Evolving from the use of typewriters, to word processors, to computers, the field of medical transcription has naturally grown to become more productive – and more complex — over the years. In the past, notes dictated by medical professionals had to be converted from audio recordings to text format by medical transcriptionists in order for such details to become part of patient records. However, with the tortuous change of the field’s technologies and the advent of things like speech recognition programs, medical transcriptionists have become less of transcribers and more like editors. And of course, online medical transcription schools have kept up with these trends, making it easy to get certified for the determined student.
As a result of technological innovation, medical transcription services today include not only the conversion of records from audio to text, but also major editing of the completed document. This ensures that all the words are present, that the document makes sense, the spelling is correct, legal and medical terms are used properly, and that medical procedures and laws are followed. In order to be fully prepared to offer these services, it is imperative for those going into the field to receive training from an accredited medical transcription school. There are many schools offering these programs online, so it’s important to take the time and effort necessary to research each school and choose one that provides a comprehensive, accredited program that will be accepted by other institutions – and by employers.
Types of Accredited Online Medical Transcription Programs
Diploma programs in medical transcription prepare students to sit in for the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) exam after graduation. Diploma programs can routinely be completed in one year at some institutions, while others provide students with more flexible time schedules if they maintain rigorous work habits or have other priorities. Diploma programs in medical transcription generally include courses in medical terminology, keyboarding, medical transcription, anatomy, pharmacology, medical disorders, and grammatical best practices.
After becoming an RMT, professionals with at least two years of medical experience can sit for the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) exam to become further qualified in their field. A CMT will also need to take continuing education courses in order to keep his or her training current. While some medical transcriptionists do not sit for either exam, each ensures a higher level of preparation and can further one’s professional career quite substantially.
Finding an Accredited Online Medical Transcription School
While a respectable online school should have general accreditation, it should also have further accreditations specific to each program. Though there are specific educational and professional standards that the institution in question must meet to gain accreditation, and the Association of Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) will often accredit only the top medical transcription programs. Accreditation from this association ensures that the program offers a strong, up-to-date curriculum, that it meets the highest standards of the field, and that produces highly qualified entry-level medical transcription professionals.
The online medical transcription program at Dakota College at Bottineau is accredited by the AHDI and offers a one-year program that prepares graduates to sit for their RMT exam. Offering classes during the spring, summer, and fall semesters, the program provides students with a well-rounded education that can be an immediate springboard into the medical transcription profession. With a cutting-edge curriculum, Dakota College provides training in all aspects of the field, even preparing students in ESL Dictation. Prerequisites to join the program include knowledge of spelling, grammar, punctuation and a typing rate of at least 50 words per minute.
Allied Schools also offers an online medical transcription program accredited by the AHDI. Taught and managed by CMTs who are available to answer any student questions and to guide students in their career choices, the program is flexible enough to work with students who need special schedules to complete their studies while working full-time or while maintaining other personal responsibilities. This program is offered in one module, or individual course, at a time, which allows a student to completely digest only one area of study until it is completely mastered. Students are taught all major dictation systems during their course of study. Additionally, students receive a one-year membership to the AHDI, helping them make valuable networking connections in the field.
The Benefits of an Accredited Online Medical Transcription School
The medical transcription field will continue to grow strongly over the coming years. To meet the changing requirements of the profession, an education from an accredited institution is the singular best option to remain a marketable employee. Additionally, attending an accredited program guarantees a student that they will be taught by qualified, experienced teachers who are professionals in their field. Best of all, an accredited online medical transcription program allows the student to continue with their day-to-day responsibilities while furthering their education and beginning a career path with many bright possibilities.