In a associate's degree program focused on medical transcription (stenography), students learn how to format documents, transcribe audio files and edit transcribed pieces. Programs also cover legal and ethical responsibilities and medical terminology.
In addition to transcription skills, programs can also train individuals in medical office practices. Students have the opportunity to learn how to handle insurance paperwork, patient records, office management and customer service. Most programs require some type of supervised fieldwork so that students may practice their new skills.
To enroll in these two year degrees, a student must have completed a high school-level education. They might also be required to have a certain word-per-minute keyboarding speed. Some programs also require the completion of an internship.
Associate Degree of Medical Transcription - Stenoscriptionist
The curriculum of a medical transcription program is designed to provide students with training for entry-level work. Programs include some general education courses in supporting topics, such as business math, communications, and behavioral science. Core courses in a program may cover topics including:
- Medical document formatting
- Medical/Pharmacology terminology
- Medical office procedures
- Medical ethics
- Medical record delivery systems
Popular Career Options
Medical transcription programs usually prepare students to become medical transcriptionists. As transcriptionists, individuals may work in hospitals, private offices, clinics, insurance companies, research facilities, health departments, or with independent transcription companies. An associate's degree in medical transcription may also prepare graduates for work as:
- Medical receptionist
- Medical office support personnel
- Medical records clerk
- Medical office assistant
Career Outlook and Salary Information
All receptionists could see employment grow at a rate of about 10%, from 2014 until 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted. Their median salary was $27,300, the BLS noted in May 2015. Medical assistants could see growth of 23%, and their median salary was $30,590 in 2015. Health information and medical records technicians were predicted to see a 15% increase in employment. The BLS found their median salary was $37,110 in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
While not required, medical transcription certification options are available. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two certifications for medical transcriptionists (www.ahdionline.org). The AHDI offers the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) designation for individuals with less than two years of experience. The AHDI's Certified Medical Transcriptionist designation is available for those with more than two years of experience.
In a medical transcription stenoscriptionist associate's degree program, students learn how to function as part of a medical team and are taught the professional skills needed for medical office work. Many jobs are available for graduates, as well as voluntary certification.