Student Spotlight: Johnnette Gillespie

Hi there.  I’m Johnnette, a Career Step MTE student, who’s about 50% through Editing Clinic Notes.  I began my investigation of the MTE industry in 2008 after a job loss and I enrolled with Career Step in late 2012.  I’m divorced and remarried, to a great husband of 21 years.  I have a wonderful son who has given me 2 grandchildren, and a shepherd/chow dog, who loves and protects us. 

I’m no stranger to transcription, so I started looking for opportunities to work from home doing transcription.  After weighing the costs of different courses, I chose a cheaper course that I finished, but I did not pursue employment because of negative information that I read about them.  The cheaper course taught me 2 things about medical transcription—that I like it, and that I could do it.  I set out to find the best course in MTE that I could, and I chose Career Step.  It was scary for me at that particular point in my life because of my age and the expense.  I knew I would have to make an investment in time and money in order to learn something that, hopefully, would become an income generator for me.  I am my own guarantee, which is scary for me, but I would like to share what I have gained personally from this experience, in the hopes that I can inspire someone else.

Working and learning from home is not always easy.  I have had to study at night while the house was quiet many, many times.  I run the gamut of a nursing home with overseeing my father with Alzheimer dementia and my sister with CHF during the day, in addition to my daily routine of family and home life.  Juggling personal needs and fitting them into the 24 hours of a day results in a world of constant change, re-direction, and re-scheduling, but it was what I chose, since what I want is to work from home.

I have never hesitated to contact Student Support with my questions.  They have always been responsive and eager to help me and encourage me.  The first portion of the course, the objective portion, prompted me to start an Excel workbook, which I updated daily with words and notes about things I have learned since November 2012.  I just love Excel.  In brief, I have had all Dell equipment since 2007 and I totally love it (except for when it doesn’t work, but during those times, I have 24/7 help from Dell’s expertise).  It has been good for me.  I also use the Shorthand word expander program that was offered in the course, and I learn how to do different things with it almost daily, as well as I add to it and sometimes delete from it.  It works for me.

The transcription, or practicum, portion of the course has sometimes been total ly frustrating, but I can reflect on what I have learned so far.  I have learned more about proper grammar (did I mention commas and hyphens are a scourge to me?), as well as medical words, phrases, formatting of reports, and medical procedures.  There is a lot of information is in this course, and sometimes I think it is too much for me.

I have found many helpful websites and have learned to love internet searches.  My Favorites bar is loaded up.  You can find almost anything on the internet these days, and it has been such a thrill for me to find a word that I cannot understand in the dictation on Google or Yahoo . 

I have had no trouble with my foot pedal, and I learned from someone in the chat room that Spectra VC 5 over-the-head or under-the-chin headphones might work the best for me. Amazon offered the best price on them. 

In Microsoft Office 7, I have what they call “sticky notes” that help me with my daily to-do lists as well as learning the keyboard shortcuts in the editing portion.  They make good cheat sheets as you can click them onto your screen or taskbar.

I can’t say enough for Study Buddies and the KOKO forum groups.  I read all the posts, as I have my personal settings set to see posts across all forums.  It’s been excellent information for me.  The forums and chat rooms have made me feel like I’m in an office and not just in my computer room by myself.  It’s very supportive. 

This course is never boring.  It will teach you and sometimes entertain you but will always inspire you to move along and make some good memories of the experience.  Thank you for the opportunity to share with you my experiences.  I look forward to reading your story. 

Wishing all of you success,

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