Many people want to become medical transcriptionists but don’t know how to get started. If you ask around, you probably hear you need to go to school first, as employers rarely train people who have no background in medical transcription anymore.
Does that mean you have to get a degree? How long is that going to take?
Fortunately, you don’t have to get a degree in medical transcription. It’s not going to take most people 2-4 years to learn what they need to know to work as a medical transcriptionist. It’s perfectly acceptable to take classes strictly about medical transcription. You can even do so online.
There are a number of good schools to learn medical transcription. There’s an even bigger number of really bad schools to learn from. Not every school you hear about will do even an adequate job of training you for this kind of work. Many do a downright poor job, even if you’re a highly dedicated student.
Your first consideration with a medical transcription school is that it is Approved by the AHDI. The AHDI is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, and their approval of programs is solely based on the quality of their medical transcription training. Anything else the school offers is not relevant.
That approval increases the odds that employers will think well of you as a graduate. No guarantees, as you have to prove that you actually learned to be a medical transcriptionist rather than simply did the minimum to pass the courses. If you don’t really learn the skills, no one is going to want to hire you, and that’s not a fault of the school if the school is otherwise a good one.
Your next consideration is often financial. How are you going to pay for it all? It’s not like most of us have a lot of money waiting to be spent, after all.
Balance what you’re spending on your education with the odds that you’ll get a job in a reasonable time frame after graduation. Once again, no guarantees, as it depends on the economy, which jobs you apply for, how well you learned the skills and so forth. A good school is at least $ 1500, and over $ 3000 is not unheard of or completely unreasonable.
Don’t worry about what sort of certification you’ll get with graduation. You may have heard of a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT), but that’s not what you’ll be after graduation no matter where you attend. A CMT has at least two years of experience and has passed a test administered by AHDI. It’s not easy and it is not necessary in order to work as a transcriptionist.
Depending on how fast you learn and which course you take, expect to need 4-12 months to learn to be a medical transcriptionist. It can take longer, and a few people can do it in less time. Going too fast risks not learning well enough, so don’t rush it. At least you aren’t having to go for a degree before you can work.
Stephanie Foster created http://www.medicaltranscriptionbasics.com/ for people wanting to start a medical transcription career. Learn why attending an AHDI Approved medical transcription school is a good idea at her site.