Starting November, I started taking online review classes for NCLEX (Kaplan). At first I was so enthusiastic, spending hours listening to the boring, at times ridiculously wrong, lectures of the speaker (I would often fall asleep!). Then I started taking "breaks" by revamping my resume and applying to every MT company that would allow satellite users, with work either using FTP and Word, or ASP platform.
After more than 6 months of doing clinic work in various specialties and various accents, I felt more confident that I would easily breeze through any type of dictation, as long as the dictator is reasonably clear. So I revised the experience part of my MT experience, saying that I had more than two years of transcribing clinic work (2 in PI, >6 mos here). That way, even with online MT tests (service provided by mtttest.com for several MT companies), I was able to pass the screening and personal info stages, and got through to the most important part of the tests, the objective and the audio/transcription. Some of these MT companies delayed the audio testing until they have reviewed the results of the preliminary stages, then they let me go on to the audio. Some allowed med to go straight to the audio as soon as I passed the preceding portion of the exam. I must admit that the audio is always the most daunting part for me, not because of lack of knowledge on the subject, because I can easily research them on the net as long as the dictator is clear, whether American or ESL. But I have had dictators who are American mumblers/sighers whose words I could only guess at...(they always give me migraine attacks!)
Anyway, I spent the past two weeks doing mostly that and neglecting my NCLEX review (or doing half an hour at a time -- I should be guilty!).
Two small companies called me and gave me false hopes of audio testing...never materialized and never heard any more from them.
One BIG company emailed me with a job offer already. Of course, I accepted that right away. Although I was skeptic at first, as I went on with their process, the more respect I developed for the company. Theirs was really stat-of-the-art technology! I had an online training yesterday, seeing my trainor's desktop superimposed on my own as she demonstrates using her cursor how she does things on her end and how I should do things. She was talking with me on the phone while explaining the features of the software. Of course, I had to login to the web conference that we had to be granted access to her desktop. That was the most awesome online training I have experienced so far. I was thinking, other small MT companies might lose their businesses if they do not ride this wave of technology. In the meantime, I am keeping myself updated with these kind of technological advancement in health information.
Prior to that training I received an email from another company where I applied either as an MT (despite my lack of years in experience; they required min of 3 yrs), or as MT editor for which I was fully qualified (medical background). I believe I received a message on the phone from them the next day upon submission of my online application (no tests whatsoever, as far as I can remember). I had been returning their call in the subsequent days, but was answered only by an answering machine. I gave up, only to receive an email after a week asking me if I was still interested. Of course, I was interested to know if they could give a better offer than the one I have now.
This morning I received a call from the same person (if I heard him right), and he said I passed their test (I was stumped, as I do not recall testing with them at all! But then again, I have tested several times, and only later did I make a printed copy of every test I did with each company I applied to that did allow me to test.). He arranged for a 15-minute talk on Tuesday next week. I have to get ready as to what I could possibly ask him. Time to post in the forums again.
It's nice to know that I can get a job (no matter how low the pay is) while staying at home and reviewing for NCLEX (I still believe that nursing is a more stable and more financially rewarding job than MT), or reviewing for USMLE (if and when I decide to pursue the medical career).
I am predicting more phone calls next week.
Oh, BTW, they never checked my past employment in PI. In this MT job, the important thing is that you can deliver.