Getting your first job as a medical transcriptionist is rarely easy. Most companies want experience, two years or more of it. The rest will consider people who have taken good enough classes to learn medical transcription, but they must have been good classes that really teach you the skills you need to work at your job as a medical transcriptionist.
So, what classes are mandatory?
If you sign up for a good online medical transcriptionist training program, all of them!
Let’s make that a little clearer. There are certain things the classes must offer in order for you to be well trained and ready to work after graduation.
1. Medical terminology
This is an obvious one. You must be able to understand what the doctor is talking about. If you can’t understand it, you can’t always type it accurately, and you’re more likely to cause mistakes to enter into the medical record.
2. Grammar and style
There are a number of rules for grammar and style in medical transcription, and they aren’t always the same as they would be for any other kind of report. You must be able to produce a transcribed medical report or other file that is done in the style expected.
3. Anatomy and physiology
These classes will help you to understand what the doctor is talking about. This is a huge help in keeping your reports accurate, as doctors do make mistakes and misspeak. If they’re talking about one body part, then report a symptom or procedure that is only done to another part, you know there’s a problem in the dictation that needs to be noted.
Pharmacology is one of those areas that is constantly changing, but you need to learn as much as you can during your training. New medications come out all the time, but you’ll still regularly deal with reports on patients using more familiar medications, and you should have some familiarity with them. You’ll also need to develop your ear for the difference between similar sounding medications, and the differences between brand name and generic medications.
5. Disease processes
You will need to have a general idea as to how diseases tend to go in patients. Once again, this helps with accuracy.
6. Transcription technology and practice
The technology used by medical transcriptionists has been going through some changes in recent years. It used to be normal for medical transcriptionists to pick up tapes at the doctor’s office or hospital, transcribe them at home using a Dictaphone, print out the reports and drive them back to where they came from.
Now it’s more common to send and receive all work over a secure internet connection. It’s much simpler for all involved. Some transcriptionists as well as some doctors even take advantage of voice recognition software to simplify their transcription work.
It takes a lot of practice to become a good medical transcriptionist. You should be required to do many hours of dictation practice in a good class.
7. Privacy and legal issues
Patient privacy is a huge issue for anyone dealing with patient information of any sort. You are required by law to protect the patient information you deal with in your work. A good class will help prepare you for this, and any employer should have policies in place that you will need to follow.