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Medical Transcriptionist Program FAQs
Get answers to the most common and important questions about signing up in the Medical Transcription Editor program at Career Step. Our FAQs section provides answers to help you make an informed decision about your training.
- What is medical transcription?
Medical transcription offers you the opportunity to have a real at-home career in the growing medical industry. The field currently includes 2 important roles:
- Medical transcriptionists type the audio dictations of doctor-patient interactions, creating the reports that make up patients' medical records.
- Medical transcription editors—specialized medical transcriptionists—correct and edit dictation reports created by speech recognition software, which electronically translates dictations into text.
With the Career Step Medical Transcription Editor program you can train for both of these career paths, work from the comfort of your home, and prepare for the future of the industry.
- What is the job market for a medical transcriptionist?
Medical transcription is part of the rapidly growing healthcare industry, and medical transcription employers regularly ask Career Step for more learners to fill their entry-level positions. Career Step training is well-known and well-respected within the medical transcription industry, particularly by employers. Most medical transcription companies require job applicants to have several years of experience, but because Career Step's program material is so thorough and trusted, many companies are willing to waive the experience requirement for Career Step learners. Over 700 companies have hired Career Step learners and the vast majority are hired within a few months of completion.
- How much can I earn as a medical transcriptionist and editor?
Working Canada reports that medical transcription professionals earn between $16 and $27.50 an hour on average. However, it is important to remember that the majority of transcriptionists are paid on a production basis, which offers the opportunity to earn more as you become more familiar with the work, when you work more often, and if you increase your speed or efficiency.
- Do I need to be certified?
The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) maintains two industry credentials, the Registered Health Documentation Specialist (RHDS) credential and the Certified Health Documentation Specialist (CHDS) credential. The RHDS exam is designed for entry-level medical transcriptionists, and the CHDS exam is designed for medical transcriptionists who have two years of experience working in acute care within the industry.
Very few industry employers require these credentials as a prerequisite to employment, and while your completion from a Career Step program will not award you either credential, learners who have taken the exams have generally done well as Career Step's training programs help learners build a solid foundational understanding of the medical transcription profession. An exam voucher to take the RHDS exams is included with the course upon completion (a $190 value) to help you earn your credential right away.
- What are the advantages of training with Career Step?
Career Step has been a leader in medical transcription training for over 20 years and offers one of the most comprehensive medical transcription editor training programs in the industry. You will study online, on your own schedule and at your own pace. Career Step's training also includes hundreds of authentic dictations from healthcare providers so that learners have real-world experience when they finish. With Career Step you know you're getting the right training; personal, ongoing support; and the resources and guidance you need to turn your training into a job.
- Is Career Step accredited?
Career Step is registered under the Utah Post-Secondary Proprietary School Act but is not nationally or regionally accredited. However, our career-focused training programs are approved by a number of industry specific organizations and are designed with employer feedback to ensure learners are gaining exactly the skills needed to get a job and succeed in the workforce.
The Career Step training programs prepare learners for career fields where employers are looking for skilled applicants. Career Step works closely with employers when developing a training program to ensure you finish with the skills employers are looking for. We've also developed close ties to industry associations, aligning our programs with their recommendations. Career Step programs boast the following recognitions:
- Career Step’s Medical Transcription Editor training is approved by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), the leading medical transcription industry association.
- The Medical Administrative Assistant with EHR program is approved by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), a leading organization focused on increasing the quality of health career training.
Career Step programs are also designed to prepare you for certifications that greatly improve your employment opportunities. Employers are often more familiar with various credentials than with the quality of training. To help your resume stand out from other applicants, various Career Step programs help prepare learners to earn the following third-party credentials:
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
- Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)
- CompTIA A+ Certification
- Microsoft Office Specialist – Master (MOS-Master)
This focus on helping you gain the skills needed to succeed in the workforce has made our learners successful in the job market—over 85% of Career Step learners are employed in their field of study, and 91% of employed Medical Transcription learaners work from home in their first job.
- Is Career Step AHDI approved?
The Career Step Medical Transcription Editor training program is certified and approved by the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP), which is a joint committee established by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
- What is the difference between the Medical Transcription Editor and the Medical Transcription Editor supplement programs?
Career Step has developed two Medical Transcription Editor programs to provide speech recognition training that meets the needs of both new learners and already-trained medical transcriptionists.
The full Medical Transcription Editor program is a career-focused course designed for individuals without medical transcription knowledge and skills. This course prepares them for a career as either a medical transcriptionist or a medical transcription editor.
The Medical Transcription Editor supplemental program is designed for those who have a solid foundation of medical transcription knowledge and skills. This program focuses solely on the specialized speech recognition editing skill set. We strongly recommend you take our short Medical Transcription Editor Skills Evaluation exam before deciding if the supplemental program is the best option for you.
- How is the Career Step program structured?
The Career Step program is offered entirely online, providing 24/7 access to all material and allowing you to progress through the program on your own schedule and at your own pace. The program is broken into modules, or course subjects, with the first half devoted to building your knowledge base while the second half is an extensive practicum designed to help you gain the practical experience you need to smoothly transition into the workplace after completion.
- What type of support does Career Step offer?
Career Step support includes access to:
- Support Trainers and Advisors who have professional experience in the industry and are uniquely qualified to answer questions about both the program and the industry. They provide timely answers to questions about the program material and offer a number of personal consultations throughout the training to help learners master important concepts.
- Technical Support Advisors who are knowledgeable, experienced, and available six days a week to help you work through any technical or computer issues encountered within the training program.
- Career Support Advisors who help you transition to the workforce after completion. Your Career Advisors will help prepare the best resume, develop solid interview skills, and teach you valuable job search techniques.
Though the course is entirely online, you'll never be on your own. Career Step's support team is available to offer personal, ongoing support all the way through the training program.
- How much practice transcription is included in the programs?
There are 41 hours of real-life doctor dictations included in the medical transcription section of the Medical Transcription Editor program. These dictations cover a wide variety of medical specialties as well as the full spectrum of doctor accents and dictation style. The program also includes 16 hours of additional dictation in the editing practicum section.
- How long does it take to finish the course?
The Medical Transcription Editor program is estimated at 640 completion hours. Since the program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will vary from other learners. Some individuals are able to complete their training in as little as 4 months (working on the course full-time, 8 hours a day 5 days a week) and others, who are more limited in the time they can devote to the course, take longer (for example, individuals who can devote about 20 hours a week may finish in about 8 months).
Everyone who signs up in the Career Step training program receives an initial 4-month period of acces. Though the programs are designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, you'll have a full year to complete your training. If you need extra time to complete the course after your initial one-year access, we have 4-month extensions available for purchase.
- How do I find work after completion?
Career Step offers personalized, post-training resources for your job search, including:
- Personal consultation with an employment advisor
- Access to employment and referral directories
- Personalized interview tutorials and training
- Individual resume and cover letter review, tips, and advice
- RHDS certification exam voucher (a $190 value)
- Access to Career Step's help hotline for a full year after completion
These resources offer the personalized help you need after completion to transition to the workplace. With this individualized help and attention, the vast majority of our learners are hired within a few months of completion.
- What materials and computer specifications are required to complete the course?
Your training includes everything you will need to train for a successful career in medical transcription. Your training includes:
- Access to expert-created training
- Complete ebook library
- One-on-one help from trainers and technical support
- Transcription foot pedal (device used to control audio playback when transcribing)
- The AHDI Book of Style, 3rd Edition
- Valuable career resources
- RHDS certification exam voucher (a $190 value)
Since the course is completely online, your computer will play an important role in your learning experience. We recommend the following minimum computer system specifications:
- Active internet connection (High speed/Broadband connection recommended)
- 800 X 600 minimum resolution (1024 X 768 or higher recommended)
- Sound card and speakers (Earphones recommended)
- Available USB port
- Adobe Flash Player (ver. 10 or higher)
- Windows Media Player (ver. 10 or higher) or Quicktime Player (ver. 7 or higher)
- PDF reader
- Internet Explorer 7.x/8.x/9.x
- Firefox 3.x *
- Safari 4.x or greater (Mac only)*
- Microsoft Windows (XP®, Vista®, 7 with latest service pack)
- Mac OS X (10.4.11 or greater)*
*The Medical Transcription Editor program includes a third party software tool that makes the training only compatible with Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer 7.x, 8.x., or 9.x.
Note: Mobile browsing devices are not currently supported. However, Career Step is investigating the implementation of mobile device support, and these specifications will be updated once a decision has been reached.
- What payment options does Career Step offer?
We realize that one of the most important questions tied to additional training is how it will be paid for. Because this is such a big part of the decision of whether or not to get more training, Career Step has designed several financial assistance and payment options. Please visit our Financial Assistance page for more information.
- How soon will I receive my materials?
It takes 2-3 business days to process the application, depending on method of payment. Once the payment is processed you will be emailed your course login and password and can start training immediately. Additional course materials are shipped UPS Ground after the payment is processed. The average wait is about 7-10 days.