Whether you choose to attend a traditional brick-and-mortar medical transcription school or get your medical transcription training online, you will learn the same skills. These skills include: medical terminology; spelling, grammar, communication; basic office equipment usage; advanced techniques with the medical transcriber; typing skills; anatomy and physiology, and knowledge of disease processes. In addition to the skills that you learn as a medical transcriber, there are a number of basic skills that you should have as well. These skills are a must to succeed on the job: the ability to multitask; above average memory skills; the ability to follow instructions (oral and written); above average grammar skills; listening skills; and computer skills. Of the skills that you will learn, communication is one of the most vital. You will have to be able to understand the doctor that is dictating the report without making assumptions about what is being said. There are methods of dealing with these problems including flagging a report that is considered to be incomplete or has a potential for errors or omissions.
For instance, if during the dictation a doctor states one medication was prescribed but gives the prescribed dosage with two separate amounts, a flag will be placed on the report so that the right dosage can be confirmed. It is imperative that all reports be done correctly because this is often the only source of communication from one physician to another on behalf of the patient.
Whether you are learning on the job, at a local school, or seeking medical transcription training online, you will need to gain knowledge of medical terminology. Medical terminology is the technical language used by doctors and other healthcare professionals that includes the terms for body parts and diseases as well as for procedures and treatments. While some medical terms may seem needlessly complex, they are simpler to learn if you realize that most are built with the same prefixes or suffixes. Learn the roots and you will learn the words faster. If you know the basics, you can usually figure out words that are confusing to you as well.
Medical transcribers perform many important duties. These duties include: identification of the patient by name, medical record number, or social security number; accurate transcription of all information; use of reference materials to confirm medical procedures or terminology; logging the transcriptions; sending completed transcriptions to the right place; and backing up information as directed (this may be a duty assigned to a supervisor in many cases). For many medical transcribers, whether they work in a doctor’s office, a hospital, or at home, there are restrictions on what they may do. For those in the professional setting, certain duties and procedures are restricted to the supervisor only. A hospital may require that only the supervisor flag reports for errors or omissions. Regardless of what your job duties entail, enrolling in an AHDI approved medical transcription program will provide you with a solid foundation. With a high-quality education under your belt, you'll be prepared to work in a variety of settings as a professional medical transcriptionist.
What Will I Learn with Medical Transcription Training?
Interested in medical transcription training? Regardless of the type of medical transcription school you choose, your course will most likely cover the same topics, from medical terminology to anatomy physiology. In addition, you'll learn how to apply spelling, grammar and punctuation skills to documentation, how to build your typing speed and how to effectively use medical transcription equipment. Your own set of skills will also come in handy in your medical transcription career. If you are an effective multi-tasker, have a good memory, are a good communicator and can follow directions, you will bring valuable skills to your career. Most of all, solid communication skills, both oral and written will give your career an advantage.
In fact, being able to communicate clearly and effectively is a huge asset to this career. As a medical transcriptionist, you will need to be able to translate what doctors say into easy-to-understand, error-free reports. Also, if a doctor's account is muddled or difficult to understand, you will need to flag an incomplete report and find the correct answers. This entails verbally communicating with health care professionals. Your reports play a vital role in the health care industry. Oftentimes, it is the only communications doctors have with each other regarding a patient. Thus, the records need to be accurate, up-to-date and readable. There is no room for errors – if you see something that is incorrect, you need to flag the report until the information can be verified.
The basis of your medical transcription education will be medical terminology. An in-depth knowledge of commonly-used terminology will help you to provide a reliable accounting of a patient's doctor visit. You will recognize the words for body parts, diseases, diagnoses and procedures, which will enable you to accurately type your transcriptions. Upon first glance, medical terms may seem to be incomprehensible. However, by breaking the word down into smaller parts, you can discern to meaning of almost any word. You knowledge of prefixes and suffixes, which you will learn in a medical transcription course, will enable you to easily figure out what a word means. Although the information, length and complexity of medical transcriptions will vary, you will perform similar tasks for each transcription assignment. This includes: making an accurate transcription from a doctor's voice recording, using reference books and online resources to confirm medical information, forwarding finished transcriptions to the doctor and creating a back-up record of all transcription information. Most importantly, you will need to comply with HIPAA requirements and maintain the privacy of all patient information.
The scope of your duties may be limited to the type of setting you work in. For example, if you work in a hospital, a manager may be the only one who can flag a report or handle patient records. If you work in a doctor's office or from home, your responsibilities may be more varied. The best bet for a solid future is enrolling in an AHDI approved medical transcription program. This will ensure that you are prepared for any kind of work opportunity. A high-quality education will give you the educational foundation to pursue employment in hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics or even from home. You'll be ready to take on the challenges and reward of a medical transcription career.