Experienced tutor w/great resources & tips" - Vicky Baltimore, MD on 6/11/2022
I've worked in healthcare for years & have opted for a more self study style path towards medical coding . Deresa responded to scheduling & questions within the time frame promised. For our 1st session, Deresa gauged where I was in my learning with honest feedback, clarified questions on what I've learned so far, & supplied tips/tricks on review AND to moving forward in a realistic time frame that eased feeling so overwhelmed! Next session is already scheduled.
3/5/2022 Deresa, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your assistance and to share that I passed my CPC exam!!! The tips and recommendations you provided actually allowed me to score a high B! I also got the job back at UHC leading a team of 22 which some of them are coders. Can’t thank you enough and happy to recommend you to others :)
Deresa is very knowledgeable takes the time to explain and help you understand the material. She is quite understanding of how the CPC test works. I am currently working with her to get prepared for the CPC test.
June 18, 2021
From AAPC Facebook group. Hello all- I keep seeing posts in here about folks struggling to find a job or even get an interview and an overall sense of despair and or disappointment with how things are going for them now that they’ve passed their exam and acquired their cpc. I would like to share my experience over the last 15 months from taking the leap of starting an online course to landing 2 remote jobs as a coder, as it may offer advice, inspiration, motivation, direction, or just may help lift some of the low spirits within the group. This is long winded, I know, but for those struggling: please take a few minutes to read through this. If I can touch just a few people, I would feel satisfied. My background long in short: culinary industry for 20 years, specifically running a restaurant as the chef for 4 years up until may of 2021. During the initial covid quarantine last year i was unfortunately laid off and took a chance and decided to take the Career-Step coding and billing course, as someone close to me at the time knew I was disgruntled with the toxic environment that can be the restaurant business and advised me that coding is a good skill to learn. Fast forward to the summer: I’m back at work while finishing my training course, pass the cpc exam in November and bam! I’m now a cpc-a. So what’s next? Where do I go from there? I’ve got ZERO background experience in the healthcare field. But heck, I’ll give this a shot. I worked so hard up to this point, let’s go through with it, right? Needless to say, it’s daunting trying to figure out where to start. But through asking questions and perseverance I did figure out a lot of tools I’d like to remind everyone of. These were all helpful and work synergistically with each other, overall. Let’s take a look 👀: - AAPC site: you must earn ceu’s to continue staying your certification and keeping it valid and active. I used the e-magazine on their site. It’s free, you can go back as far as 12 months, and each magazine has a quiz worth 1 ceu. The great thing about this magazine is it gives you knowledge about getting your feet wet in the industry. Another great tool on the aapc site is their mentor program. Use it! It’s free! I found myself a wonderful lady named Deresa Claybrook whom looked at my resume, sent links to help make the resume better, and overall gave me great advice. We spoke mainly through email but I did speak with her on the phone, as well. This resource is invaluable. Practicode: do you need it to get hired? Nope. Does it hurt if not give you advantage towards landing a job? Absolutely. E.g. if there are two applicants of similar value to the employer and one has the apprenticeship eliminated on their certification, the employer is most likely going to choose them. (For what it’s worth, I did not take the practicode but did plan on it, I was hired before I had the chance to do so). Your local chapter: attend the monthly web/zoom meetings. They’re incredibly helpful and it’s a great way to network. You also earn ceu’s from attending these. They typically run for 90 min in the evening. In addition to the aforementioned, chapter leaders will send mass emails to members from that chapter about jobs and available positions in the area. Not only did I land my first gig this way, but every single position I applied for garnered an interview. Which brings me to my next topic/tool: - Interviews: I swear, interviewing for a job requires skill and experience, too! Haha, my first interview was TERRIBLE on my part, but after dozens I got better and more comfortable. My most fruitful interview was one wherein I literally got the opportunity to speak with the resident physician. And I’ll never forget what he said to me: “When you land an interview, that means from the perspective of the employer you’ve obviously got the skills to be successful in the position you’re possibly being hired for. It’s just a matter of being the right fit.” These words gave me confidence, and I immediately interviewed better from then on. The employer/hirer wants to know that you REALLY want the job. I was picked alone for one position to be filled amongst 20 other applicants and my full time boss admitted it was my desire that she could hear in my voice. How you interview is crucial; don’t ever forget that. Do you really want this job? How bad? Hiring agents interview applicants all day long, at times. They can read between the lines, they will pick up on your nuances and demeanor. Your resume is also important: - Resume quality: I recommend having your chapter leader, your mentor, a friend or family member in the corporate field take a look at your resume. It should not be more than two pages. It should be clear, concise and succinct. It should list skills; TRANSITIONAL skills. LIFE skills. These are important to learn and know, especially if you’re like me and have no direct previous experience. The fact that I ran a kitchen means I’m a good communicator, I’m held and hold myself accountable. I’m precise and stay within the limits I’m relegated to, from a financial and business-cost standpoint. I’m self sufficient, I have initiative, and know how to engage when I need to know something. Skills like these transition into any field. Know your skills. Finally, here are some important tools to use with less in-depth explanation: - Temp agencies: Use them. They’re free to utilize. Use more than one. Talk to the temp agents. They do this for a living and can give invaluable advice. - Indeed: It’s the site I used, exclusively. I would use other sites, too (Glassdoor, monster, etc.), but most if not all of the available positions were already on indeed. It’s a great site. I would like to add to the Indeed.com mention that you want to search for jobs involving coding AND billing, not just coding. Apply for any and every job that relates to both of these. Coding is a SKILL. It’s applicable across the administrative healthcare board. You’ll garner more interviews and get a feel of things more quickly. - Fb groups: No explanation needed. - Local physician societies: I messaged my local society and they were happy to email my resume around. Anything I missed please feel free to add. Here are some helpful links regarding some of the bullet points I made above: This is a helpful resume builder: https://zety.com/blog/resume-action-words Here is essentially a “thesaurus” of sorts to help direct you to the positions related to coding skills: https://jfamc.org/.../09/Billing_Coding_Office_Titles.pdf This dives into the transitional skills that I talked about earlier in the post: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/.../transferable-skills.html Some books to help you figure out what type of job you subconsciously would excel in and skills you have that you may not even be aware of: Careers: The Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Future, available on www.dk.com What Color Is Your Parachute? 2020 (there probably is a 2021 version, now) written by Richard N. Bolles YouTube channels: -Contempo Coding -Medical Coder Life -AMCI Medical Coding Final notes: - Be persistent - Ask questions. It never hurts to ask. Literally. - Be active in all areas I mentioned - Know yourself; your strengths, weaknesses, purpose, desires, etc. Be honest with yourself. - Be patient. It may take time to land a gig, let alone the exact one you’re hoping to get. If I figured it out, so can you. If you use even 75% of the tools I listed above, I just can’t see anyone not landing something. If you’re unemployed, you may need to take whatever you can get. I had the chef position to keep steady income while waiting around for opportunity. Be prepared to “fight” for what you want. Be prepared to continue your learning and training. The healthcare world changes constantly and we need to stay up to par. That hard work you put in to studying and preparing for your exam? It doesn’t end. It’s infinite. Coding is for go-getters, you’ll drown if you just stay content and wait for everything to come to you. Thanks to all who stuck it out until the end, here. Good luck and I hope I could help in some way, shape or form! I’m sure I missed some stuff so please feel free to add info in the comments!
(Personal information has been removed to protect privacy)
I want to thank you for your support and insight during my transition from training to employment. Thanks to your advice, I start a new job on Tuesday! I'll be researching denied claims for XXXXX.
I would have continued slogging through Practicode getting discouraged if you hadn't encouraged me to start applying. Once I got going, I figured out which of the skills and proficiencies I already had that were found to be in demand and fine-tuned my resume with those. I did a little online research about getting the experience required by most entry-level coding jobs, and someone posted a video to the Practicoders FB group that led me to a great resource.
I continued applying for coding jobs but expanded my focus to jobs that wanted CPC knowledge in general. Those were the ones who called for interviews. My coding training qualified me for this job. Even though it's not a coding position, my goal of moving on to something else has been accomplished. Either this company will be amazing and I'll stay, or it will provide the experience I need to continue pursuing coding. Win-win!
As for Practicode, I've given up emailing them. I'm just taking notes on what I miss so I can refer back for the assessments (I still want my A removed). I'm saving a lot of time and frustration this way. Since my approach has changed, You've been a huge help in a way I didn't anticipate. Wishing you all the best!
Take good care,
Deresa C. is professional and fantastic when it comes to the medical field and knowledge about coding. So far, I’ve learned a great deal. I would recommend her to anyone who is studying for the CPC exam or anything in this regard. I am pleased with all the tips and personalized information is given to help with my specific needs. She is a great tutor!
Isabel Lopez (Wyzant Student)
December 2020 (AAPC Mentor City)
Reference/ recommendation for Deresa Claybrook
As someone who has had the opportunity to work with Deresa Claybrook as a mentor, I can definitely say that I benefited from our relationship. Deresa approaches her role with a positive“can-do” attitude that is infectious. While she is full of energy and heart, Deresa is also direct and no-nonsense. Where I saw roadblocks, she saw possibilities. When I felt doubtful, she conveyed certainty. Deresa was generous in sharing everything from practical knowledge to article excerpts. Her ideas regarding my path forward were based on her broad knowledge of the field and yet individually tailored for me. I am grateful to Deresa for her investment in me; I was able to borrow from her confidence to tap into my own. And when done well, I believe mentoring gives both ways.
Aug 3rd, 2019 Former student
Took her online class and everything she needed you to do was very clear and easy to do. As long as you complete the weekly assignments on their due dates you'd be guaranteed a good grade. The requirements for an A was at a 93/100 since her class is that easy and open book. My advice for anyone taking her online class is to keep up with due dates!
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