If you have gotten a job as a medical coder congratulations! You have won half the battle. But in order to truly get the most out of your coding career you have to position yourself in a place with growth opportunity and if need be know when to look for a new position.
If you are in your first medical coding position it goes without saying that gaining experience should be your primary goal. However once you have been in that position for some time and have learned everything you can it’s time to take stock what is next. Often when looking for your first job you take what you can get, anything to get you something to put on a resume. But it can be easy to stay stagnant never growing beyond where you began its important to always be looking forward, looking for ways to grow.
The best way to grow as a medical coder is to take in a much knowledge as you can. The best way to do this is to take initiative outside of the work place. There are countless courses, books, articles, and practices guides you can use to get better acquainted with the many other specialties out there. Although you may not have the “work experience” the job asks for, showing you have a strong basis will go a long way. It’s been my experience that even though I had never worked in the capacity before, because I learned enough to pass a pre-employment test I was still able to get many jobs. That is because it can be difficult for employers to find someone to meet exactly what their asking for. In a sea of resumes with no experience you set yourself apart showing you have a strong basis and that they could get you up to speed quickly.
When possible try to get employment in multispecialty facilities and hospitals. These present great avenues for cross training and nothing beats actual on the job learning. Because these facilities have a large variety of specialties it gives you the opportunity to reach out to learn new things. You may be able to get a small amount of charts starting out to code for yourself then that specialties specific coder can give you feedback when they code it. Or you may be able to get charts that have been de identified, post coded and you can review these and see how the code selection was made. You also may have the opportunity to shadow another coder during some down time. There are much more opportunities this route verses for instance a small family practice clinic.
I have found in my own experience and in the experience of others by doing these two things they have been able to expand their coding career very quickly.
Thanks for reading, let us know what has worked for you comment below!