It takes solid training to become a medical transcriptionist. It’s not something many people get to just learn on the job. You have to take the initiative and go to classes to learn it on your own. That makes it important to find the best medical transcriptionist online classes you can. Where are they?
First you have to know which criteria you should be considering when looking at online medical transcriptionist classes. You need to be able to sort out which are good versus which are more about getting you to pay for their classes with little regard for how your career goes after.
You should expect a great deal of training in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical report formatting, ethics and more. These are the basic things you will need to know in order to work in medical transcription. Some of it is quite complex, and it takes time to learn it all.
You’ll also do a number of hours of real doctor dictation in any good program. This is one of the most important parts. You can know the terminology, but if you haven’t transcribed it, you don’t realize how different it can all sound depending on how the doctor says it.
It’s not just about accents, although that certainly plays a role. Doctors usually speak quickly when doing their dictation. They want to get it out of their way. They may also eat as they dictate, drive a car, and so forth. The dictation is not always their only focus at the moment. It takes a lot of practice to not only understand what they’re saying, but to transcribe it accurately and quickly.
Just a few hours will not be enough. The amount of practice needed may seem excessive when you first start, but it’s necessary. This is the major skill you bring to the job, and it’s why nurses and other medical professionals often still need to take classes in order to become medical transcriptionists themselves.
How long the course is expected to take overall matters too. It shouldn’t be short. A mere eight weeks really isn’t enough, not by the time you add in the hours needed to really practice transcribing. You can learn a lot in that time, but you won’t have learned enough. Expect a minimum of four months, but accept that a self paced course may well take you nine months or even a year to complete. That’s not at all unusual.
Cost matters to most of us as well. A good course is not cheap. $1800 isn’t unusual, and many courses cost more. This is not something to go too cheap with. Just remember that the quality of training you get will help to pay back the investment you make in your training. Work hard in your classes, find that first job, and you’ll earn it back in a reasonable time period. It’s still less than the cost of many colleges for a year.
Finally, make sure you check the reputation of the school in the medical transcription field. It doesn’t matter if they’re great elsewhere – how well will you be trained for the job you’re after? You want the best you can find in that area.