Online medical transcription programs are known for their flexibility and are typically designed for working adults with busy schedules. Besides on-the-job training that is essential in any medical transcription program, all or most of your courses can be taken completely online so that students don’t ever have to set foot in a classroom. Some programs provide certification, ideal for those with a health care background who want to shift into medical transcription; others offer associate’s degrees, which are often preferred for aspiring medical transcriptionists who are just starting out in health care. While each online program differs slightly depending on the school you choose, there are a few common courses that you will see in any online program.
Those earning their associate’s degree or certificate online in medical transcription will take coursework in anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, legal issues stemming from health care documentation, and English/grammar/punctuation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Good online programs also typically offer supervised, hands-on experience, which students often find the most helpful as direct training for their future careers.
For example, Kaplan University, a leader in online education, offers an associate’s degree program in medical transcription that is designed to train students to transcribe with accuracy, clarity and timeliness. The capstone for the program, however, is the student completing what Kaplan describes as an “externship.” The externship involves valuable on-the-job training at a transcription company, physician’s office, clinic, hospital or any other medical facility needing a transcriptionist’s services. A student cannot complete Kaplan’s program without completing the externship.
Other features of online medical transcription programs like Kaplan’s are direct preparation for the Registered Medical Transcriptionist exam (RMT). Earning the RMT designation is a mark of distinction in the field and is often a requirement for employment as a transcriptionist. The RMT exam is a voluntary exam given by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, which works to set standards of practice in the medical transcription field.
Online medical transcription programs like those offered at Rasmussen College offer similar courses where students will learn anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, medical office procedures, transcription, pathology, medical law and ethics and keyboarding, along with success strategies and career development.