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Is a Medical Transcription Education Necessary?

Jun 8, 2008
I often hear from people who want to get into medical transcription. They've heard about it as one of the great work at home opportunities out there, and they'd like to be a part of it.

But what many don't understand is that there's a need to get a medical transcription education first. And not just any education. A solid one.

Despite what many hope, no legitimate medical transcription employer will hire someone and train them up. It takes too long. Several months is a minimum, and many training courses take a year or more. You can't expect an employer to train a potential employee that long for most jobs.

That goes double for a career like medical transcription. First of all, it's not for everyone, and the best time to find that out is in training. Transcription is much more than typing what you hear. If you don't understand the terminology it's just not going to work out for you.

Second, you have to develop an ear for transcription. This is often more challenging than learning the terminology, which is formidable. If you can learn to sync your fingers with your ears, you're on a good path toward becoming a transcriptionist.

Third, medical transcription requires some research skills. With the Internet is has become simpler to research unfamiliar terminology and new medications, but you will probably also need to know which books to use. Every transcriptionist has a preferred method to find solid information on unfamiliar topics and medications.

There are a lot of medical transcription schools out there. For people looking to work at home, the quality online schools are my personal recommendation. The right school has a reputation with employers that will help you to land a job. Not many community college programs can offer that.

Right off the bat, I will tell you to consider Career Step, The Andrews School or M-Tec. These are the best online programs. There are some others that may be good, but those three I know have good reputations with employers. Many other schools cost a lot of money but don't really teach you what you need to know. Why gamble when you're paying somewhere between $1000-3000 for an education? It's better to start things out right.

Do not assume a medical transcription school will teach you everything you need to know to breeze through your early days as a working medical transcriptionist. Your education gets you started, but the reality of working will require far more of you. There will be terminology you missed in training, new drugs and doctors who are just about incoherent as they dictate. Your training will give you the background you need to figure these out.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.medicaltranscriptionbasics.com/ for people interested in getting into medical transcription. Learn more about the kind of online medical transcription education you need at her site.
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