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Coder Apprenticeship

  1. Default Coder Apprenticeship
    Medical Coding Books
    I've been offered an apprentice coder position for a local hospital. They know that I have no experience coding inpatient but are willing to train because there is a shortage of inpatient coders. The coding manager said that it takes almost two years to train an inpatient coder with no experience.

    My question is... has anyone out there also learned to code inpatient on the job? How was their teaching approach? Did you use books, or did you just shadow a coder?

    Also, I've been a biller for the past four years. I am a CPC but don't really get a chance to "code" much at my current job. I know that this is a great opportunity, but I am a little scared. What if I can't do it? What if I find myself way over my head? It will be too late then because I will have already walked away from a good job which I currently have. My current employer is begging me to stay with him. With all I hear and read on this forum about CPCs who can't get their foot in the door due to no experience, I recognize that this is an incredible opportunity for me... but should I take the leap? I would appreciate any thoughts out there from coders who also learned on the job.

  2. #2
    Philadelphia, PA
    You are blessed to say the least. Some of us CPC-As would love you be in your position. It is rare for managers to take on new coders. If coding is what you want to do go out on faith and do the best you can. You have given me hope. Best of luck...

  3. Default
    I understand why you are nervous but if you want to be a coder then I think you should take the leap. I'm a CPC-A and also need the experience. I am wondering how you were able to contact this person and get the position? Maybe you can work something out with your previous employeer about part time work. Good luck and just think about what you NEED to do to become a coder.

  4. Default
    HELL YEAH without a question all these seasoned coders had to start at ground zero at some point. Many of them started out doing hospital inpatient but you have a little experience. Youre off to a great start you have aapc forums if you have any coding questions.
    Last edited by artes_athamas; 12-04-2012 at 09:06 AM.

  5. #5
    White Plains NY
    Do not hesitate - take the position and grow as you go.

  6. #6
    Los Alamitos CA
    yes take it, is very hard to come by someone willing to teach you inpatient, and also have the patience to teach you. I am certified by both AHIMA and AAPC i have been trying to volunteer my services for inpt experience and i still havent found any.

  7. Default
    Thank you for your encouraging words. I have decided to take the position. I am excited and looking forward to a new direction in my career.

  8. Default
    You will be fine. A good coder will still need their books in the beginning and through out their career. From what I understand hospitals have software tools to assist you.

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