History of Career Step’s Medical Transcription Course

Medical TranscriptionNo Comments

I love to learn things. I have a wealth of knowledge about the most random topics, whether it is renovating a house, the cutest puppies in the world, the dirtiest jobs in the country, or the history of bananas.  Of the knowledge I’ve acquired, I think history is especially fascinating to me because it plays such an important role in our lives. If we know history, we can learn from it and implement strategies to improve.  Career Step’s Medical Transcription program has a fascinating history! I wanted to take some time today to peel back the curtain and give you a look at the history of our medical transcription program, the advancements that have occurred, and what the future holds. Let’s dive in.

What’s the Internet?

When Career Step’s Medical Transcription course launched in 1992, it was a text-based correspondence course. (Internet? What the heck is that?) All of the materials were shipped in hard-copy form, including the audio files. They came on cassette tapes and required use of a transcription machine, or your trusty cassette tape player like a Walkman or this beauty:

cassette player

This method required great coordination to be able to reach over, press play, then quickly get your hands back to the keyboard to type your report in a word document.  If you were lucky enough to track down a transcription machine (pictured below), you felt pretty good about yourself because some of them came with a foot pedal and you didn’t have to worry about your hands leaving the keyboard after you got the cassette tape loaded.

transcription machine

At that time, Career Step had virtually no student support team and no way to connect with other students. As it was correspondence/ independent study, you would simply complete your work in your text books, check your answers in the back of the book, then fill in your paper completion record. You had to make sure you didn’t lose that document or you’d have to request that a new one be mailed to you and you’d have to fill it all out again.  Once you got to the audio files, there was no way to score them. You would just transcribe the report, read the key in the key book and try to visually compare the reports as best you could, then fill in the completion record with the date you finished that report. Once everything in the course was completed, you would mail your completion record back to Career Step and the skills assessment advisor would verify they received it and would mail you the final exam—including a cassette tape of the audio files for it. You would then have to take the exam and mail everything back—including the cassette tape. A lot of snail mail correspondence! While this course method was effective at the time and the technology was up to date with the processes, we knew we could do better and be cutting edge—after all, Career Step was (and still is) all about quality innovation.

Beam me up, Scotty!

Fast forward several years. Career Step created their first online version of the medical transcription course in the early 2000s. With it, a whole new world of possibilities to provide better, more engaging content and to connect with our students was opened. We never looked back! With a full-featured (but small) student support team, students could start getting help with course questions, pep-talks, personalized study plans, and final exam consultations.  We also created our student and graduate forums so that our students and graduates could connect with one another.  We saw great study groups form and the exchange of experiences occur. Doing an online course (a fairly new construct in the early 2000s) was no longer a lonely experience and we saw our students really thrive. 

The future is now!

Fast forward again. What started as a one-trick pony has evolved into a full-fledged education provider with over 15 programs in the healthcare, administration, and technology fields. We’ve come far from our roots, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgot where we came from and what is important. We are in the business of providing quality education to change lives. We will continue to apply innovative technologies to develop rich and engaging on-demand programs. We are passionate about what we do and we look forward to helping you passionately achieve your goals as well.


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