Becoming a Medical Transcriptionist

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!


By Mindy

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.

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 ( 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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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

A lot of schools offer night classes, if you can't find any online classes.

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April 9, 20100 found this helpful

Hello, I believe that you should find potential jobs before you go through this class as so much of this work is now being done right in the doctor's office by their personnel.

Doctors are very difficult to understand and you cannot afford to make a mistake about a patient.

I now understand that a transcriptionist can be sued if a problem arises because they put the wrong info in a patient's chart.

There are some jobs around and some part time work but it is not plentiful. Not too many are picking up tapes and doing them at home anymore.

Have you considered coding instead? Lots less headache and every doctor's assistant needs to know this now. It is complicated to begin with but less headache than transcription work.

You will probably have to find a job in a doctor's office or hospital to get enough work but these are good skills where you do not have to "treat" patients.

Good luck - community colleges usually offer these courses as well as office software for doctors. You may have to take classes in medical terminology first. ood luck

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April 10, 20100 found this helpful

My daughter took the courses at our local community college - with promises of job placement. Of course, there were no jobs when she completed the course. It is highly competitive I guess and no one was hiring. This did encourage her to go on and take courses for Cancer Registry career and she is now employed at a local VA hospital. But the course for transcriptionist was a bust! Just saying.

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