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How do I get Medical Transcriptionist Training?

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  • Written By: Dana Hinders
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Many people are finding themselves in search of medical transcriptionist training to take advantage of growing career opportunities in the health care field. Medical transcriptionists are administrative workers who transcribe the dictated recordings made by physicians, surgeons, and other health care professionals. They produce a wide variety of documents, including medical histories, physical examination reports, operative reports, consultation reports, discharge summaries, diagnostic imaging studies, progress notes, referral letters, and autopsy reports.

While the majority of medical transcriptionists work in hospitals or physicians' offices, there are a number of opportunities in this field for telecommuting employees. Unfortunately, this means many of the same people who previously pushed envelope stuffing and craft assembly work at home scams are now trying to sell essentially useless medical transcriptionist training programs. These courses provide little in the way of marketable skills, leaving graduates with nothing but extra debt and dashed hopes of a new career.

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Typically, the best way to find legitimate medical transcriptionist training programs is to contact local community colleges and vocational schools. Medical transcriptionist training programs are generally offered as either one year certificate programs or two year associate degree programs. In the United States, programs should be accredited by the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (AACP)—established by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) and the American Health Information Management Association. Completion of an accredited program is a prerequisite for those seeking to be named either a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) or a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT).

If you are currently working full-time, have small children at home, or have other commitments that would make it difficult to attend classes in person, there are a growing number of institutions offering online programs for medical transcription. However, it is strongly recommended that you select a program that is affiliated with a traditional brick and mortar community college or vocational school. It's also important to ask about which job placement services are available for program graduates, since it's likely you'll need some helping finding your first job as a medical transcriptionist.

Whether it's held in a traditional classroom or as part of an online learning program, a legitimate medical transcriptionist training program should cover medical terminology, basic anatomy and physiology, and the specific writing style that applies to the preparation of medical records. In addition, since medical transcriptionists are often privy to very sensitive information, legal and ethical requirements relating to patient privacy should be discussed in great detail. While not mandatory, supervised on-the-job experience is highly recommended as part of a medical transcriptionist training program.

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