By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Special Interest | Issue: June 2008
Shirley Nickles, owner of Medical Transcription & Claim Service, is the recent recipient of two Entrepreneur of the Year awards from the Claremore Chamber of Commerce and Rogers County.
People who know and work with Shirley Nickles say that she is an incredible person who has devoted her life to helping others. Shirley has done so through her business and through her place of worship, the Church of the Nazarene in Claremore. Now she is finally being recognized for her efforts. On January 26 of this year, Shirley was named the recipient of the 2007 Entrepreneur Award, presented by the Claremore Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Rogers County Industrial Development Authority and Northeast Technology Center. She also won the Rogers County Entrepreneur Day Award in the service category.
Shirley Nickles was raised in Claremore and graduated from Claremore High School. She worked for an insurance agency for 28 years, when she heard from a friend employed by a local doctor that the community needed medical transcriptionists. The job seemed interesting to her, and through further investigation she found that Claremore Junior College offered a course on becoming a certified medical transcriptionist (CMT). Shirley enrolled in the class, which required her to become familiar with medical terminology, human anatomy, surgical procedures, radiology terms, physical therapy and word processing. When she was approached by Dr. Dwight Korgan’s office in 1986 to transcribe their patient reports, Shirley was a bit terrified but nonetheless decided to give it a try. That year, after almost three decades in the insurance business, she made the decision to change professions and open the doors to her own business.
“One of the main reasons I wanted to start this medical transcription business was to provide work opportunities to young mothers who wished to stay home with their families and still work. The transcription profession was a great opportunity to help them do so,” Shirley explained.
Shirley and seven of her 30 employees are CMTs. Each time a medical doctor treats a patient or performs surgery, a report outlining the procedure must be prepared for documentation and added to the patient’s file. Physicians can dictate the information using a hand-held device or by telephone. Turn-around time varies from two to 36 hours.
Medical Transcription & Claim Service has been at its current location in Claremore for 13 years. They serve Claremore Regional Hospital and Southcrest Hospital in Tulsa, as well as several clinics. Shirley recalls that for years, before the advent of modern computers and the Internet, all transcriptions had to be input on typewriters, printed and delivered to area doctors and hospitals. Today, deliveries are made electronically.
Three generations of the Nickles family are involved in the business – two daughters and one granddaughter of Shirley. Her other grandchildren also help periodically with miscellaneous chores at the office.
Congratulations to Shirley Nickles for a job well done for the past 22 years and being designated the recipient of two outstanding honors in local entrepreneurship.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.