Medical Transcription Business Is this Energetic CMT’s Calling

Vol. 13 •Issue 22 • Page 17
Professional Profile

Medical Transcription Business Is this Energetic CMT’s Calling

“I agreed [to take a permanent position], but I also made a proposal. I asked if I could start my own business.”–Brenda L. Kelm, CMT

From the beginning, Brenda L. Kelm, CMT, owner of B’s Keys Medical Transcription, has been drawn to the business field and has practiced her strong work ethic.

Kelm started her professional vocation at Baylor University in Waco, TX, as a business communication major. “While I was taking classes, I decided I wanted to work as well. I took classes from 7:30-11:30 a.m. and then worked full time as an admitting clerk at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco from 12:30-9:00 p.m.,” she explained.

She devoted a year to that intense work schedule and realized that she couldn’t do both anymore. “I asked for a transfer at Hillcrest and they suggested an opening in the medical record department. So I became a correspondence clerk and file assistant and put my college career on hold,” Kelm stated.

During her time in the medical record department, she noticed the women who sat behind her wearing earphones and typing. She was intrigued by their work and inquired about the position.

“I found out that it was medical transcription and it involved the dictation of medical procedures,” Kelm stated. One of the transcriptionists mentioned that she felt Kelm would be able to succeed in the field and offered to train her. “So I decided to give it a shot, and when I sat down I loved it!” she recalled.

Kelm mentioned that it was challenging, because she was transcribing surgery notes—which are considered the hardest—but she thoroughly enjoyed it and decided to go back to school for her certification. Baylor University didn’t offer the program, so she enrolled in McLennan Community College in Waco and earned her associate’s degree in transcription and went on to obtain the certified medical transcription (CMT) credentials.

“I stayed at Hillcrest from 1974 to 1995 and after 21 years I retired,” Kelm stated.

But, sticking to her work ethic, she didn’t remain retired for long. A local independent school district contacted her because they needed an administrative assistant. She was hesitant initially to take the position, but decided that it would be a good experience.

“While I was at the school district, local doctors started encouraging me to open my own business. A surgery center also asked me to fill in for a transcriptionist on maternity leave,” Kelm explained.

Kelm thus went back to another demanding schedule. She worked for the school district during the day and transcribed at night, all the while being a wife and mom.

The surgery center liked Kelm’s work so much that they asked her to stay on permanently. “I agreed, but I also made a proposal. I asked if I could start my own business at home, and explained that I would use the Lanier system and the doctors would be able to call whenever necessary. The center said yes and my business has been blossoming since,” Kelm noted.

She currently has eight clients and three employees, “and I’m looking to hire two more. Just the other day I had to turn down a client because I didn’t have enough fingers.”

She’s had her business since 1994 and is looking forward to helping it grow with all of the advancements in the health care field. After so many years of long hours she feels that running her business is the perfect reward. “Being at home is an amazing benefit, and even though it’s definitely demanding, I couldn’t ask for more. I’m extremely happy!”

Tricia Cassidy is an assistant editor at ADVANCE.