Graduate Review: Susan Speight
My name is Sue and I live in Colorado. I was born in Provo, Utah, have three grown children, and four grandchildren. I grew up with four brothers and no sisters and lived many different places in the western United States. I enjoy traveling by car, art, doing genealogy, and spending time with family. I almost have a two-year degree, and I had a short career as an interpreter for the deaf in school settings.
Over 30 years ago, I experienced my first job at transcription. In an orthodontic office, I typed letters previously recorded on a tape recorder that I worked with my hands. There was no foot pedal, no headphones, and I typed on an electric typewriter. At least it was past the days of carbon paper between sheets in the typewriter for copies.
Technology has come a long way since then and so have I. My next job was for a physical therapy department at a hospital. I used a computer and foot pedal and I did it from home. The tapes and paper documents were physically taken back and forth between my home and the hospital. Fortunately, it was only a couple blocks away.
My next job was again for physical therapy at another hospital. I eventually did it from home and did some transcribing for family doctors at a clinic connected to the hospital. By this time I realized a great benefit of this job. I was receiving an education in the subjects I was transcribing. Although it is not a formal education, you cannot help picking up a lot of information from the dictations.
Some time went by with raising kids and general life experiences. It became time to think about going back to work. I was determined to make it worth my time as far as salary. This meant, even though I had experience in medical transcription, I needed some formal education in the field to compete for jobs.
After more time and research, I decided to do Career Step online. To this day I feel it is the best training for online education. I naively thought I could complete this by around six months. I think I had the ability to, but life has a way of interfering—kids needing help, my own significant health issues, and waning motivation. My husband never gave up on me, even when I doubted myself. For six years I slugged my way through whatever interference I faced and kept going, one document at a time.
Then I got word that Career Step was changing versions of its program, which meant that you had to be done by a certain date or start over with the new version. I was close at this time to finishing so I pushed hard to finish. I was very tense about taking the tests, but I got set up for them.
I had to take all three tests to pass; the last test I passed was done with an ear infection. I passed the last test just a few days before the deadline and missed honors by just one percent. I was so relieved to pass. I jumped in and started applying. I got some rejections and some that didn’t answer back. I put resumes in at a few places here in our small town. I was kind of giving up but keeping my “ears” open.
One day a friend of mine told me about an opening for a medical transcriptionist here in town, so I applied online. I also went there and applied in person. It never hurts to cover all fronts. A few weeks went by and I got a call for an interview. I felt it went well even though I know nothing about spreadsheets on computers. I just did my best. They said they would let me know, as they had other applicants. Another few weeks went by and I started to think they had asked one of the other applicants.
I got another call, this time to fill out some information online. I called them back to tell them I had just completed it and they offered me the job. How do you feel when a moment you worked over six years for is standing right in front of you in full bloom? It is a surreal and elating moment.
I now have an office. I share it with another transcriptionist who does a lot of her work from her home and is only in the office part of the time. She also graduated from Career Step, about seven years ago. Maybe someday I will work from home too, but for now I like going to work there. The other employees are nice and seem to like working there too. It is a wonderful place to work. Employees are treated well and everyone seems to work hard.
I transcribe mostly for one doctor but have done a little bit for three other doctors. I work for a mental health facility, privately owned. It is a great place to be. I enjoy going to work every day. I am also learning much about a new field of medicine that I find very interesting. This job is so tailor-made for me that I believe it was not just coincidence that I have this job at this time. It really is my dream job.
- Susan Speight