By Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA In our world and in our workplaces, we don’t have to look far to find disagreement, polarization, and divisiveness. The challenge lies in being able to rise above this seeming new normal and find the common ground that exists between us. I believe most people show up to work with basically good intentions. Our goals are similar. We are all working to make a living; to care for ourselves and our families. We are all juggling the many facets of life - good days and achievements, as well as difficult days and loss.
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA When I worked with the local community college, I enjoyed traveling to area high schools to talk about career planning with students. I was always struck with the students’ enthusiasm for their futures, but I also often heard some wildly unrealistic plans. When I say “unrealistic,” it’s not because I think we shouldn’t dream big - in school or otherwise. My sadness about some of the student’s goals came from seeing that their “go big or go home” mindset was making it hard for them to look at anything other than being a
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA As an educator in both community college and university settings, I had the great privilege of being around students as they prepared to enter the workforce. Some were just emerging from college as fresh-faced new graduates while others were finding a new lease on life with a change in career. Being in healthcare, I was always grateful that my students had the opportunity to spend time in the "real world" of their new profession in the form of the internships that were part of their programs of study. Whether it was one of the
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA Why we complain, how complaining affects us and our departments and (most importantly!), how we can STOP complaining!
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA Throughout the many challenges of pandemic, I continued to have the opportunity to welcome new coders into our medical center’s HIM department. I have been reflecting on how they were joining a team where many of the experienced and "senior" team members were once brand-new graduates from a local coding training program. Those new graduates remain a strong part of our coding team, and I thought that it might be worthwhile to revisit the insights they had shared with me at the time they landed their first coding job for any other new coders
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA I spent the first half of my career wringing my hands over bad bosses and wondering which of the angry gods was punishing me THIS time, and why. It took me some time to figure this whole boss thing out. Maybe you can relate! For a long time I was caught up in the unfairness of their behavior, or the unbelievable reality that they were still employed and reigning terror on multiple employees. When the LIGHT finally went on in my head I realized that each and every one of my "bad bosses" was
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA This time of year we think about being grateful for all the wonderful things in our lives. Families, friends, jobs, careers, colleagues, and of course the wonderful food and festive activities that pepper our calendars around this time.
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA Popular inspirational teachers often remind audiences that when they have the choice to be RIGHT or KIND, they should always choose kindness. This is not new counsel. Wisdom tales across time and cultures have highlighted the importance of kindness. Recently I came across a research study that showed a positive relationship between kindness and health. The "Cliff Notes" version goes something like this: When someone is KIND to us - does something nice, helps us out, treats us with compassion - our serotonin levels rise and our immune systems are strengthened. The research also
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA The option to work remotely seems like a dream come true for many of us. No rush hour traffic, some extra sleep, no dress code (sweatpants anyone?) and it saves a ton of money in gas. What’s not to love!? There’s a LOT to love about the option of working remotely, but it’s not without its challenges and responsibilities. And I’m not talking about job-specific responsibilities. I’m referring to the personal responsibilities that are critical for us to maintain a healthy career. Being comfortable in our homes, it can be easy to fall into
By Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA When we embark on some form of professional growth or personal development, it is exciting and we often find ourselves jumping all in – embracing the tenets, the practices, the behaviors and more. As far as change goes, this is a good thing! Why make a decision to improve or change something, and only go halfway? The challenge comes when the stressors of life intersect with our humanity. If you don’t know what I mean, try writing a high profile article on kindness, and then try to live your life as a normal human
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA This year on December 21, the Winter Solstice, inhabitants of Earth (that’s us!) will have the opportunity to observe a rare astronomical event. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will appear to line up, forming what astronomers call a conjunction. The last time these two planets came this close and people on Earth were able to actually see them in this formation was almost 800 years ago – in 1226 during the Middle Ages. This conjunction of planets when it occurs in December is sometimes called a Christmas Star due to the larger and brighter
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA We are several months into a sea change in our daily lives. Not only can we work from home, but we are being encouraged to remain at home outside of work as well. I was scheduled to speak at two different annual meetings during the summer that were cancelled, and my own organization cancelled our annual meeting. As I pondered the current state of things and these cancellations, I began to give some attention to the challenge of networking when we are limited in our face-to-face interactions – whether by work assignment (remote work
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA One of the major benefits of becoming a Medical Coder is the opportunity to work from home. Remote employment offers a multitude of benefits, including lower costs for professional clothing, reduced vehicle costs, and avoiding the stress of morning and afternoon rush hour commutes. There are also benefits to being home when the kids get on and off the bus, and to allow repair personnel and others access to your home without having to use a vacation day just to let them in. Amid all the benefits, however; it’s important to recognize that there
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA Growing up, we learn to be grateful for any gift that someone gives us; no matter what it is. Most children have at some point had to say "thank you" for funny-colored sweaters from grandmothers, unusual gifts from Uncles and gifts we believe that we outgrew years before from neighbors or other relatives. We are taught by our parents to be grateful that someone took the time to think about us enough to give us a gift. By the time we get into the work world, most of us have accepted this counsel. We understand
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA You've done it! You've studied, sacrificed time and sleep, and hung in there. You're a graduate and a newly-credentialed Coder - congratulations! Now it's time for the next step: job hunting, interviewing and hopefully, beginning that new job! Read more
by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA Over the years I've learned a thing or two about being a good employee, and being a not-so-good one. I've spent my fair share of time as the office rock star but would be lying if I didn't also report that I've spent time as an employee the boss wants to punt. But that's OK - because if the river is always smooth, you never learn how to successfully navigate the rapids. I can state without hesitation that I can not only survive the rapids, but come out stronger on the other side. Before
It’s as if the world gives a shout-out to all of us – not just the kids going back to school - that it’s a good time for a return to getting serious about what we know now, and what we need to learn in the coming year....
Our coding careers can sometimes travel a similar path. We researched and chose the right path in terms of our education and credentials. We faithfully keep up with our continuing education and participate in ...
Over the years I have encountered two distinct groups of people at work: those who believe the responsibility for their career lies with their employer (or manager) and those who believe that the responsibility is theirs. Guess which group ...
Lifelong learning is touted as a requirement for career longevity by many education experts. I agree that we should always strive to learn and grow, but I also think that while learning, we need to keep our eyes open for ...