I came to the United Stated from Poland in 2003. I always loved and was good with numbers, and medical coding is full of alphanumeric and numerical codes, so I was intrigued to learn more. I decided to enroll in Branford Hall Carrier Institute in Southington, Connecticut.
Overcame a Language Barrier
I was not sure what I was getting into until I had the medical terminology and coding class. I was a student with at least three dictionaries on my desk including one Polish-English Medical Dictionary. But I did it! And I graduated with honors.
Gained Experience and Learned from Defeat
I got my first job at an urgent care/internal medicine office the same month I graduated. I did not get my Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) credential at the time, but a few years passed and I got in touch with my coding teacher Maria Santiago, who help me study to take the CPC® exam. She was a great teacher who took time on the weekends to sit down with me and go over the material. In 2010, I took the test, but did not pass. I didn’t feel strong enough to retake it back then.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again
Years passed and my husband and I had kids. One day, my coworker (who is a single parent) told me about her education and how she did it. I thought maybe I could try again and decided to study and retake the CPC® again. I enrolled in distance learning classes with AAPC in July 2018, and sat for the exam in December that same year.
I didn’t tell anybody that I was taking the test, not even my husband. I passed! Seeing those three letters after my name on the My AAPC app was the best feeling ever. Now I am studying for the Certified Professional Biller (CPB™) exam, and I believe I can do this. I am very passionate about pursuing coding and billing career and I’m not going to stop at the CPC® and CPB™ credentials.
I am thankful for my family who motivates me to do better and for my coworker, CoreyAnn Ruggieri, at Yale New Haven Health System, for encouraging and believing in me!
AAPC’s annual salary survey gives a good understanding of the earning potential within the medical coding profession.
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