Meet Our New Employee

Hello!  My name is Rachel Cooley.  I’m thrilled to be part of the team at the Lamb Shoppe! 

 Holistic living has always interested me. I feel very fortunate to be able to expand my knowledge by working in an environment that’s in alignment with my beliefs.

 Not too long ago I left the healthcare field after being in it for almost 25 years. After graduating from high school I attended nursing school and worked as a nursing assistant in nursing homes for 6 years. It was a very rewarding job. I especially enjoyed hearing the elderly share their life lessons. Unfortunately all the heavy lifting took a toll on my body so decided to switch gears and become a medical transcriptionist. 

 I worked as a medical transcriptionist for 17 years. The changes I saw during that time were dramatic. My first jobs were at the clinic and hospital in Hutchinson. It was nice to be able to work from home and know I was still helping people indirectly. There was always research to be done and new things to learn since the medical field kept evolving. Speech recognition technology greatly reduced the amount of physician dictation needing to be typed and eventually the transcription department was entirely outsourced. I accepted a job with the outsourcing company and worked my way up their corporate ladder even though I was still often asked to assist with transcribing physician dictations.  

 The last few years my job title was quality assurance specialist and mentor. As a quality assurance specialist I would review medical records and report any transcription errors found. It was disheartening to constantly find errors in reports. It was also difficult to see American transcriptionists out of work at times while more and more physician dictations were being transcribed overseas. At least I occasionally got a break from that part of my job to do mentoring sessions. 

Most of the mentoring I did was trying to help transcriptionists meet their quality and production goals. They needed to maintain a high level of accuracy to ensure patient safety and still produce a certain amount of work in order to keep their jobs. This type of mentoring was very challenging because often when one aspect would improve the other would deteriorate. Quality should always be more important than quantity in the medical field but that doesn’t seem to be the priority anymore.  I definitely didn’t have all the answers for those I mentored but found they felt better if I’d just listen, offer validation and help them develop steps to try to reach their goals.  Mentoring also helped me realize how much I missed helping people directly.

Another thing I realized working in the medical field all those years was how much I didn’t agree with how patients were being treated. It seems patients aren’t always properly diagnosed and are rarely cured. Symptoms get addressed but treatment often just produces more problems. I’ve experienced this myself firsthand multiple times.  In my opinion we’re better off treating ourselves with natural remedies like our ancestors did and take an honest look at our nutritional intake and evaluate how well we’re taking care of ourselves on a routine basis. I often think of myself as a work in progress and just try to do better every day. 

On a more personal level, I’d like to share that I’ve been living in Hutchinson for the last 20 years. I’m originally from New Ulm, Minnesota. My husband, Dennis, is too.  We have 2 children together.  Anthony is 20 years old and Harmony is 10.  We also have 2 fur babies.  Lucky, our cat, is about 13 years old.  Luna is a 1-year-old Siberian Husky. 

I really enjoy spending time with my family. Most days I either walk or bike several miles with Luna. Spring is definitely my favorite season as I love to be outdoors. Foraging is something I’ve really grown fond of. This year I’ve found well over a hundred morel mushrooms, 2 patches of wild asparagus and lots of ramps (wild onions). All 3 items fried in butter with a little salt is so delicious! My family will forage with me but I think they would rather go fishing. 

Kayaking, swimming, hiking, gardening, birding, reading, writing, creating art, meditating and playing the piano are other things I really enjoy doing. I’ve also been told I take way too many pictures, which is probably true. I just see beauty in everything and want to savor the memories!

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little bit. I hope I’ll get to know you too!