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Becoming a Certified Medical Transcriptionist

Category Education
Woman doing medical transcription.
Pursuing additional education and certification can often be accomplished online. This guide is about becoming a medical transcriptionist.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
January 3, 2008

I want to find a job that I can do at home so that I can be a stay at home mom. I see all the ads on the computer but I know they are not what they are cracked up to be. I thought about doing medical transcriptions. Any advice?

Stephanie from Picayune, MS

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 3, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi, I do medical transcription from home. I had worked in-house for a big hospital system here in Portland, Oregon, for about 10 years. They were running out of office space and wanted to close the transcription department; therefore, offered us the opportunity to work from home. It's wonderful! However, don't think your time is your own. We (50 of us at last count) signed contracts, our office space at home was inspected, and we had to be meeting/exceeding all production/attendance standards set out by the hospital, just as if we were going into the hospital to work. We "clock in" and "clock out" by phone using a code given to us by the hospital payroll department.

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Because there are no interruptions at home with phone calls, co-workers talking, etc., production is up for all of us and the hospital loves it. They encourage people to work from home. I find that during breaks I can put in a load of laundry, fold laundry, start dinner, and do a lot of the little chores that don't get done when I have to work in-house.

The hospital supplied a dedicated line into my house and a computer. All work comes via the computer, no tapes, etc., nothing to pick up, deliver, or print. If anything goes wrong I have a number to call and they will send someone out to fix the problem.

All in all, I've worked from home for the last 7 years and it has been so nice. I can sit on my deck in the summer for lunch or walk to the mailbox in the sunshine. The one thing I learned early on is that you can't take phone calls. Friends and family have to be made aware that you are working and that you can't chat endlessly to them. I likewise don't answer the door. You also have to be very structured in your approach. I get up, swim for an hour at the local pool, come home, have breakfast, and go to work, just as if I were working in the hospital.

During my 7 years there have been several people who have lost their jobs because they could not discipline themselves to meet expectations.

This is long but hope I have given you some helpful information.

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January 8, 20080 found this helpful
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I'd check into doctor's offices and hospitals in your area to see how they do their transcriptions. One office I worked in did have a person who did theirs, another did not (the doctor personally wrote his note in each file). An office where I go now is completely computerized and the doctor types the notes in each patient's electronic file during the visit --personally, I think this is going to be the only way it will be done soon, and the job of transcriptionist will go wayside. I'd seriously check it out before spending money being trained in this area.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 8, 2010

I am thinking of getting into medical transcription. Any suggestions or advice? I would like to take classes online so I can still work while I am in school. I am a substitute teacher. I've been an independent rep before and can set and stick to my schedule. I have a Masters in education, but there are no jobs in my area and I need an income. Thanks!

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By Mindy

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 10, 20100 found this helpful
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I have been doing medical transcription and medical secretary work for over 15 years. I currently work from home for a company that hires work-at-home transcriptionists. I realize this is what nearly everyone who is thinking about getting into medical transcription would like to do. You must know, however, that the companies that do hire people who work from home absolutely require that you have at least 2 years "acute care" ie. "in hospital" experience doing medical transcription before they will hire you to work from home. Hospitals usually require you to have some experience in a doctors office first. So, it will take a minimum of 3 years experience before you are even eligible to work from home. This is for a reason - you must have very strong transcription skills and experience before working completely independently from home.

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Regarding training - yes! You can take online transcription courses. I actually trained in a community college, but that was before the internet was so widely used (back in the day!). Warning- There are a lot of scams going on - so-called "schools" online that claim to prepare you for a career in medical transcription, but they do not meet AHDI requirements.

Only take a course approved by the AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity). This is the professional organization for medical transcriptionists and medical records professionals. They list approved courses and reference books and study aides. They have a website. Once you finish an approved course, and get some work experience, you should seek certification through AHDI. This will help you get a better job. Good luck!

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January 5, 20120 found this helpful
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Mindy, I would suggest you look for medical transcription schools that are reputed and have experience in offering medical transcription training. I have heard a lot about Career Step (http://www.careerstep.com). You may want to check out their medical transcription online course and see if it meets your time and budget requirements. Their program is AHDI approved, so that should give you some confidence in the quality of its curriculum.

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