By Mila Sidman
Looking for a good medical transcription course can be tricky. There are so many different MT schools popping up all over the place, and a lot of online schools too. It’s definitely a difficult choice and you should take your time before making any commitments.
Remember, the better your training the better your earning opportunities will be. So keeping that in mind, it’s really important to choose the best medical transcription school possible.
So just how do you choose a good medical transcription school?
If you’ve decided a traditional school course is right for you, then start having a look around your local area. Ask other MTs where they were trained. Look in the yellow pages and the internet and make a list of all the local community colleges and technology schools in your area.
Call each school individually and ask them to mail you information on their medical transcription courses. Then narrow it down to a few schools you feel area good fit for you.
While deciding ask yourself some questions such as – Can I go to school on the days and times required? Is it too far? Will I be able to stick with a course for that long? Can I afford it?
Once you have your list of schools, call them up and make an appointment to visit. This will give you a better feel of the school before making any commitments. Remember, good schools are always willing to take the time to show you around and answer your questions. If the staff isn’t happy to take a few minutes to speak to you then how will they treat you once you’re a student.
Here’s a list of things to look for once you visit the school:
What subjects are included in the course?
A good MT program should include word processing & typing, medical terminology (various levels), anatomy (at a general level), pharmacology (introduces you to different medications), grammar/English, and lots of hands on transcribing.
Do they have job placement assistance or Internship?
The upshot of choosing a school course is they usually have job placement. It can be difficult to get a job without real experience so job placement is important.
An internship is almost as good as job placement. Your school places you at a location to work (as part of your course training). You will not earn any money during this training but it is great hands on real experience. Sometimes, the employer may even hire you after your training. They will also give you a reference which you could use to find future work.
What are their success rates?
What have some of their students gone on to do? Are they working as MTs? You could also ask what percentages of students actually receive the job training. Good schools will have statistics of how well the course worked for their students.
How much is the course and is there payment assistance?
Most schools are pretty good about funding issues. They will usually have in place certain schemes where you can get discounts depending on your situation. Some have a sliding scale fee which means their fees are based on your income.
You may also find scholarships or the school will have a payment plan in place. This will allow you to break your payments down into smaller chunks. With some schools you don’t have to pay back the remaining amount until 6 months after your course finishes. They may also have reduced interest rates.
What to look for in Online Courses?
If you decide an online course is right for you, then ask all the same questions as you would for a traditional school course. Job placement assistance is a bit more difficult with an online course but you should receive a letter of reference you could use to find local work.
Whichever method of training you receive, you can find your own work right away. This is sometimes easier than starting with a big online company. You can send a letter or visit your local doctors and offer to type a free report or tape. This will show them you can do the work before either of you make any commitments.
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