Who Are You?

My name is Karen, and I consider myself a “jack-of-all-trades”.

I have a deep love of learning.  Both new things, ideas and concepts, but also deeper knowledge about things, ideas and concepts I already know.  If it interests me, I want to know more about it.

My “career” is varied and twisted.  How I ended up in Medical Staff is very convoluted.  I had no original vision with my life and I still don’t know what I want to be when I “grow up”.

You see, I have worked in my hospital system for 22 years.  I started as a cafeteria worker, flipping burgers on the grill and ringing up staff on the register.  From there I went to serving patients, then to a kitchen tray-line supervisor.  I was recognized as someone who could do more than just serve food and was offered an office position.  I had no typing skills, but could figuring things out fairly quickly.  My then boss gave me a chance and I excelled, self-teaching myself typing and most of the Microsoft Office programs.

After working for several years as an office assistant, a Vice President suggested that I apply for the Radiology IT Assistant position.  I did and quickly discovered that it wasn’t the job for me.  I stayed for almost 3 years before hearing that my old job had opened back up.  I reapplied for it and was accepted.  The same VP told me, “You are better than that job, don’t hold yourself back.”

So, when it was again suggested (by someone else) that I apply for an opening in the Medical Staff Office, I did so.  I remember at my interview telling the Director that I usually learn a job within the first year, make improvements the second year and by year 3, I’m bored and looking for a new challenge.  She laughed and said that wouldn’t happen with Medical Staff.

She was right.  Three years into it, I was so overwhelmed with everything that was being thrown at me, that I had what I term a nervous breakdown.  Failure isn’t something that I allow myself to experience, but fail I did and I quit rather than face disciplinary actions for my failures.  I was ashamed to quit, but so miserable that I no longer cared.  At that point, I had a wonderful new director who understood my failures, and while she couldn’t protect me from the disciplinary actions, did everything she could to help me.

I accepted another job within the hospital system that required much less stress and responsibility.  I couldn’t talk about my time in Medical Staff without breaking down in tears.  It took three months before I could open up.  It took another three months before I began feeling like myself again.  A year after that, another position opened up in the Medical Staff Office at another facility.

What was I thinking applying for it?  Why would I voluntarily stress myself out again?

I spent the previous year and a half thinking about nothing except credentialing.  How I could have avoided my mistakes.  How I wished there was training.  How I could maybe improve the processes.  How it had gotten into my soul.  How there hasn’t been another job that held my fascination the same as credentialing had done.

At no point had I ever been bored at the job.

How could I not apply?

So, here I am, back at credentialing.  And I invite you to join in the journey with me.

Welcome to the crazy.


Author: Karen Kerbaugh

I am currently a Credentialing Specialist who still has a long way to go and a lot to learn. Follow me on my journey and let's learn together.

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