Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: self paced education

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.

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.

Is a Self Paced Medical Transcription Course Right for You?

One of the wonderful things about learning medical transcription online is that so many courses are self paced. You don’t have to wait for a session to start up. You sign up, get the materials, and start learning at your own pace. It can be wonderful.

Self paced is great if you want to get a fast start on your training and are highly motivated. Hard work can be rewarded by finishing the course quickly and graduating promptly, so you can get to work all the sooner.

Self paced is also good if you often need just a little more time to absorb information. You can take your time on the parts you struggle most with, and not feel as though you’re holding the entire class back.

You will also enjoy these courses if you need a really flexible schedule while you learn medical transcription.

Many people study medical transcription as they work their current job. They need to be able to study when they’re not at work. Taking a traditional, scheduled course isn’t so hard if you have a job with regular hours, but being able to choose one’s own schedule is still a nice feature. And it’s a must if you have a job where your hours keep changing on a daily or weekly basis.

It’s also a help if you have children or elderly parents to care for. A self paced program allows you to study when you aren’t actively involved in their care, and to interrupt your studies at need. Better yet, you don’t have to have someone come care for them as you go to school.

You need to be good at keeping yourself on track with these programs. If you keep skipping nights you should be studying, you may find that you run out of time on your chosen course. Most do have time limits for completion that are generous enough for serious students. If you find you’re struggling to finish the course in the time allotted, it’s probably time to look at what you’re letting interfere.

The best part about learning medical transcription at your own pace is how much it is like working at home as a medical transcriptionist. There you’re pretty much self paced too. If you can handle it while you train, you’ll probably do well enough when you’re earning money at it.

This is why you should treat your training as practice for when you start working. Set study hours aside in whatever time you have available, and start teaching yourself to stick to them. Learn to maintain your focus before you have the job. It’s a skill that will really help you in the long run.

Start your training. Contact Career Step for information about their medical transcription training courses.