If you’re reading this, you’re probably enrolled in a medical coding course–which is awesome! There are a lot of good schools out there. Here is the kicker though–there is just a lot to learn. Most schools don’t focus on a specific specialty, so you’ll get an overview of everything. On one hand that is great. You can learn a little bit about everything. But on the other hand, there’s so much info at one time, you might feel like throwing in the towel.
If you want to get to your goal of being a medical coder someday, most employers require a certification from either AAPC or AHIMA. But that is just the beginning. Before that can happen, you’ll need to pass your coding classes. Here are 6 tips:
1. Study. Ok this might seem like a no-brainer but I think it’s important to mention. You will not pass your coding classes if you do not take the time to study. You need to spend time reading your class material and going over your assignments.
2. Know your guidelines. Depending on where you are in your classes you might be tired of hearing that one already. But it is true. I can not stress enough how important it is to know your coding guidelines. Do you have to memorize every single one? No, but you need to know the basics and you need to know how to find the guidelines in the book.
3. Practice. It takes time to learn medical coding and you’re not going to get better unless you practice. To steal a line from an old teacher I had, she said “the more you practice the better you get.” This is especially true for medical coding. If your text book has extra practice questions–do them. Try to figure out the answers. You’ll only get out of the classes, what you put into it, so don’t cut corners.
4. Tab your coding books. The tabs help you find everything quicker. It helps you get a concept of how things are organized in the book, which, be honest–that helps. These books are massive, especially the ICD-10-CM Book.
5. Organize your study space. Say what you will, but it only makes sense to organize your study space. It’s hard to study at a desk with tons of papers, pencils and coffee mugs all over the place. I’m not saying you need to hire someone to clean your house, but if you’re in an a clean, organized work area, it will help you stay focused on your studying.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is no such thing as a medical coder who knows everything there is to know about every specialty. Read that again. There is no such thing as a medical coder who knows everything there is to know about every specialty. Experienced coders know a lot about their specialty, but that does not mean that they know everything. So, remember that next time if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
But with that in mind, if you’re doing the best you can and you feel like you have too much on your plate, a medical coding tutor can help.
Midnight Medical Coding offers 30 minute medical coding tutoring sessions. It’s one on one through Zoom and during these sessions, I can go over your class assignments with you and point you in the right direction. You pick the date and time of the session.
This is something new that I started this month, but so far a few people have signed up, and I have to say it went really well! See below for more info and to sign up.
So there you have it. Good luck with your classes guys!