Online Transcription Training: Information and Requirements

Essential Information

Most of the fully online transcription programs are offered by proprietary or technical schools and 2-year community colleges. Some of these programs are approved by the Association of Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Each approved program follows AHDI's Model Curriculum and addresses key competencies. Before enrolling in one of these fully online programs, students need to get access to transcription equipment such as headsets and foot pedals.

Transcription Training Options

Within the field of transcription, the specialty of medical transcription is among the most utilized and is also commonly offered as the focus of a distance learning training program. These programs not only teach students how to efficiently transform a doctor's dictation into medical documents, but also how to safeguard the privacy and welfare of patients. Online full-time students can expect to earn an online certificate or diploma in under two years.

Learning Requirements

Those interested in pursuing online training in transcription should have fast, accurate keyboarding skills as well as superior grammar, punctuation and spelling skills, according to ADHI. Distance learners will likely need to obtain transcription equipment to use within the home, such as headsets and foot pedals. Some schools may include the cost of these items in with the total program's fees. Students typically can explore lessons and assignments in a virtual classroom environment, which may also provide communication tools for class interaction.

Common Coursework

Like those held on campus, online training programs in medical transcription are designed to teach students how to transcribe diverse medical documents, including procedure notes, discharge summaries, patient progress reports and consultations. The curriculum also covers topics in medical grammar and style, computer applications and proofreading.

Course Topics

Distance learning coursework covers subjects such as the following:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy
  • Pathophysiology
  • Disease processes
  • Pharmacology
  • Healthcare documentation
  • Acute care

Professional Certifications and Continuing Education

Students would be wise to pursue the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) certification by graduation because employers are more likely to hire an RMT than an uncredentialed individual. Advanced professional certifications are available for experienced transcriptionists through additional testing. Medical transcriptionists with two years of experience are eligible to take the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) exam. The highest industry certification, AHDI Fellow, is awarded to extremely experienced professionals with extensive service to the field.

AHDI offers extensive continuing education programs, including audio presentations, seminars and online courses. Online courses cover the latest industry trends, such as new speech recognition technology.

In online medical transcription training programs, students learn to utilize their language and word processing skills to transcribe medical documents. After finishing, they may gain professional certification by passing an exam.

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