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How to Become a Medical Coder
Have you ever wondered how to become a medical coder? Have you been thinking about returning to or going to school to become a medical coder? Here’s some great news! The field is one of the fastest growing professions in Texas and around the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, it’s expected to increase 22 percent from 2012 to 2022. Read on to figure out how get a new career started here.
First, make sure becoming a medical coder is the right choice for your career and future based on your life goals. If you want to help patients without directly diagnosing or treating patients, for example, you’ve found your job. The medical billing training is a great way to work in the healthcare without directly working with patients. A medical coder is responsible for make sure healthcare facilities, physicians and hospitals are reimbursed for provided medical services.
Medical coders assign standard medical codes for any treatment, diagnosis, procedures, and tests performed on patients. These medical codes are used to bill patients and third party payers like Medicare and insurance companies. Deciding whether a medical coding career is right for you ultimately depends on:
The importance of flexibility and freedom
Type of salary you want to make
How much you want to work in the field
Earn Needed Training and Certifications
Second, you want to get the training and certifications needed to actually work as a medical coder. Postsecondary associate’s degree, training and certificates are all available. You’ll take courses in medical terminology, classification and coding systems, and anatomy. Our recommendation is that you only select programs which give you hands-on experience working in the medical coding field. The best way to develop the needed coding skills, we believe, is through training that provides experience in the task at hand.
Keep in mind, as well, that the best medical coding programs pair you with Texas employers willing to let you put your knowledge into practice. Along with training certification preparation is another important step. Some employers don’t require you to become certified, but a medical coding certification stands out on a resume. You have the options between certifications like:
Billing and Coding Specialist
Electronic Health Record Specialist
Medical Administrative Assistant
Prepare for Your Medical Coding Career
The third step in becoming a medical coder is to apply for jobs in the space. To start this conversation, it’s important to have a quality resume that stands out from the other medical coding graduates. You want to place emphasis on your internships and any jobs that helped you develop the medical coding skills, as well as the certifications and skills you’ve received. A good resume makes a compelling case for why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Keep in mind that a great resume doesn’t just list your jobs in chronological order. Instead, you’ll format it to show your skills in specific jobs and tasks. You also want to prepare for interviews.
Your interviewer will ask you questions tailored to the medical coding field. These questions will focus on insurance programs and your knowledge of medical coding. You may even be quizzed on medical terminology. These you should be well prepared for, by the end of your training, so just make sure to remember a few tips. First, be polite: this applies to your attire, your manners, and how you speak. Second, make sure to put your best foot forward in terms of past successes, skills learned, and your natural talents. Third, stay calm and remember that this is the start of your next career! Becoming a medical coder takes time, but the rewards are dramatic.
For anyone looking to gain a stable job, a career they can grow, and a balance to both their life and work becoming a medical coder is a great option. To start at the beginning, and complete every task along the way, is to guarantee job success. Perseverance is the key to success in any field.
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Enrique H. Welding
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Juan L. Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator
“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”
Denise S. Medical Assistant
“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”
“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”
Annette D. Business Accounting
“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”
Bonnie M Medical Assistant
“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”
Sidney B Medical Assistant
“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”
“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”
“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”
* Past students’ outcomes, starting salaries, or job prospects are not indictive of the possible job outcomes for future and current students. SCI does not guarantee employment or a starting salary upon graduation, completion, or withdrawal from SCI.