Medical Transcription Basics

Medical transcription training and schooling tips

Tag: study medical transcription

How to Ensure Your Medical Transcription Schooling Is a Waste of Time and Money

So you’re in a rush to get through your medical transcription schooling and start working. That’s great. Wonderful in fact. That’s one of the best ways to ensure you waste your time and money on training that won’t actually get you work as a medical transcriptionist after graduation. But there’s still more you can do to make yourself as unemployable as possible as a medical transcriptionist.

1. Fail to research school quality.

You might hit it lucky and pick a great medical transcriptionist school, or you might pick one of the worst. Don’t do your research and let Fate take you where it may for your education. This way you can later complain that there’s no way to get into medical transcription and that it’s all really a scam.

2. Skim through your studies.

All a medical transcriptionist really does is type up what the doctor says, right? You don’t need to pick up all that terminology or learn about procedures and stuff. You can make it work by just listening to the dictation. No problem.

3. Only work your self paced course occasionally.

It’s one of the great things about self paced medical transcription education. You can do it on your own time. So if there’s a party or something you’d rather go to, head off. Then find other reasons to skip out on your studies the next night, and the next. Hey, there’s that great TV show you’ve been meaning to watch. School will be there later.

At least until you find out you’ve run out of time on the program you signed up with. Why can’t they give you a reasonable amount of time to finish the course? It’s not your fault you didn’t get it done, is it?

4. Don’t review assignments after you finish them.

The grades don’t really matter, or what you missed on the test. All that matters is that you’re one section closer to done. You can pick it up as you work. Employers don’t care about how well you did in your training, do they?

5. Choose the school with the least time spent on practice transcription.

You want to get moving fast, don’t you? You can build up your transcription skills more when you’re getting paid for it. All you need in your training is enough of it to learn the basics. It won’t matter that you’re earning less than others and really not being productive later because at least you’re getting paid to do the work.

While none of these will guarantee that you’ll never find success as a medical transcriptionist, they can make the path to your career much more challenging, and may well keep you out. Medical transcription is a highly demanding career, and employers expect a lot from their employees. Make sure you make a good choice in your training so that you get off to a good start with your career.

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

Do You Really Have to Attend a School to Become a Medical Transcriptionist?

You’ve heard about working as a medical transcriptionist, perhaps even at home, and you’re eager to get your career moving. You’re pretty confident about your typing skills and your ability to use them as a medical transcriptionist. Are you really going to have to spend a bunch of time in school to become a medical transcriptionist?

Probably, yes. Especially if you think a medical transcriptionist just types up what the doctor says. The job is just not as simple as that.

First and foremost, it’s hard to get into medical transcription without experience, never mind without training. It’s a career that demands near perfect accuracy. Going to school to become a medical transcriptionist will help you to build the skills and knowledge you will need to do the work.

Even nurses who want to go into this field are usually better off going to school first. It’s very different dealing with patients than it is transcribing doctor’s dictation. You can’t get by with almost knowing how to spell all the terminology. You must get it right.

Nurses and others with a medical background do have some advantages, as medical terminology, physiology, anatomy and pharmacology will be much more familiar. But a refresher won’t hurt, and if you choose a self paced online school you can work through the familiar parts more quickly. But nurses and other medical personnel will still need to learn how to transcribe, and that’s a skill that comes only with hours of practice.

Transcription itself can be extremely challenging. Doctors usually speak differently when they dictate. Many speak as fast as they can, to get the work out of their way. Others will eat or do other activities as they dictate. Then there are strong accents to deal with. The only thing that will help you to cope is a lot of practice. The best place to get this is through a medical transcriptionist school.

Learning to transcribe will be a huge help when you first become a medical transcriptionist. You’ll be faster at it than you would be if you’ve never transcribed before. If your job pays on production, you want every advantage you can get when it comes to speed and accuracy.

Unless you know someone who wants to hire you with no training and no experience, attending school will be a big help in getting that first job. Provided you attend a good one, of course. There are many schools that are not worth the time or expense to attend. There are others that are very much worth both time and expense for the quality of their training.

Going through a good medical transcription school and getting good grades on your work is one way you can show potential employers that you can do the work. Without some sort of proof that you’re a competent medical transcriptionist, most companies won’t give you or your resume a second look.

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.

Can an Online Medical Transcriptionist Course Really Prepare You For Work or Are They a Waste?

There’s one very important thing you want from any online medical transcriptionist course you might choose to take. You want it to prepare you to work in the real world, very possibly from home. Without that, you’ve just wasted your time and money.

Do online medical transcriptionist courses really provide that, or are they just one of those online fantasies?

You may be glad to hear that some of the best medical transcriptionist courses available are in fact available online. Some of the schools most trusted by medical transcription employers are online. Many of the programs approved by the AHDI are online.

That doesn’t mean every online medical transcriptionist course is a good one. Many aren’t. You really have to be picky about the program you choose. It’s very easy to set up a school online, or at least something that looks like one. You need to confirm that the course you’re considering is going to be worth the time, money and effort you put into it.

A simple check is to look for AHDI Approval. This means their curriculum has been reviewed and should be enough to train you up as a medical transcriptionist. An experienced medical transcriptionist must be involved. This isn’t a formal accreditation process, but it’s the nearest thing available that has industry acceptance.

You can also check with employers. Some have partnerships with certain schools, and that improves your chances of a job, should one be open, after graduation. Partnerships do not guarantee a position, but it is helpful to know when certain employers give extra consideration to graduates of a particular program.

The most important thing to consider is how you will treat your online course of study. Are you going to take it as seriously as you would if you had to attend classes in person? Online courses don’t work out for everyone. Some find it too difficult to take them as seriously as they know they should.

You must take your online studies seriously if you want to become a medical transcriptionist. This is your best chance to build your skills before you get a job. If you hope to work from home right from the start it becomes even more important, as you won’t have anyone right there to help you if you encounter a problem. You really need to know your job.

That’s another benefit to studying online if you want to work from home. It’s practice in self discipline. Want to know if you have what it takes to work from home? Set up your studies on a schedule as close as you can get it to what you would like to have if you were to work from home. By the time you’ve graduated, you’ll know if you can handle it or if you should search for an office based medical transcription job.

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

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!