Complete your online Medical Transcriptionist training online program in as little as nine months. Penn Foster Career School can help you train at home or on the go, and at a pace that's right for you. The Penn Foster Career School Medical Transcriptionist training program can help you take the first step towards a new career, and includes access to dictation and editing exercises. You can even earn college credit toward selected courses at Penn Foster College, which is licensed in Arizona.¹
With Penn Foster Career School, you can develop skills using online simulations, and learn about speech recognition software and its impact on the medical transcription industry.
Program Goal and Outcomes
To prepare students for an entry-level career in medical transcription.
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Transcribe and interpret dictation into diagnostic test results, operative reports, referral letters, and other documents
- Review and edit drafts prepared by speech recognition software, ensuring that the transcription is correct, complete, and has a consistent style
- Translate medical abbreviations and jargon into the appropriate long form
- Identify inconsistencies, errors, and missing information within a report that could compromise patient care
- Follow up with the healthcare provider to ensure the accuracy of the reports
- Submit health records for physicians to approve
- Follow patient confidentiality guidelines and legal documentation requirements
- Enter medical reports into electronic health records systems
- Perform quality improvement audits
Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.
- Understand how to use your Student Portal.
- Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
- Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
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.
- 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.
Law, Ethics, and Confidentiality in Allied Health
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.
- 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.
Medical Billing and Health Insurance
This course introduces the reimbursement process and the various methodologies involved, such as fee for-service and episode-of-care methodologies. The course also covers important information regarding payment systems, fee schedules, charge masters, coding, and the internal audit process. Finally, the course explains the fundamentals and types of health insurance.
- Describe the history of health care reimbursement
- Describe fee-for-service reimbursement methodologies
- Define 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
- Describe the electronic data interchange process
- Name the latest changes in health care reimbursement
- Explain the management of fee schedules, charge masters, and coding
- Describe the internal audit process
- Outline characteristics of a coding compliance program
- Discuss your role as a health information professional in health care reimbursement
- Define prepaid health plans
- Identify characteristics of retrospective and prospective payment systems
- Describe commercial insurance plans
- Outline the history of Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans
- Discuss the different government-sponsored health care programs
- Explain how managed care works
Medical 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.
- 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.
Body Systems and Medical 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.
- 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.
Body Systems and Medical Terminology 2
In this course, you’ll examine the sensory organs, nervous system, endocrine system, excretory system, reproductive system, and immune and lymphatic systems. You’ll also take a closer look at oncology, radiology, surgery, pathology, and genetics.
- 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.
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.
- Discuss the history of electronic health records
- Perform administrative health information management functions
- Build an electronic health record
- Enter information into an electronic health record
- Utilize templates to increase productivity
Additional Course Materials
Project: Electronic Medical Records
Textbook: The Electronic Health Record for the Physician's Office with SimChart for the Medical Office
Pathology and 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.
- 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.
Medical Transcription 1
In this course, you will be introduced to the medical transcription field and learn how to transcribe and edit a variety of reports.
- 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.
- Explain healthcare documentation fundamentals.
- Define ethics and professionalism and explain their importance in a medical work environment.
- Explain the use of speech recognition software in the medical transcription field.
- Identify important style guide structure and layout considerations for transcription reports.
- Understand common terminology, abbreviations, acronyms, and eponyms used when transcribing.
- Identify and format different types of transcription reports for a variety of specialties.
- Transcribe reports related to the fields of dermatology, family and internal medicine, and ophthalmology.
- Transcribe reports related to the fields of pulmonary medicine, cardiology, hematology, gastroenterology, urology, nephrology, obstetrics, and gynecology.
- Transcribe reports related to the fields of orthopedics, neurology, psychiatry, pathology, and diagnostic imaging.
- Reference complicated medical transcription topics and information.
Additional Course Materials
Textbook: Healthcare Documentation: Fundamentals and Practice
Learning Aid: Medical Transcription Practice Dictation Files
Medical Transcription 2
In this course, you will use online simulations to continue practicing how to transcribe and edit a variety of medical and business documents and reports.
- Examine the tools that medical transcriptionists use.
- Learn the process of proofreading, making corrections, and conducting quality assurance.
- Proofread and edit transcribed documents for correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, and formats.
- Transcribe numbers, figures, and abbreviations.
- Prepare various types of transcribed medical documents and reports, such as outpatient medical chart notes, daily progress notes, history and physical examination reports, discharge summaries, operative reports, consultation reports, pathology reports, radiology and imaging reports, autopsy reports, medico-legal reports, pathology reports, and psychiatric reports.
- Compose medical letters and business documents, such as emails, memos, agendas, minutes, and policies.
- Examine legal and ethical issues associated with medical transcription.
- Use reference materials to look up correct medical spelling, the correct spelling of medications or drugs, and the correct dictation of laboratory terms and values.
- Contemplate and plan a career as a medical transcriptionist.
Additional Course Materials
Textbook: Medical Transcription: Techniques and Procedures
Simulations: Online Medical Transcription Simulations
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.
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.
To view a Medical Transcriptionist sample lesson, click here.
Medical Transcriptionist Program Details and State Requirements
In the Penn Foster Career School Medical Transcriptionist online training program you'll cover topics such as:
- 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 for 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 relevant skills for 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.
State Licensing Information
Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.