Many students wonder if they will ever grasp all of the medical terms, coding guidelines, and evaluation and management steps necessary to appropriately assign the codes on a medical record. New information is constantly being presented in the program and it can become overwhelming if too much information is attempted to be absorbed all at once. Additionally many students are also full-time employees, full-time caretakers, or have other responsibilities in addition to being a student. They often wonder how to manage their responsibilities as well as making their study time the most effective.
It becomes important to take each module, coding concept, and guideline at a time. Some students learn by thoroughly and slowly reading the guidelines others learn by application, some like the tests, games and quizzes, others prefer to print or write out each piece of information, perhaps making outlines, flash cards, ext. Everyone has different learning styles. It is helpful to identify what works for you and use this knowledge to your advantage. Remember the exercises, games and reviews are designed to help you learn. It is not required to finish each exercise, only the unit tests and module exams need to be 85% or higher to take the final exam. (See the final exam overview and preparation module for a list of final exam requirements.) Provided below is some advice from graduates who have made it through the Medical Coding and Billing program.
“As a graduate from the Career Step Inpatient/Outpatient Coding and Billing Program and newly Certified Professional Coder, I would like to tell current students to not get discouraged while learning. This is a very hard program, but a good one! There were many times I found myself frustrated and wondering if I would ever really fully grasp what I was learning. Fortunately, due to the number and varying levels of difficulty of reports/records I coded throughout the practicum, it finally came together. Practice, practice, practice and constantly go over Instructions and Conventions of the Classifications and Guidelines. That’s the advice I received from many veteran coders and want to pass on to you. Best wishes to all of you in your endeavors…..you can do it!!” – Jaime Weinand
The practicum is where many coding skills are developed as students put their knowledge into practice. Only an attempt is required on each of the SkillBuilding exercise, the practicum is designed to help students build coding skills, it is not a test!
With the self-paced online medical coding and billing program students can study according to their own individual schedules and set their own deadlines and goals.
“I enjoyed the Career Step program. Not only is it a wonderful program to learn but easy to fit into any life style. I learned everything I need to pass the state test and use the skills. I was able to learn at my speed and not always at the same speed all the time. Life happens and this program worked for me and my busy life. I was able to learn the Inpatient Outpatient medical billing and coding and use it in my daily life as well as plan for a career. I have been studying to take the state test and feel confident with the Career Step training. They also helped me with my resume to assist in employment. Even though I have graduated, they keep in contact with me. The Career Step people are always there to answer any questions or assist with the process. If I had it to do it again, I would choose Career Step again and if I need more training I will go through Career Step for that training.” – Michele Fields
Remember to use your resources all throughout the program. The community.careerstep.com site is available to network and reach out to fellow students and graduates. Student support is also available to assist students throughout the program.