It’s not as easy to become a medical transcriptionist at home as some people think. It’s certainly not impossible, but it’s not something you can do with no experience or training whatsoever.
Then there’s the question of certification. Many people believe it’s necessary to become certified to become an at home medical transcriptionist. Which companies can certify you for that?
Actually, it’s not necessary. You do not have to be certified to become a medical transcriptionist, at home or elsewhere. There are some positions that do require you to hold the title of Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT), but to do the work in general, it’s not required.
If you really must get your certification, you need to have at least two years of acute care medical transcription experience before AHDI will allow you to take the test to become a CMT. The test is extremely challenging, and it takes at least two years in medical transcription to have the knowledge to pass it. This is why they don’t allow new transcriptionists to take it.
Where the confusion often comes in is from the courses that offer a certificate of completion when you finish your medical transcriptionist training. That certificate does not make you a CMT. It means only that you have finished the training course from that school. Employers won’t consider you a CMT for getting that from your school, and you shouldn’t say you’re a CMT on your resume. You aren’t, not until you pass the test through AHDI.
Getting certified isn’t something you should stress about as a new medical transcriptionist. If you want something that looks good on your resume and shows that you know what you’re doing, you can take the test through AHDI to become a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT). This test is not as rigorous as the one for a CMT, but it does show that you know quite a bit about the work you’re doing in transcription.
The main thing you should focus on at first is getting your medical transcription training through a good program. A good training program will help you to learn the skills you need qualify for a good job. Certification doesn’t enter into it.
Look for programs that are well regarded by employers. The first job in a new field is always a difficult one to get, but if the school is trusted by employers, you’ve taken one obstacle out of your way. You won’t always get a job quickly after graduation – no employer is hiring 100% of the time for the job you’re after, but you’ll have the skills to demonstrate that you can do the work at the job openings you do find. There are a number of places a well trained medical transcriptionist can work, either at home or in an office.