Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: self paced medical transcription courses

Which Online Medical Transcription Schools Take Less Time to Complete?

You’re eager to start working as a medical transcriptionist, and you’ve seen that some online medical transcription schools promise that you can get a fast start. That only makes you more eager to get things going. Which ones take the least time to complete your training so you can start working as a medical transcriptionist?

You’re asking the wrong question. It doesn’t matter how fast the school lets you complete your training if you don’t learn enough to work as a medical transcriptionist. Consider the quality of training first, then look at how long it’s going to take you.

Want the fastest way to finish your training? Go with one of the high quality online medical transcription schools that allow you to train at your own pace. This way the training will only take as long as you need to absorb all of the information and to get enough actual transcription practice to do the work successfully.

Here are some tricks to speed up your training:

1. Set up a quiet home office.

The fewer distractions you deal with as you study, the faster and better you can learn the material. Ideally this would be a space where you can close the door and work. Second best is a room away from the television and other activities in the home.

Quiet is a huge help when you’re trying to transcribe a report. It’s not just about your focus. It’s that many doctors are very difficult to understand, something you will quickly learn when doing your practice dictation, and have emphasized when you start working as a medical transcriptionist. Quiet means you can figure it out with less background noise jumbling things still more.

2. Treat your studies as a full time job.

If you can study as though it’s a full time job, that’s how you’ll finish more quickly. The number of hours will help tremendously. If you can find a way to study at home full time, do so. It will be tiring, especially if you have another job, but it will get you through your classes more quickly.

If you can only study part time, make sure you take those hours seriously. Schedule them into your day and don’t drop them lightly.

In either case, make your studies a part of your routine. Treat it as you would treat a job. Don’t just take off and say you can do the work later.

3. Ask for help when you need it.

Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help when you don’t quite understand something. That’s what they’re there for. Things aren’t always perfectly clear when you see them in your books or online study materials. If you need help, get it rather than waste time trying to puzzle things out on your own.

4. Don’t stress about how long your studies are taking.

Sure, you want to get your career started. That’s perfectly reasonable. Just remember that you need to learn the material well if you want to work in medical transcription. Going so fast that you don’t remember what you “learned” after the test on that section is not going to make you a good transcriptionist. It’s not going to help you find a job either.

Expect a minimum of four months of study, and don’t be surprised at nine months or longer. That’s normal. This is a complex career with a lot of information you need to learn. You need to learn the material thoroughly if you want a job later.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How Hard Do You Have to Study During Your Medical Transcription Training?

Deciding to become a medical transcriptionist is a big deal, but one that can be great for you and your family. Having a job where there’s a good chance to work at home rather than in an office is a wonderful thing. But you’re going to have to pay for your own training to have the background information you need to get a job in this industry.

Just how hard will you have to study? Can you do it while working your regular job?

The quick answers are pretty hard and yes, if you’re motivated enough.

How Many Hours Should You Study Each Night?

To become a medical transcriptionist means a lot of study. There’s terminology to learn, formatting to learn, research skills for unfamiliar terminology and drugs, plus the ability to connect your typing and listening skills as closely together as possible.

If you can, study as you would like to work when you get a job at home. If you can manage 3-4 hours a night while working another job you’re doing pretty well. It’s pretty likely that once you get a medical transcription job you won’t be working another job.

If you’re not working another job, consider studying more hours a day.

You’ll be learning more than just terminology. You’ll be learning how to understand even terminology you don’t know at the moment the doctor dictates it. Knowing a lot of suffixes and prefixes is a huge help in transcription, as it will help you figure out what unfamiliar terms are so you can transcribe them correctly.

You don’t have to study every day. It’s not likely that you work 7 days a week, after all. But the harder you work in your course the sooner you can finish it, hopefully with high marks on your tests and a true understanding of the material you’ve been studying. The better you know your stuff the more quickly you should manage to land a job and get your transcription speed up high enough to earn good money.

Studying at Home Doesn’t Mean Studying Alone

Just as in courses you attend in person there will be ways to get in contact with someone who can help you. Depending on your study hours you may have to wait for their "office hours" or whatever times they are available to be contacted. There may be scheduled live chats you can attend, a forum you can ask questions in, email contact and so forth.

Most at home transcription courses have student forums. This is great for when you need help or just want to interact with people who are in the same situation you are.

Just don’t let chattering on the forums mess up your study time.

Forums are great if you aren’t quite understanding something you’re studying. Often a fellow student can find a way to explain a concept that you’re struggling with. They may not directly give you the answer at times, but instead help put you on the path to finding it yourself.

It’s also very encouraging to hear about graduating students finding jobs and so forth.

Take Advantage of the Flexibility

When you study at home your schedule is generally flexible in two ways. One is that you can study whenever you want. The other is that you can take a break whenever you want. Take advantage of both.

When you have a lot of time and the inclination, study extra. Really push yourself. Do everything you can to become a valuable transcriptionist when you graduate.

But when you need the time, for your family or just to clear your mind, make sure you do that too. Don’t overload yourself if things aren’t urgent. Relax once in a while. Try to give yourself a complete day off from your regular job and from studying at least once a week.

Learning medical transcription is hard work. It’s best to learn that as a student so you’re ready for the real thing. Just don’t burn out in the process.

Ready to go? Get information on studying medical transcription at Career Step!