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Thread: Need career advice

  1. #1

    Default Need career advice

    AAPC: Back to School
    I passed my CPC exam in March but naturally had a devil of a time getting a job without experience. I'm now working as an anesthesia tech and waiting to decide if I even want to persue coding.

    My biggest concern in sitting at a desk all day and reading (intensly) day in and day out. I overlooked what this job would entail because I was laid off at the time with no skills and went after anything that sounded good.

    I'm wondering how difficult it is to sit and read all day long, among the other challenges of being a coder. Should I go back to school for something I find interesting here in the Surgery dept, or is the fact that I passed the test on the first try enough to judge whether or not I'd make a good coder? I'm just kind of confused, I like working on my feet more than I thought I would here in a hospital.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Indianapolis, IN


    It sounds to me like you are perfectly capable of doing coding, but are unsure about your "love" of coding. I certainly can sympathize, and am sure others can as well. If you are doing what you love - anesthesia tech, or something in patient care, then you should pursue that route. Coding can be a good trade to fall back on or make a part-time career from.

    I would love to be in nursing, but don't have the physical stamina, and coding can keep me in the medical field without having to be on my feet all day. My husband has a book called " Do What You Love and the Money will Follow." I strongly advise you to do what you are interested in.

    I wish you well in whatever you decide to do

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    There are different types of "coding" jobs. It doesn't sound like production coding is the field you want to be in though.

    I am an educator and auditor. Yes I have days (weeks even) that I don't leave my office and spend all day reading, but I also travel to other offices, teach classes, go to lots of meetings, etc.

    Coding educators/auditors with clinical backgrounds are great assests for companies, both on the provider side and the payer side.

    Before you rule out coding or continuing your education do more research. Theres more to coding than passing the exam but it is definitely a good start.

    Good luck,

    Laura, CPC, CEMC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default My first coding job

    My first coding job was in Pediatric Intensive Care (physician coding only).
    My office and the PICU were on the 3rd floor of the hospital. Our department office (and my mailbox) were on the 6th floor. The Intermediate Intensive Care Unit was on 4. And, of course, patients were sometimes transferred to 5th or 7th floors before I got to their charts.

    I started keeping track of the flights of stairs I climbed "chasing charts" (I only counted "UP" flights, figuring I'd have to come down eventually). One memoral day I did 15 flights!

    Of course, this was before the prevalence of EMR, when one can, in fact, sit at a desk and code by reading the chart on-line. (Don't even have to be in the same building!)

    Follow your interests, Ryan. It sounds as if you have an interest in the health care field, but are more patient-care oriented than chart-review oriented. You will be a great asset to the surgical department you work in by being a certified coder, even if you aren't actually coding, but are instead ... oh ... a PA.

    Best of luck to you.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kokomo, IN

    Default career advice

    Follow your interests. Whatever those may be. I finally landed where I like to be. But, I'm in my 50's, LOL. Hopefully it won't take you this long to find what you like to do. I have worked in the medical field since high school graduation, as have all my siblings but one. We went for job security, when back in the day the choices for work were medical or factory (not secure) in our area. I worked with face to face patient care for 20 years and then decided that's not where I wanted to be (people can be so hateful), so I took classes and tested and got a job in coding (not that easy though). In saying this, if you have the time and energy, decide whether you want background or foreground and go for it. There are so many areas in medical, and it sounds like that is your interest. You don't necessarily have to pick just one. As you've shown, you are resourceful. Best of luck to you!

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