We’re in between houses right now. After a rather quick sale of our house, we realized that when buying and selling houses, people usually spend a period of time in which they either have two houses or no house. We had ended up having no house until less than a week before closing when we finally found a month-to-month, dog-friendly rental—talk about a needle in a haystack!
Now, it could be worse. We could be crammed into a motel room, paying some ridiculous amount to stay there, and have everything boxed away in storage. On the other hand, it could be better. The rental is smaller than our last house, so not everything fits. In fact, the carport and backyard deck make it look like the house threw-up a little. The fence has large holes in it, which means that even though the weather is feeling like winter, we have to stand outside while our thickly coated dog takes her time sniffing out every corner of the yard before deciding she doesn’t have to “go” after all. And then there’s the quirky little laundry situation of the washing machine being in the kitchen and the dryer being outside—normal for some folks, I’m sure, but not so much for me. This isn’t quite what I had pictured when I originally dreamt about venturing out into the city and finding a charming home. For whatever reason, my brain had not quite gotten a grasp of the reality that happens while making one’s way from point A to point B.
Perhaps that reason is because we often don’t mentally prepare ourselves for the steps in between. If we had, maybe we wouldn’t call it going from point A to point B to begin with; maybe we’d more realistically call it going from point A to point G, or some other letter further down the alphabet that wouldn’t imply a simple, single straight line. But what does this epiphany of mine have to do with medical transcription and editing?
As I lay in bed the other night, carefully listening to all the strange sounds of a different house, I started thinking about how sometimes we’re so excited about reaching our destination that we forget about the difficult journey it often takes to get there. Your graduating from Career Step’s MT/MTE program isn’t just a matter of signing up for the course and then passing the final exam any more than buying and selling houses is just a matter of signing some papers and then putting things where you want them. There’s this whole gap in between and sometimes, when things aren’t moving as quickly as we’d hoped or we hit a spot we don’t particularly care for or everything that could go wrong seemingly does, we feel stuck and discouraged and find ourselves wanting to quit. When that time comes, resist the urge. Instead, prepare yourself ahead of time for tough spots along the way so that you can tackle them head-on and with great oomph. Jot down some solutions to anticipated problems and keep it handy so that when the time comes, you aren’t at a loss of what to do.
For example, jumping into the practicum portion of the course can cause some worries as students realize doctors tend to dictate much the same way they write. Forum posts from other students and tips found in the course suggest gathering a few great online resources for researching terminology, periodically reviewing the points covered in the Transcription Webinar, and spending a bit of time on the forum to seek out encouragement from others.
Another problem you might encounter is transcribing a word or phrase you’re sure was dictated even though the comparison text doesn’t agree with you. Even after listening to it multiple times, you still can’t hear anything except what you had already transcribed. Instead of determining you’re correct and the comparison text is wrong or that you’ll just never be cut out for transcription and editing, take a few minutes to search the forum for comments on the same report or to post to see what others heard. You might be surprised at how motivating it can be to connect with those who have made the same errors or had the same feelings but are now taking the final exam or are even employed.
Whatever potholes and speed bumps you encounter as you go from point A to point B or even to point G, be resolved to not even entertain the idea of quitting because the problem with quitting is that, while you’ve taken a short journey, you haven’t reached your destination. Don’t stop before you get there.