From Education to Medical Coding: Nicole Turkington

My name is Nicole Turkington, and I’m a recent graduate of the Medical Coding/Billing program from Career Step.

I live in a small town in Wisconsin where I taught at two rural elementary schools in the last five years. I wasn’t happy with the way the education system was heading, and being a single parent I needed to find a profession that was more stable.

My great aunt enjoyed working as a medical coder, and I noticed there was a national shortage coming with the new ICD-10 revision. I decided this was the profession to get involved in. I started researching a variety of schools, both online and onsite. I requested information from a few that looked promising. I wanted to make sure they were legit and offered everything I needed to be a professional coder.

In September of 2013, I started with Career Step. I choose Career Step because they had an in-depth program that is nationally recognized through AHIMA. I also noticed that a local coding company called Amphion uses Career Step when training their coders.

I was happy with the support from Career Step. When I had questions or concerns I knew my questions would be answered. The graduate services were great. They helped me rewrite my resume to enhance my abilities and make my coding skills stand out.

Although the coursework was difficult, I knew it would prepare me for working as a coder. Throughout my program I applied for coding positions that did not require certification. When I graduated in June, I began applying to positions looking for certification since I knew I would be obtaining it soon. I’m scheduled to take the CPC in November.

In September, I received a call for an interview with UW Health Hospital and Clinics. This past week I was offered the position! I wouldn’t have gotten the position if it wasn’t for Career Step and the skills I obtained from the program. In order to be considered for the position, candidates needed to have previous coding experience or have completed a one year coding program.

I am now officially a Registry Technician Trauma Associate. I will be coding for injuries as well as entering trauma patient information and their outcomes. I will also learn a new coding system called AIS-Abbreviated Injury Scale. It was created by the American Association of Automotive Medicine to classify severity of injuries.

I look forward to starting my new job and beginning a new career as a medical coder!

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