Any educational program in medical transcription should provide basic knowledge and skills required for transcribing healthcare dictation. The program’s aim should be to prepare a student for entry-level employment as a medical transcriptionist in the industry. It is recommended that the training program should ideally be based on ‘The Model Curriculum for Medical Transcription, 2nd edition, published by AAMT’ that specifies the below-mentioned requisites for a successful training program. These include: a minimum of 400 hours of theory classes & 600 hours of practical sessions with live dictation – a total of 1000 hours and should be delivered in regular batches over a period of six months. The important heads to be covered in the syllabus are:
1. English Language and its applied usage, which should cover correct English usage, rules of grammar, punctuation, and using correct spelling and sentence structure.
2. Medical Knowledge:
a. Understand medical terminology related to anatomy, physiology, general medicine, general surgery, medical specialties, surgical specialties, diagnostic and interventional procedures, pathology and laboratory medicine, health and wellness, imaging techniques, medications, and alternative or complementary medicine.
Medical language and its structure including prefixes, suffixes, combining forms, root words, plurals, abbreviations, acronyms, eponyms, homonyms, antonyms, synonyms, and commonly used phrases.
b. Anatomy and Physiology – Essentials of human anatomy and physiology.
c. Pharmacology and Laboratory Medicine
d. Common tests used in pathology and laboratory medicine, including diagnostic indications, techniques, expression of values, and significance of findings.
e. Recognize, pronounce, spell, define, and understand pharmacological terminology.
f. Drug classifications, indications, contraindications, actions, interactions, side effects, forms, dosages, and routes of administration.
g. Disease Processes, their etiology and pathology.
h. Clinical medicine, including diagnosis and treatment of common diseases and conditions.
i. Advanced Medical Language-surgical procedures and other diagnostic and interventional treatment modalities, including anesthesia types and techniques, surgical techniques, equipment, instruments, and accessories, as well as typical findings and related diagnoses.
j. Procedures, techniques, and findings in diagnostic and interventional imaging.
3. Computer skills and technology:
a. Word processing, computers, dictation and transcription equipment, and related technologies.
b. Operate designated dictation and transcription equipment and use designated word processing programs and related technologies.
c. Trends and developments in technologies related to healthcare documentation.
d. Use of electronic references and other resources for research and practice.
4. Healthcare Documentation:
a. Healthcare Records - the purpose and content of the healthcare record (paper and electronic).
b. The content and format of healthcare documents (paper and electronic).
c. Knowledge of standards and regulations related to healthcare documentation as set by US healthcare authorities.
d. Medicolegal Concepts and Ethics-the medicolegal aspects of the healthcare record (e.g., confidentiality, privacy) and the medical transcriptionist's role in risk management.
e. Understanding and application of ethics in the medical transcription profession.
5. Professional Practice:
a. Fundamentals of Medical Transcription
b. Demonstrate the ability to proofread and correct transcribed healthcare documents.
c. Recognize, evaluate, and interpret inconsistencies, discrepancies, and inaccuracies in healthcare dictation and appropriately edit, revise, and clarify them while transcribing, without altering the meaning of the dictation or changing the author's style.
d. Meet progressively demanding medical transcription accuracy and productivity standards.
e. Demonstrate an awareness of the functions, operations, and dynamics of medical transcription work environments.
f. Demonstrate professionalism in the workplace.
g. Demonstrate an awareness of the opportunities in medical transcription and related careers and the importance of professional development.