Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: medical transcription continuing education

Make Sure You Understand the Obligations of Medical Transcription Before Beginning Your Training

A medical transcriptionist has a lot of obligations. These are to the patients whose reports you are transcribing, the doctors who send you the reports to transcribe, and to the company you’re doing the work for. If you aren’t ready to face these commitments, then medical transcription might not be the job for you. Be sure to consider these things before you start your medical transcriptionist education.

You Are Obligated to Get and Maintain a Good Medical Transcription Education

You need to have a high quality education as a medical transcriptionist right from the start. That means being a good student when you’re taking your classes, whether you do so in person or online.

This also means that even after graduation you keep up with the changes in the industry and add to the knowledge you bring to the job. This isn’t just to benefit your employer; it benefits you as well as you can take on more challenging and better paying accounts.

You Are Committed to Accuracy

A medical transcriptionist must produce an accurate medical record, both for the good of the patient and for the doctor’s reference. That means no guessing if you aren’t certain what the doctor said – put in a blank and let someone who knows what should be there fill it in accurately. It also means noting when you think the doctor said something that wasn’t accurate, such as naming what sounds like the wrong body part or procedure compared with other parts of the report.

It also means you must know the difference between words that sound similar or identical. You must build your skills up to where you can think about it and choose the right word for the report.

You Are Obligated to Maintain Patient Privacy

This is a big one, as it brings up legal issues as well if you don’t maintain patient privacy. HIPPA violations can be a serious matter for you. Don’t go blabbing something interesting or unusual in a report you just transcribed. Respect the patients as you would like to be respected as a patient.

You Are Responsible to Your Employer

If you’re lucky enough to become a work at home medical transcriptionist, make your schedule and stick to it. If something comes up, communicate with your employer so they know why you aren’t working. It’s really not so different from having a job where you have to be there in person.

You should also do your best to keep up the volume of work expected of you by your employer. This can be difficult if work volume is down for a time, but that’s when you see if there’s another account you can be added to that matches your skill level.

You Are Obligated to Know How to Use the Tools of the Job

You need to be very comfortable with your computer and the word processing program used to do your transcription. You should be an excellent and fast typist. You should be very comfortable with using your foot pedal to control the speed of the dictation as you transcribe.

You should know how to use all of your reference materials, both online and in book form. The faster you can look up unfamiliar terminology or new procedures and medications, the faster you can get back to transcribing and earning your pay.

You should also take the time to learn any software and other tools that will help you to do your job better. Know how to use text expanding software to speed up your transcription.

You should also know how to handle basic troubleshooting on your system. Know how to cope if your computer freezes or you drop your internet connection. A few basic tricks can save you a lot of time if you can handle things on your own.

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

Are Medical Transcriptionists Being Phased Out? Is It Still Worth Studying?

One of the big things new and current medical transcriptionists are concerned about are the changes in the industry. They’re a big deal. Electronic medical records and voice recognition are changing the need for medical transcriptionists, and some have lost their jobs over the changes.

This doesn’t so much mean you shouldn’t study medical transcription as it means you should study for the changes so you can work with them. Giving up on a career that is still considered to have good growth potential isn’t a smart move. Knowing where that career is moving to and preparing for it is a much better move.

This is something you can do as a part of you medical transcription education. Some schools do offer additional courses to help you prepare to become a medical transcription editor. This does still require the full medical transcriptionist training, but you also learn how to edit reports created by voice recognition software. Given that the software doesn’t do everything perfectly, this is still a part that doctors need medical transcriptionists to handle for them.

You can expect an editor position to have a different pay scale from a transcriptionist position. Corrections should be possible to handle more quickly than transcribing a complete report, and so you should be able to get through more of them at a lower cost per report to the doctor.

It’s also helpful to remember that it’s not just doctor offices and hospitals that use medical transcriptionists. Dentists, veterinarians, chiropractors, pharmaceutical companies doing studies on new medications – any place that needs to keep track of medical information is going to use medical transcriptionists. They aren’t all going to make the switch to voice recognition right away.

Working as a transcriptionist is also a way to get into other medical work if that’s your interest. Most other positions won’t allow you to be home based as transcription may, but when you’re ready to take a new direction with your career, you’ll have options. You’ll know a lot about medical reports and medical information in general, and that’s a useful skill in other careers. You could do proofreading for medical journals, train other medical transcriptionists, and so forth.

Another important factor to remember is that while electronic medical records make it a matter of pointing and clicking to record the basics of patient care, they don’t cover everything a well dictated and transcribed report does. There’s valuable information that should still be dictated. You provide the skills to help with the electronic medical records and files generated by the speech recognition software, and you can keep yourself in demand.

The change in required skills is a big part of what’s driving the fear surrounding the future of medical transcription. Not everyone wants to learn the new skills when the old are so comfortable. Make yourself comfortable with a wide range of skills for this industry and you have a better shot at keeping yourself employed for the long term.

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

What Kind of Continuing Education Do Medical Transcriptionists Need?

Keeping up with the industry is one of the challenges medical transcriptionists face. New drugs are always coming onto the market, and doctors perform new procedures. Electronic medical records and voice recognition software are also in the process of changing how the work of a medical transcriptionist is done. If you don’t keep up, your career may be in trouble.

While most medical transcription jobs don’t formally require you to take any sort of continuing education classes, it’s a good idea if you do, especially if you’re concerned about losing your work due to electronic medical records and voice recognition. These are having a real impact on the industry, along with the kinds of changes transcriptionists have had to deal with since the early days of the industry.

If you’ve taken the test through AHDI for your CMT, you’re required to get 30 credits of continuing education over 3 years in order to maintain your certification.

Read Medical Transcription Forums

A good medical transcription forum can help you keep up on the kinds of changes you should be aware of in the industry. Other transcriptionists share what’s happening in their area, which can alert you to things you should be aware of. You can also get tips on forums for how to improve your productivity, a vital skill for any transcriptionist paid on production.

This is not, repeat, not, formal continuing education. This is just how you keep up with some of the basic changes and become aware of issues in the industry. It’s important in its own way.

Take an Approved Continuing Education Course

If you want to show your employer that you’re continuing to improve your skills or you need to take some courses to keep up your CMT, you need to sign up for a formal course. AHDI is a great resource for finding appropriate courses.

For general continuing education, the AHDI offers a variety of courses that will help you improve your skills. You can find courses that will help you improve your weak points and that will help you keep your career moving.

Taking a course that will help you to make the transition from transcriptionist to medical transcription editor could be a good move for your career as well. It’s a way to take advantage of the changes that are happening, rather than sitting still and letting them run over you. It’s better to take some extra training for one of the paths your career could take than it is to rely on changes coming slowly.

A medical transcription editor takes the skills of a medical transcriptionist and applies them to editing documents produced through voice recognition software. This is one of the big areas of change in the industry, but as it’s fairly new not all transcriptionists are ready for it.

Whether you need the formal training of a course or just the informal information you can gain by reading professional forums, make sure you keep up on the things you need to know in this career. It’s all too easy to fall behind in this fast paced career.

Get free information from Career Step about their online medical transcriptionist training and continuing education options for medical transcription editing.

How to Keep Up on Medical Transcription Changes

The medical transcription industry keeps changing. It wasn’t so many years ago that transcriptionists had to pick up and drop off their work. Then they started being able to dial into phone systems to listen to dictation, and send in their reports by fax or over an internet connection. Now pretty much all of the work is done over the internet.

And that’s just the technology changes transcriptionists have had to deal with, not the new medications, drugs and procedures they have to keep up with.

But the biggest change for medical transcriptionists may be coming as doctors and hospitals move over to electronic records and the frequency of doctors using voice recognition software increases. Will you be ready as a medical transcriptionist to keep moving your career forward?

Medical Transcription Forums

One way to keep up is to participate in a medical transcription forum. What you haven’t heard about on your own, someone else on the forum is certain to have heard of.

Find a good, active forum. There may be one associated with your school that graduates can use, but there are several others available as well.


AHDI is the largest group of medical transcriptionists and other healthcare documenters in the world. It gives you access to further training that may benefit you as a transcriptionist. It’s also a great resource if you’re thinking about other career paths a medical transcriptionist can take.

One of the great parts about being a member of a professional organization is that it gives you the chance to network with others in your same career. This is truly wonderful for people who work at home and don’t get the daily social time people who work in offices get. It’s nice to know that others in your industry are dealing with the same challenges.

Additional Training

You may also want to consider additional formal training. It is possible to get training now to deal with electronic medical records and editing reports generated by electronic medical records. This training can qualify you to work as a medical transcription editor, which some feel is where the industry is headed.

There are programs that can train you as a medical transcription editor whether you’re just starting your training as a medical transcriptionist or you have years of experience. For people who haven’t done medical transcription before, the course is simply combined with the training all medical transcriptionists need.

Taking on this training is a great addition to your resume. It opens up more positions for you and is an assurance that you can continue in this industry as it continues to change.

Career Step offers training to help you become a medical transcription editor. Get more information from them today.

Where Does Medical Transcription Go From Here?

One of the big topics of concern for medical transcriptionists is the future of their career. While voice recognition software isn’t perfect, and many doctors don’t care to do the work involved in training it, it’s getting better. What does that mean for medical transcription as a career?

Whether you’re considering training as a medical transcriptionist or working as one now, it’s something to pay attention to. It may well be more important than concerns about outsourcing medical transcription overseas.

For now, there’s still a good amount of regular medical transcription work out there. As an industry, it’s still expected to grow at an average rate. The jobs aren’t going to vanish overnight.

That doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing for future possibilities.

Even as medical records go to electronic versions, people trained in medical transcription are going to be needed. The difference comes in some of the additional skills you may want to be trained in.

You may want to be trained in checking the transcripts that come from voice recognition software. This is going to be an important skill. Voice recognition software has been getting better, but it’s not likely to be perfect anytime in the near future. Consider that medical transcriptionists have been hearing about it for more than a decade. Improvements to the technology have been slow.

That means humans will need to continue to be involved in the process.

The likely change is that you will start doing more editing, and less direct transcription. You may be checking to see that the software got all the dictation right, and ensure that the transcripts are formatted correctly.

That will take skills much like medical transcriptionists have now. You can’t outdo the software if you don’t understand the doctor yourself.

The good part is that an individual medical transcription editor can go through reports more quickly than someone transcribing from scratch. You’re likely to spend more time listening to make sure everything matches, and just a bit of time fixing the mistakes.

Pay rates will likely change to reflect the difference.

Increased productivity may well mean that fewer transcriptionists are needed. This can sound like a problem, but remember that the field already has good demand, and that the population overall is aging. The change may or may not be offset by the added demands for people working in the medical field in general.

In other words, things are not too bleak for medical transcriptionists, in my opinion.

Can You Get Trained Now?

Career Step now offers training for people interested in working in medical transcription editing. They’ve noticed the need and made it possible for you to be ready to work in offices that don’t need traditional medical transcriptionists.

Their training can be done by either new students who have never worked as medical transcriptionists before or by experienced workers. Your degree of experience determines the course you take with them.

It’s a great time to get prepared for what may be the future of medical transcription. There’s no point in being unprepared for changes you can see lying ahead of you.

Contact Career Step for free information today.