Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: medical transcriptionist certification

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.

Can You Get Your Medical Transcriptionist Certificate Online?

The one problem with trying to start your career in medical transcription is having to get the training required. Going back to school isn’t convenient for a lot of people. There are too many things you have to do in your life, and working school into that is difficult. This is why it’s a great idea to get your medical transcriptionist certificate online.

To make things very clear right from the start, this is not about becoming a Certified Medical Transcriptionist, or CMT. That’s entirely different from getting a certificate from an online training course. You can only get your CMT after a minimum of two years of experience in acute care medical transcription, and only through AHDI.

A lot of schools offer a certificate to show you’ve completed your course. Too often students and graduates assume that this makes them a CMT, but it doesn’t. Employers know that and you’re better off if you know that too. A certificate from a school is more like a diploma. It just says you completed the coursework required to graduate.

There are a few good training programs for medical transcription you can take online. You want to take a good look at the program you’re considering because there’s also a lot of very poor quality programs out there. There’s no point wasting time or money on a course that won’t give you the training you need to become a medical transcriptionist, no matter what they say about the certificate they give you after.

A good training program will have a good reputation with medical transcription employers. The coursework will be challenging, teaching you quite a bit of medical terminology and other information you will need to know in order to transcribe. It will also include many hours of real doctor dictation for you to practice on, building up your skills as a medical transcriptionist.

You should plan on taking six months or more to complete the training. A few will finish sooner, maybe as little as four months, but it depends on how quickly you pick up the information and how much time you can dedicate to your training. Some take nine months, others over a year.

On the plus side, most online medical transcriptionist training programs are self paced. If you need to take a bit more time or a bit less, you can do it. So long as you learn the material and gain the skills, you’ll be in good shape.

Self paced training programs are great when you have work or other obligations. You can work around them, study nights, study early mornings, whatever works for you. No parking hassle to get to class either. You work on assignments on your own schedule and contact teachers as you need them.

There are risks to any sort of self paced online training programs, beyond just the possibility of quality issues. You’re the one responsible for scheduling your work. If you don’t get your coursework done in a reasonable time frame, you can run out of what the school allows for the entire course to be completed. That’s the big limit to these types of courses, but it’s usually quite reasonable and very possible for any committed student to finish the training. Get it done and you’re have your medical transcriptionist certificate, diploma or whatever you care to call it.

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

Which Companies Certify You to Become a Medical Transcriptionist at Home?

It’s not as easy to become a medical transcriptionist at home as some people think. It’s certainly not impossible, but it’s not something you can do with no experience or training whatsoever.

Then there’s the question of certification. Many people believe it’s necessary to become certified to become an at home medical transcriptionist. Which companies can certify you for that?

Actually, it’s not necessary. You do not have to be certified to become a medical transcriptionist, at home or elsewhere. There are some positions that do require you to hold the title of Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT), but to do the work in general, it’s not required.

If you really must get your certification, you need to have at least two years of acute care medical transcription experience before AHDI will allow you to take the test to become a CMT. The test is extremely challenging, and it takes at least two years in medical transcription to have the knowledge to pass it. This is why they don’t allow new transcriptionists to take it.

Where the confusion often comes in is from the courses that offer a certificate of completion when you finish your medical transcriptionist training. That certificate does not make you a CMT. It means only that you have finished the training course from that school. Employers won’t consider you a CMT for getting that from your school, and you shouldn’t say you’re a CMT on your resume. You aren’t, not until you pass the test through AHDI.

Getting certified isn’t something you should stress about as a new medical transcriptionist. If you want something that looks good on your resume and shows that you know what you’re doing, you can take the test through AHDI to become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT). This test is not as rigorous as the one for a CMT, but it does show that you know quite a bit about the work you’re doing in transcription.

The main thing you should focus on at first is getting your medical transcription training through a good program. A good training program will help you to learn the skills you need qualify for a good job. Certification doesn’t enter into it.

Look for programs that are well regarded by employers. The first job in a new field is always a difficult one to get, but if the school is trusted by employers, you’ve taken one obstacle out of your way. You won’t always get a job quickly after graduation – no employer is hiring 100% of the time for the job you’re after, but you’ll have the skills to demonstrate that you can do the work at the job openings you do find. There are a number of places a well trained medical transcriptionist can work, either at home or in an office.

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