Medical transcriptionists are professionals who work in medical facilities and covert voice recordings to written form. Students in Washington have more than a few schools to choose from when selecting a medical transcription training program. Some programs are available entirely online, while others incorporate on-campus interaction with instructors. Admission requirements often include a high school diploma or its equivalent, proficiency with computers, and the ability to type at a minimum speed.
Everett Community College
This community college in Everett offers its medical transcription program entirely online. This nine-month program requires completion of 43 credits, and full-time students can complete this program in three quarters. Courses are offered in clusters and should be taken in sequence. Besides medical transcription, topics of study include medical records, anatomy and physiology, disease processes, editing and proofreading, speech recognition and medical specialties. When the student has completed the program, he or she can sit for the AHDI certification exam to earn the RMT credential. Applicants should have high school level English comprehension, computer proficiency, knowledge of Word and the ability to type 35 words per minute (wpm) prior to enrolling in this program.
Green River Community College
Auburn-based Green River Community College has a couple of programs for aspiring medical transcriptionists. Students in the 44-credit medical transcription certificate program learn medical terminology and basic anatomy and are trained in various computer hardware and transcription software systems. Many of these credits can be applied to business degree programs. Graduates can qualify for entry-level jobs as medical transcriptionists.
The medical office assistant associate degree program offers students a concentration in medical transcription. This program has courses in keyboarding, medical machine transcription, grammar and usage, medical and legal aspects of health information, medical terminology and pharmaceutical basics. To satisfy the requirements for the concentration, students also complete five medical transcription courses.
Spokane Community College
Located in Spokane, the second-largest city in Washington, this college offers a medical transcription certificate program and a medical office specialist associate degree program that includes courses in medical transcription. The four-quarter certificate program offers instruction in diagnostic tests and procedures, specialized medical and surgical terminology, grammar and punctuation, anatomy and word processing. Students complete supervised practicums in local health care facilities during the final quarter.
The medical office specialist program prepares students for careers in various medical settings. Besides courses in medical office transcription, students take classes in medical office coding, speech recognition and editing, medical word processing and medical office reception. In addition to completing 264 hours of on-the-job training in medical transcription, students also complete internships. Applicants must have keyboarding skills of at least 40 wpm, adequate math skills and a current CPR or first aid card.
While not required, medical transcriptionists may choose to become certified to enhance their employment opportunities. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) offers two certifications. The Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) credential is for professionals newly graduated from a program who have less than two years of experience and have worked in only one specialty.
The Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) can be awarded to professionals with at least two years of experience working in several specialties or in acute-care transcription. AHDI also accepts schools as approved healthcare documentation education programs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Medical Transcription Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Everett Community College||Two-year, public; small city||Medical Transcription Certificate||$5,062.45 total program cost*|
|Green River Community College||Two-year, public; large suburb|| Medical Transcriptionist Certificate of Proficiency,
Associate in Applied Arts in Medical Office Assistant with a concentration in medical transcription
|$4,053 in-state; $4,482 out-of-state**|
|Spokane Community College||Two-year, public; midsize city|| Medical Transcription Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Medical Office Specialist
|$3,547 in-state; $8,914 out-of-state**|
Sources: *Everett Community College, **NCES College Navigator.