by Angela Gerbert, BS, CDIP, CCS, CIC, CPC-I
“Sorry, you do not have enough coding experience.” Are you tired of hearing those words? Are you frustrated because you know that if you were just given a chance you could prove yourself worthy of that position? I have been there and I know exactly how you feel.
That entry-level position is not what you applied for or what you want. You know you are destined for greater things. But I encourage you to keep a positive outlook. Get your foot in the door. Take that position and shine. Be the best you can be. Your attitude will determine ninety percent of your ultimate success.
Nothing we learn is ever wasted. I began my career as an inpatient coder which is not common today: most coders start their career working on Labs/Ancillaries, move up to ERs, then SDCs and Observation cases before attempting Inpatient. I took a few years off to raise my children. When I was ready to come back, even though I had six years of inpatient coding experience under my belt, I was told I had to start over. I had my CCS. I had the experience. Yet, I had to take the more entry-level position.
Eventually, I found my way back to inpatient coding but I don’t regret the long journey back to where I started. I am thankful for those years I spent coding the broad range of more basic cases. I learned so much I would have never learned had I stayed just as an inpatient coder. That in-depth experience left me better equipped to be an educator, to write coding courses, and to help students with questions. That’s the beauty of being a life-long learner: you use all your knowledge daily.
So if you are finding yourself discouraged, chin-up! Others have walked the path and paid their dues. You will find your way and it will be worth every step.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Exam Review
The CCA credential exhibits your commitment to the coding profession and demonstrates your coding competencies across all settings – including hospitals and physician practices. This course provides valuable study and test-taking strategies. Those who successfully complete this course are eligible for 8 AHIMA CEUs. For more information, click here.