If you are considering entering the medical transcription field, you should probably start preparing yourself for industry standard credentialing right away. For the uninformed, the leading professional society of medical transcriptionists called the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), offers two types of credentials:

1. Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT)

2. Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT)

In this article, we will focus on the former (RMT) credential, but before we move any further into what and why's of it, it's important to understand why credentialing is important.

The AHDI lists several reasons why aspirants to the medical transcription profession should consider getting certified even though it is not a prerequisite for the job.

First, the job of a medical transcriptionist is highly interpretive in nature in that they have to understand complex medical language, clinical and diagnostic processes, as well as therapeutic care provided to patients and then put them into the right context based on doctor dictations.

Certification is one way to ensure that the candidates meet the quality benchmark for the job can be entrusted to perform it accurately.

Also, according to AHDI, the healthcare sector attaches a lot of value to degrees, credentials and professional designations and more and more employers are demonstrating a preference to hiring credentialed medical transcriptionists. In fact, many employers provide support to candidates preparing for the CMT/RMT exam and also offer reimbursement of the exam fee.

What does RMT certification involve?

The Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) certification is meant for MTs who:

· Have recently graduated from a medical transcriptionist program

· Have less than two years of experience in acute care

· Work in a single specialty healthcare environment

If you meet all the above criteria, you are eligible to take the RMT exam, which assesses a candidate's core knowledge and skills needed for practicing medical transcription. AHDI recommends that candidates review the RTM exam blueprint to assess their preparedness for the exam before taking it.

Those who successfully clear the credentialing exam are given the title of RMT, which is valid for three years. To renew their credential, candidates must pass an exam or complete AHDI's re-credentialing course for RMTs.

How to prepare for the RMT exam?

Ideally, the educational or training program you go through should provide you the core competencies and skills needed to clear the RMT exam. You can also download RMT exam sample questions from the AHDI website in addition to the exam blueprint.

Additionally, you can check to see whether your school offers RMT exam prep tuition. A structured program that guides you through the credentialing process and prepares you for the exam will provide just the right foundation for taking and clearing the RMT test.

Once you are credentialed, you will find it easier to access medical transcription opportunities as compared to non-certified rivals. You will also find that employers are that much more willing to offer you the flexibility to work from home; move you up the corporate ladder; and compensate you handsomely in recognition of the expertise you bring in as a credentialed professional.

What's life like for an RMT?

As an RMT, you will likely be working in hospitals, offices of physicians or companies that provide transcription services to clients.

Many medical transcriptionists are also self-employed and work from a home office, which makes this profession especially desirable for certain demographic profiles such as stay at home moms, people with physical disabilities, retired folk, full time students, etc.

Depending on your profile, you will spend most of your day listening to taped doctor dictations and converting them into written reports or reviewing and editing drafts of reports prepared by technologies such as speech recognition software.

Author's Bio: 

Nancy is a 35-year old stay at home mom of two. She worked as a medical assistant for five years before taking a break to be with her children. Her experience as a medical assistant gave her valuable insights in to the medical transcription industry, which she likes to share with others through her writing. Medical transcription training often finds mention in her writings. Being an SAHM, Nancy is a huge exponent of online vocational training programs that provide women like her the power to be their own boss.

Her other interests include gardening and baking. She stays with her husband and two daughters.