Coding Credentials and Opening the Doors of Opportunity

Coding Credentials and Opening the Doors of Opportunity

by Angela Lehoux, CCS
Barry Libman Inc.

To be credentialed or not be credentialed? That is a question every coder must face in her career. Today, credentials are available for just about every area in coding. It’s really a great opportunity. Now, you can even take classes to learn how to code. But, the question remains: is it worth it? I have a personal story to share that may answer this question for you.

I earned my CCS in 1993, the second year the CCS exam was offered. There was no school I could attend. Instead I had a Faye Brown book, past issues of Coding Clinic, inpatient charts to practice on, two years of experience, and a “can-do” attitude. That was all.

For me, it was an easy decision to attempt the CCS. I was young then, just married and unable to finish college. It was a dream come true that a credential was being offered. I jumped at the chance to earn a tangible demonstration of my expertise.

I left coding for a number of years in the late nineties. When I returned to the work force looking for a full time job, I thought I didn’t want to return to coding. Instead, I wanted to be an administrative assistant. I went to a temporary agency to find work. I handed them my resume, filled out all the necessary paper work, took some tests and they told me they would get back to me in a few days. By the time I got home, I had a message on my machine to call them back. They saw I was a certified coder and had found a position for me at a local hospital.

I hadn’t touched a record in over four years! It didn’t matter. I explained to them that I had kept up my credential, but had no recent experience. I mean I was really trying to convince them I was the wrong person for the hospital’s job. I would need to be refreshed and retrained. Surely they could find someone else.

You can guess what happened. I took that coding job and I’ve never looked back. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t had my CCS credential the opportunity to return to this career, a career I truly love, would have passed me by.

So, if you’re on the fence as to whether or not it’s worth it to have those letters after your name; let me assure you, it’s worth it! Even if you’re not sure if you want to stay in coding. You just never know where the road of life will take you. My advice: Keep the doors of opportunity open.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, hang 10!

About the Author

Angela Lehoux, BS, CDIP, CCS, CIC, CPC-I
Angela Lehoux applies a hands-on approach to her role as the Director of Education for Libman Education. Whether overseeing the work of subject matter experts including nationally recognized coding authorities; challenging instructional designers to deliver content in a way that is both engaging and memorable; or tapping her 25 years’ experience in inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room coding to write coder-friendly courses herself, Angela is responsible for ensuring that our training is accurate, easily accessible, and challenging.

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