How to Prepare in Advance for a Medical Transcription Certification Exam

Medical TranscriptionCareer AdviceNo Comments

testing girlOnce you’ve finished your medical transcription training program, a great way to help your resume stand out is to get certified. There are two types of voluntary credentials offered by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), which is the leading medical transcription industry association: Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). The RHDS is intended for those who are new to the medical transcription field, and the CHDS is for more experienced medical transcriptionists. As a new medical transcriptionist, you will be more qualified for the RHDS credential, so we’ve collected a few tips to help you prepare for your RHDS medical transcription certification exam well in advance.

RHDS Credential
The RHDS exam is meant for new medical transcription graduates.  It is a 103-question test that contains both multiple-choice questions and fill-in-the-blank audio transcriptions. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will be awarded a certificate displaying the validity of your credential.

Graduates of Career Step’s online medical transcription training and medical transcription editor training receive a free certification exam voucher for the RHDS exam upon graduation. Graduates generally report that they are well prepared for this exam and are able to earn this industry credential.

Proper Training
The first step toward taking the RHDS exam is to enroll in a medical transcription training program. A good training program should include education on medical transcription necessities like medical terminology, grammar and punctuation, anatomy, pharmacology, and many other important subjects. The medical transcription program offered at Career Step is AHDI approved and covers all of these topics and more, ensuring you will be well prepared for the certification process.

Create a Schedule
Proper preparation for any exam requires dedication and self discipline. Set aside a time every day just for studying, and don’t let yourself be disturbed or distracted. Do your best to use this time effectively, and try not to let yourself be interrupted. Many people find that studying early in the morning or late at night can help minimize potential distractions, allowing them to focus more completely on preparation.

Study Materials
AHDI has released a Credentialing Candidate Guide that provides exam blueprints, information on exam prep resources, study materials, and answers to frequently asked questions for the certification exam. AHDI also provides a number of self-assessment products that can help candidates evaluate whether or not they are ready to take the exam. Although not the real thing, practice exams can give you a very good idea of what to expect from the test. You can buy these online on the AHDI website.

It is important to note that while holding the RHDS credential will help you stand out to prospective employers, it is not a prerequisite to finding a job as a medical transcriptionist. Most medical transcriptionists choose to work for a few years, gain some real world experience, and then take the CHDS certification exam (the one meant for those with a few years of experience) when they feel that they’re ready to move on to a managerial position. The decision is yours. Move at whatever pace you feel most comfortable with and best of luck in your medical transcription career!


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  1. Elaine DeVore January 28, 2015

    Very helpful information! Cleared up a few questions that I had.

  2. Career Step January 29, 2015

    Glad we could help, Elaine! =)

  3. Carolina Maine February 04, 2015

    I am just beginning the transcription portion of the program (after a long break) and I am happy to learn that we have a RHDS voucher. I am super excited about that-actually! I cannot wait to finish up by June 28. I do have a question though:

    Can we purchase the AHDI style guide and other resources as AHDI members while Career Step students?

    Thanks!

  4. Career Step February 04, 2015

    Hi Carolina,

    We have good news and bad news for you.

    After looking at your account, yes, your enrollment did include an AHDI membership. So you will be able to purchase the AHDI Style Guide and other resources as an AHDI member. It looks like your membership will expire in late March though, so you’ll want to take advantage of that benefit sooner rather than later.

    Unfortunately, your Career Step enrollment did not include a free voucher for the RHDS exam. =( We added the vouchers to all courses in April of 2014, and as you enrolled in February your enrollment did not include that voucher. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

    Best wishes as you’re working toward graduation! Please be sure to let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.


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