Giving up coding

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Don't give up. I graduated in 2019 and have been in the medical field since 2002 and still cannot get a jobs. I feel the same way as you. but, I don't plan on giving up just yet. everyone wants you take have experience but, how can you get experience when no one will give you an opportunity.
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I’ve had my CPC since 2017 and I’ve yet to actually work as a coder for the reason being that a lot of companies want experienced coders. I’ve kept up with my CEU’s and always kept my certification current however I’m having 2nd thoughts of renewing this year in April as I feel like I’m going to waste my time again.
Any similar experiences? What can I do? I really don’t want to give it up but the coding employment doesn’t look promising for me :(
 

Munzueta

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Don't!
The coding field has been growing and from my experience it won't stop. At first yes, it is difficult getting a job because most employers want experience. What I can suggest, if there is a AAPC Chapter in your area, attend! You need to start networking as much as you can, get to know people, I mean even ask your doctor if he knows of anyone looking for a certified coder.

Coding has done so much for me and my future, I was a fast food employee making 5.75 an hour, and now I get to choose my hours, I work on a hospital, and I am currently making 30 an hour and have met so much nice people throughout the way.

My point is, don't give up, you might just have to put a little more extra effort, but you will find something, once you get your experience, you can start considering remote coding (working from home) just be patient!
 

deyoung

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Sorry to hear you are having a difficult time, but I would also like to encourage you to not lose your certification. You worked hard to pass that test and, speaking from experience, you don't want to have to take it again! I have had my CPC for a number of years and worked in various aspects of Healthcare. It has opened a lot of doors for me and not all necessarily actual "coding," but where they required you had the coding knowledge. Years ago, I thought I didn't need my CPC anymore because I was a supervisor of registration dept so I let it expire....then an opportunity came across my lap where I needed it so I had to re-take the test...I never let it expire again, lol. I started in claims...maybe start in an area like that where you aren't necessarily coding, but have the knowledge. Maybe u can build a good reputation there and end up moving into a coding position. I have also heard of people doing volunteer or intern type work to gain experience. Just some ideas. Wishing you all the best!
 

Jennikate

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Don't let it expire. I work in a billing and coding position but i never want have do that test again. I am currently studying for crc and than at least for now i am done with initials. I used work with a sales rep for a lab that still keeps her cpc up to date just in case and she never wants have do the test again. She's been in sales side for over 10 years.
 
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Thank you all for your response, but upon thinking about it, i wont give up its just really discouraging being a new CPC and no one wants to take an opportunity because you need experience. ill just have to try harder. and i would gladly take volunteer work so it can give me some type of experience. im also currently taking practicode which has helped me a great deal.
 

trarut

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I would also encourage you to look at other types of roles where your coding skills can be of use. There are many more jobs available these days that provide those entry level opportunities. I have been doing this long enough that, when I started as a coder (in the Dark Ages ;)), you were hired because you knew someone. Experience didn't matter because you were trained on the job and it was a given that you would be working for a physician or hospital reading records and assigning codes. So many of the roles where coders work today just didn't exist 25 years ago.

Good luck!
 
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My experience in the medical field began almost 30 years ago. I started working as a receptionist in a doctor's office. So, it may be beneficial to find an entry level job, either in a provider's office or a hospital, and get your foot in the door. Once employers realize that you are a certified coder, I believe opportunities will open for you.
 

Jessim929

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I worked with a coder who started with the practice doing demographics and insurance verification. When a coding position in the practice opened up, then she revealed she was a certified coder. She took the verification job to get a foot in the door. Sometimes you have to do that. Apply for a medical billing or A/R job - that could be your foot in the door too.
 
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I’ve had my CPC since 2017 and I’ve yet to actually work as a coder for the reason being that a lot of companies want experienced coders. I’ve kept up with my CEU’s and always kept my certification current however I’m having 2nd thoughts of renewing this year in April as I feel like I’m going to waste my time again.
Any similar experiences? What can I do? I really don’t want to give it up but the coding employment doesn’t look promising for me :(
I feel the same I’ve had 2 certifications since 2016 and NO ONE WILL HIRE
 

smontague

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I wouldn't give up if I were you. It can be difficult, but if you truly want to be in healthcare and want to be a coder sometimes you have to work up from a different position. I was lucky enough to already be employed at a physician's office when I obtained my CPC, but I definitely didn't just start out as a coder. I actually started as a medical records clerk and worked my way up as positions became available within the practice. I actually took my CPC course and got my certification while I was working as administrative assistant.

Are you working in healthcare now? If not, you should explore some entry level work, like a patient services rep or something similar. This would at least get your foot in the door in the healthcare field, then people are more likely to consider you for coding positions because you have some experience in the field.

All that being said, the job market is tough no matter what. I left my job a while ago to try something different. I was only out of healthcare for about a year and a half and despite having 15 years of healthcare experience (9 of which were coding and billing) it took me quite a few months to get a job back in billing. It really is discouraging sometimes, but don't give up if it's really what you want to be doing. I kept pushing and felt like giving up when I was trying to get back in and now that I've made it back it was so worth it. Best of luck to you!
 
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No, don't give up. I started out getting a part-time position in an ENT practice as a receptionist and then doors opened up for me. It didn't happen overnight, as I worked in many departments before I landed a position in billing. The invaluable lessons I gained from working in areas of the medical field laid a excellent foundation for my role in coding and billing. Having that knowledge then lead me to a position as an practice manager. Hard work and determination made it happen for me and it can happen to you.
 

Haydee1

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I'm in the same position and now contemplating to see if taking the CPB class would help me find an billing and Coding jobs (since I passed the CPC test). I am so discourage right now and thinking of going back to the medical field as a Medical Assistant with 20 years experience, I have and still am applying for coding positions but I have never been unemployed for such a short time. I have set coding at the back burner before, taken the CPC exam probably more than anyone (> 6 times) and I do not want to set it back again. I even went door to door at do doctors offices, passed out my resume- to try to learn from them for FREE, what I got was a bitchy " we outsource our coding" and a car accident on the same day.
Frustrations with trying to find a job in a company that wants a few year's experience, but how would I get that when there is no other company willing to accept minimal experience? Do I want to invest again (since the price is affordable)- only to be in the same spot, but still not have a job? It's not helping with this pandemic.
 

fwnewbie

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I'm right there with you! I can no longer work as a nurse after 30 years of surgical-based experience so I got a COC - outpatient coder for surgery centers, outpatient hospital - and I can't even get an offer of WATCHING coders at work in the last hospital I worked for before going on disability!! I went to some of the local meetings (before they went virtual), introduced myself to the officers, did everything I could to network in person. I had one interview for nurse auditor which is something I could do, but was not given the job. Even the nurse that interviewed me couldn't understand why I wasn't given a coding job since they had been short of help before the virus took over everything.
Since so much of coding is dependent on understanding medical terminology, it seems only logical coders with long-term exposure to the medical field would have a great advantage over a non-medical coder. If it's all about who you know, that is not a good use of facility dollars. But gee, I'm just a nurse. What do I know about financial responsibility?! :/
 

Amatyskiel

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I can relate to this forum as well. I passed my certification in 2017 and have a BA in finance to this day I cannot find a job. I signed up to join Medical Billing course in Laguardia Community college in new york that is sponsored by the city and still didn't meet the qualification. I don't know what else to do, so desperate to find a job, especially with this never-ending pandemic :(
 

Sadia78

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I’ve had my CPC since 2017 and I’ve yet to actually work as a coder for the reason being that a lot of companies want experienced coders. I’ve kept up with my CEU’s and always kept my certification current however I’m having 2nd thoughts of renewing this year in April as I feel like I’m going to waste my time again.
Any similar experiences? What can I do? I really don’t want to give it up but the coding employment doesn’t look promising for me :(
Don,t be dis heart keep yourself updating and get the Medical billing certification its easy to get the billing job rather than coding.......i am sure you will be preferable due to duel certification and don,t think of earning point of view behave as a learning attitude you will shine differently and job will find you soon .
 

Its Bri

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Keep your certification, it will pay off in the end. I tested back in 2004 and passed my CPC exam with flying colors, and was stuck in front office work for the 1st 3/4 years then landed a position as a biller however by then I had let my certification expire. I have worked as a biller and coder for the last 10 years and finally decided in 2018 to take a refresher course and test again, because I decided that I just wanted to do coding. But I failed my exam by a point! And to this day I am still not certified, because I don't want to spend $600 to take the exam again, and take the chance of failing. The exam seems a little harder now a days or maybe it's just me. I still keep my membership up though so that I stay in the loop. Know the value of your certification is all I have to say.
 

Pathos

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Keep your certification, it will pay off in the end. I tested back in 2004 and passed my CPC exam with flying colors, and was stuck in front office work for the 1st 3/4 years then landed a position as a biller however by then I had let my certification expire. I have worked as a biller and coder for the last 10 years and finally decided in 2018 to take a refresher course and test again, because I decided that I just wanted to do coding. But I failed my exam by a point! And to this day I am still not certified, because I don't want to spend $600 to take the exam again, and take the chance of failing. The exam seems a little harder now a days or maybe it's just me. I still keep my membership up though so that I stay in the loop. Know the value of your certification is all I have to say.
If you do reconsider getting certified again, don't go for the full price. AAPC often offers reduced exam packages and I think right now it's around $399 (until the end of this month). This deal included the exam, online practice tests and an actual study guide (which I am a huge supporter of). If you don't have the time/money right now to do it, perhaps consider taking the test later as being certified is key in moving up in the medical coding world.
 

Its Bri

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If you do reconsider getting certified again, don't go for the full price. AAPC often offers reduced exam packages and I think right now it's around $399 (until the end of this month). This deal included the exam, online practice tests and an actual study guide (which I am a huge supporter of). If you don't have the time/money right now to do it, perhaps consider taking the test later as being certified is key in moving up in the medical coding world.
Thank you, I will check AAPC and see what they have going on for exam packages.
 

reginalane

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I'd like to add that once you're certified, continue to work as anything you can find at that time in the medical field for a company administratively (that has a coding dept.) until you see a coding door open. By that time, you'd be invested in that company and you can slide right in. My life story. I've recommended the same avenue and for the ones who invested like I did, eventually ended up with a coding job. I invested processing referrals for 5 yrs and was able to slide into coding, ended up teaching it and now I'm working in analysis. Stay investing!
;)
 
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I’ve had my CPC since 2017 and I’ve yet to actually work as a coder for the reason being that a lot of companies want experienced coders. I’ve kept up with my CEU’s and always kept my certification current however I’m having 2nd thoughts of renewing this year in April as I feel like I’m going to waste my time again.
Any similar experiences? What can I do? I really don’t want to give it up but the coding employment doesn’t look promising for me :(
I did volunteer work in a hospital and made it a point to tell anyone and everyone my goal was to become a coder. Once I passed the exam I did get a position at the same hospital. Network!!
 

Rweadon

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I have applied for over 125 jobs since February when I learned I passed my CPC. Nobody wants to hire me without medical office experience though I have 30 years of regular office and customer service experience. I can't even get a medical receptionist job because apparently medical receptionists know how to answer the phones better? This is terminal and I will maintain my certification but have to look elsewhere for a job. I have a family to provide for! I applied for a patient transporter for goodness sake and BET I won't qualify for that either because why? I don't know how to walk through a hospital corridor?!!! So irritated!
 

Stacyml

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I’ve had my CPC since 2017 and I’ve yet to actually work as a coder for the reason being that a lot of companies want experienced coders. I’ve kept up with my CEU’s and always kept my certification current however I’m having 2nd thoughts of renewing this year in April as I feel like I’m going to waste my time again.
Any similar experiences? What can I do? I really don’t want to give it up but the coding employment doesn’t look promising for me :(
I hope you don't give up and you find a job soon.
 

Pathos

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I have applied for over 125 jobs since February when I learned I passed my CPC. Nobody wants to hire me without medical office experience though I have 30 years of regular office and customer service experience. I can't even get a medical receptionist job because apparently medical receptionists know how to answer the phones better? This is terminal and I will maintain my certification but have to look elsewhere for a job. I have a family to provide for! I applied for a patient transporter for goodness sake and BET I won't qualify for that either because why? I don't know how to walk through a hospital corridor?!!! So irritated!
The job hunt is frustrating for sure. Took me a whole year from the time I knew I was done working for a company, to the time I actually started my new job. Way prior to that, I just graduated from college, but nobody wanted me. I finally applied to an entry level as a Patient Registrar at my local hospital and finally got a job there. Not the dream job at all, but the first stepping stone at least.

How are your applications? Is your resume fine tuned? Have you practiced your interviews? Do you have someone who can give you constructive tips/help on how to ace each part of the process? Your situation is no fun for sure, however once you start getting experience, it gets easier. Keep applying, and do your best to nail that first job!
 
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I have passed my exam December 2018 and currently working in a hospital but; can't get a job without having three or more years experience. So frustrating and my certification ends Oct.2020 and have CEU's that I need to have and everything is so costly.
 

Elsie16

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I’ve had my CPC since 2017 and I’ve yet to actually work as a coder for the reason being that a lot of companies want experienced coders. I’ve kept up with my CEU’s and always kept my certification current however I’m having 2nd thoughts of renewing this year in April as I feel like I’m going to waste my time again.
Any similar experiences? What can I do? I really don’t want to give it up but the coding employment doesn’t look promising for me :(
I know 3 years seems like a long time, but really it’s not. In any industry, it’s very difficult to get your foot in the door. Employers want experience, but won’t give you a shot to get in the experience they need. It’s a very typical cycle. I’ve held my CPC since 2010, and had an indirect path to that first open door. However I did find it and have been working in the same place as a coder for several years. I love my job and the people I work with. I know it feels like things will never change right now, but trust me, you’ll find your niche.

Giving up your certification is the worst thing you could do. You worked hard to achieve it, and we all know that exam is far from easy. Stay the course, keep your certification current. Even if you ultimately choose another career, it never hurts to have options for the future.

Good luck and don't lose hope. Keep applying, be diligent, call HR to follow up. Make sure they know how eager you are to work there. It will happen!
 
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Elsie16

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I feel the same way. Everyone wants you to have experience. Like you are born with it or something! Every job trains you so why do they need experience?
in this day and age, everything is fast-paced and very few companies have someone who has the time to show you the ropes. It’s unfortunate but that’s the reality.

Companies want to hit the ground running, especially when it comes to something like coding, which has a direct and very immediate impact on their revenue stream. Coding comes with a lot of responsibility. You’re very heavily responsible for the financial health of whatever company you work for. It’s not to be taken lightly and that’s why companies ask for experience.

Try applying for another position in the hospital first. (Ie, unit secretary or even better-billing clerk). I worked as an admissions assistant before getting a clerical position in HIM, and then went from HIM clerk to Coder. I’ve been coding for over 10 years now.

Sometimes the path isn’t as direct as we’d like it to be, and we have to “pay our dues” first. Once you’re there awhile, and you’ve proven yourself as a dependable worker, if a coding position becomes available, you’ll stand a better chance, as most companies like to promote from within before looking at outside candidates.

We all feel we need and want everything “now”, and lots of ads in the media make it seem as though a coding career is easy to come by - “Get certified, and you’ll get a job right out of the gate” It simply doesn’t work that way.

The only way you get your foot in the door in any industry that has long-term career potential is with perseverance. Keep following up with HR until they tell you they’ve made a decision for the job you’re applying for. Make sure they know how eager you are to work there, be professional at all times, and when one door closes, try the next one.

We’ve all been there. Job hunting isn’t fun, no matter how polished you’re work history is. Keep the faith and eventually you’ll find your position
 
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I’ve had my CPC since 2017 and I’ve yet to actually work as a coder for the reason being that a lot of companies want experienced coders. I’ve kept up with my CEU’s and always kept my certification current however I’m having 2nd thoughts of renewing this year in April as I feel like I’m going to waste my time again.
Any similar experiences? What can I do? I really don’t want to give it up but the coding employment doesn’t look promising for me :(
Greetings. I initially took the exam back in 2007,it wasn't AAPC but I landed a job coding right after I got out of school. Due to a double homicide in my family, I had to leave my beloved coding job and let my certification lapse. Luckily, I've been working in Healthcare since 2009 but not as a coder. I went back to try and take my exam last year, AAPC exams are SOOO different than the exam I took. I failed at first but am taking it again at the end of the month. Don't get discouraged! I think you'll find a job soon. I agree with others here that say "get your foot in the door". At the hospital where I work, I've already been offered to code in the Cath Lab once I get my certification, something I wouldn't get the chance to do if I didn't already work there and know people. Once you get your foot in the door, other opportunities can open up for you. Stay the course. Keep up you CU's. You never know what that blessing will fall in your lap. Good luck! God Bless!:)
 

Haydee1

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I feel like AAPC should give an incentive for facilities to train externs or Newly Certified coders- NOT just the ones who signed up to be an extern site that are members of AAPC. Newly certified are just as easy to mold and train- they can also be a good investment on a potential dedicated long term employee.
 

Elsie16

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I feel like AAPC should give an incentive for facilities to train externs or Newly Certified coders- NOT just the ones who signed up to be an extern site that are members of AAPC. Newly certified are just as easy to mold and train- they can also be a good investment on a potential dedicated long term employee.
This would be a good option, except most facilities simply don’t have the time for on the job training, regardless of incentives. My facility had someone who got certified, and was hoping, I, as an experienced coder, would be able to train them.

Not only did the company not expect me to take the time to do so, but because I was obviously already there, they told the person that while they fully supported their decision to get certified, they would need to work elsewhere if they wanted to pursue a coding career.

Theoretically, there was a built in trainer, but realistically, as fast paced as things are today, it just wasn’t feasible. Billing deadlines are tight, and companies need coders who can work both accurately and quickly to meet them. It has nothing to do with whether or not there is a financial incentive for the company. It may sound harsh, but unfortunately it’s just how it is for most facilities today
 

Haydee1

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This would be a good option, except most facilities simply don’t have the time for on the job training, regardless of incentives. My facility had someone who got certified, and was hoping, I, as an experienced coder, would be able to train them.

Not only did the company not expect me to take the time to do so, but because I was obviously already there, they told the person that while they fully supported their decision to get certified, they would need to work elsewhere if they wanted to pursue a coding career.

Theoretically, there was a built in trainer, but realistically, as fast paced as things are today, it just wasn’t feasible. Billing deadlines are tight, and companies need coders who can work both accurately and quickly to meet them. It has nothing to do with whether or not there is a financial incentive for the company. It may sound harsh, but unfortunately it’s just how it is for most facilities today
That is one of the biggest challenge for us who are new in town and do not know anyone, no matter how hard we try to network, there's not a lot of companies that will take the time to give us a chance. I have gotten hired as Per Diem Clerk, if and when a spot opens- I will apply. Good luck to us all and keep trying.
 

Elsie16

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That is one of the biggest challenge for us who are new in town and do not know anyone, no matter how hard we try to network, there's not a lot of companies that will take the time to give us a chance. I have gotten hired as Per Diem Clerk, if and when a spot opens- I will apply. Good luck to us all and keep trying.
The clerical position is a great step. Be proud of that! I started the same way, and have now been coding for over 10 years. Sometimes that one stepping stone is all you need. Be patient and persistent and you’ll find your spot.

While you are in the clerical position, use that time to gain knowledge of how HIM as a whole affects the other departments in the hospital. Knowing this really helps understand the big picture and what it takes for a hospital or doctors office to function on both a financial and compliance level. Once you do start coding, knowing how these things intersect will help you understand the value and importance of your role.

Best of luck to you!
 

eurodurk

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I completely understand where you're coming from, but I would really encourage you to look outside of your area, if you're able.
When I first got my certification, I was applying to jobs in my city, then my state, then in the surrounding states, and eventually I got a bit frustrated and applied to a job over a thousand miles away... Lo and behold, that one job that I applied to on a whim (expecting yet another no, because what employer would hire someone from so far away?) was the one that I ended up getting.
 

trarut

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As I read the comments on this thread, I am reminded of how annoyed I get when I see ads in magazines, online, etc to "be a medical coder - work from home - make great money!" They make it sound like it's just a matter of taking their training course and companies will be lining up to hire the new grad. No experience? Pfftt! No problem! Work from home? Sure, starting on Day 1! These ads set such an unrealistic expectation for people wanting to switch careers. IMO, it also reinforces the lack of understanding both in and out of the medical field about exactly what a coder does and the level of knowledge we have to maintain to do that work. (If I had a dollar for every time I've been dismissed with "you're just a coder"...)

Those of you trying to find coding positions, so many have given excellent advice of keeping up your CEUs, take any reasonable position to get your foot in the door and have a plan to work your way up to the one you want. Build those relationships and network when you can because the medical profession is much smaller than people realize and sometimes those job offers come from unexpected places. Best of luck to you all :)
 

andyrobin

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I’ve had my CPC since 2017 and I’ve yet to actually work as a coder for the reason being that a lot of companies want experienced coders. I’ve kept up with my CEU’s and always kept my certification current however I’m having 2nd thoughts of renewing this year in April as I feel like I’m going to waste my time again.
Any similar experiences? What can I do? I really don’t want to give it up but the coding employment doesn’t look promising for me :(
I have worked in the medical field for 37 years. Sometimes as an Office Manager, Collection/Billing Manager, and Call Center Manager. I wanted my CPC for a long time. I received my credential in 2011. I now have a coding position and enjoy it. Don't give up. It's worth it!
 

Elsie16

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As I read the comments on this thread, I am reminded of how annoyed I get when I see ads in magazines, online, etc to "be a medical coder - work from home - make great money!" They make it sound like it's just a matter of taking their training course and companies will be lining up to hire the new grad. No experience? Pfftt! No problem! Work from home? Sure, starting on Day 1! These ads set such an unrealistic expectation for people wanting to switch careers. IMO, it also reinforces the lack of understanding both in and out of the medical field about exactly what a coder does and the level of knowledge we have to maintain to do that work. (If I had a dollar for every time I've been dismissed with "you're just a coder"...)

Those of you trying to find coding positions, so many have given excellent advice of keeping up your CEUs, take any reasonable position to get your foot in the door and have a plan to work your way up to the one you want. Build those relationships and network when you can because the medical profession is much smaller than people realize and sometimes those job offers come from unexpected places. Best of luck to you all :)
Don’t you just love all the misleading ads and information out there surrounding a coding career?! It’s actually anger inducing. Not only do they imply that you’ll make great money (which especially for beginning coders is rarely the case), but they also make it seem as though the job itself is simple. It’s not. it takes time to feel comfortable with your skills, and as guidelines and rules are constantly changing, we are forever in learning mode. It’s a very rewarding profession, but it takes hard work and dedication, which is far from what those “overnight success” ads would have you believe.
 

trarut

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Don’t you just love all the misleading ads and information out there surrounding a coding career?! It’s actually anger inducing. Not only do they imply that you’ll make great money (which especially for beginning coders is rarely the case), but they also make it seem as though the job itself is simple. It’s not. it takes time to feel comfortable with your skills, and as guidelines and rules are constantly changing, we are forever in learning mode. It’s a very rewarding profession, but it takes hard work and dedication, which is far from what those “overnight success” ads would have you believe.
Yeah, all of that! What she said!! LOL
 
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I am a doctor and I have passed CPC and how i am sitting for COC this month , I have posted my resume on different websites, and have applied for many jobs, but i am not receiving a single call from anyone, not even from recruiters . It seems like i keep on collecting certificates, but how do i get US job experience? I switched to coding field, because i want to work remote due to my daughter's health issues and i am hopeless. On each job description there is a new certificate requirement as CRC, CCS or RHIT, RHIA, with experience. i dont know. I keep on waiting, and each day there is email in my inbox about new job openings, and each day i am applying for these jobs.
 
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