Being Grateful for the Good (& the Not-So-Good)

Being Grateful for the Good (& the Not-So-Good)

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.

If you’ve read any of my writing, you know I’m a big fan of being grateful all the time and not just at Thanksgiving. Today I am suggesting that while we are giving thanks for our careers as Coders or HIM professionals, we need to be thankful for it all: the good in our careers as well as the not-so-good.

We learn some of life’s best lessons when things go awry. We are enrolled in Life 101 when we are dealing with a cranky colleague or struggling to please a difficult boss. If we’ve ever experienced a layoff, downsizing, or firing – we’ve earned some street cred along with a valuable education.

I spent my early adult years as a Sailor on active duty in the US Navy. As a young kid who thought she knew a lot, I had my fair share of Chiefs, Senior Chiefs, Master Chiefs and Naval Officers vying for the title of “My Most Valuable Life Teacher”. Later on in life when I began to achieve positions of leadership and responsibility, I reflected often on the important lessons those teachers shared with me during my Navy years.

We can read about coaching or disciplining employees in a textbook and we can act out canned situations in a class using role-play; but nothing compares to learning from the receiving end of an issue where you’re the focus of the coaching or discipline.

The older I get, the more appreciative I am for some of my toughest teachers. They taught me the best lessons about myself, about my career and about life. Similarly, I’m grateful for circumstances that I’ve come through that were challenging and painful. The wisdom I possess today was honed in the fires of those awful times, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for other more pleasant circumstances.

This year as we prepare for the turkey feast and family time, let’s take a few moments to be grateful for all the people who have taught us the hard lessons; the ones we didn’t ask for and certainly didn’t want but that have taught us important things that, if we are receptive, can make us better people at home and in the workplace; today and in the years to come.

I wish you all a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving!


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About the Author

Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA
Rebecca Harmon returned to HIM practice in a leadership role after spending many years as an HIM educator. Tapping her broad history of diverse healthcare experience that began with a tour of duty in the US Navy, Rebecca writes regularly and speaks on education, workforce issues, management and life. An energetic and engaging speaker, Ms. Harmon enjoys sharing her unique perspective with student, faculty, professional and community groups.

2 thoughts on “Being Grateful for the Good (& the Not-So-Good)

  1. Linda Wilson - November 24, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you for your words of wisdom! I’m approaching the big 6-0 and have faced so many hurdles in my personal life and work career. Each situation has refined me to who I am today. I have been studying and am preparing to become a certified procedure coder through AAPC.

    Thank you!


  2. Lisa - November 27, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    This was a blessing to read. I too have learned a lot of life’s lessons through rough waters and I wouldn’t change a thing about it! Thank you for putting it so clearly!


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