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What steps did you take to get the first coding job ?

  1. Default What steps did you take to get the first coding job ?
    Exam Training Packages
    Good afternoon fellow coders and future coders

    I just graduate about 10 days ago from college and will take my certification exam in December for CPC-A. I have checked daily for coding jobs and notice that despite being in an area known for healthcare oriented business and lots of physician offices, there are a lot of them that require minimum of 2 yrs experience the bare minimum I have seen is six months.

    Other than my 3 month internship, I don't have any on the job experience. I have looked a bit into the extern program mentioned here but you have to be certified first which makes sense. I guess it is probably way too early for me get frustrated I just hope I didn't spend all this money getting educated and have so much trouble getting a job to pay my loans and help support my family.

  2. Default
    Same here. I take my test October 1st. I am just praying I pass that and then maybe I can get a job where they don't mind someone without the experience. Best of luck to you.

  3. Default
    My school helped me get my job. However, its not a real coding job; I code and check pt out, make appointments, answer phones, deliver charts and host of other junk in a family practice of 11 doctors and deal with co workers who give me mis info to try and make me look bad..soo much fun. I am looking at this as gaining experience and then can move on to a job that is just coding. It impossible to code, check people out and asnwer phone at the same time so I had to make a book with codes used most often and I flip through my quick book instead of looking them up all the time. Not exactly what we're taught in school but's its survival for time being. May have to get creative with first job...maybe take something not quite ideal and work from there. BEST of Luck!

  4. Default
    [B]Trying to get my school to help me with getting a job is a joke. I was on my own with finding my internship site as well so I figure asking my school to help especially when I owe them $500 for money they loaned me up front to start school and is a waste of time. I just need to stay positive and plug away and pass my certification test.

  5. Default
    jsanders71,

    I don't want to sound like the bearer of bad news, but first thing is to pass your certification exam, that is hard enough without worrying about a job. I have been certified since 12/17 2010 and have been looking for a job ever since. Yes I have had the same thoughts that you have, did I spend all this time and money for nothing? Unfortunately the schools forget to tell you just how difficult the job hunting is going to be. I just renewed my membership with the AAPC, but if I had it to do over again I don't think I would have!!
    I personally have tried every concievable method of trying to get my foot in the door, except for begging, and that may be my last resort , but nothing is working. I have tried the temp services, and they seem to be not interested in trying to help, I have applied to three different xtern programs, only to get absolutely no response. I even have friends that are coders and billers, and I still can't get in the door. Don't take this response in a negative way, I'm just giving you a glimpse to the quick and dirty reality of things. The jobs that you and a half million other CPC-A's including myself are looking for are few and far between, but I truely hope that a job falls in your lap very quickly, keep sending resumes, keep knocking on doors, and start networking, that is very important, because the more people that you know in this business, will certainly help in the long run I beleive.
    Get that test under your belt FIRST!! I wish you the best of luck in the future, just be persistant and stay positive, and hopefully a position will open up for you.

    Frustrated in NC,
    LDAILEY

  6. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by LDAILEY View Post
    jsanders71,

    I don't want to sound like the bearer of bad news, but first thing is to pass your certification exam, that is hard enough without worrying about a job. I have been certified since 12/17 2010 and have been looking for a job ever since. Yes I have had the same thoughts that you have, did I spend all this time and money for nothing? Unfortunately the schools forget to tell you just how difficult the job hunting is going to be. I just renewed my membership with the AAPC, but if I had it to do over again I don't think I would have!!
    I personally have tried every concievable method of trying to get my foot in the door, except for begging, and that may be my last resort , but nothing is working. I have tried the temp services, and they seem to be not interested in trying to help, I have applied to three different xtern programs, only to get absolutely no response. I even have friends that are coders and billers, and I still can't get in the door. Don't take this response in a negative way, I'm just giving you a glimpse to the quick and dirty reality of things. The jobs that you and a half million other CPC-A's including myself are looking for are few and far between, but I truely hope that a job falls in your lap very quickly, keep sending resumes, keep knocking on doors, and start networking, that is very important, because the more people that you know in this business, will certainly help in the long run I beleive.
    Get that test under your belt FIRST!! I wish you the best of luck in the future, just be persistant and stay positive, and hopefully a position will open up for you.

    Frustrated in NC,
    LDAILEY
    Well said and informative!

  7. #7
    Location
    TOLEDO, OHIO
    Posts
    28
    Talking
    First, look for receptionist/ administrative positions. Yeah, the pay is not always that great, but pick a family doc or specialty that interests you and go work the front desk. The front desk position will allow you to become familiar with the docs and patients and the operations of the office. Let your light shine in this position and your efforts will be rewarded with more responsibility and the experience you will gain will be priceless! Then you move up the ladder at that office or take the experience to beef up your resume and fly to greener pastures!
    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Cool NEVER accept NO for an answer!
    Hi-

    I am a CPC-A with less than a year of practical coding experience. I have previously held long and short-term contract positions as a Medicare Coder/RAC Auditor; HEDIS Medical Reviewer/Auditor, Home Health Care Services Coder and am currently a Medicare Coding Analyst/Auditor. My current assignment will lead to a full-time position. (Yay!) It took luck, perseverance and my willingness to NEVER accept NO for an answer. I recommend to all new coders to accept temp/contract work whenever possible because it can lead to a permanent coding position...keep the Faith!


    Yve B., CPC-A

  9. #9
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,087
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by yveblack View Post
    Hi-

    I am a CPC-A with less than a year of practical coding experience. I have previously held long and short-term contract positions as a Medicare Coder/RAC Auditor; HEDIS Medical Reviewer/Auditor, Home Health Care Services Coder and am currently a Medicare Coding Analyst/Auditor. My current assignment will lead to a full-time position. (Yay!) It took luck, perseverance and my willingness to NEVER accept NO for an answer. I recommend to all new coders to accept temp/contract work whenever possible because it can lead to a permanent coding position...keep the Faith!


    Yve B., CPC-A
    That is an excellent idea! Contract work and temp work is one of the best ways to get out there and get some experience. Coders are not people who just sit at a job and code...coders could be referral coordinators, surgery schedulers, receptionists and front desk clerks. You have to start at the bottom...even if you have experience! I have worked in medical coding and billing for over 25 years and have generally ALWAYS had to check in patients, update information, back up the phones, take care of patient billing questions and troubleshoot the computer systems. I always keep a "cheat sheet" of commonly used codes and look up the stuff that gets more complicated. I know a lot of the CPC-As are getting frustrated, but as in any profession, getting the training is just the first step. Getting a job takes perserverence, luck and really getting out there and selling yourself to employers. Get involved in projects with your local chapter, network, talk to everyone! I started out as a bookkeeper for a clinic over 25 years ago and have gotten to where I am with a lot of work and doing whatever job I could get. Once you get a job, make yourself a valuable employee!! Good luck to all of you....the job market is tough for everyone these days, even the experienced folks.
    Arlene Smith, CPC, COBGC

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