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Thread: Medical assistant wants to become a coder

  1. #1

    Default Medical assistant wants to become a coder

    AAPC: Back to School
    I have a diploma in medical assisting but I like coding because I can focus on one thing. As a medical assistant, you pretty much know a little about everything in the office. I want a career that is more concrete. In 2007 I tried going to LPN school but hated it. Nursing is not my field. Then in 2008 I had my first child and have been a stay-at-home mom ever since. I feel that since I've had a lapse in work history and have only been a medical assistant for one year, then nobody will hire me. Despite being a good worker, employers just want a steady employment history. It's like that's all they look at on your resume.The longest time I've been employed somewhere was 6 years. I've either been in college or at home with my kids. You can be the laziest worker and work somewhere for decades in my opinion. I know people like that. LOL ANYWAY....I want to get my coding certification. I want a career. Are hours flexible with coding jobs ??? Are there a lot of second shift jobs ? How do I convince the interviewer that I'm excited about a new career ? I'm 38 and maybe I'll be facing some job discrimination too. Maybe I'll have to be a medical assistant again in order to get my foot in the door.

  2. #2

    Smile Medical Assistant wanting to be cpc

    Since you have some exp as a medical assistant you are familiar with cpt codes. I would start studying to take cpc certification to prepare to sit for the exam. I recently starting studying to sit for the exam in december. I have been billing medical claims for a Durable Medical Equipment Co. for 7 years. so it's a little bit chanllenging for me to get certified i really have to study to get familiar with the cpt codes. I bill with HCPC Code, but i'm determine to get my certification. I know hospital's have second shift for coders you just have to decide, which certification u want. Good Luck with your future endevors!!!
    Last edited by trish43; 10-01-2011 at 10:58 AM.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the tip. Now I have a new dillema. LOL I guess I need to look into the hospital part of coding too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    hammond in


    It depends on where you are located. I would suggest that you refamilarize yourself with ICD 9 and CPT, HCPS too. Some hospitals have 2nd shift coders. Just take one thing at a time.

  5. #5


    I started out as an MA and then got certified and code from home now and have a coding business of my own on the side. Right now newly certified coders are having a hard time getting their foot in the door without coding experience. I think the MA certification will help you in this area, as you can always start out as an MA in a physician's pffice if you have to and them move into a coding position. The classes you have to take for the MA (like med. term, anatomy, etc.) are also very useful when taking the exam.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    St. Louis, MO

    Default I agree with Kristy

    It can be hard for new coders to get their foot in the door. You already have a huge advantage. At our college we offer a coding path and a MA path. Recently the students are taking both. The MA gets you in. You might start at a little lower pay scale but as soon as there is an opening your the 1st one they will pick. They already know your work ethic, how you get along with everyone etc.

    You really need to get certified though to secure a better position. There are so many really good on-line avenues out there to prepare for the CPC exam. My advice would be to work with only the ones who have a CPC-I or are in partnership with the AAPC.

    Keep in mind, with ICD-10 around the corner I do feel there will be more positions opening up. Some long time coders have been saying that they are going to retire in 2013. This is a shame but it will open the door for new coders. Get certified before 2013!!
    Alicia Scott, CPC, CPC-I, CRC
    Educational Director, CCO.us,
    Have a Passion for Coding

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I was a medical assistant as well and I have my coding credential. But the hours are not flexible that I have noticed. They are basically day time jobs. But there are some coders that work out of their homes. The problem with coding is that they want you to have two years experience, at least that is the impression I have encountered. I am a medical assistant, my own employer paid for my credential education but will not hire me in the position b/c I do not have actual coding experience. You know as a medical assistant you do need some coding knowlege but of course you don't have the computer knowledge, etc. It could just be where I am working, though. But I would go for it...

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