Who wants to spend months training as a medical transcriptionist when it can be done more quickly? Isn’t it better to get your career moving than it is to spend month after month in a medical transcription course? Surely there’s a short course for training as a medical transcriptionist.
That depends. What do you mean by short and how much do you value the skills you need to learn? Do you really care about getting the skills to be a productive transcriptionist after you graduate?
There are courses that claim you can learn the skills you need in a fairly short time, eight weeks or so. I don’t trust them. I know how difficult medical transcription is, and that it’s much more than just typing up what the doctor says. With everything you need to learn and the transcription skills you need to build, eight weeks isn’t going to be enough.
If you want a short medical transcription course, go for a self paced program. If you can really learn it all quickly, a self paced course will give you that chance. When you find out how challenging some of the work it, you can take the time you need to learn those skills.
In a good quality self paced medical transcriptionist course, four months is pretty fast. That usually requires the ability to treat your training as a full time job. Great practice for your eventual job after graduation, of course. Just don’t be surprised if it takes longer. Nine months of training is very common.
There’s a lot to learn in any medical transcription course. You have to learn anatomy, physiology, disease processes, drug names and uses, medical report formatting and more. You have to learn how to transcribe, which isn’t as easy as it may sound. You have to learn to deal with the different styles of dictation doctors may throw at you, plus a wide variety of accents. It’s not always the strong accents that are the most difficult either. My least favorite doctor to transcribe for did not have a strong accent. She merely spoke so quickly that she was unusually difficult to understand, running her words together so much that slowing the recording was of very limited benefit. That’s something you have to learn to deal with.
A good course will include many hours of practice dictation from real doctors for you to transcribe. That’s the only way you can build up your skills, and it takes a lot of time. There are no shortcuts for this. The heavy practice will teach you to take what you’re hearing and type it up accurately and quickly.
Without all this practice, you probably won’t do so well in your career. Those employers willing to consider new graduates still test their skills before hiring them, and if you can’t pass the test you can’t get a job. If you go for too short a course, you may not have the skills necessary to pass that test, and your job hunt will take more time than it would have taken you to finish a more challenging training course. If you land a job and it pays on production you may also find that you aren’t earning enough because you didn’t get the transcription speed you need because you didn’t do enough during your training. It can make your pay rate too low to be worth the trouble.
As with many other things in life, what sounds like a shortcut may make things more challenging, not less. Take a course because it will train you properly for the job, not because they say you’ll be done fast. It will pay off later.