Career Step Graduate Review: Diane Spoehr

Graduate Spotlight – Diane Spoehr

It is a compliment to have been asked to write of my experience for the Career Step Coding Bulletin; as a new student I imagined how great I’d feel if I ever graduated, and now here I am!  When my husband, two sons, and I moved back to Florida several years ago, I planned to continue working as a computer programmer, but at 60 years of age found I would need to change careers.  Someone mentioned medical coding, and I began quizzing everyone I knew. I learned that coding involves the fields in which I have education and experience: biology, science, computers, and language. All my favorites wrapped up in one fascinating package!  After an extensive search online for a school with excellent reviews, credentials, and comments on webpages not hosted by them, I investigated several places, then called Career Step and spoke with Brett Palmer. Brett impressed me with his professionalism and caring attitude, as did every CS staff member I contacted.

Throughout my life, I have attended six different colleges/universities/technical schools; Career Step is the seventh.  Whew, sounds exhausting, but I know what makes or breaks a course, and Career Step is one of the very best. The jokes alone were worth the price of admission! Seriously, the course is laid out to teach not only what to study, but how to study.  The study planner, ‘email this page’, contact information on every page, links on the home page, and resources other students mention definitely helped expand my computer favorites list this past year!

The Career Step student forums helped me find a bookrack large enough for the ICD-9-CM; they also gave me courage when I was wavering, answers to problems, and a list of interesting books to read. The daily chats kept me in touch with the instructors and other students; if I could not attend, I could go online to the logged chats.

I took about ten months to graduate. Two months from my program’s end I contacted Support for help scheduling my final exam, hoping to take it three times for certification rehearsal and just-in-case.  I passed with Honors the first time, and took it again for practice. I didn’t have enough time for a third effort, as the CPC exam was given two weeks later!  I had purchased the AAPC’s review book for the CPC, but not the sample exams. The book provided a review and helpful summary of the Career Step information, and was a chance to see the different style of questions and wording AAPC uses; however the course and two finals from Career Step were the main tools that helped me earn CPC-A on the first try!

My family is proud of my having graduated with Honors in November, and passing the CPC exam in December. I am thrilled to have done well; it was not easy, but therefore all the more rewarding. Now on to finding employment; and Graduate Support has my back in this as well.
Thank you all. This was quite a year!

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