Friday, February 29, 2008

Online Medical Transcription Courses - A Good Thing or Buyer Beware?

By Mary Ruff-King

Online medical transcription courses provide people who want to enter the medical transcription field the flexibility to study and learn at their own pace, something which appeals to many people today who have busy lives and hectic schedules. Besides the time savings offered by this educational option, one must consider the following when evaluating online medical transcription courses:

What online medical courses are offered? The study of medical word roots, prefixes, suffixes and combining forms build the foundation for learning medical terminology. These are essential building blocks that must be included in all medical transcription programs. In addition, medical courses consisting of anatomy and physiology, human diseases, medical abbreviations and symbols, pharmacology, diagnostic tests and procedures, as well as the study of every individual body system (nervous, digestive, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, lymphatic, integumentary, respiratory, endocrine, and genitourinary) are core requirements that must be included in all medical transcription programs, whether offline and online.

What online non-medical courses are offered? Punctuation; capitalization; English grammar, transcribing numbers, figures, and abbreviations; proofreading and corrections; use of medical reference books; and ethics are must-have topics.

What is the quality and breadth of the medical doctors’ dictations? Actual doctors’ dictations are a must so medical transcription students can hear and master a variety of voices and accents. This should include medical doctors for whom English is a second language: These are commonly referred to as ESL medical doctors/dictators.

What medical report formats will be available? History and physical reports, consultations, operative reports, discharge summaries, and medical letters, are just some of the medical typing that will be encountered in online medical transcription courses. In addition, progress reports, also known as follow-up visit notes, will be typed. SOAP notes are follow-up reports that are in a specific format. SOAP is an acronym that stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan.

Who is teaching the online medical transcription courses? Are the instructors certified medical transcriptionists (CMTs) or medical transcriptionists (MTs) with a long and varied background in medical transcription? This is very significant and should be given a lot of weight when considering online medical transcription courses.

How easy is it to access the online medical transcription course instructors? What are the ways and means to access the MT course instructors: Via e-mail, e-mail and phone? How quickly will e-mail and phone calls be returned?

Is there an online medical transcription student message board or forum available? This is a way to verify the satisfaction level of medical transcription students who have completed the online medical transcription courses. A company that offers this option is transparent, has confidence in its courses, and hides nothing from those medical transcription students who wish to research its course materials.

Is the price for online medical transcription courses competitive with offline medical transcription courses? This is a personal decision as well as a bottom-line financial decision. How much is it worth to you to be able to study medical transcription courses at home and on a schedule that fits your needs as well as those of your family?

Is job placement available? Good online medical transcription courses have work placement programs to assist qualified entry level medical transcriptionists find their first medical transcription job after completion of all online medical transcription courses.

Get more

Online Medical Transcription Courses information at Medical Transcription Mastery Center

Author Mary Ruff-King, a veteran 14-year MT, reveals all the tips, techniques, and cutting-edge information you need to know about medical transcription at her blog, []MT Mastery Center

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