In 2008, I decided to change careers. I wanted something totally different from the hospitality industry I had always been in. The medical field was something I knew I would enjoy. I looked at many different coding programs, both distance learning (DL) and those with classes held on campus. My choice was Seminole State because I liked their balance of campus and DL courses. Although my initial goal was to enter the field of medical coding and billing, the Associate in Science degree in Health Information Management opened my eyes to many more avenues within the HIM field. My practicum experience through Seminole State led me to the field of cancer registry. With that experience, I was able to secure a position within a hospital cancer registry and gain the additional practicum hours I needed to sit for the Cancer Tumor Registrar credentials. The education and experience I received from Seminole State College have jump started my new, exciting career.
If someone were to ask me what Seminole State College means to me, I'd probably have to take a minute or two just to think about a response. Seminole State College provided me with the education and self-confidence I needed to prepare for my career. There was a point in my life where I found myself unsure of what accomplishments and goals really meant to me, since I was uncertain about what career path would allow me to feel fulfillment. I sought guidance and knowledge, and it was after speaking with a professor that I found the support I needed. The Health Information Management Program at Seminole State College has given me an opportunity to become someone I never knew I had the potential to be. To obtain a degree in health information management at Seminole State means that you, too, will receive guidance, support and recognition by various healthcare employers. So, thank you Seminole State, not only for the attention and care you have provided me with through your outstanding academic HIM team, but also for the endless opportunities and expectations that I now see before me.
Seminole State College provided me with the base of my coding knowledge through the quality of classes and the commitment of teachers. I was so well-informed and prepared when I graduated that I was able to start working immediately as a medical coder. Initially, I was working for a billing company that was responsible for coding for local emergency department physicians. I learned a lot in that job because I had to use my skills to code for a variety of cases.
As a coding coordinator I am responsible for supporting the coders — up to 24 coders divided into 12 practices/specialties — in their daily activities and for keeping them up to date with coding guidelines. I also am responsible for keeping them in compliance with governmental regulations through educational meetings, as well for coding education and the training of new coders. Additionally, it is my responsibility to be the liaison between our coding department and the finance business office, providing them with coding expertise support during the claim process and providing help in educating the physicians with their documentation and answering their coding requests.
I have to say that my day-to-day activities are very demanding and keep me busy all day long, but I really like what I am doing and feel that I am prepared for all of the challenges that come my way. We are now working on the preparedness of the upcoming ICD-10. I attribute part of my confidence and success to the foundation of my education. I believe that the foundation of a good education is the key to success when the subjects you decided to study are all very well-taught.