I Am AAPC: Yacelin Vazquez, CPC-A

I Am AAPC: Yacelin Vazquez, CPC-A

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cuba, and I taught at a university there. When I emigrated to the United States in 2016, I felt lost and frustrated in my professional life because I had very basic knowledge of English. My first goal was to learn the language, and my second goal was to find a job.

I went through an English program at Miami Dade College and, at the same time, I started working as a cashier in a Dollar Tree store. It took me about two years to feel comfortable with the language.

Changes Careers

After researching and talking with some friends, I decided to make a transition in my career from teaching cultural and social aspects to the health field. In particular, medical coding seemed like a good option for me.

Receives CPC® Credential

A friend referred me to CCM Coding Academy in Hialeah, Florida. I started the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) training in a classroom setting once a week, heavily depending on my effort and hard work. This academy had certified professional instructors, accredited by AAPC, and offered a bilingual course. This aspect made it easier for me to understand the medical terminology, anatomy overviews, and physiology, as well as study ICD-10-CM, CPT®, and HCPCS Level II.

After finishing the 80-hour program, I decided to buy AAPC’s practice exams to feel more confident. I took the CPC® exam in 2019, held by the Weston, Florida, local chapter. This was a great challenge for me, considering English is not my first language and I had no prior knowledge of medicine. But with systematic study habits and personal effort, I got my certificate on my first attempt.

“I decided to buy AAPC’s practice exams to feel more confident. … I got my certificate on my first attempt.”

Looks Forward to Coding

I know that gaining my CPC® is not the end of my education. New diseases and procedures arise, others are deleted; technology advances and affects the practice of medicine, all of which call medical coders to research and update for life. My future career plan is to get a job in the medical coding field and grow as a professional.


7 Responses to “I Am AAPC: Yacelin Vazquez, CPC-A”

  1. Vrlina Nozlic says:

    Do you know how much addition CPC exams cost? If I order a practice exam kit? Will it help?
    I got a 60% on my first exam. I have one more before I need to pay.

  2. Theresa Platt says:

    Congratulations! Gives more confidence that I need to keep going! It’s my passion to be a CPC

  3. Renee Dustman says:

    Practice exams definitely help — just ask members in our AAPC Facebook group! Contact customer service for exam pricing.

  4. Jessa Mae Traweek says:

    I agreed to what you said. We had quite a bit similar experience, mine is I migrate here last June 2019, a culture shock for me and language barrier as well although I can understand and speak the basic English but I’m still conscious and afraid to talk with the people around me. In my mind, I always think what would be the best job that I would love to do? til one friend of mine give me an idea of what her job is. When I was I child I dream to become a nurse or work in a medical field but due to lack of money I ended up a coarse Business Administration and graduated with that coarse in my country. Anyways, ,my friend introduce me her job which is medical coding, she told me the AAPC site, she told me as well that I can try self study see if I would pass the CPC exam if not then you can enroll in the school or in AAPC site. So earlier this year month of January, I bought the required book, bought the a book of Ms. Buck to help me understand every chapters. It took me 5 months of studying, at that time I discovered the skills that I never know I can do especially I don’t have any background in Healthcare industry. I become hard worker, resourceful in a way that i don’t leave my computer if I don’t exactly understand the meaning of the surgery procedures and what the code is? I become more self -motivated, open-minded, and eager to learn. I watch different videos in Youtube to help me understand the medical terminology, physiology, and anatomy. I write every things I learned in my code books as I always say, BETTER TO HAVE A MISSY BOOKS THAN CLEAN BOOKS THAT DON’T KNOW WHERE TO FIND THE WORD OR CODES YOU NEED. I’ts funny but that’s how I always told to my self which help me a lot during my practice exams and my CPC exam as well. I guess my hard-work and love in this profession which lead me to PASS the CPC exam, I struggled at first but I PASSED at the very end. So to those persons who is in the process of getting the CPC certificate don’t give up I passed the EXAM with a language barrier but I never say I will give up because I started it and need to finish it. Still looking for a Job but it our step after passing the exam. SO NEVER GIVE UP!!!

  5. Michelle Rivero, CPC, CPMA says:

    Wow, me encanto tu artículo, pues soy de Puerto Rico y es tan difícil en nuestra isla que aunque nuestro principal idioma es español, nuestro trabajo es en Ingles y entiendo 100% lo frustrante que es !

    Te felicito, sigue hacia adelante, en Puerto Rico tenemos un Capítulo Local

  6. natasha says:

    Please advise.
    Patient had telehealth visit with one of my providers in NYU, apparently during this telehealth visit patient was an inpatient in different hospital . Another words , telehealth visit at NYU took please same time as patient was an inpatient in different hospital . Can out telehealth visit be billed?

  7. Renee Dustman says:

    Please post this question in our coding/billing forum.

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