What Degree Programs Are Available in Medical Transcription?
Although 2-year degree programs in medical transcription are available, many medical transcription education and training programs are in the form of diploma and certificate programs. Medical transcription certification comes from the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. Read on to learn about the various programs in medical transcription.
Medical Transcription Education Programs
Medical transcription education and training programs include certificate, technical diploma and 2-year degree programs. Certificate programs are the most prevalent. Although there is no formal accreditation for medical transcription programs, the Approval Committee for Certificate Programs (ACCP) reviews and approves medical transcription programs. The ACCP is a joint committee of the American Health Information Management Association and the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI, formerly known as the American Association for Medical Transcription). A list of the approved schools is available on AHDI's website (www.ahdionline.org).
Important Facts About Medical Transcription Degree Programs
|Common Courses||Keyboarding, medical terminology, human anatomy, editing, pharmacology|
|Prerequisites||Computer literacy; high school diploma, or equivalent|
|Online Availability||Fully available for diploma and certificate programs|
|Possible Careers||Medical transcriptionist, medical transcriptionist editor|
|Median Salary (2018)||$34,770 (for medical transcriptionists)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)||3% decline (for medical transcriptionists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Degree and Certificate Programs
In general, medical transcription certificate and technical diploma programs take about one year to complete. Degree programs are two years in length and often incorporate medical transcription into a degree with a larger scope, such as the medical administrative assistant associate's degree offered by the Community College of Rhode Island. Some degree programs focus on medical transcription and include general education courses, such as the Associate in Applied Science in Medical Transcription from Oakland Community College in Michigan. Certificate programs, like the one offered by the Community College of Rhode Island, only include medical transcription courses.
Medical Transcription Certification
Certification in the field of medical transcription is voluntary and administered by the AHDI. The two levels of certification are the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). Its Certified Medical Transcriptionist designation has been retired.
Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS)
Medical transcriptionists who have completed a training program or who have less than one year's experience may take the RHDS credentialing exam. The exam is based on entry-level job skills in medical transcription. The RHDS designation may be renewed every three years by taking an online course and paying a fee.
Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS)
After two years of experience as an acute-care medical transcriptionist, the CHDS exam may be taken. Individuals who pass this exam achieve the highest level of certification available. Continuing education credits are required to maintain certification.