Medical transcriptionists are in charge of transferring recorded doctors’ and nurses’ notes into written form. Knowledge of medical terminology, human diseases, anatomy and physiology, and common abbreviations is essential. In addition, students enrolled in a medical transcription certificate program should also expect courses in advanced keyboarding and health care law and ethics. Graduates of an accredited program are then prepared to seek certification through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. Jobs may be found with hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and companies that specialize in medical transcription services.
Types of Medical Records Certificates
Healthcare-related fields are popular offerings among online colleges. If you are interested in earning your medical transcription certificate or associate degree online, you should expect to learn about medical terminology and abbreviations, human anatomy and physiology, medical records transcription, keyboarding, and health care law and ethics. If any practicum components are required, students can arrange to complete these in their own local area. Please keep the following common admissions criteria in mind when researching programs:
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Transcript or GED test scores
- Application form and fee
The average time to completion for medical transcription certificate programs online is approximately six to 12 months. Other considerations, such as how many courses you take at once, any breaks, and the required number of credits, can influence this estimate. The online classroom is usually accessible to students 24/7 with classes delivered asychronously. This means you are free to work around your current personal and professional schedule, as long as you meet all set deadlines. Interactive discussion boards, chat, streaming video and audio, and virtual meeting technology all help to facilitate the distance learning process.
What’s Next for Certificate Holders?
Once you complete an accredited online certificate program in this field of study, you should be prepared to sit for the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) exam offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. This type of certification is not mandatory, but many employers may prefer to hire candidates with these credentials. Jobs for medical transcriptionists may be available with hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and companies specializing in transcription services.
Due to the increasing use of voice-recognition software and foreign transcription companies, job growth is slower in this area that other health care occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the demand for medical transcriptions will increase by 6% from 2010 to 2020. This is slower than the 14% growth expected for jobs overall. The mean annual wage for medical transcriptionists in 2012 was$34,650. Most jobs in the field were available through general medical and surgical hospital and doctors’ offices. Please keep in mind, pay and job availability can vary based on level of experience, location, economic climate, and the employer.