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Are Online Medical Transcription Schools Worth the Money?

Oct 9, 2007
Medical transcription schools can be expensive. A good online program can run between $1000-3000. It can be hard to decide to spend that kind of money when all you really want is a good work at home job.

But the right training can make all the difference when it comes to actually landing that first job.

Medical transcription employers are picky, despite their need for employees. This is because the demand for quality transcription is so high. They can't afford to let a half trained employee mess up the reports they're supposed to transcribe. The work needs to be done fast, often within a 24 hour turnaround time. There just isn't time to handhold a poorly trained employee, especially long distance.

Employers know many of the programs that turn out employees who are ready to work. The big three are The Andrews School of Medical Transcription, M-Tec and CareerStep. All of these do very good jobs of training transcriptionists for working from home.

Good training will also help you to know the regulations that matter to a transcriptionist. You need to know how HIPPA impacts the way you work, for example.

You want to treat your training as an investment. Quality training makes a big difference not only in finding that first job, but in how quickly you will become a productive employee. Most jobs pay on production, and you want to be productive quickly so as to earn a good living.

Many programs also include some of the materials you will need to succeed as a medical transcriptionist. Items such as a medical dictionary and drug book will be quite important to you as you work, and they're necessary as you train. You're going to need these no matter what.

A good medical transcription is more rounded than what you can teach yourself. This is important to your potential employers. Your transcription skills need to include editing and proofreading. You need to understand how to format a variety of reports as well as how to spot common errors.

A key part of transcription is learning to spell a variety of very difficult terms. Even medical professionals who already have these as a part of their regular vocabulary may well struggle when it comes to actually spelling them out. And a medical spell checker isn't always sufficient, with the many similar sounding words to chose from.

It is very difficult to get started as a medical transcriptionist without solid training. You can buy books and practice tapes, but without some direction you probably aren't going to be well enough trained to get a good job. Few employers will be willing to give a self-trained transcriptionist a chance.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.medicaltranscriptionbasics.com/ as a place for people to learn about getting into medical transcription. Get more tips on choosing the right medical transcription school at her site.
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