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Guide to Medical Transcription Certification

medical transcription certification

If you’re interested in a career as a transcriptionist, you should consider getting your medical transcription certification.

In today’s sluggish economy, the competition for healthcare jobs is fierce, and transcriptionists in the early stages of their career must have training from the best possible sources. Getting credentialed as a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) or a Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) can lead to better-paying job opportunities, and more confidence in your professional abilities.

In this article we will look at the different types of medical transcription certification, how to get and maintain your certification and what to expect when taking your exam.

Medical Transcription Certification

There are two major certification examinations for medical transcriptionist that are offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Completion of the requirements and exams will mean one is can be titled either a RMT or as a CMT. The credentials you receive are dependent on which exam you took and how many years of experience you have.

To pursue medical transcription certification, candidates should already have some degree of experience with transcription. It will also help if they already have obtained RMT certification. Generally speaking, those that have CMT certification are considered to be more experienced and skilled than those that only have the entry-level RMT certification, and as a result, fetch more lucrative employment in the field. It is also important to carefully consider the institution from which candidates receive education and training to help them pass the CMT exam.

Certification Exam

medical transcriptionist certificationThe examination to receive medical transcription certification consists of 120 questions. There are several sections that include multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and hands-on transcription against audio problems. Before taking the test, candidates will need to submit proof of their eligibility to the Association for Healthcare Documentation and Integrity, or AHDI, along with a $10 eligibility fee.

From there, candidates have several options regarding the process and cost of taking the test itself. These options vary depending on whether they take the exam online or on site, and whether or not they are currently members of the AHDI.

Receiving your certification is an accomplishment that will accelerate the career of anyone in the healthcare field and can lead them to a wider array of opportunities to help them not only sustain a sufficient income, but take pride in the fact that they are making a great contribution to helping people that are facing difficult medical problems or ailments.

What is Covered on the Certification Exam?

As mentioned previously there are two different types of certification – RMT and CMT. As one would guess that means there are two different exams for these certifications. So let’s look at the differences.

RMT Exam

The Registered Medical Transcriptionist exam tests one’s core knowledge upon the completion of his or her training program. This is an entry-level exam taken by people with less than 2 years experience, and it will assess the skills and core knowledge you acquired during your training. The RMT exam will cover a number of topics that you studied during either a campus training program or online training including:

  • Health Information
  • English Grammar and Language
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Disease Processes

CMT Exam

RMT and CMT medical transcriptionMedical transcriptionists with a few more years under their belt may aspire to a higher medical transcription certification known as the CMT.

Much like the RMT those seeking to become a CMT will do some through an exam. The biggest difference though is that the exam is much more in-depth than the RMT.

The written/multiple choice section of the exam will cover subjects such as:

  • Medical Terminology
  • English Language, Grammar and Usage
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Diseases
  • Healthcare Recording
  • Professional Development

The practical or hands-on section of the exam will feature roughly 15 minutes of dictation with a wide variety of specialty areas and report types. Needless to say that those with solid work experience and honed listening skills will most likely do better on this part of the exam.

Maintaining Your Certification

Your certification is valid for three years and during that time you must complete at least 30 hours of continuing educational credits (CEC). These can be earned in a number of ways such as through the AHDI workshops and meetings as well as some extra classes from your training center. It should not be that hard to keep your certification current.

As a medical transcriptionist getting your certification is something you should seriously consider. Not only is there a possibility of more job opportunities and higher pay, but also you are showing pride in your profession. Medical transcription certification could be one of the most important things you do for your career.

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