A short online medical transcription course can skim over subjects like anatomy, medical terminology, disease processes, laboratory medicine, and pharmacology. The result is training that isn’t sufficient to understand the complexity of what you’re transcribing. In addition, many other courses we’ve seen do not offer enough comprehensive transcription practice. When evaluating programs it is important to have a base model in which to compare every program. A wonderful model is AHDI’s COMPRO. COMPRO is short for competency profile. AHDI has developed this and a model curriculum for transcription educators, as well as model job descriptions for transcriptionists and transcription-related positions.
These guidelines are recommendations that a good medical transcription school should follow. I was surprised to see that many schools don’t even know what this is. (Our school not only meets but also exceeds their recommendations.) Unfortunately, this is a tremendous disservice to students who enroll unaware that their program of choice is not sufficient to train them properly.
Here are a few things to look for to make sure your training is complete:
First, look not only at what subjects the school offers but how in-depth and comprehensive they cover each of these areas. For example, you cannot possibly thoroughly cover the subject of anatomy in just a few weeks’ time. Medical transcriptionists deal with many different accents, medical specialties, and must have a broad-based understanding of medical language. If the program you are considering does not offer comprehensive study in all of the areas discussed in COMPRO then you may want to consider that it is not a wise investment of your money. You also want to ask the following questions when deciding on a school:
1. Are the instructors experienced transcriptionists?
2. Have the instructors been medical transcription service owners in the past?
3. Have the instructors been MT educators in the past?
4. How much dictation is included in the course?
5. Is the dictation authentic doctor dictated reports? (Some schools offer tapes that are read by actors which are much too easy.)
6. What type of training materials will you receive in the course? Good MTs need good reference materials and must learn to use them while in school.
7. Will you have easy access to an instructor? Is he or she available via telephone, e-mail or private messaging, or are you assigned to an “education assistant” instead?
8. Will you receive immediate feedback on assignments or will you have to wait weeks to hear from your instructor through the mail?
9. Does the school offer in-depth coverage of all the topics COMPRO suggests or do they just touch lightly on these subjects?
10. Does the school offer comprehensive job placement assistance? (Handing you a list of services to send a resume to is not considered comprehensive job placement.)
11. Does the school send their students an actual wav pedal and software or just an old-fashioned tape player? (We were appalled to find one school sent their students a regular tape player!)
How Does the MT School of Canada Program Measure Up?
The goal of this article is not to discuss why some other courses do not live up to the COMPRO guidelines. Quite frankly we have no idea why a course would choose to compromise your training just to save a few dollars. What our school has to offer a prospective medical transcription student is an in-depth, comprehensive program of study including extensive study in every single area outlined in COMPRO. Students of our program will get comprehensive study in all subject areas relating to advanced medical transcription and NOT just the basics.
Our online medical transcription course offers the opportunity to work with mentors and instructors one on one. Specifically, this means that the students have a number of people who can help them with questions throughout the program. Why is this important? As an MT student, you are going to have a bunch of questions pertaining to your coursework, and a good program needs to provide you with someone who can answer those questions quickly and comprehensively. Also, learning medical transcription is not an easy task, and many new students get frustrated and give up. We have found that having a good support system and mentors available has worked wonderfully. It’s a relief for our students to know that someone is always there.
Comprehensive feedback of your practice MT work is essential to your success. It is important to know what you are doing wrong and why as well as what you are doing right. It is very easy when checking your own work to miss many tiny mistakes. In the workplace, an MT needs to work with a high percentage of accuracy between 98-99%. When MTs fall below that accuracy level, they are putting their jobs and the patient’s health in jeopardy. In our program, you get immediate feedback online after each lesson. Also, each transcription exam is hand-graded by your instructor with plenty of constructive feedback and returned quickly, usually within 24 hours. In other words, you will have the support of a trained instructor throughout the entire program, and this is imperative to your success.
Additionally, our online medical transcription course plenty of transcription practice – more than enough for you to get thorough, comprehensive and advanced training, just as you should be getting. Through our program, you could transcribe as many as 4,000 varying types of medical reports. Why do you need to transcribe so many reports you might ask? You might not be one of the ones who needs it, but it’s there for the students who need the extra help.
Working MTs come across a variety of difficult accents and medical specialties. Without enough hands-on practice with real-world dictation, the new MT could flounder in the real work environment. Transcribing a few hundred reports may give you some idea of how it’s done, but students from other programs have proven it’s not enough practice to enable a new MT to be productive in the real world work environment.
One reason there is such a high demand for qualified medical transcriptionists is that, unfortunately, there are so many very poorly trained MTs. When we were running our medical transcription service, we actually found it difficult to come across a well-trained MT. Good MTs have the potential of making a very good income and enjoying a lucrative career. Poor MTs usually go from job to job then finally leave the business because they just can’t reach quality or production standards.
In our medical transcription training program, we have tons of real-world dictation practice by real doctors available. The dictation you will be transcribing comes from a variety of specialties and includes easy, intermediate, and difficult dictators. It is important to get enough practice while in school so that when you graduate, you will be able to handle the most difficult types of dictation with ease once you’re on the job.
Our school was founded by an MTSO (medical transcription service owner) and certified medical transcriptionist with many years of experience, who also taught medical transcription at a local college and grew and sold two successful MT services. The instructors we hire are highly experienced MTs and MTSOs (medical transcription service owners) and the mentors are experienced transcriptionists, graduates, and top students helping other students. This program was developed by experienced and seasoned MTs for MTs. Additionally, MT School of Canada offers comprehensive resume and job placement assistance upon graduation. The bottom line is we KNOW what employers want because we were once there!
The choice is yours. Excellence in education means making the commitment to invest wisely and choosing a school that adheres to the guidelines as outlined in COMPRO. We have the experience, dedication, and ability to create transcriptionists ready to enter the workplace capable of handling even the most difficult dictation, and our 100% job placement rate for our graduates attests to that fact!
We wish you every success in making your decision for a quality education and look forward to answering any questions you may have.