It’s Never Too Late to Take on a New Challenge

It’s Never Too Late to Take on a New Challenge

Don’t be afraid to start a new career later in life.

When I was younger, I had a desire to learn billing and coding; however, without knowing how to transition into the healthcare industry, plus the life challenges of being a single mom of two, I put my desire to learn on hold and continued to work in the financial and business fields. I’ve since come full circle and, as a wife and grandmother, am now enjoying the coding career I dreamed of.

My Journey

Oftentimes, I see comments on social media or hear comments during conversations about how difficult it is to get your foot in the door in this industry. I agree, especially when starting a new career at 50-plus years of age. It was easy to second guess my abilities after delaying the dream of pursuing a career in healthcare for so long. Putting my doubts aside, I began researching information online on how to get started and quickly discovered AAPC.

Next, I searched for a platform where I could talk to someone about the industry, which is how I stumbled on my AAPC local chapter. I attended a few meetings as a guest and, was introduced to Sarah Holmes, CPCO, who taught a Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) course at Clayton State University. After deciding to take the course and passing the CPC® exam in 2019, I became a member of the Covington, Ga., local chapter, where I currently serve as secretary. I now work as a paid intern for Northside Hospital, where I am equipped with an immeasurable amount of help in reaching my next goals — obtain my Certified Professional Biller (CPB™) credential and certification in behavioral health.

Words of Advice

The following are the steps I took to my new career path. I hope they will help you on your way, too!

1. Start where you are — age is just a number that helps you reflect and stay on track. With age comes wisdom.

2. Find someone or an organization that has the knowledge or opportunity you’re looking for and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and pursue your goals.

3. Be diligent in your pursuit, never give up, and know that doors will open if you persevere.

4. Challenge yourself and do a variety of things, even if they are unfamiliar to you. I never thought I would have the discipline to self-study online and be consistent with my choices, but I did.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will find most people’s journeys are very similar to your own.

Good luck!

Stephanie Booker
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About Has 1 Posts

Stephanie Booker, CPC-A, CPB, CRC, is a wife, mother, and grandmother, and has been an AAPC member for three years. She is a member of the Covington, Ga., local chapter, where she served as membership development officer in 2020 and currently serves as secretary. Booker has a love of reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

8 Responses to “It’s Never Too Late to Take on a New Challenge”

  1. Deborah Griglen says:

    Wow….. it is as if you took a page from my life’s story. Thank you for submitting such a timely article of stepping out on faith by pursuing your dreams. My goal is to live, not just exist. I too, am over 50 and put my life dreams on hold. I just recently passed my CPC and have registered for my CPB and CPCO courses. My ultimate goal is to be a Compliance Officer within a well established HealthCare System and I KNOW that I can do this. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

  2. Judy Irvin says:

    What do you tell an interested perspective student who is over 75, but is an active learner?

  3. Deborah Griglen says:

    To Judy Irvin…..I say that you take a look at each certification course, select the one that is most interesting to you and GO FOR IT!!! You can do it! These courses will keep your mind engaged and in learning mode. You will be hooked after your first certification.

  4. Julie Ann Wilson says:

    I am 44 years old and in 2020 I decided to finally go back to school. I just graduated the Medical Coding and Medical Billing Certification in December 2021. I was very nervous going back, because the last time I was in college was 20 plus years ago. I am taking two more classes this semester to take the CPC Exam in the summer or fall.
    Congratulation Deborah and good luck in the future.
    Julie Ann

  5. Kris Diane Decker says:

    I am 54 years old, and you may as well have been writing my life story. I am a mother of 4 and a grandmother with another grandchild due in 2 months. I am currently a student in HIMS programs, and if all goes well, I will graduate with an Associates degree in HIMS in December with certificates for coding and for billing. I took an extra class and also hopefully get a certificate for medical office management as well. It has been an interesting journey so far and never dreamed that I would go back to school at my age. I haven’t been in school since 1985 before the internet was even a thing! Thank-you so much for sharing your story. There are days I still need that inspiration to tell me that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Congratulations on a job well done!
    Kris Decker

  6. Tina Haibach says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and giving encouragement to us 50+ year olds! I have been in practice management for many years. I feel like I am stuck and I want to learn more. I am going to get my CPC certification!

  7. Donna G. Walker says:

    Very encouraging and I agree with your advice! I am also in the same age group. I studied for and passed the CPC exam in December 2021 on the first try; extremely difficult, but obtainable! Keep reaching for the stars!

  8. growpractice says:

    Thanks for sharing about It’s Never Too Late to Take on a New Challenge