My Career Step: Linda Berge

Linda's goals

  • Work from home and be her own boss
  • Help others through a career in healthcare

Benefits of her Career Step education

  • Everything she needed to be successful in the workplace
  • Training flexibility that allowed her to train at home at her own pace

My Transition to Medical Transcription

In 2006, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully we caught it early, but I still had a double mastectomy, total chest reconstruction, and six rounds of chemotherapy. When all of the diagnosis reports came back, my team of doctors was convinced that it was stress related. At the time, I worked for a large pharmaceutical company and my job was very stressful. So, when I reached my 3 year mark of being cancer free, my doctor told me that he felt moving would be best for me. So we moved to Kentucky.

When we got to Kentucky, I looked for a job for months, but I was always the runner up and never landed one. One day my husband asked what my ideal job would be. I said I wanted to work from home, and he then he asked what I had enjoyed the most at my previous jobs. I replied that I had loved transcribing the tapes my manager would occasionally give me because I loved to type. When my husband asked if there was anything I could do that would combine typing and working at home, I said, “Well, I could try to be a medical transcriptionist… ha ha ha.” I thought it was funny because I didn’t have any medical training and would have to go back to school. But my husband encouraged me to start looking for a school, and pretty soon I was looking at 10-12 different programs.

Choosing Career Step

I had a whole list of schools I was considering, and I kept coming back to Career Step. When I called with a list of about 30 different questions, Career Step was able to answer them. I loved that I could access their forums and chat with other students about the program, that the Career Step team followed up with me until I made my decision, and that they worked with me to achieve my individual goals. The tuition was also very competitive, and the free laptop incentive they were offering when I enrolled was perfect because I had been planning on purchasing a new laptop for the program anyway. At the end of the day, I decided to enroll with Career Step because they treated me like a person—not just a student, not a tuition payment, but a person with individual goals and needs.

Studying and Employment

I really enjoyed the program. Fortunately, I was able to make studying my full-time job. I don’t have kids, just two adorable little Yorkies, and as I would sit at my desk studying, taking notes, etc., my oldest dog would lie on my desk while the younger would lie in my lap. I had everything I needed between my little pups and the course. Sometimes I wish I was still taking a course. I was able to devote my full attention to learning everything I could.

When I decided to become a transcriptionist and take the course, I started networking. I told my doctors (we all have doctors that we should be seeing on an annual basis), I told friends, and I even told my past employer. It took me about 14 months to complete the training program, and when I finished the course (on July 29) I started applying for jobs the very next day. I talked to 3 companies and was actually offered positions with a large hospital, a large transcription company, and the smaller company that I ultimately decided to go with. I was hired on July 30—one day after I finished! I chose the smaller company because I wanted to be my own boss as an independent contractor. (On May 29, I was promoted to Senior PHP Transcriptionists and given an increase in my line pay rate. I have not even been with the company for a year, and they’ve already promoted me! I couldn’t be happier.)

After my experience with breast cancer, I decided that one day I wanted to do something in the medical field to help others. Granted, I’m not a doctor or a nurse, but without the patients’ information being typed up and put into a format that can be easily read and deciphered, the patient does not receive the help they need. By being a medical transcriptionist, I’m working behind the scenes to help those who need help. They will never know who I am, but when they receive the care that they need and I see that they’re improving through their progress notes, I know that I played a small part to help them get the treatment they needed. I love what I do. I’m thankful that Career Step provides an educational program that gave me everything I needed to get a good job and make a difference.