Tracey graduate story

Meet Tracey Oaks

Medical Transcription and Editing Graduate

Mother, Military Veteran, and Happy Medical Transcriptionist

Searching for the Perfect Fit

Tracey graduate story

As a military veteran and the wife and daughter of veterans, Tracey has lived all over the world. She has worn a variety of hats throughout her career, including managing an art gallery, being a customer service agent, debugging homes as a pest control technician, and serving as an aircraft mechanic in the United States Air Force for 8 years. Now Tracey has finished her military career and has a husband who works full-time and five growing children. She wanted a job she could enjoy with both stability and flexibility. This is the story of how Tracey found a career through Career Step that was the perfect fit for her.

“I wanted a career that gave me the ability to work anywhere, the challenge of working in the exciting and ever-expanding field of medicine, and the feeling of finally finding my path. Career Step provided all that and more for me.”– Tracey Oaks, retired military mother of 5

Before returning to the United States from Okinawa, Japan, Tracey learned about Career Step from a friend. “I had heard about medical transcriptionists, but I had no idea that they worked from home, and I had no idea just how all-encompassing the actual career field was,” said Tracey. “I was a bit nervous to jump into a new school at the age of 42, but I knew I wanted a career that gave me the ability to work anywhere, the challenge of working in the exciting and ever-expanding field of medicine, and the feeling of finally finding my path. Career Step provided all that and more for me.”

From a Phone Call to Finding Her Calling

“She showed me the course, what was required, and how much time she spent doing it. I instantly knew this was something I could do; it was something that interested me.” – Tracey Oaks, retired military mother of 5

After moving back to the United States, Tracey talked with her friend again about Career Step. “She showed me the course, what was required, and how much time she spent doing it,” Tracey recalls, “I instantly knew this was something I could do; it was something that interested me.” Within a month of moving into her new home, she was on the phone with Career Step asking questions and making plans for enrollment.

“Rather than just submit applications with people, I started making phone calls… I didn't just ask ‘Do you have a position available?’ I actually asked them to tell me how to get a job in their company, and that's what got me a foot in the door.”– Tracey Oaks

Tracey completed the training with Career Step in two years and then shortly after began transcribing for an insurance company. She credits her tenacity for getting placed into a job so quickly. “It was persistence that actually got me the job.” Tracey explains, “Rather than just submit applications with people, I started making phone calls, talking to hiring officials and talking to Human Resources Departments. I didn't just ask ‘Do you have a position available?’ Instead, I actually asked them to tell me how to get a job in their company, and that's what got me a foot in the door.”

“I knew I had the ability to learn a new set of job skills, but Career Step allowed me to do it at my pace and with the resources and support I needed to successfully complete the course with little difficulty and stress. Now here I am five years later, and I have found my absolute dream job!” – Tracey Oaks, mother of 5

From there Tracey moved into a position with the research and development department of a major medical device manufacturing company. She now transcribes interviews with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals for studies about new medical pieces and devices. When staff from the company travel to conferences, she transcribes the notes, research information, and data they collect. “I knew I had the ability to learn a new set of job skills, but Career Step allowed me to do it at my pace and with the resources and support I needed to successfully complete the course with little difficulty and stress,” said Tracey. “Now here I am five years later, and I have found my absolute dream job!”

A Work Schedule That Works for Her

Tracey graduate story
“The highlight of working in this career field is my day can be anything I want … If I want to work at 3:00 in the morning because I can't sleep, I do.” – Tracey Oaks, WAHM

Since beginning her job in transcription, Tracey has enjoyed a work/life balance like never before. “The highlight of working in this career field is my day can be anything I want,” Tracey said. “Luckily for me, I'm with a company that I can work whenever I want during the day. If I want to work at 3:00 in the morning because I can't sleep, I do.”

On a typical day Tracey wakes up, gets her daughter ready for school, does a little tidying up, gets herself ready for the day, then makes the “commute” to her home computer. “I will sit for three or four hours, get it done, and I'm ready to go by the time the kids get home from school,” said Tracey. “Then I have the rest of the evening with no thoughts about what I need to finish or get done … it is the best thing that we have ever done for the family.”

Aligning Her Passion with Her Paycheck

“I wanted to do something possibly medical, and being able to do it at home was obviously not an option if you're taking care of sick people, so the next best option for me was medical transcription.” –Tracey Oaks, WAHM

Working in the medical field has cultivated a newfound strength for Tracey. While in Okinawa, she realized she had an interest in the medical field. “We had a child that ended up in an ambulance being taken to the hospital.” Tracey recounts, “Watching the EMTs, I was sort of drawn into their jobs and what they did, and knew I had a medical aptitude. I wanted to do something possibly medical, but being able to do it at home was obviously not an option if you're taking care of sick people, so the next best option for me was medical transcription.”

Working in the fast-paced healthcare industry, Tracey enjoys learning about the latest medical practices and devices. “It's amazing and very helpful,” said Tracey. “My dad actually has cancer right now. One of the studies I just worked on was about the ports they put in a patient’s chest to deliver chemo medicines. We were completely prepared for what he was about to go through.” Tracey has been able to travel to her father’s home in Phoenix often, another reason she loves the flexibility of her job. “I take trips down there frequently in order to help out my dad and visit as much as I can. I throw my laptop in a bag, my foot pedal, and my earphones, and I'm gone. No other job would allow you to do that.”

Advice for Aspiring Transcriptionists

“If I could give anybody advice it would be to avail yourself of the medical records editor portion of the courses that are available, there is so much more out there besides just traditional medical transcription.” – Tracey Oaks

Tracey has some encouraging words for those looking to enter the field of medical transcription, or those skeptical of job availability. “If I could give anybody advice it would be to avail yourself of the medical records editor portion of the courses that are available,” recommends Tracey. “There is so much more out there besides just traditional medical transcription.” She encourages those looking for a job in transcription to think outside the box. “I've actually had a job offer from a doctor's office that wanted me to sit in the exam room with the patient and transcribe for him in real time,” recounts Tracey. “These fields, they are branching off in different directions. It's not that they are dying, it's that there's a fork in the road.”

Now happily working from home, Tracey’s family enjoys her new flexibility. “My youngest is 14,” Tracey says. “She remembers what it was like to have mom gone and be dependent on her brothers and sisters to take care of her in the mornings and afternoons. She is absolutely thrilled she can call and say, ‘Mom, I forgot such and such at home, can you bring it to me?’ Or if she doesn't feel good there's somebody to instantly go pick her up. She's very, very pleased that her mom is now at home full-time.”

“Start with Career Step. It is the transition into the easiest part of your life.” – Tracey Oaks, WAHM mother of 5

After all the many hats Tracey has worn, she advises those at the beginning of their career to look into what Career Step has to offer. “Start with Career Step,” said Tracey. “It is the transition into the easiest part of your life.”