My Career Step: Carrie Verrocchio

Carrie's goals

  • Provide accurate medical records needed for quality healthcare
  • Find a quality online school
  • Invest in the very best medical transcription training

Benefits of her Career Step education

  • The flexibility to fit her training around her schedule
  • Medical transcription positions at two companies
  • The expertise required to provide accurate medical records

The Importance of Accurate Medical Records

In the summer of 2007, my brother, Bill, was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. The doctors didn’t offer him much hope, but he was a fighter. During his surgeries, hospital stays, chemo treatments, and radiation treatments, I took over much of the insurance and paperwork aspects of his fight. I was able to read through the medical records, and I realized how important it was for them to be perfect. This was my BROTHER after all! After a long fight, my brother was feeling better, and in the summer of 2009 the doctors even took his chemo port out, declaring he wouldn’t need it anymore.

Through all of this, my desire to study medical transcription grew. I had always been interested in medical terminology and the healthcare field in general as well as typing and office work. Medical transcription seemed like the best of both worlds, and my brother’s battle with cancer showed me just how important it is for medical records to be completely accurate, for both the patient and their families.

Early in the fall of 2009, my brother started to get sick again. We all prayed that it was “just the flu,” but we feared the worst. Bill’s cancer WAS back, and it was back with a vengeance. Bill fought hard—he went though more surgeries, more chemo, and more radiation. I started to deal with the paperwork again, and I decided it was time to study medical transcription.

When I decided to pursue a career as a medical transcriptionist, I knew that if I was going to invest more in my education, it had to be a well-researched decision and money well-spent. Not only did I research online, but I also spoke with nurses, doctors, friends, and co-workers about which school I should attend. I had completed an online master’s degree program in 2007, and I wanted to train online this time as well.

Career Step was a name that came up often in conversation. So many times I heard things like, “Oh, I have a friend who graduated from Career Step and loves her work as an MT,” or “We have employees that graduated from Career Step,” or “You can’t go wrong with Career Step.” These recommendations were my stepping stone to doing more research on Career Step. I was impressed with the testimonials and the accreditations. I was impressed by—and scared of!—the number of medical reports Career Step required students to transcribe. But again, I was not willing to waste any money or time on training that was anything but excellent. Career Step offered a thorough program that would give me the training I needed to excel in my new career.

After doing all my research, I signed up with Career Step. Bill encouraged me even as he fought his own battle. He told me that he would be cheering me on—even if it was from heaven.

Career Step’s Comprehensive Training

I began the Career Step Medical Transcription course in the winter of 2010, and I knew right away that I was in for some intense training. However, I enjoyed every minute of it. In addition to my enrollment, I also ordered the physical textbooks and the extra dictation CDs. Because of the circumstances of my life at the time, I was traveling quite a bit, so these extra materials were great. I was able to take the textbooks in the car, work on the course while I was traveling, and then transfer my answers to the online course when I was able to get back to my computer. Of course, once the transcription practice started, I had to be at my computer to work. However, as I traveled I would listen to the extra transcription CDs to familiarize myself with different accents and dictator styles, which helped tremendously with the practical portion of the course.

I had hoped to be finished with the program by the middle of June, but on May 16, 2010, my brother lost his battle with colon cancer. He was only 48. I took time off from my studies to be with my family.

Although it took a bit longer than I had planned, I finished the program in August of 2010. Because the course was so thorough, I felt very confident taking the final exam. I know I still have a lot to learn and that learning through working in this field is the best way to do it. Every day is a learning experience! I am determined to provide excellent transcription records for other patients and families who are depending on a perfect written medical record being in their medical files.

My Transition to the Workforce

Once I passed the final exam, I started to search for work. As most new MTs know, it can be a frustrating and discouraging experience! It seemed that everywhere I looked, companies wanted experienced transcriptionists. However, each morning I would log onto the Career Step Placement Direct website and systematically work through the employers listed. I would also do an online search for companies hiring entry-level medical transcriptionists. I kept a detailed log (on the Career Step website) of where I applied, when I applied, when I took the employment exam, and any feedback. I refused to let myself be discouraged by the “We are only looking for experienced transcriptionists” feedback I received. Each exam I took made me more confident for the next exam. I actually had a lot of fun going through the searching process. After all, each exam helped me to hone my listening and typing skills!

I am currently working with two companies. They are very different in their platforms and the types of files to transcribe—and I am enjoying them both tremendously. The offered me the opportunity to learn and gain experience, and I am very thankful. My goal is to be the very best that I can be in this field and to provide the 100% accurate medical records that patients and their families are counting on.