by Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC
Coding is hard to explain to someone who has never heard of it. What’s even harder to explain is that medical coders can work in any number of fields, in a variety of companies, and in numerous capacities. A simple “medical coder” search on a job site may yield hundreds of jobs that are exactly as medical coding is described; coding medical charts, reviewing quality of code selection, meeting team and personal goals. That environment is certainly the “bread and butter” of the medical coding employment, but it is important to remember that many other industries also use medical coders in their processes. Whether you dream of working in a traditional medical coding environment, or you’d like to work in a different capacity using your medical coding skills, it is important to evaluate your passion, your interests, and what drew you to coding in the first place.
Traditional coding jobs are fantastic, and allow you to be part of a team that is close-knit, collaborative, and truly like a family. If this is the type of job you’d like to have, before you start your job search, take a look back on your coding education. Did you love a specific section or module? Did you struggle with a topic or specialty? Take your educational experience and apply it to your job search. With hundreds of results generated from a job search with “medical coding” keywords, it is helpful to use any way that you can to limit your results. The time you save by reading only the job descriptions that excite and interest you will be invaluable to the job search process. You’ve worked so hard for your certification, use your skills to do what you love, reading medical charts that catch your attention!
If you’re looking for a job that is not in a traditional medical coding environment, there are also some choices to be made before you begin your job search. How do you see yourself applying your coding knowledge? Are you interested in physician credentialing? Medical sales? Provider Relations? Contracting? Auditing? Medical Records Compliance? Expand your horizons, and use specific company websites to find out-of-the-box medical coding opportunities. You never know where you’ll end up, and that’s the exciting part!
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