Graduate Review: Danielle

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Our next graduate spotlighted was Danielle. Here is her experience:

Q.    Did you have previous medical background?

A.    I worked for two years as a medical records clerk when I was in high school and college.  That job required filing and assembling hospital charts in the correct legal order.


Q.    Did you take the CMAA?

A.    I took the CMAA exam three weeks after graduating from the course. As the test covered something from every module, having a comprehensive understanding of all the material was the best preparation for the exam.

Q.    Did you use graduate services? Yes

      b.  If yes, how did they help you?

        A.  I used graduate services for help with my resume.  I created a resume and sent it to them.  Graduate services answered my questions within one day and provided me with an excellent revision of my resume.  They continued to encourage me to follow   through with taking the CMAA exam.  They also helped me to not feel discouraged when my job search took longer than I wanted.

Q.    How long have you worked in the industry?

A.    I’ve been working for an ophthalmologist for 6 weeks now.

Q.    What are your job responsibilities?

A.    My job entails all front office duties, including: answering telephones, making and changing appointments, chart preparation, pre-exam screening, HIPAA compliance, and using diagnostic equipment.

Q.    What does your typical day include?

A.    A typical day starts by collecting and answering messages from the voice mail, turning on equipment, and preparing the office for arrival of patients.  Next, I examine the day’s schedule and compare it with the charts that have been pulled to make sure all charts are ready when patients arrive.  Before patients arrive, I will also enter any recent encounters into the EHR for review by the medical records technician.  As patients arrive, I check them in by checking insurances, preparing new patient charts with their demographic information, collecting copays, etc.  When needed, I perform diagnostic testing on patients.  While I am performing all these duties, I am also responsible for answering phones and making appointments or taking messages.  At the end of the day, I shut down machines, cover equipment, and turn off lights.  I total the day’s receipts and prepare the money for deposit.

Q.    What is your favorite part of your job?

A.    My favorite part of the job is interacting with the patients.  Because the doctor I work for specializes in cataract surgery, the majority of his patient population is elderly.  They are a wonderful group of people who are funny, wise, and for the most part, courteous to others.

Q.    What is your least favorite part?

A.    I do not like the part of the job that requires me to tell people we cannot see them because they are unable to pay for services.

Q.    How did your Career Step training prepare you for your position?

A.    Career Step prepared me for my job in many areas.  The most helpful modules were those which covered HIPAA, insurances, and medical record documentation, including EHRs. 

Q.    What was the hiring process you went through?

A.    I found out about my position’s opening from a friend who was a patient of the doctor.  He asked her if she had any recommendations for the position, as he did not want to advertise unless necessary.  He told her if she knew of anyone to have them bring a resume to the office.  I took my resume over personally and received an informal interview from the staff.  Two days later, the doctor called me from his remote office and conducted a telephone interview.  He asked me about my work experience.  Since I had been out of the workforce for 20+ years, I had the opportunity to describe what I had done during that time as a homeschool mother and active community volunteer.  The doctor explained the type of work I would be doing and his expectations.  He asked me some questions to help him gauge my personality and if it would fit well with other staff members.  After a 20 minute interview, he offered me a position for a probationary time, which I am still in.


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