Thursday, August 28, 2008

How to Choose the Right Medical Transcription Training Program

by Pam Lyon

When it comes to choosing the best Medical Transcription training program for oneself, it can be a very confusing a frustrating experience.

How do you know what a quality program and school looks like? There are so many advertisements out there and they all look great and promise great things. One of the things we really don't want to do is to pick a school that, when we go looking for that first job, turns out not to be one that the transcription employers look favorably on!

So how to choose?

Here are some guidelines you can use to help ensure you are picking the right training program for yourself. These guidelines are recommended by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI):

1. The program should be taught by qualified instructors who are credentialed experts in their respective fields.

2. The program should employ certified medical transcriptionists to teach medical transcription practice courses.

The experienced pros will be able to give you all kinds of assistance and show you tips and tricks that someone who has merely studied cannot.

3. The program should indicate the number of classroom hours students actually perform medical transcription.

4. The program should indicate the number of minutes of actual physician dictation used for practice (The Model Curriculum recommends 30 dictated hours of actual physician dictation.)
It is all right to start out with dictation not done by physicians for getting a feel for it, but you MUST have actual physician-dictated material to work with, or you will be lost when you get in the real world!

5. Will the school provide names and addresses of former students as references?
Contact them. Find out what they liked, and didn't like.

6. Does the school have an advisory board? Does it include certified medical transcriptionists?

7. The program should indicate length of externship or on-the-job experience available (The Model Curriculum recommends 10 dictated hours of authentic physician dictation, for a total of 40 dictated hours during the training program.)

8. It should include relevant publications among its educational materials.

9. The school should use the AAMT Book of Style for Medical Transcription, 2nd edition in its training curriculum.

10. The program should be based on The Model Curriculum for Medical Transcription*, 3rd edition, published by AHDI, which recommends courses in the following:

* English grammar and punctuation * Medical language * Anatomy and physiology * Disease processes * Pharmacology and laboratory medicine * Transcription technology * Medical transcription practice * Healthcare records

11. Privacy, ethics, and other medicolegal issues

12. Lastly, the school should offer job placement assistance.

This can be invaluable! What a relief to know that the school, with all its business contacts, is in your corner helping you find that all-important first job!

Pam Lyon is the author of "Inside Medical Transcription" - the real truth about the life of a medical transcriptionist. Pam is a 30-year veteran of the Transcription business, and has seen it all. If you are thinking about a career in Medical Transcription, you need this book! Visit => insidemedicaltranscription.com

I recommend The Step-by-Step Guide To Medical Transcription At home. http://www.startasecretarialbusiness.com/medical-transcription.html

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