skills on your own if they’d just give you the chance. Do you really need to pay for medical transcriptionist schooling and take all that time to learn it at school in order to work at home in medical transcription?

Yes, probably you do.

There are a few reasons for this. First of all, it’s not as simple as just typing what the doctor says. People who don’t know better may describe it that way, but few things in life are as basic as their simplest description.

You have to learn formatting. You have to know medical terminology. You have to know anatomy and physiology. You have to know the names of many medications and their generic variations. You have to develop your ear for transcription, and that’s not an easy thing to do. It only comes with practice.

Most of all, you must be fast and accurate. Medical transcription companies don’t want to spend significant amounts of time training you to do the work. They want you ready to go with just a little help getting used to the particular system they use. They don’t want you overloading their QA staff with poor quality work because you don’t really understand what you’re doing and can’t quite hear the difference between very similar terms used by the doctors.

Even though medical transcription schooling costs money, in the long run you may earn more if you go through it. Most at home medical transcriptionists are paid per line, not per hour. This means that the faster you can transcribe accurately, the more you earn. Taking the time to go through schooling means that you’ll be a faster transcriptionist at the start, and capable of earning more money.

If you feel you have most of the skills needed already, consider that many online medical transcriptionist schools are self paced. If you already know the information, you can go through that part of the course more quickly, and spend more time on the parts you still need to learn. You may be surprised during your training to find out what you don’t know already that you need to know to work in this industry.

I’ll admit that it’s not completely impossible to become a medical transcriptionist without training, but the odds of doing so successfully are pretty low. That’s not the usual way to get started, and particularly in low supervision areas such as at home medical transcription employers need to know their employees can do the work with minimal help and supervision. Having an education gives them reassurance that you know what you’re doing, which increases the chance that they will consider you at all for a job.

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

Interested in Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist, But Not Sure Which School Is Best?

Choosing the best medical transcription school is pretty challenging. They all try to look appealing. They’d like you as a student, after all. How can you choose the best school when you’re interested in becoming a medical transcriptionist, and be sure you’ve made the right choice?

Research is the key. It’s not terribly difficult, but it is vital. Otherwise you could find out you’ve paid for medical transcriptionist training through a school that really wasn’t worth the time or money. Most of us don’t have either to waste.

The school must provide you with an education good enough that you can work as a competent medical transcriptionist after graduation, assuming you study hard enough. You’re part of the equation too! It may sound difficult to figure out which schools offer good enough training that you’ll get the skills you need, but it’s not as hard as it may sound.

AHDI Approval is one factor to check. If the school is on their list, they’re probably a pretty good school. They’ve had their curriculum reviewed for quality by an association of medical transcriptionists.

Another factor to consider is how employers feel about graduates of that program. One of the biggest complaints newly trained medical transcriptionists have is that all employers seem to want at least two years of medical transcription experience before they’ll even consider hiring. A good school can train you well enough for certain employers to waive that requirement. Not all employers will, but some do. That’s your foot in the door for this career.

Cost matters too. This is why different people will come up with different answers for which is the best school. What’s best for you is not best for everyone.

Cost can be a big part of the decision. No one wants to spend more than they have to on their education, but it does cost some to get good enough training to get the job. That doesn’t mean the most expensive school is the best. You can go to a more midrange priced school and do well so long as they offer high quality training.

You can never forget that even the best program is only good if you make the most of it. You have to gain the skills they’re teaching you. If you aren’t a focused, determined student, you aren’t going to do so well in this career. Even when you find an employer willing to consider you without two years of experience because you attended a good school, you’ll have to prove your skills through a test. If you didn’t really learn the skills during your training, you won’t make it.

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

How Do You Become a Medical Transcriptionist and Work From Home?

Once you find out that it’s possible to become a medical transcriptionist and work from home, the idea can be quite appealing. There just aren’t that many work at home jobs that sound so possible to many people, especially with a clear income potential.

Then you start looking at jobs and realizing it’s just not that simple. Everyone wants you to have at least two years of experience, except a couple of questionable companies that are asking you to pay them for the job. Isn’t there some way to become a medical transcriptionist from home and not get scammed?

Of course there is. Many people succeed at this, while others end up working as medical transcriptionists in an office somewhere rather than at home. The only problem is, you’re going to have to pay for your own training.

In many ways, this isn’t any different from any other job that has demanding requirements. It’s like a job requiring a particular certification or a college degree. You get the training you need from the source you choose, then you can start finding the jobs that will take you on as an employee.

What about that two years of experience thing, you ask? Choose the right training, and it won’t be so much of an issue. You can get around it if employers trust the school you trained with.

Online Medical Transcriptionist Training

The great part about medical transcriptionist training is that you can do it online, from home. You must be careful to choose a school that is AHDI Approved, so that you know their training is high quality. You should also confirm that employers are willing to hire their new graduates, so you have a shot at getting past that annoying experience requirement. There are few things more frustrating after spending months on training than being constantly asked how much experience you have, especially when you know you’re ready and able to work now.

Training to become a medical transcriptionist online is a smart way to go if you want to work from home after you graduate. It’s experience in work at home skills. You’ll be learning how to cope with many of the issues you’ll face when working at home for real, such as dealing with distractions, getting family to take you seriously and so forth. It’s also nice not having to drive to school and deal with parking issues, child care issues or schedule changes. Online training works with you for the most part.

What About After Graduation?

After you graduate is when you really know how much you needed a high quality training program. If the school you chose doesn’t have such a great reputation with employers, your job hunt is probably going to be more difficult. There can still be challenges in finding a job after completing even the best of programs – it all depends on the competition for the particular jobs you apply for, and the jobs you find.

The great part about working from home is that you don’t have to limit your job hunt to local companies. You can apply to companies all across the country if they hire home based employees. Most will never need you to come in to the office, so your location relative to them won’t matter. The internet and telephone will take care of all your communication needs.

Not everyone will find a work at home position, no matter how badly they want one, however. It may pay you to take a local, in office transcription job if that’s what you find. The job hunt gets easier with experience.

But if you do get the work at home job, work hard and really show that you’re a great employee. Over time you can effectively increase your pay as you become more productive, as home based medical transcriptionists are often paid on production. As you gain experience you can move on to better opportunities or be promoted within the company you’re working for. You may be surprised where this career takes you.

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

What Are the Future Prospects for Medical Transcriptionist Training?

You’re ready to learn medical transcription, but you’ve been hearing some things that have you a bit worried about the future of this industry. Will it all be worth it? What kind of future is there in getting medical transcriptionist training?

It’s not as bad as many would say, I believe. There is a future for medical transcriptionists, and you can use your time in training to prepare for it.

The big thing medical transcriptionists are concerned about is the growth of electronic medical records and voice recognition software. Why should a doctor pay a transcriptionist to do work that his or her computer can handle for him at the instant of dictation? It would save money to skip that part, right?

There’s some truth to that, and certainly many doctors are going to voice recognition software. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need someone to check to make sure the dictation came out right. There’s still a need for an editor to confirm that the software got it right, and that the doctor didn’t misspeak. They both make mistakes, and it’s important to keep such mistakes out of the medical records as much as possible. That’s where the future of medical transcription is likely headed.

This is something to consider during your training. Schools such as Career Step now offer training that includes preparation for dealing with electronic medical records. While it’s hard to say just how important that’s going to be, anything that gives you a step up in career related knowledge is likely to be a good thing.

Even so, you need the basic medical transcriptionist training to do the work of a medical records editor. You still need to know all the terminology, all the physiology, anatomy, disease processes and so forth.

As a career, medical transcription is still expected to continue growing in demand. Just think of all the requirements of an aging population, as the Baby Boomer generation gets older. Jobs in the medical field in general will probably continue to be high demand. The technology may change exactly what is demanded by the work, but the work will not disappear entirely for some time.

You’ll probably encounter some naysayers when you talk about pursuing this career from people who know how the technology is changing. Don’t let them get you down. Instead, learn to discuss the great options you have to keep things going. The changes don’t mean your career will vanish overnight, just that it’s changing. Be prepared and you’ll do fine.

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

Is It Possible to Become a Medical Transcriptionist Without Any Formal Training?

Many people want to become medical transcriptionists. Finding out the training requirements can be a bit daunting, however. Do you really have to go to school for so many months just to type up what the doctor says? Can’t you become a medical transcriptionist without all that formal training?

To put is simply, no. It’s not a good idea and it’s close to impossible. You will very, very rarely find a position that will train you completely from scratch in medical transcription. It’s much simpler for employers to hire experienced workers and new graduates from training programs than it is to spend the many months it takes to train someone who has no idea how to do the job at all.

Medical transcription is a tough job, and it is not just typing what you hear the doctor dictate. There are formatting rules. There’s confusing terminology. There are mistakes made by doctors that a transcriptionist can request clarification about to help keep errors out of the patient’s medical records. It’s a highly demanding career.

Good quality training will teach you these things and more. You have to learn about anatomy, physiology, disease processes, drugs and much more. You have to learn how to format the different types of reports. You have to learn what to do when a doctor makes a mistake in his or her dictation so that the report can be corrected.

You may also want to get training that will help you to advance your career as electronic medical records become more common. The work done by a medical transcriptionist keeps changing, and the better trained you are for the career and the changes coming now, the better off you will be in the long run.

Formal training can be a smarter move for your career in medical transcription as well.

First and foremost, it will cut down on how long it takes you to find work. You aren’t going to find many, if any at all, positions that will even consider you as a medical transcriptionist without training. Think about how much money you could be earning monthly once you start working. If you spend less time training and job hunting than you would spend in job hunting without the training, isn’t that a good deal?

Given that it’s extremely close to impossible to get a transcription job without training, I would expect this to be the better option.

Second, many medical transcriptionists are paid on production rather than hourly. This is especially true among home based medical transcriptionists. The better trained you are, the more you will earn as you work because you’ll better understand what you need to type. The terminology the doctor is so quickly throwing at you in his or her dictation will be familiar if you’re well trained.

It may not be easy to find a way to pay for training, but if you’re serious about this career, it’s what you have to do. Check with the schools you’re considering, and you may be able to get a payment plan that will allow you to pay for the training you need for this challenging career.

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

Are All Online Classes for Medical Transcription Created Equal?

There are a lot of online classes for medical transcription out there. They all say they’ll give you the training you need to become a successful medical transcriptionist if you sign up for them. But should you sign up with just any of them?

Of course not. There are always differences, and you should make sure you’re getting the best deal you can. That includes being certain that the classes are worth signing up for in the first place. I define that as classes that will really prepare you for your first job in medical transcription.

One way to tell if an online class will do that for you is to check with the AHDI. They review courses and give approval to the ones that meet their criteria. These are courses which will teach you much of what it takes to transcribe successfully. Work hard in your studies, and you improve your chances of graduating well enough to land a job after.

You also want to consider if the courses are preparing you for the future. Medical transcription has gone through some changes in recent years, and will continue to do so. Electronic medical records are changing the job significantly. The better prepared you are for dealing with these changes, the better off you will be in the long run.

Don’t sign up for online classes, or classes anywhere, that promise you too much. No excessively quick training. No promises of higher pay than what can really be expected.

You should expect them to offer significant support during your training. There should be ways to contact a teacher quickly. Forums to chat with other students are handy also. Job placement assistance is great as well, for after graduation.

Some will claim you can do it almost entirely on your own. Online classes do mean you’ll be doing a lot of work at your own pace, but most students need some support. Medical transcription is a highly challenging industry, one that demands accuracy. You don’t want to be adequate. You want to be great. Having the right support in your online classes will help you become a great transcriptionist.

Take some time to learn about the online classes you’re considering to learn medical transcription. Make sure they’re a good choice for your budget, schedule and career. Think about the long term to be sure you get a good one. You don’t want to find out after graduation that you wasted time and money on a class that didn’t teach you enough.

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

How Long Should Medical Transcriptionist Training Online Take?

When you decide to study to become a medical transcriptionist, it’s natural to be eager to finish your studies and find a job. That’s your actual goal, after all. It’s perfectly reasonable to wonder how long medical transcription training online should take.

Don’t believe every answer you read.

Some courses will claim you can learn medical transcription in as little as eight weeks. I don’t believe it, and I don’t feel you should either, at least not if you’re serious about a career in medical transcription. You can learn quite a bit in eight weeks if you work hard at it, but not enough to become a really productive medical transcriptionist. That takes time.

The programs offering to teach you to be a medical transcriptionist in a very short period of time will rush you through things you need to spend more time on. That’s especially true of transcription practice. Becoming a medical transcriptionist is not all about knowing the words or being able to type. You have to know how to transcribe, and that takes something a bit more.

On the short side of things, four months is not an impossible goal for a serious student with plenty of time for studies. You can do it that fast, and really that’s not too bad for learning an entirely new career. You’ll have to work hard to make it that fast.

It often takes longer, however. Nine months isn’t entirely unreasonable.

Some schools offer two year programs in medical transcription. This usually comes from a community college, and they may expect you to take unrelated courses in order to graduate. If you just want to become a medical transcriptionist, that’s not necessary.

Add in the inconvenience of having to register for each individual course needed to graduate from the community college program, and being slowed down if your schedule doesn’t work out with the classes available, and you may see why I suggest sticking with training online.

Many online training programs for medical transcriptionists are self paced. There’s no real promise about how fast you will complete the course.

That’s useful. That means you can keep your day job or continue with your family obligations as you learn your new career. It’s harder to get into a new career if it means giving up your old work before you’re even qualified for the new.

Do not rush yourself as you learn medical transcription. Take some time. Make sure you’re really picking up the skills you need.

If you find you can do this more quickly than you had originally planned, congratulations. That’s a wonderful thing.

But if you find you’re struggling a bit more, or your schedule isn’t working out, or other challenges slow you down and the whole thing is taking longer than you planned, well, that’s how things go sometimes. Be glad that self paced programs are flexible enough to allow you to learn at the rate you can do best. You don’t have to worry so much that you aren’t going to finish on time. The amount of time medical transcriptionist training online takes can be the amount of time you need it to take.

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