How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

1. Complete a Certified Medical Transcription Training Program

Aspiring medical transcriptionists must first hold a high school diploma or GED and continue on to complete a certified medical transcription training program.

There are multiple avenues of completion for these programs, ranging from 6 months to 2 years. Medical transcription certificate programs can be completed online or through vocational schools, or students can earn an associate's degree from their local community college.

Choosing a school approved by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) ensures the degree's applicability and usefulness.

Generally, medical transcription programs broadly cover the following topics:

  • Medical terminology
  • Laboratory terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • Disease processes
  • Pathology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical transcription
  • Computer applications
  • English

Healthcare documentation specialists satisfy their initial academic requirements with programs lasting from 10 months to 2 years at vocational schools, community colleges, or even via online degree programs.

Choosing a school approved by the the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) ensures the degree's applicability and usefulness.

A specialist in this field masters complicated medical jargon, computer use, and rapid, accurate typing and transcription skills.

Study also includes medical language, pharmacology, lab terminology, disease processes, healthcare procedures, and many other related topics that permit informed, superior transcription.

2. Earn the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) Credential

Recently-graduated students are eligible to earn the RHDS certification by completing the associated exam. It's based on the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity's medical transcriptionist job description, core competencies, and model curriculum.

The exam is designed to assess the candidates acuity with the skills necessary for everyday medical transcription.

For eligibility and requirements, content, exam blue print, and sample questions:

Learn More About the RDHS Exam

After earning their certification, candidates will be recognized as a registered healthcare documentation specialist. The RHDS credential is valid for 3 years after completion and candidates must recertify prior to expiration.

3. Earn the Certified Healthcare Documentation (CHDS) Credential

After two years of hands-on experience, candidates become eligible to earn the CHDS credential in addition to their RHDS certification.

The exam is based on the same guidelines as the RHDS exam and is designed to further assess core competencies at a more advanced level.

For eligibility and requirements, content, exam blue print, and sample questions:

Learn More about the CHDS Exam