Medical transcription is the transcribing of patient records from tape or digital form to hard copy. Doctors record the patient information, and the people that transcribe these words onto paper are called transcriptionists. Starting a career in medical transcription can be fairly simple and will only take one to two years.
There are a few different ways to do medical transcription. You can take a course through a local community college, an allied business college, on the Internet, or you can be trained on-the-job in a clinical environment. The coursework you take will vary based on the type of school you choose. Medical terminology, anatomy&physiology, keyboarding, transcription, and formatting are things that you will learn no matter where you go to school. It is not necessary to have medical knowledge to do medical transcription. The most important skill you have will be the ability to do research.
Medical transcription training is offered through community colleges, most often as a certificate program. You will have to meet the school's requirements for admission in order to register as a student. The plus side of taking the medical transcription course through a college is that you can apply for financial aid, scholarships, or even payment plans in some cases. It will take four semesters to complete the program with a typical college course load.
Business colleges also offer courses on how to do medical transcription. These schools have fewer requirements for admission. Prices can vary from school to school. Most business colleges offer payment plans and special pricing for military members and their spouses.
Online classes for medical transcription can be useful to those that are looking to make a career change. Medical transcription courses found online have different completion times. Be sure to do your research when considering an online school. The average price for a reputable online medical transcription school is about $2500-$3000. Again, most of the schools offer payment plans and military discounts. Very few offer financial aid.
The trend today is for medical transcription to be performed from home instead of in the hospital setting. With new technology, audio files can be uploaded from the doctor's computer and downloaded to the transcriber's computer without either one of them ever having to have a conversation. To work in a hospital, it's best to take a medical transcription course before applying. Some people are able to get positions with no work experience, but those types of positions are very hard to come by.
Working in the medical transcription field can be a very rewarding career choice. With today's changing technology, you will be learning new things all the time.