Medical transcription vs Medical coding and what's the best online school?

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deb in dc in Washington, District of Columbia

35 months ago

OMP in Skokie, Illinois said: I am planning to enroll in an online Medical Coding program which I found through AHIMA's website (AHIMA.org). It is called the Distance Education and Training--Coding Basics in Chicago.

I was recommended this place/site by someone who's IN the field, and i trust her judgement. I haven't checked around for comparable pricing, but I will probably take her advice.

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s.christina97@yahoo.com in Chino, California

35 months ago

THANKS !!! BUT IS IT MEDICAL CODING ?? WOULD ANYONE NO WHAT SCHOOL IS GOOD TO GO TO FOR MEDICAL CODING NOT BILLING JUST CODING??

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leighleigh_24 in Brunswick, Georgia

35 months ago

Hi I've been a stay home mom for 10 yrs and recently divorced with 3 boys I'm ready to go back to work! I wanna do medical coding and need of some good schools that have financial aid or grants possible any suggestions would be great! Also AHDI approved!

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Rose in Jersey City, New Jersey

35 months ago

Hi there Nik. I personally would recommend Career step. I am in the middle of transitioning careers. I spent over $13,000 (after grants) on a student loan to become a medical assistant. Little did I know that the jobs would be so hard to find for those just getting out of school. Was never able to find a job in the field… Started doing some research and I am really interested in medical transcription. During part of my research I called some of the companies that where hiring medical transcriptionist, and asks them what program or school do most of their transcriptionist graduate from, and most said career step.

Also before I started to do my medical transcriptionist research I was going to an university that was charging me $1500 + a semester. My personal opinion is that with career step if you can somehow manage to pay the money, it is cheaper on the long run. You won’t have to waist your grants on taking useless classes before you can get to the real career teachings. I think it is way cheaper to just pay for the classes that career step offers, then to end up with this huge bill. I wish I would have known about career step sooner. Hope this helps. But yea, call a few places, and ask where do their professional graduated from… and that is a great way to get info. You can’t trust everything on the web these days, sometimes you have to dig deeper. Good luck!

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Rose in Jersey City, New Jersey

35 months ago

Rose in Jersey City, New Jersey said: Hi there Nik. I personally would recommend Career step. I am in the middle of transitioning careers. I spent over $13,000 (after grants) on a student loan to become a medical assistant. Little did I know that the jobs would be so hard to find for those just getting out of school. Was never able to find a job in the field… Started doing some research and I am really interested in medical transcription. During part of my research I called some of the companies that where hiring medical transcriptionist, and asks them what program or school do most of their transcriptionist graduate from, and most said career step.

Also before I started to do my medical transcriptionist research I was going to an university that was charging me $1500 + a semester. My personal opinion is that with career step if you can somehow manage to pay the money, it is cheaper on the long run. You won’t have to waist your grants on taking useless classes before you can get to the real career teachings. I think it is way cheaper to just pay for the classes that career step offers, then to end up with this huge bill. I wish I would have known about career step sooner. Hope this helps. But yea, call a few places, and ask where do their professional graduated from… and that is a great way to get info. You can’t trust everything on the web these days, sometimes you have to dig deeper. Good luck!

Ps--> I also recommend career step for medical billing and coding. I looked into that as well, but i am personally going to start off with medical transcription. May expand my knowledge latter on and do billing a coding as well.

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A Doctor in Malden, Massachusetts

33 months ago

Medical transcription is being outsourced to India due to costs being less. Dictations are done in digital format and sent over the Internet to India for transcription. Caveat emptor.

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WorkingMT

33 months ago

Hi. I have been doing medical transcription for over 10 years for a local 6-doctor practice. Recently they decided to "follow the hospital" and so are laying off their transcriptionists. Our local hospital laid off all their MTs a few years ago, and outsourced their transcription to Ohio or something like that. My doctors are going to use voice recognition, I guess.
They haven't really talked to me about WHAT they are changing to for their office notes, but they just sent me an e-mail as my layoff notice. If you think about it, an e-mail layoff notice is a very rude and cowardly way to treat me after I have spent 10 years working for them. They didn't talk to me face to face, nor did they offer to help me find work nor offer to take me into the office for training for their office work. This is the FIRST TIME they have ever had layoffs, and I think I deserve to have had a meeting with them to discuss my faithful service and devotion to making their dictation correct and timely. I have been making very low wages since they changed the rate of pay a few years ago. Only two (including me) of their MTs are employees, and 4 of them are contractors.
It is my understanding that coding may work with the same software that is making MT obsolete, so I have not invested in coding training yet, for fear that I would be twice obsolete. I am considering my options.
I don't think MT is a way to earn a living anymore. Even if you do get hired, it isn't respected, nor is it paid the way it should be, for what we bring to the table and our intelligence and willingness.
Also, after 15 years, my body has taken a beating from MT. It is not easy to be almost chained to a chair and keyboard. My forearms and neck and shoulders will be glad for a break. My bank account, not so glad.
Buyer beware, if you are getting MT training. I wish you all well and encourage you to be sure there are jobs in your area if you pursue the training. This is a fascinating field.
WorkingMT (for now)

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rtarp in Cleveland, Tennessee

29 months ago

Hello

I am considering going into Medical Coding. I am looking at Andrews School. Does anyone have adivice on Andrew School.

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sara in Edison, New Jersey

28 months ago

Hi,
what is the tuition fee in career step for Medical Transcription Program,
Please help
thanks

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WorkingMT in Boise, Idaho

28 months ago

Sara, I was laid off in May after many, many years working MT for a doctor office here in town. I am now retraining to be a Coder, at the local community college. Please be aware that they are hiring NO MTs in my area, all the work is being done off menu picks by the doctors as they see the patient, or being outsourced.

Also, the rate of pay is low low low. I was making $11,000 a year for full time work including lots of weekend work as well.

I'm not sure Coding is a good way to go. I hope it will not "go electronic" too. I will no longer be working at home, around here, coding is done in office. To me, that's a good thing. I had been at home so long I had no wardrobe and no personality anymore.

I'd recommend a coding class IN A CLASSROOM at your local CC so you can upgrade ALL your skills, speaking (I'm taking a speech class now and learning SO MUCH about human behavior), math--I'll need that they say, and all the latest software and technical skills. You need to do this IN PERSON, in my opinion, and I have been there and lived it.

Good luck to you.

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WorkingMT in Boise, Idaho

28 months ago

Uhh. I don't know why it added, "in Boise" to my post, above. I'm not IN Boise. Never have been.

But DO consider getting the education at your local CC as I am doing. It should only take me a year to get to be a coder, and at that point I will be eligible for the Big Test to get certified. That is my goal.

Once I am working in an office, using all my new skill set from the year of school and my previous work, I plan to see if I can work my way up to something else. You can NEVER do that, work up to something else, working at home. This is something I am really looking forward to. Also, I don't think I would get such an opportunity if I went to an online school.

I'd actually go into nursing if the school would let me, but that would require 4 years of school, because they want my previous college credits to be "fresh" and mine are quite old.

Again, good luck. But DO your research on MT. I don't think it is a good idea and I was making $35,000 a year in the beginning, but as I noted above, it was down to $11,000 the last full year I worked, because of changes in the way they paid me.

I haven't done MT for several months now and I STILL have an aching left shoulder, from the abuse. Once I get medical insurance again I'll see what needs to be done on that. Hopefully not surgery. It was never a problem before MT.

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lellerbrock1 in Broomfield, Colorado

28 months ago

I bet a lot has to do with the economy as a whole. I also have heard that to get those jobs that companies are requesting that people be RHIT certified.

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lellerbrock1 in Broomfield, Colorado

28 months ago

I don't think it's a throw away job. I'm in the process of pursuing my A.A.S. in Health Information Technology that will let me work in a medical records department (just about anywhere) as well as provide me the skills to code if I wish to do so. The economy will turn around, and with all of the people retiring out of coding, jobs will be opening up.

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Lellerbrock1 in Broomfield, Colorado

28 months ago

Nope, it is the only accredited community college in Colorado.

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Lellerbrock1 in Broomfield, Colorado

28 months ago

Nope, it is the only accredited community college in Colorado.

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Brian A. in Seattle, Washington

28 months ago

Since this is relevant to the topic, hope this helps: www.allalliedhealthschools.com/health-careers/career-comparison/medical-transcriptionist-vs-medical-biller-coder It's a comparison chart, showing the differences between Medical Transcriptionists and Billers & Coders (duties, pay, etc).

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Amanda Hendrfickson in Waldoboro, Maine

22 months ago

Nik in Wedowee, Alabama said: I am interested in either taking medical transcription or coding online and Ashworth University is one of the schools I have been researching. I like the price of it, although I was hoping to get a loan or grant as I am "financially challenged" right now. I have also been looking at Career Step (which does offer loan assistance but no grants and the price is twice Ashworths) and Everett Community College (accepts FASFA and has Pell Grant and price is 4X Ashworth) Can you or anyone give me any further info about any of these schools? I am subscribing to several forums and reading everything I can get my hands on about both fields. I did go to technical school back in the 70's and took Clerical . I haven't been in office work for quite some time - divorce put me in the mills to be able to support myself for a while, and after I remarried, I moved to a small town where the only work I could get was in mills or restaurants. I currently have an accurate typing speed of about 50 wpm, so will have to work on getting my speed up as well. As I get older, mill work is getting harder on my physically, and restaurant work is too low paying and frustrating, so I am committed to getting the education I need to improve my lifestyle. I am unable to take all the courses I need at the nearby community college and can't get to the other campuses, so the online route is my only viable option, I just want to make the right choice. I would like to hear from MTs and MCs and what are the pros and cons of both? Thanx for any help!

penn fosters is a great place for either coding, billing or transcription and is affordable allowing monthly payments

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rbassett in Irving, Texas

22 months ago

A new Medical Coding and Billing Preparation Class will be starting on February 12, 2013. The class will meet twice a week on Tuesday's and Thursday's from 6pm - 9pmest. All classes are recorded and available the next day,visit www.brookslegacycoding.net

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Robert L in Willingboro, New Jersey

16 months ago

Hello I just lost my Job at blue cross blue shield of NJ I'm looking for the best online school to do Medical billing & coding something that you go at your own pace and is accredited. I don't want to waste time and money on something and can't find employment I need to be able to find employment asap after I complete the program if anybody has and tip,suggestion I'm open to hear it all thanks

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SimplyBillie in Kingman, Arizona

16 months ago

Robert L in Willingboro, New Jersey said: Hello I just lost my Job at blue cross blue shield of NJ I'm looking for the best online school to do Medical billing & coding something that you go at your own pace and is accredited. I don't want to waste time and money on something and can't find employment I need to be able to find employment asap after I complete the program if anybody has and tip,suggestion I'm open to hear it all thanks

While not accredited, Career Steps Medical Coding and Billing program is approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), one of the largest and most prestigious health information organizations in the country. www.careerstep.com/medical-coding-billing?ref=10068 It is self-paced as well.
Good luck in your search!

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Robert L in Willingboro, New Jersey

16 months ago

SimplyBillie in Kingman, Arizona said: While not accredited, Career Steps Medical Coding and Billing program is approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), one of the largest and most prestigious health information organizations in the country. www.careerstep.com/medical-coding-billing?ref=10068 It is self-paced as well.
Good luck in your search!

Thanks I reach out to a rep for some more information I was wondering if anyone had done the program before and what was there thoughts on it? the tuition is a little higher then other online schools that I check out I'm looking for and accredited program which Career Steps is not will that be a done side by potential employers? and is the school recognized by employers I'm looking for something that I can find employment soon after completing the program. I only have one shot so I'm trying to make sure what I choose I can find employment I use to work at home and would like to do that if possible I see a lot of MT work from home so that would be great for me or even freelance work.

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Bandy in Ellicott City, Maryland

16 months ago

Robert L in Willingboro, New Jersey said: Thanks I reach out to a rep for some more information I was wondering if anyone had done the program before and what was there thoughts on it? the tuition is a little higher then other online schools that I check out I'm looking for and accredited program which Career Steps is not will that be a done side by potential employers? and is the school recognized by employers I'm looking for something that I can find employment soon after completing the program. I only have one shot so I'm trying to make sure what I choose I can find employment I use to work at home and would like to do that if possible I see a lot of MT work from home so that would be great for me or even freelance work.

Medical transcription is a dying field. MT jobs are being lost to offshoring and to point-and-click and template recordkeeping systems that do not require a human transcriptionist. There are fewer and fewer MT jobs and more and more experienced MTs available to fill the jobs. Newly trained MTs are having a very difficult time finding jobs. It generally takes many months of job searching, and many never do find work. If you need to work right away, it is probably not the job for you.

Also, and please do not take offense at this, medical transcription required top-notch English spelling and grammar skills, which do not seem to be your forte. Even if you were able to complete an MT course, you might find that a hindrance in passing employment tests, all of which generally have grammar and spelling sections.

If you want to continue to work at home, you could look into being a customer service representative for a company such as Apple or Dell, both of which employ US-based at-home workers to assist phone and internet customers with the selection and purchase of their computers. They provide training and, I think, equipment as well. Good luck to you!

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Robert L in Willingboro, New Jersey

16 months ago

Bandy in Ellicott City, Maryland said: Medical transcription is a dying field. MT jobs are being lost to offshoring and to point-and-click and template recordkeeping systems that do not require a human transcriptionist. There are fewer and fewer MT jobs and more and more experienced MTs available to fill the jobs. Newly trained MTs are having a very difficult time finding jobs. It generally takes many months of job searching, and many never do find work. If you need to work right away, it is probably not the job for you.

Also, and please do not take offense at this, medical transcription required top-notch English spelling and grammar skills, which do not seem to be your forte. Even if you were able to complete an MT course, you might find that a hindrance in passing employment tests, all of which generally have grammar and spelling sections.

If you want to continue to work at home, you could look into being a customer service representative for a company such as Apple or Dell, both of which employ US-based at-home workers to assist phone and internet customers with the selection and purchase of their computers. They provide training and, I think, equipment as well. Good luck to you!

Hi thanks for the feedback but I'm not looking to get into MT field if you would have read the prior post I was asking about the medical billing and coding program
not the MT program.

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SimplyBillie in Kingman, Arizona

16 months ago

Robert L in Willingboro, New Jersey said: Thanks I reach out to a rep for some more information I was wondering if anyone had done the program before and what was there thoughts on it? the tuition is a little higher then other online schools that I check out I'm looking for and accredited program which Career Steps is not will that be a done side by potential employers? and is the school recognized by employers I'm looking for something that I can find employment soon after completing the program. I only have one shot so I'm trying to make sure what I choose I can find employment I use to work at home and would like to do that if possible I see a lot of MT work from home so that would be great for me or even freelance work.

Call Career Step and ask if they are partnered with any Coding and Billing Employers. While you're on the phone, ask them what their success rate is. You can also call potential employers and ask them if they would consider hiring a graduate from Career Step. In fact, I recommend doing this for any and all schools you are considering.
Good luck!

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Mollie in Portland, Oregon

15 months ago

Billie in Winnemucca, Nevada said: Many at-home employers will not hire graduates of Penn Foster's Medical Transcription course.

Most employers require years of exerience. HOWEVER, many will waive this requirement if you graduate from an AHDI 'approved' school.

AHDI is the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity - www.ahdionline.org (formerly known as the American Association for Medical Transcription). AHDI sets the standards for MT courses. Employers know that graduates of these 'approved' courses have gained the skills necessary to begin their career as an MT.

If your looking into Medical Transcription pay the extra in tuition to attend an 'approved' school. When I was researching school options, I called several MT employers. I spoke to their Human Resources departments and asked about getting started in the field. All of them recommended attending an AHDI approved program. Many people have received training through inadequate programs only to find out that they are unable to find a job.

I attended Career Step ( mteducationonline.com ) and recieved a job (at-home) less than a week after graduating. I've received several more job offers since, but have stuck with my original employer. It can be a difficult job, but I love it!

I recommend CS because they are partnered with MANY employers, self-paced (you can finish in a few months or take as long as over a year or two), and more affordable than the other top 2 courses. Plus, I have personal experience (and success) with the program.

Attending your local community college will give you a good chance at a job in-house, but if you are wanting to work from home, an online 'approved' course is the way to go.
Good luck!

mteducationonline.com
www.ahdionline.org
www.bls.gov/oco/ocos271.htm

Hi Billie,

ive been reading some of your posts regarding medical transcription & was wondering if you could tell me your thoughts on mt verses a career as a medical asst.

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Mollie in Portland, Oregon

15 months ago

Im at a point in my life where im looking for a new career, but also want to be realistic. - im not a great student, im 50 yrs old & its been years since ive been to school. I've heard that mt is almost as difficult as being a nurse or Dr because you have to know so much medical terminology, etc.. Kind of wondering if I should look at becoming a medical asst instead & just wanted to get your thoughts as you seem really knowledgable in this area... thanks- Andrea

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Dontbelieveit in Crazyhorse, Indiana

15 months ago

Mollie in Portland, Oregon said: Im at a point in my life where im looking for a new career, but also want to be realistic. - im not a great student, im 50 yrs old & its been years since ive been to school. I've heard that mt is almost as difficult as being a nurse or Dr because you have to know so much medical terminology, etc.. Kind of wondering if I should look at becoming a medical asst instead & just wanted to get your thoughts as you seem really knowledgable in this area... thanks- Andrea

Ever hear of EMR? Soon these jobs will be overseas...wait...they are.

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SimplyBillie in Kingman, Arizona

15 months ago

Mollie in Portland, Oregon said: Hi Billie,

ive been reading some of your posts regarding medical transcription & was wondering if you could tell me your thoughts on mt verses a career as a medical asst.

They are both entirely different careers, so it all depends on which one you are interested in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MT's get paid more on average, but the Medical Assistant career is expected to grow faster than the MT field.

And don't listen to those people (such as Dontbelieveit) who claim jobs are going overseas or being lost to voice recognition technology. There are still plenty of jobs available. In fact one employer claims the Medical Transcription field "is not only ALIVE – but SKYROCKETING!" Unfortunately, Indeed won't let me link to MT Job Boards here, but if you're interested in seeing for yourself email me at bcharmed 01 @ yahoo . com and I can send you links.

Best of luck in whatever you decide!

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marge b in Knoxville in Knoxville, Tennessee

11 months ago

I truly hope that those of you searching will listen to those of us who have been in the MT field for years and have definitely seen those jobs go away. You may look at some government or school statistics saying there will be lots of jobs but beware. That is not the case. Voice recognition and EMR replaced all of us who were doing work from home for a large cancer practice. I have a very small amount of work from my dermatology practice but that is because they are procrastinating at converting to EMR. They will be fined for not doing it but at this point, the fine is cheaper. Once that changes, they will be forced onto EMR and transcription will be gone. Also, a number of doctors are retiring. They are just not willing or able to spend the money to convert to this system. Two of my personal doctors who treat me are leaving the field. The others acknowledge that they just enter all the info into their little laptop that they bring into the exam room. They have let their transcriptionists go.

Please listen to those of us in the field before you waste your money on jobs that are going away. And yes many of them are still outsourced overseas. The field is NOT growing.

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MT GettingOut in Bellingham, Washington

8 months ago

I signed up just to post here and, hopefully, help those still considering medical transcription. When I started, transcription jobs were abundant; now, they are scarce and have been mostly replaced with "editing" jobs, which pay 3-4 cents per line. It takes an enormous amount of lines to make any kind of a paycheck. Additionally, the companies that hire editors also keep raising their accuracy standards to now just a hair under 100%. Now figure in a heavy amount of ESL doctors who are difficult to impossible to understand, speed talkers, mumblers, poor sound, and QA who often don't agree about punctuation rules, or trying to remember the specific account rules for possibly numerous accounts. The MT/ME must maintain high productivity while also keeping quality scores extremely high, which is stressful and difficult for most, and are still lucky to make minimum wage. This means being scrutinized & tested daily with the threat of termination hanging over their heads, even for tiny errors, and all for low pay, and this is after paying for schooling.

However, even if a person can handle this day in and day out, the workflow is dwindling as more and more facilities are going with point and click and/or templates and very little dictation (if any), which means less overall available work. Plus, on top of all this, big companies have offshored work to foreign countries.

Finally, please note 4 observations that, to me, show the proof is in the pudding:

1. My MT school, which was highly respected & ethical, has closed their transcription program, and so have the community colleges in my area.

2. One giant MT company has filed for bankruptcy (2014).

3. MT companies are moving a few MT/MEs into training to become coders, while many MT/MEs at same companies complain about no work.

4. New regulations (meaningful use)-check it out.

5. Seasoned MTs having difficulty finding work.

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Why I Left in Sabattus, Maine

8 months ago

Please do not waste your time, energy, and money on one of those MT schools. It pretty much doesn't exist as a profession now! Go read on MTStars to get an idea of the suffering being experienced by a huge majority of transcriptionists and editors. For all of their knowledge: medical terminology, disease processes, treatments, pharmacology, anatomy, English grammar and punctuation, being able to handle ESL docs and various accounts, and cost of education, the MT/MEs are paid really lousy and treated pretty horribly, too. Most will tell you that their work is NOT stable and paychecks have plummeted. Almost no one has had a raise in over a decade and almost all have had two-three pay cuts and also experienced huge gaps in workflow or very sketchy work. I personally know of MTs who've filed bankruptcy or lost their homes or are struggling to hang on as they're close to retirement or are actively searching for something else or are trying to finish up retraining or a college degree. This is a terrible field to get into, and if you see an online school telling you otherwise, do your own research and do not sign up. Most of those schools are not accredited or are for profit and will happily take your money. Just realize, that many transcription companies have folded and the largest company just filed bankruptcy.

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Amanda in Gardnerville, Nevada

4 months ago

Why are you looking to get into medical transcription? Is it for the work from home aspect? If it is solely because you want to work from home then here's what I would do- get training that also includes editing (I believe this is what the job is evolving to) from an AHDI approved school (AHDI is a medical transcription association). Then take the Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) exam through AHDI to have another credential on your resume. Then apply like crazy! Many career schools offer graduate assistance where they will help you find a job but please note that they can not guarantee you a job. Look at job boards now so you can get an idea of how many are out there and what credentials employers are looking for. bestmedicaltranscriptiontraining.com/medical-transcriptionist-jobs.html has a list of companies (some of which hire MTs from home) and AHDI also has job boards as a resource.

If you are just looking to get into the medical industry, there are other options like medical coding and billing which has been mentioned earlier. Medical coding and billing is mostly done in an office however there are a slim few that are from home. medicalcoderinfo.com/job-resources.html lists some companies that hire coders to work from home. For this career, I recommend getting training through an AHIMA approved school (a medical coding ad billing association) and also getting certified after you graduate. I recommend doing both coding and billing training since these jobs are so closely related. A lot of employers combine these into one job- coding and billing.

Other jobs that are rapidly growing are pharmacy technician, medical assistant, dental assistant, dental hygienist, medical records technician, vet tech, radiology tech, etc. You can learn more about those at www.healthservicecareers.com/

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