I agree with this, and want to encourage those of you who have done well in school, passed your CPC and continue to look for work. But vwhitby is right. Small, rural hospitals and small private practices typically don't hire a huge staff of coders/billers, and some practices simply have "a girl in the back" posting charges off a fee ticket. (these very words came from a physician in a state that will remain nameless). And the opportunities in larger metropolitan areas sometimes remain open for a long period of time because the market isn't quite as saturated.
I guess you have to ask yourself, "what am I willing to do to enter this field?" Are you willing to relocate? Are you willing to start out in a job that pays less than you had hoped? One of my best coders started out in dietary, serving meals to patients. She wasn't too self-important to accept such a job, and it paid off for her, because she was privy to the internal job postings. In this economy, you may have to re-locate or commute. We all would like a job that's 15 minutes from our homes, but that's not always possible, and everyone should be thinking 'long term'.
Don't just think about coding jobs. There are other places in a hospital or healthcare facility where you can start out, and work your way up. (remember, coding is not an entry-level job, as you all have learned). Patient registration, scheduling, billing (including payment posting and customer service), medical records, front-desk representative, administrative assistant, mail room clerk, file clerk, and even dietary, housekeeping or maintenance positions can place you inside a facility, where many jobs are posted internally and not released to the outside public. That's a well known fact....most facilities hire from within. The idea is to get in...however you can.
I would urge you to consider volunteering. Most hospitals use volunteers....to deliver flowers to patients, to assist visitors, etc., but sometimes you can volunteer within clinical departments. Those volunteers are considered "employees" in our facility, and have access to job postings just as a regular employee would. Plus, you get to know people and the politics....very valuable information to have.
I have posted on this topic before, but I interview quite a bit, and have found that some people are just unprepared for a job interview in a healthcare facility. Some big boo-boos are:
too much cologne
attire that violates the dress code
smokers (we can smell you), and although we legally can't exclude you because you smoke.....we probably will.
You don't ask questions
Haven't researched the company
are too timid (not a good thing...the docs will eat you alive)
Swear (no kidding).
Don't know where you want to be in five years. This means that you don't understand the industry enough to figure out where you will fit in.
I realize that this information isn't going to pay the bills, but if you're really committed to a career in the coding field, please keep positive, and learn to sell yourself...great grades and a CPC are good, but lots of people have accomplished that. Figure out what makes you an ideal candidate, and emphasize your strengths. Good luck, everyone.
Very, very,very good advice
I hope these newly certified coders and those who are still looking for that job have read what you've said here. You give great advice!
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