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Experience question

  1. #1
    Default Experience question
    Medical Coding Books
    Hello, I am a new AAPC member, and am taking my CPC exam in December. I am graduating in May with my Associates in Medical Administrative Assistance, and hope to continue for my Bachelors in HIM. First I am going to need a job I will be placed for an internship (hopefully coding) in a few months, but will start job hunting shortly thereafter. I was looking into a few job postings to prepare myself, but find that all of the listings show they desire experienced coders, at least 1 year.

    My question is, having taken a coding class, and then electing to take an advanced coding class, doing a 4-5 month internship, and having taken (and hopefully passing) my CPC, does that give me any actual experience?

    I have heard so much about people who go to school for this, never getting jobs, and it has become my real life nightmare. Any advice, or help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Default
    For most employers, school does not count as experience. They only care about actual, hands on, coding. So if you are allowed to code some charts during your internship, that might count as experience, but nothing else will.

    This is why experienced coders give the advice to find an entry level HIM job, such as claim follow up, charge entry, surgery scheduling, etc. Something that will give you daily interaction with ICD 9 and CPT codes and your foot in the door. From there, you can hopefully move up to a coding job.

    I started out doing front desk, charge entry, physician office coding, outpatient facility coding, inpatient facility coding and now DRG auditing.

    Good Luck,

    Cordelia, DRG Auditor, CCS, CPC

  3. Default
    I agree with the above post. Something else to keep in mind....never get discouraged based on others negative experiences (hard time finding a job etc). Pave your own way. You never know what can happen. There are some hiring managers who are willing to give a new coder a chance! Good luck!

  4. #4
    Default Re: experience question
    What everyone else has said is correct! You have to pave your own way! I started out in customer service for a health insurance plan now I work from home coding with great benefits and pay. Once you get that externship capitalize on it. I was offered a job from my externship. I asked my on the job trainer why me and she said 'I wanted a punctual and polite individual and your school job placement coordinator gave me you', I am telling you the willingness to learn goes a long way. You never know who is looking at your character as well. Have faith with a good attitude usually always works out.

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