My name is Debbie (Dvora) Hemstreet. I bring to you over 25 years of international experience in technical writing. I have handled everything from and camera ready publications to documenation of medical devices and rewriting journal manuscripts.
I’ve shared my struggle with feeling technically challenged in a different article. Perhaps a more interesting story, though, is how I ended up being a technical communicator to begin with.
My background and life experience all contribute to the skill with which I handle a documentation project. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about computers, working with Microsoft Word, and writing in general. I love sharing that knowledge with others. There is nothing more rewarding than empowering others by helping them understand hard to grasp concepts. That is why I look forward to helping you… but on with my story.
I Began as a Nurse
In 1976 I graduated from the Southeastern Ohio School of Practical Nursing and passed my State Boards with the highest score in Ohio for that testing period. As I nurse I worked in a variety of capacities: critical care, home nursing, geriatric nursing, and serving as a fill in on a variety of units for different hospitals in Columbus, Ohio. Once I completed my studies, I took an advanced pharmaceuticals course for LPNs, which enabled me to administer all but intravenous medications. The plan was to go on for my RN, but that was not to be.
Moving to Israel
In 1982 I went to Israel on a volunteer program and worked as a visiting nurse and clinic nurse through Kupat Holim Clallit in Tiberias. That was an amazing time learning new nursing skills, as well as Hebrew and a adjusting to a new culture. After several months, I was certain about my love for Israel and made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel). I accepted a job on the internal medicine unit at Rambam Hospital in 1983.
A New Job as an “English Typist”
There were cultural differences in how nursing was practiced in Israel, and these were hard for me to adjust to. In addition, my had mother become quite ill; in 1984 I left my position at Rambam and returned to the US to help my mother. I was there for 6 months. During that time I retrained via Manpower to work as a typist. Upon returning to Israel, this training unleashed a new professional passion, technical communication and writing.
In 1986 I began working at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology with the official job title of “English Typist.” But I did far more than that. Working with the head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Professor Samuel Sideman, I was responsible for editing, formatting, and compliling the camera ready layout for several workshop proceedings. Back then, most of the work was done by hand! I also developed the first website for the department which remained in use for several years. Working in HTML before there were HTML editors was just plain fun! (Crazy when I think about it: I can work with “code” but not mathematical equations!).
In addition, I also found the time to pursue my BA in Education and take care of a couple of cats.
Hi-Tech and A Degree in Technical Authorship
A student at the Technion, Shlomo Ben-Haim, recruited me to become the technical writer for his company, Biosense. The rest is history. I worked with Biosense through the entire transition from start-up to its reknowned status as Biosense Webster (Israel), Ltd., a J&J Company. During this time I completed my MA in Technical Authorship, became active in the Israel Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, and continued to enjoy my cats.
In 2007 I and my remaining cat moved to the US with my husband, and began working as a private contractor. With my husband’s death in 2010, I realized that the US didn’t feel like home, and so returned to the land where I had lived from 1982-2007—Israel. (My cat, however, loved the USA and found a new home.)
Today I am the English Editor for Rambam Hospital, reporting to the director of the hospital, Professor Rafi Beyar. Things have come full circle. I am back at Rambam (where I had worked as a nurse), and I had worked with Professor Beyar at the Technion! And I also have two new cats—a brother and sister—Pharaoh and Cleopatra.
I Look Forward to Working with You
Of course this is merely a professional summary of my life. What I’ve done certainly does not define who I am. It does not come close to describing all that I’ve done or experienced over the years. But it is enough to help you decide if I am the right person to help you learn more about working with your computer, Microsoft Word, or to improve your documentation skills. I’m also open to consulting with you to see how I can help with your documentation needs. As always, feel free to contact me.