Training in medical transcription is offered by community colleges, universities and online programs. When choosing a training program, consider the level of experience and education of instructors, course curriculum and the amount of time it takes to complete the training. When inquiring about programs, ask for all the information available so you can make an informed decision.
Certified medical transcriptionists, medical billing specialists and others considered experts in their field are best suited to provide the level of education and awareness needed to help you become a successful medical transcriptionist. Contact prospective schools and ask for a list of instructors and their educational and business backgrounds to learn more about the types of instruction you will receive throughout the program.
Access to Instructors
When choosing a medical transcription training program (online or traditional in-class instruction), ask about instructor accessibility. Instructors should outline when they have office hours for phone or face-to-face consultations and should provide an email address in case you have questions. Feedback concerning assignments and tests should be sent promptly so you can see the areas in which you need to improve. When contacting schools, ask for student referrals or testimonials to learn more about the experiences of former students.
In-depth study is needed to learn common and advanced medical terminology, English grammar and punctuation, pharmacology and laboratory medicine, anatomy, biology and other areas of medicine that require the help of medical transcriptionists to transcribe patient records, laboratory notes and other medical documentation. Coursework should also include how to use transcription software, how to enhance listening skills, how to create medical records and reports and how to use medical reference materials to ensure quality transcription. Medical ethics coursework should also be a part of the program. Ask for a list of textbooks used to teach courses in order to get a better idea of how in-depth coursework will be.
Time to Complete
Programs that take at least one year to complete tend to offer comprehensive coursework that will prepare you to become a medical transcriptionist. Many schools offer two-year programs that include even more information and the chance to perfect your skills. Avoid programs that claim you can complete your education in six months or less, as these programs may exclude valuable information and practice time needed to produce quality reports and records.
Job placement assistance includes contacting potential employers and scheduling interviews, resume help and interview tips to help you secure a position as a medical transcriptionist. Some programs offer additional coursework and seminars in starting your own business. This information can be very helpful in building a steady client base in your area. Avoid programs that do not offer these services if you want help finding employment after completing your training.