Medical Transcriptionist Training

Why Penn Foster?

  • Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Medical Transcriptionist Program Overview

Begin your career as a Medical Transcriptionist in as little as four months. Penn Foster will help you train at home or on the go, and at a pace that’s right for you. This accredited Medical Transcriptionist training program provides everything you’ll need to prepare for a better career—including transcription software and foot pedal, and Medisoft® software. You can even earn college credit toward selected courses at Penn Foster College

Curriculum Details

Course 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
HIT100 Introduction to Allied Health

This course gives an introduction to health care, the health information management industry, and the role that health information technicians play in that industry.

Objectives:

  • Describe reimbursement systems and the role health information management technicians play in reimbursement.
  • Describe how technology is used in health information management.
  • Discuss different professional organizations and certifications for health information management technicians.
  • Explain the different roles, opportunities, and settings for health information management technicians.

Course 2

BUS090 Office Procedures

This course is designed to help you develop professional relationships in the workplace and professionally administer and manage office communications and procedures, and provides a review of basic math operations.

Objectives:

  • Understand and explain the components of communication, both verbal and nonverbal.
  • Develop effective listening and observation skills.
  • Recognize prejudice in interpersonal relations.
  • Describe personal traits essential for successful interpersonal relations.
  • Understand important aspects of good human relations.
  • Professionally answer and place telephone calls within an office.
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and email.
  • Analyze where your time is spent and identify common time wasters.
  • Calculate discounts and series discounts.
  • Calculate cash discounts and shipping charges.
  • Change decimals and fractions to percentages and vice versa.
  • Use a calculator to solve or check math problems.

Course 3

ALH028 Law, Ethics, and Confidentiality

In this course, you’ll learn how law affects medical offices, the origin of law that affects medical professionals, the basics of the process of litigation and its alternatives, the common-law basis for the confidentiality of health-care information, and the laws regulating health-care information collected and maintained by government agencies.

Objectives:

  • Describe civil and criminal law, sources of law, and the steps of litigation.
  • Distinguish between liability, negligence, and malpractice and explain how they relate to medical assistants.
  • Explain defenses against medical malpractice and against criminal charges.
  • Identify the various ethical issues that health-care professionals face.
  • Explain the uses and content of medical records.
  • Describe the legal significance of confidentiality obligations.
  • Explain the core concepts of HIPAA’s final Privacy Rule.
  • Summarize the role of peer review in confidentiality issues.
  • Describe confidentiality and security issues related to electronic medical records.

Course 4

CSC102 Word™ and Excel®

This course will help you get used to the computer by walking you through the first steps of using your PC. You’ll learn the many ways that Windows® can help you complete your daily tasks, the vast world of information that exists on the Internet, how to use Microsoft® Word™ 2010 to create, edit, and illustrate documents, and how to use the most widely used spreadsheet program, Microsoft® Excel.®

Objectives:

  • Set up a computer system.
  • Navigate in the Windows® environment.
  • Consult on-screen Help for answers to questions.
  • Use the programs contained in the Windows® Accessories and the System Tools for Windows.®
  • Customize your computer display and input devices to suit your preferences.
  • Create notes, documents, and drawings using Windows® Accessories.
  • Locate a file, open a recently used document, and retrieve a file that has been recently deleted.
  • View and organize files and folders on your local disk.
  • Use search engines and email.
  • Identify the best Internet providers and services for your needs.
  • Upload and download files from the Internet.
  • Create, edit, format, and merge Word™ documents.
  • Add graphics and tables.
  • Use the basic elements of Microsoft® Excel.®
  • Add, delete, and sort data.
  • Create and use formulas, charts, and graphs.
Project: Microsoft® Word™

This project gives you a chance to use your Word™ skills. Create four promotional documents for a company’s training event: a cover letter introducing the company, a facts sheet highlighting product features, a flier promoting the event, and a registration form.

Project: Microsoft® Excel®

This project gives you the chance to use your Excel® skills. Create a simple worksheet to calculate the cost of office supplies, and track their increase or decrease in cost over a two-month period. Graph the results.

Course 5

ENG010 Business English

In this course you’ll learn the skills you need to become more confident in your writing.

Objectives:    

  • Know the parts of speech.
  • Use pronouns and modifiers properly and effectively.
  • Explain subject-verb agreement.
  • Use end marks, commas, and other common punctuation marks.
  • Use capitalization correctly.
  • Explain common spelling rules and use them in your writing.
  • Cite research sources.
  • Compose a variety of sentence structures.
  • Construct unified, coherent paragraphs.
  • Connect paragraphs to build a well-organized, logical document.
  • Identify your audience, medium, and purpose.
  • Focus and organize your ideas.
  • Plan both informal and formal writing projects.
  • Revise, edit, and proofread to make your final copy accurate and professional.
  • Write well-structured, professional letters.
  • Format business letters, memos, and emails.

Course 6

ALH016 Body Systems Terminology 1

In this course, you’ll become familiar with the medical terms that you'll hear on a daily basis in your new career, examine the organization of body systems, and examine the cardiovascular system, blood, the respiratory system, and the digestive system.

Objectives:

  • Explain how root words (and their combining forms), prefixes, and suffixes function in medical terms.
  • Define many of the most common roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
  • Determine the meaning of a given medical term by analyzing its parts.
  • Identify the anatomical position and directional terms, as well as the three planes, four quadrants, and nine regions of the body.
  • Describe the body sciences of nutrition and homeostasis.
  • List types of pathogens, outline the chain of infection, and suggest methods to break the chain of infection.
  • Analyze the concept of immunity and differentiate between natural and acquired immunity.
  • Describe the organization and formation of the human body from cells to body systems.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the integumentary system and musculoskeletal system.
  • List diseases of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to cellular anatomy, the integumentary system, and the musculoskeletal system.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • List diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.

Course 7

ALH017 Body Systems Terminology 2

In this course, you’ll examine the sensory organs, nervous system, endocrine system, excretory system, reproductive system, and immune system. You’ll also take a closer look at oncology, radiology, surgery, pathology, and genetics.

Objectives:

  • Explain the anatomy and function of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • List diseases of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • List diseases of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Differentiate between tumor types and explain how cancer develops.
  • Classify cancers and describe the major methods of cancer treatment.
  • Identify radiographic procedures and outline the types and uses of nuclear medicine tests.
  • Summarize surgical methods and pathological processes.
  • Describe the application of genetics to the study of diseases.

Course 8

ALH021 Basic Pharmacology

This course describes health-care professionals who are licensed to prescribe medications for the treatment of disease and illness, reference material most often used by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and pharmaceuticals that are designed to alleviate or repair any sort of malfunction in the body.

Objectives:

  • Define the medical specialties presented in this course, the conditions that each treats, and some of the drugs prescribed.
  • Identify health-care providers other than physicians who are licensed to prescribe drugs, the types of drugs that each prescribes, and the condition for which each type of drug is prescribed.
  • Name five prominent health-care professionals who aren’t licensed to write prescriptions.
  • Explain the main types of reference information and their sources.
  • Discuss various delivery methods of drug information available to pharmacists and technicians.
  • List various drug information sources that may be required by law to be present in a pharmacy.
  • Identify various journals and newsletters available to pharmacists and technicians.
  • Describe the most referenced sources of drug information used in pharmacy practice.
  • Discuss pharmacology basics.
  • List the four types of drug names, several major drug references, and the two agencies of drug regulation and enforcement.
  • Describe the routes and forms of drug administration.
  • Define drug action and effect, and explain the effect of drugs according to specific classifications.
  • Calculate basic pharmacology mathematics and dosages.
  • Identify medications related to different body systems.

Course 9

HIT207 Medical Transcription 1

In this course, you’ll get started with your transcription work by learning how to use the foot pedal and software provided with the unit.

Objectives:

  • Operate the transcription hardware and software provided with the unit.
  • Identify the types of medical reports you will be transcribing.
  • Transcribe without editing.
  • Proofread your reports after you’re finished and correct any errors.
  • Flag material, if needed.
  • Identify various types of transcription reports.
  • Transcribe reports related to the fields of dermatology, otorhinolaryngology, and ophthalmology.
  • Transcribe reports related to the fields of pulmonary medicine, cardiology, hematology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, urology, nephrology, obstetrics, and gynecology.
  • Transcribe reports related to the fields of orthopedics, neurology, psychiatry, pathology, and radiology.
Additional Course Materials

Textbooks:

  • Medical Transcription Fundamentals and Practice
  • Medical Dictionary

Equipment: Foot pedal

Software: Transcription software

Supplement: HIV/AIDS Awareness

Course 10

HIT208 Medical Transcription 2

In this course, you’ll continue to work on your transcription knowledge and skills. p>

Objectives:

  • Review important topics such as capitalization, punctuation, and report formatting.
  • Take a deeper look at some of the medical specialties covered in Medical Transcription 1.
  • Strive for greater speed with continued accuracy.
  • Learn the abbreviations, terminology, and special transcription tips and considerations for pathology, hematology, and infectious diseases.
  • Learn the abbreviations, terminology, and special transcription tips and considerations for diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology.
  • Learn the abbreviations, terminology, and special transcription tips and considerations for obstetrics and gynecology.
  • Learn the abbreviations, terminology, and special transcription tips and considerations for pediatrics and neonatology.
  • Learn the abbreviations, terminology, and special transcription tips and considerations for medical specialties including gastroenterology, urology/nephrology, orthopedics, otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology, oncology, psychiatry, neurology/neurosurgery, respiratory/pulmonary medicine, and dentistry and oral surgery.

Course 11

HIT130 Electronic Medical Records

This course is designed to help you understand the reimbursement process and the various methodologies involved. You’ll be introduced to billing cycles and how health information technology is used in medical offices, and learn about basic accounting transaction terminology and apply this information to enter patient charges and payments.

Objectives:

  • Describe prepaid health plans and commercial insurance plans.
  • Identify characteristics of retrospective and prospective payment systems.
  • Discuss the different government sponsored health-care programs.
  • Explain how managed care works.
  • Describe fee-for-service and episode-of-care reimbursement methodologies.
  • Outline the Medicare acute care prospective payment system.
  • Describe the Medicare skilled-nursing facility prospective payment system.
  • Discuss the different outpatient prospective payment systems. Review the medical billing cycle.
  • Explain how computers are used for medical billing.
  • Use Medisoft® software to perform medical office procedures.
  • Perform charge and payment transactions for patient services.
  • Post payments.
  • Create standard reports, collection letters, and reminders.
  • Set up patient appointments, input office hours, and create schedules.
Projects

You will complete five hands-on projects using electronic medical software.

Additional Course Materials

Textbook: Computers in the Medical Office

Software: Medisoft®


Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 7 or later, Microsoft® Office 2013, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Transfer Credits & Graduate Sooner!

Students can receive advanced academic credit for Business English and Microsoft® Word and Excel within this program. Learn more about our transfer credit policy.

Sample Lesson

To view a Medical Transcriptionist sample lesson, click here.

Medical Transcriptionist Program Details and State Requirements

Your medical transcription training will teach you how to produce medical reports and documents, discharge summaries, history and physical examination reports, operative and autopsy reports, diagnostic imaging studies, and more.

The AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity - formerly AAMT) offers a voluntary, two-part examination to individuals who wish to become certified medical transcriptionists. Three to five years of experience is required before taking the exam. Certification is not required to work in this field; however, becoming certified shows that you have a high degree of competency and the skills needed to work in today's health-care environment.

Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements. These requirements vary from state to state.

¹ Additional testing may be required to receive credit.

Here are a few qualities that competent medical transcriptionists have in common:

  • Organized: Transcribers need to keep confidential health information in the right places.
  • Dependable: Doctors and other professionals rely on you to send them the right information on time.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Attentive: You pay close attention to others and quickly understand discussions.
  • Communicative: You can interpret information from reading and listening so it is easily understood.

Penn Foster is a great place to learn. The instructors are only a phone call away if you need any help. They are friendly and eager to assist. It is a truly great way to get an education. I even met a few new friends online who were taking the same program that I was. We were able to help each other when needed. I plan on taking another program from Penn Foster.

- Karen M., Medical Transcriptionist Graduate

If you can spare a few minutes a day to study, and have the focus, anything is possible. I was able to do it with no problem, with a preschooler at home. The program is so easy to follow, and the staff and instructors are always available to help. Never think because it isn't a traditional school setting that you're alone!

- Amanda F., Medical Transcriptionist Graduate

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Graduate debt free with 0% interest
  • Books, learning aids, transcription software and foot pedal, and Medisoft® software included
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our world-class faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online campus, plus immediate membership in the Medical Transcriptionist academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Does Penn Foster prepare students to sit for any Medical Transcriptionist exams or receive any certifications? Are students fully prepared for these exams?

The AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity - formerly AAMT) offers a voluntary, two-part examination to individuals who wish to become certified medical transcriptionists. Three to five years of experience is required before taking the exam. Note that certification is not required to work in the transcription field.

Are you prepared to immediately start work as a Medical Transcriptionist upon completion of the program?

Yes. Penn Foster provides you with the skills necessary to start work as a Medical Transcriptionist. Note that many places require hands-on experience, so employment is not guaranteed. You will be prepared to work in a doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.

Can I transfer previously earned credits to the Penn Foster Medical Transcriptionist Career Diploma program?

Yes, you can receive advanced academic credit for some courses within the program, which means you can move through your curriculum faster and earn your certificate or diploma sooner. Learn more about our transfer credit policy.

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