Medical Transcription Schools - Selecting the Best

How to choose the best medical transcription school. See what the experts think is important.

If you want to enter the medical transcription field, you need proper training. There are a number of accredited medical transcription schools in the US and in other countries that allow you to earn a certificate in medical transcription.

Choosing a medical transcription school

It's vital to consider the location of your school - it's best to choose a school near you, because this can save money. If you are very busy and have no time for commuting to school, you can choose distant learning courses and study at home.

You should also consider the following factors while selecting your medical transcription school and training:

  • Number of study areas
  • Must have 40 hours of dictated training
  • Tuition fees and mode of payment
  • Duration of the course
  • Necessity to buy own equipment and corresponding cost
  • Flexibility of school to help find job opportunities

You also need to know if the school conducts exams for admission and if so, what marks you need in the exam to get in.

When deciding to enroll in a medical transcription school, there are actually several options available. You can choose a certificate program or an associate degree, either of which may allow you to study online.

Although your professional experience is not a huge requirement, you may need to have your high school diploma or its equivalent to be qualified for the program.

When choosing between associate degree programs and certificates, you must start weighing in your finances and time limitations with the learning opportunities given by the school.

Look at the pros and cons

Online schools might be better if you need flexibility in your schedule - for example if you need to look after children

You should the benefits and disadvantages of each program. For example, let's have a look at an associate degree.

Although the course only requires two years to complete, the program requires you to have more practical learning experience in different medical settings at the same time as doing more field observation.

Online courses, on the other hand, are better for students who are working, because the classes have more flexible schedules. Online programs also allow you to have active participation in the form of occasional meetings and field trips.

Furthermore, online classes allow you to transcribe recorded medical data from home.

These audio recordings help students to improve their speech pattern recognition, and get used to different accents. Another benefit of the online programs is that you'll become more used to telecommuting - this may help you find independent work later on.

When applying to your prospective school, make sure that it is accredited by an authorised body. This should be the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs. This accrediting committee was established by the American Health Information Management Association and Healthcare Documentation Integrity.

Actually, accreditation is not strictly required to work as a medical transcriptionist since it is only voluntary. However, it can be very helpful if you're applying for entry-level positions.

Take into consideration that reputable transcription schools must have classes on:

  • medical transcription
  • anatomical technology
  • voice recognition technology
  • web page coding
  • pharmaceutical terminology
  • and office systems management.

You should also learn typing skills and how to edit and find errors in transcribed notes.

To give your career opportunities a boost, look for schools that teach you how to manage both a home office and a business. Also try to choose a school that teaches with standard equipment and business software. Examples of these are MP3 playback, headsets, and foot pedals for restarting, stopping and slowing down the speed of the recording.

Some schools to consider

It's important that your school is accredited - this means potential employers can recognise the school's worth more easily. Accredited medical transcription schools include:

Lone Star College System logo
  • Lone Star College System
  • El Paso Community College
  • College of DuPage
  • Oakland Community College
  • San Antonio College
  • South Texas College
  • Owens Community College
  • Collin County Community College District
  • Sinclair Community College
  • Lansing Community College
  • Johnson County Community

Some of the top medical transcription schools are:

  1. Alexandria Technical College in Alexandria, Minnesota. Has editing programs available.

  2. Andrews School in Oklahoma, OK. Dedicated to coding and medical transcription.

  3. Central Texas College in Killeen, Texas. Has certificate programs in medical secretary.

  4. Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. Offers an online degree program.

  5. Lakeshore Technical College
  6. Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wisconsin. Offers technical diplomas.

  7. Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Offers a medical assisting class.

  8. Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. Offers a major program in health information management.

  9. North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, North Dakota. Offers a medical transcription certificate program.

  10. Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois. Offers an online certificate.

  11. Saint Paul College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Offers a medical office career degree program.

Choosing the best possible medical transcription school can have a deep impact on the rest of your career - take time to make a good choice and get off to a flying start!

Once you graduate, you may want to become certified. See this guide to passing the medical transcription certification test for help.

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