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Medical Transcription Training
Medical Transcriptionists (MTs) have been easing the workloads of medical professionals for years but many do not know the proper steps to take to be trained as an MT. Although there is no formal education required, it is extremely advisable that individuals, especially those who are looking to be independent contractors, seek some formal training before entering the field.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most employers choose MTs that have completed some form of postsecondary training in the medical transcription field. In addition to a degree or certificate, employers will often require a potential employee to take some sort of placement exam to test the individualís experience and skill. These tests are generally fairly standard and are used to gauge how developed a person is in the medical transcription field. Although earning a degree or certificate may seem daunting, there is a variety of training options ranging from formal classes to online learning that strive to meet each individualís needs. Medical transcription training is generally found in community colleges or vocational schools but is also available from other training facilities and online sites. There are even some hospitals and medical offices that will offer on the job training so that individuals can learn and work at the same time.
Those individuals who choose to obtain an associate degree, which takes an average of two years to complete, can find many state and community colleges in their area that offer the program. The associate degree is especially beneficial because participants take courses in medical related fields and learn about key terms, legal issues, and grammar, which are incredibly helpful to an MT. Schools also offer seminars and other courses to help working MTs refresh and continue their education.
For those people who are crunched for time or do not have a training facility in their area, there are a variety of options that allow individuals to train from home. Individuals can choose to take online courses from a variety of state and community colleges or take correspondence courses from several training facilities. The Medical Transcription Education Center (M-TEC) offers a three-tiered program that allows individuals to advance to three different levels of study as an MT. This type of program is good for those who are unsure how far they want to go as an MT and allows anyone to progress further in the career with ease. Another helpful place is At-Home Professions, which gives students a variety of study materials like flash cards and study books to help further their education as an MT. All of these facilities and more can be found on the MT Daily website at www.mtdaily.com/mtbyschool/qlist.html.
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), which is the foremost expert and advocate for the medical transcription field, also offers certificates for those in the MT field. The AHDI strongly encourages individuals to apply for the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) certificate, which is given to participants after they pass a certification exam. This certificate is for people who have worked in the medical transcription field for at least two years and have a desire to further their education and skills. For those people who are just starting out, AHDI offers the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) certificate, which is considered to be of entry-level caliber. Both of these certificates are voluntary but may be great assets to those who are serious about being an MT.
In addition to earning some kind of degree or certificate, another important skill that potential MTs need is a good understanding of medical terminology. A good place to visit is Blackboard.com, which is a site that offers online training in medical terminology free of charge. Other training qualities that may be beneficial for those interested a career as an MT are proficiency in English grammar, experience working with advancing technology (particularly with listening and recording devices), and experience with word processing software. Also, since medical transcriptionists spend much of their time listening to notes and other documents via a recording device, it is necessary to have good hearing and listening skills.
The beauty of a career in the medical transcription field is that the job market is continually growing and opening up opportunities above and beyond medical transcription. After a few years of steady work as a medical transcriptionist, many people choose to take their career to the next level. Former MTs have gone on to be supervisors at medical transcription companies or become medical transcription trainers in colleges or training facilities. If individuals decide to continue their education past the certification process, they will be eligible for positions as medical coders or medical records and health information administrators. The options are virtually endless and give the unique perk of variety, which makes the field of medical transcription one of the most versatile and flexible professions around.
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