9 Steps to Success

Become a Successful Medical Transcriptionist

Step 1:  Assess Your Abilities

Medical transcriptionists need to develop excellent spelling, grammar and punctuation skills, and have a good auditory acuity. In addition, medical transcriptionists must develop critical thinking skills.

Step 2:  Research the Career

Find out what being a medical transcriptionist is all about. Call and speak with instructors. Read material describing the profession. Visit the association’s website. Take our New Student Orientation. This webinar is for newly-enrolled Med-Line students or candidates considering enrollment. Meet administrators online for information on getting started in the program. She will give study tips, answer your questions, and review our program.

Step 3:  Choose the Right Program for Your Training

A quality AHDI-Approved school will result in career success. Selecting an AHDI-approved school not only assures you that the curriculum will meet the minimum standards for success, but also students can be assured that they will be mentored by CMT instructors. An ideal instructor/student relationship would be one that affords you personalization and a more hands-on approach to your mentoring.

Be cautious of ‘tiered’ or ‘package’ programs, even if offered by an AHDI-approved school. Make sure you understand which ‘tier’ or ‘package’ is the actual approved program, as the lower tiers/packages of these schools are not AHDI-approved. The unapproved packages will likely result in the inability to obtain and/or maintain employment.

More importantly, do not choose a program that does not provide textbooks or live instructor support. Textbooks and mentoring are proven and crucial elements needed to be successfully placed.

Watch for programs that offer to graduate you in mere months, as this is not realistic for quality training in this career. Medical Transcription is a lifelong career and to be successful, one must have quality training and actual experience. This quality and experience will take longer than 6-9 months.

When seeking a program, watch for added “fluff” in the program’s material list. Verify what materials are important to your training and what is filler used to make a program seem superior.

Step 4:  Begin Your Studies

Organize your study activities, stave off procrastination and be self-disciplined– make it a routine to continue your studies, keep a positive attitude and focus. Avoid looking ahead; take it one step at a time.

Step 5:  Obtaining Your Skills

Realize that there is a certain point in your program where you will have to rely upon your instructor to mentor you through any hurdles. Transcription is more than knowing how to spell medical terms, memorizing drug names, and simply deciphering data. Medical transcription involves dedication, ethics, critical thinking, patience, and the ability to work well with others, who will guide you to success, as those who have been guided before you.

Step 6:  Get Involved and Network

Healthcare documentation has a wealth of resources, both personally and professionally. There is more than enough activity to keep you busy and active, and very satisfied with the prestige of your career. There are numerous opportunities for leadership and advancement. Enrollment and involvement in professional organizations, especially AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity) and attending meetings and networking, is highly recommended and promises to be rewarding.

Step 7:  Evaluations and Reflection

Being a medical transcriptionist has so many benefits, but most importantly the opportunity for the person to evaluate their life and make huge advancements ethically, intellectually, professionally, and spiritually, by coming to the realization that belonging to this profession provides employment that really matters. Medical transcriptionists grow to realize the importance of their position, and the delicate balance they have to maintain with respect to integrity, honor, and reliance. A medical transcriptionist does not stop learning, nor do they stop developing greater personal and professional advancements. Medical transcriptionists are reliable and trustworthy.

Step 8:  Attaining Your Credentials

It is highly recommended upon completion of the program that the students study for and take the RHDS examination (Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist) offered through AHDI. It is important for employers to know that you have attained certain skills and developed your talents for this chosen career. As a professional medical transcriptionist with at least 2 years of practical experience advanced skills, you will be eligible to sit for the CHDS exam. The CHDS exam ensures employers you have advanced knowledge in your profession. In addition, AHDI offers a fellowship designation for medical transcriptionists who are seeking professional fulfillment in the areas of leadership, mentoring, teaching, speaking, writing, and volunteering of one’s talents. To learn more about these credentials and designation, go to www.ahdionline.org or speak to a Med-Line representative.

Step 9:  Share Your Knowledge

As you become knowledgeable and experienced, the time will come for you to share your talents with those new to the field, as was done for you when you began.  The industry needs more medical transcriptionists, like you, who will be dedicated, reliable, and ethical professionals in the healthcare delivery profession.