by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA
You don’t have to look far to find online discussions about the shortage of coding jobs open to new graduates. It doesn’t seem to make sense – especially with all the concern around productivity losses when ICD-10 is finally implemented – employers should be scooping up new coders left and right!
Instead of focusing on employers’ reasons for hiring or not hiring, let’s look at what you – the new coder – can do to jump-start your career.
From a general perspective, managers are looking for some basic traits. They want employees who are dependable, reliable and can be trusted with expensive company assets; assets like hardware and software, but also intangible assets like the organization’s reputation.
Managers are always on the lookout for signs that new hires can work and play well with others. Believe it or not, a lot of the time spent wrangling problems tends to center on people issues, and not technical ones.
Smart managers also know that we live in a fast-paced world and to remain relevant they need employees who can learn and grow with the company. They also know that promoting a proven employee from within is a much lower risk than hiring a new person.
If you’ve trained as a Coder but are finding no luck securing a coding job, consider taking a related job in a department where others are working as coders. Once there, you can prove your value as a reliable, trustworthy and trainable employee who brings benefit to the organization.
Make it known that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and “do your time,” learning the department’s work flow, the facility’s culture and how you fit into the team. Volunteer to help whenever and wherever you can. Ask if you can re-code records to stay sharp and be sure to keep current in your continuing education and credential maintenance.
If you’re willing to be patient and do your part, you’ll not only end up with a coding job, but you’ll earn the respect of your colleagues, gain some seniority and add new friends to your circle.