Your choice of medical transcriptionist school makes a big difference at the start of your career. It makes it easier or harder to get that first job. Once you’ve shown your skill as a transcriptionist it makes less difference, but it’s very important up until then.
One of the things you’ll want to consider is whether to attend an online medical transcriptionist school or a local medical transcription school, such as at a community college. Your decision should be based both on your best learning style and the quality of schools available to you.
Online Medical Transcriptionist School Advantages
Learning through an online school has a lot of advantages. You usually have more flexibility in when you do your studies, for example. They’re often but not always self paced, so it all works with you. You don’t have to worry so much about classes interfering with your current routine. Scheduling may be one of the biggest barriers to taking a course otherwise, especially if you work an irregular schedule. That’s not a problem when you’re self paced.
Online education also helps you get practice for when you’re really working as a medical transcriptionist. Many transcriptionists work from home, and so the online course is more similar to that. You’ll get used to not having someone right in the same building available to answer your questions, and learn how to cope with that. You’ll learn to deal with the interruptions that are inherent to working from home.
Not having to deal with driving to school, fighting for parking and finding childcare for any kids you may have can be a wonderful advantage. These can be stressful, and childcare in particular may be expensive.
Online Medical Transcriptionist School Disadvantages
There are disadvantages, of course. They’re mostly related to the advantages, however. The distractions from studying at home, after all, are quite the disadvantage when they slow your studies down, but if you end up working from home later, you’ll be glad to have dealt with the issue before, so you hopefully have a plan to make it easier to deal with.
It’s similar for when you have questions about your coursework. Online courses mean you need to call, email, have an online chat with, or ask on the forum when you have a question. Any good course will have a qualified teacher available to you through one or all of these methods. The more immediate access to your teacher at whatever time of day you choose to study, the better.
Local Medical Transcription School Advantages
It’s not all perfect studying online. Going with a local vocational school or community college has its advantages too.
The routine of having set class times is of great benefit for some students. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to keep to a good routine on your own, you may want the required class schedule.
You may also be more comfortable in a classroom setting than on your own. That face to face time has a lot of value for many students. You may find that the lecture format is more suited to your learning style than an online course or reading through textbooks.
Local Medical Transcription School Disadvantages
Attending school in person may be the way most people go to school now, but it’s not perfect for every student, every subject or every situation. It has its disadvantages.
Scheduling can be a big one. You have to find a way to make your schedule fit around when the classes are offered. If you can’t, you don’t get to sign up for that class. If you have to work or have other obligations, it can make getting your medical transcription education next to impossible.
Worse is when you thought your schedule could take it, then something changes part way through the course and you have to drop it. It wouldn’t have been a problem, or at least not as much of a problem if you were in a self paced course online, but when the schedule’s firm you’re going to have to drop the class and try again some other time.
Parking is a bear at many schools. You may find it hard to get a good spot, well lit and close to the part of campus you need to go to.
And of course there’s child care if you have kids. If you don’t have someone who can watch the kids for you, getting to class is going to be awfully difficult. If you have to pay for someone to watch them, the cost of your education just went up.
Whichever You Choose…
Whichever kind of schooling you choose, make sure you know that the program is a high quality one. While a big part of your education depends on you, another big part depends on the quality of coursework and teachers who make it all happen. Add in the value of the school itself having a good reputation, and choosing the right program can very well determine how quickly you find that first job or if you give up in frustration.