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Medical Transcription Courses and Classes

A medical transcriptionist needs familiarity with medical terminology, transcription procedures and professional communication to dictate recordings. Courses in medical transcription are most often available as part of a full certificate or degree program in the same subject.

Essential Information

Medical transcription courses can be found at community colleges, trade schools or online institutions. Typically, a student taking medical transcription courses will earn a certificate in the field. While associate's degree programs in medical transcriptions are relatively rare, those seeking a 2-year degree could enroll in a medical office administration program. These types of programs often include medical transcription and related courses.

An outline of concepts commonly addressed in medical transcription courses includes:

  • Medical transcription formatting and terminology
  • Medical record laws
  • Keyboarding and transcription software
  • Health insurance billing and coding
  • Healthcare documentation

At the end of such a program, students will often participate in a practicum, simulated experience or possibly an internship, though a practicum or simulated work experience are most common. Graduates may qualify for the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) credential from the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).

List of Courses

Medical Terminology Course

Much of the time in a medical terminology course is spent on learning prefixes, suffixes and roots of words used in the medical industry. Everything from pronunciation and spelling to analyzing word meanings is covered. Medical terminology courses may be broken down into a general or beginning level and an advanced level. Depending on the course level, students may delve into more advanced terminology specific to radiology, pathology, disease processes or other fields. Terminology for surgical procedures and equipment may also be explored.

Procedures for Medical Transcription Course

Medical transcription is a process of taking notes or collecting information dictated by a health care professional. In a medical transcription procedures course, students learn medical transcription standards and formatting regulations as well as proper grammar, terminology and punctuation skills. Students will learn specific styles in medical transcription as set forth by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity and other such entities. Skills are developed in order for students to perform basic medical transcription for use in medical records. Medical transcription courses are typically offered at the beginning and advanced levels throughout a medical transcription program.

Pharmacology for Transcription Course

Pharmacology courses may be taught at the basic or advanced levels within a medical transcription program. Pharmacology studies drug science as it relates to drug properties, chemical make-up, medical uses and effects. Students in a pharmacology course may learn everything from spelling and pronunciation of drug terminology to common uses of drugs and drug categories. Commonly prescribed drugs will also be addressed. Students in this course will develop skills in medication assessment and use and the affects medications may have on different systems in the body.

Ethics and Medical Law Course

Students in an ethics and medical law course will learn legal concepts of the health care industry. Students will also learn how to follow ethical practices and procedures when working in the area of medical transcription. Students will discuss what is acceptable in the health care industry, confidentiality procedures and how to handle information presented in medical records. This course may also cover topics in risk management and bioethics.

Anatomy and Physiology Course

An anatomy and physiology course will cover the skeletal, muscular, integumentary (skin) and respiratory systems. Students learn the names and locations of bones and muscles, including relevant medical terminology. Anatomy function is also covered along with disorders and diseases that may be associated with each system.

Communication Skills Course

This course provides information on how to properly edit, proofread and communicate transcription assignments. Students work on their speed and accuracy in addition to their interpersonal communication skills. Instructors will test students' abilities to work quickly and efficiently and measure weaknesses through a series of diagnostic drills. These weaknesses will then be improved upon throughout the course.

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