Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: learn medical transcription (page 2 of 2)

Why Go With Medical Transcriptionist Online Training Rather Than Your Local School?

When you’re researching your educational options, you may notice a lot of medical transcriptionist online training courses, as well as local schools. Are there any good reasons to take a chance on an online training program rather than attend your local school, which you probably know more about?

There are many good reasons to prefer an online program. Here are just a few.

1. Online training is often self paced.

This is not true for absolutely every medical transcriptionist online training program out there, but it is true for quite a number. You decide what times and days you study, and for how long. It’s great if you have other work or family obligations to deal with. Your education works completely with your schedule.

Local schools need you to keep to their schedule. You have to attend classes when the professor can be there. You have to know what the lab hours are for your transcription practice if it’s not available to take home. You have to drive there. You have to arrange childcare if you have kids. Local just isn’t as convenient in many ways.

2. Online training is practice for working at home.

Not every medical transcriptionist works at home, but it’s a goal for many people who become interested in this career. Do your training online, and you learn how to cope with working from home. You have to set your own schedule, motivate yourself and even deal with the fact that you aren’t interacting with your classmates in person. It’s not for everyone, and the sooner you find out if you like working that way, the better.

You should also have access to your teachers online or by phone, which is rather like having a supervisor available to you online or by phone when you’re working. You can ask your questions as they come up even though you aren’t sitting in a classroom. Emailed questions or questions asked on a forum may take a little time to be answered, but in many cases you will have faster ways to ask for help.

3. Great medical transcriptionist online training programs are available.

Some of the best programs are the online training programs. They’re familiar to more employers. They train a number of medical transcription students from across the country. The best online programs have great reputations.

4. Start when you’re ready.

Some medical transcriptionist online training programs have particular start dates for sessions, but many allow you to start when you’re ready. You decide it’s time for a new career and pick the school, they’re ready for you. No waiting for registration to open up for the next quarter or semester.

5. Student forums and resources to use after graduation.

Online training programs usually have student forums that are useful during your student days as well as after graduation. You can network with your fellow students to increase your chances of finding work later.

There may also be reference materials and job hunting tools that you can use after graduation. These are quite valuable to new transcriptionists. It takes time in a real job to get to where you aren’t having to look things up regularly.

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

What Do You Need to Know to Be a Medical Transcriptionist at Home?

Deciding to be a medical transcriptionist at home is a great career choice. It’s challenging and the pay is pretty decent. You have to know quite a bit before you can become a medical transcriptionist at home, however.

This is not something to do on your own. While you can study up on the skills you’d need on your own, you’re better off going through a good quality online medical transcriptionist training course. That way you won’t be missing out on some of the skills you didn’t realize you’d need.

These are the skills you need and that you need to be certain your medical transcriptionist training course will provide to you.

1. Knowledge of medical terminology.

This one should be obvious. You can’t transcribe medical reports if you don’t know the terminology and know it well.

2. Grammar and style.

You should have excellent grammar if you’re even considering medical transcriptionist training. The time you’re spending on your formal training is no time to be reviewing grammar basics.

You will need to learn about the style of the different types of medical reports and documents. They’re done in a certain way to make it easier for doctors and other medical personnel to find the information they need about a particular patient.

3. Anatomy and physiology.

How much do you know about the human body? You need to learn more.

This is a vital skill. It will help you to understand what the doctor is talking about, especially when you’re dealing with two completely different things that sound very similar. When you know the part of the body being discussed, you usually know which word is being said, even when they have similar roots.

4. Pharmacology.

You’re going to learn a ton about medications that may be prescribed. You’ll especially need to know the difference between the brand name and generic names of drugs, as the difference can be important. This is one of the areas where you need to keep up as well, as new medications come out all the time.

5. Disease processes.

What are the different stages to various diseases. The ability to understand what the doctor is talking about once again comes in very useful.

6. Transcription technology and practice.

Lots and lots of practice. Any course worth the money will require you to complete many hours of real doctor dictation. This is one of the big steps in getting the skills that will make you a productive medical transcriptionist. Without it, there’s no way you’ll earn a living wage, maybe not even minimum wage.

7. Privacy and legal issues.

Patient privacy is a huge deal, and there are laws you need to be aware of as a medical transcriptionist at home.

Beyond these concerns, I like to recommend self paced, online medical transcriptionist courses. These make it easier to continue working at your current position as you train for your new career, or you can go through the work as fast as you can learn it if you aren’t already working or otherwise occupied. It’s nice to not be slowed down by those who aren’t learning as fast as you are, or pushed to hurry up when you need a little more time.

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

Which Schools for Medical Transcriptionist Training Are Most Likely to Get You a Job After Graduation?

When you’re looking at schools for medical transcriptionist training, it’s about more than getting an education. It’s about building the skills that will allow you to get a job after graduation. Medical transcription isn’t a skill people pick up as a hobby, after all.

Getting a job after graduation is all about your skills. You need training that is good enough to get you past that pesky two years of experience requirement most medical transcriptionist jobs have. That means the schools need to be good enough to gain the trust of potential employers. They need to consistently produce graduates who are ready to work.

Look for schools that can show employers trust them. They should be able to show that many medical transcription companies hire their graduates. There may even be a program in place for graduates from trusted schools to bypass the experience requirement and simply be tested for jobs when they’re available.

You do not want a school that offers you training that takes too little time. Medical transcriptionist training isn’t about getting through quickly, not if you want to work later. It’s about building the skills you will need. If you don’t build the skills and somehow get a job anyhow, you’ll quickly find that your lack of skills effects your income. Most at home medical transcriptionists are paid on production. Your skills really matter to your income.

That’s the big reason you need a good quality school to train you. It’s not just the ability to get the job. It’s the ability to earn a good income. The more skilled you are, the better you know your work, the more productive you can be, and the more you’ll probably earn each day you transcribe.

A school that is AHDI Approved is a good choice also. Schools that without that approval will still say they’re a good program, but how can you tell? AHDI is a good third party that checks the quality of programs to see if they’re giving medical transcriptionist training that should actually produce someone capable of working in this industry.

Never think that the school is solely responsible for the quality of your education. You’re even more responsible. If you aren’t making the effort in your studies, you aren’t going to get the benefit from even the best of schools.

That said, there are plenty of resources you should expect a good school for medical transcriptionists. They should have student forums, so you can talk things over with your fellow students. They should have highly accessible teachers, ideally by both phone and email.

What happens after you graduate a medical transcriptionist training program is up to you as well as the program you attended. Work hard through a good quality program, and you increase your odds that you will get a job after you graduate.

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

What Kind of Medical Transcriptionist Schooling Do You Need to Get a Job?

You quickly learn that medical transcriptionist schooling is required when you want to become a medical transcriptionist at home. There’s just no way around it. Employers want experienced or they want people who have gone through high quality medical transcriptionist schooling on their own to get the work.

When you start looking at medical transcription schools, you quickly realize there are a lot of them, and they all promise to give you the training you need in order to land a great job. The only problem is figuring out which ones will give you training that is really worth your time and money.

It’s not as bad as it looks at first. You just need to know how to figure out which ones have a good reputation.

Checking for AHDI Approval is one easy way. AHDI checks medical transcriptionist schools to see if they’re offering the kind of schooling needed to learn medical transcription. They only give approval to the schools which meet their fairly strict criteria.

Don’t confuse this with AHDI membership. Any school or individual can become a member. AHDI Approval is an entirely different matter. They review the school, make sure it has a solid curriculum, that there’s an experienced medical transcriptionist involved in the process, and many other criteria must be met.

You can also check to see if the school is partnered with potential employers. Career Step, the school I recommend, is partnered with my own former employer. Many other employers hire their graduates as well. That’s a good sign when you’re looking at a school.

There’s one more big thing you need to look at when you’re considering medical transcriptionist schooling.

Yourself. How committed are you to getting a great education?

Some students just want it all handed to them. It doesn’t matter how good the training is, however, if you don’t do the work. You’re the one who has to learn the information presented to you. If you just skim through, do the minimum to pass the tests, you aren’t going to get hired after graduation. That kind of attitude just does not produce a transcriptionist who knows his or her work.

It won’t matter how good the school was or which employers usually are willing to test graduates. If you didn’t learn all the things your school tried to teach you about becoming a medical transcriptionist, you aren’t going to get hired.

Combine good quality medical transcriptionist schooling with the determination to learn the job thoroughly, and you’re more likely to work after graduation. There are plenty of employers who hire medical transcriptionists. You just have to show them you’re the one they need.

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

Medical Transcriptionist Training in Eight Weeks – Why You Won’t Learn Medical Transcription That Quickly

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.

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

How Do You Get Your First Medical Transcription Job?

One of the biggest challenges for a newly trained medical transcriptionist is finding that first job. It’s the classic dilemma of needing experience to land a job when no one will hire you to give you experience.

This is one of the areas where quality training comes in handy. If you make the right choice in medical transcription schools, the reputation of the school will help you to land a good job. Schools such as CareerStep have good reputations with many employers. This makes getting hired much easier.

If multiple levels of training are offered, you may be better off taking more than just the minimum level. My own employer, for example, preferred students who took at least the Gold level classes through CareerStep. They weren’t particularly interested in students who only took the basic, Silver level classes. I won’t say it was impossible to get hired as a Silver level student, merely that it was more difficult.

Many schools will offer job placement assistance. If it’s offered, take advantage of it!

Another great way to find your first job is to start asking around at medical transcription forums to see if anyone knows of a company that hires newly trained and inexperienced medical transcriptionists. There are companies out there that will do this. Otherwise I never would have landed my own first medical transcription job. MT Desk has a good forum.

You can also do your own searches online or in the newspaper. There are plenty of job sites such as Monster.com where you can post your resume and easily apply for any medical transcription jobs that are posted. You can even have the site email you job search results daily.

There are also sites that have lists of medical transcription companies that you can contact and ask if they will test you. Many require 2 or more years’ experience, but if the site doesn’t make their preferences clear, ask!

If you don’t mind working outside the home for a time, check with local hospitals and clinics for on-site positions. It can be much easier to land a job on-site than off when you lack experience. It can also be extremely helpful to be surrounded by people who already know the job quite well.

Talk to your doctor. Your doctor may or may not need a medical transcriptionist, but he or she may know someone who does. You can also try your veterinarian if you’ve studied that terminology, your chiropractor, your dentist… any medical professional you know. If you have to pick up some new terminology to work for them, just consider it a good career habit.

Whatever you do, keep practicing your transcription. If you have the tapes from your studies, keep on transcribing them. It’s good to keep your mind on it, and you’ll keep improving your skills. Once you land the job, your ability to type fast and accurately becomes even more vital. You don’t want to lose your touch.

How to Get Your Medical Transcription Career Started

Medical transcription is a good career with growth potential, and great for people who want to work at home. It’s flexible, challenging, and even fun for the right kind of person.

It’s also a bit difficult to get started. How do you get past that two years of experience requirement so many employers have?

Get Medical Transcription Training

Going through a quality medical transcription training program will help you get past one of the biggest obstacles in this career – landing your first medical transcription job. There are schools that have partnerships with certain employers. These partnerships mean the employers agree to test applicants who graduate from that school with certain achievement levels. If you pass, the experience requirement goes away.

Make sure you select an AHDI Approved program. These are the programs that have proven their worth, and many of them have excellent reputations with potential employers.

Seek Out Jobs

Even with a good training under your belt, jobs aren’t going to come hunting for you. You have to hunt for them.

Have your resume ready. It should emphasize how well you did in your coursework.

Take advantage of any resources your school offers you. This includes any employers they partner with and any job boards they offer. Check on these daily while you’re hunting for a job.

Be Ready to Search for a While

No matter how well you do in your studies, sometimes the jobs just aren’t there right away. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re trying to get into.

Be persistent in your job hunt, and pay particular attention to jobs from any company you believe you would prefer to work for. Remember that there is competition for every job opening. Just because you don’t make it through on the first try doesn’t mean you won’t get hired later on.

Keep Up Your Skills

If your job hunt is taking a while, make sure you keep up with your skills so that you don’t forget what you learned during your training. Participate in medical transcription forums. Review your coursework. Keep up with happenings in the industry.

For most people who graduate with good scores, a job will happen eventually. How long it takes depends a bit on luck and a lot on how hard you search for that first job.

Ready to train as a medical transcriptionist? Check out Career Step’s online training program.
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