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Monday, June 14, 2010

New Tricks For An Old Dog

Since the job market is practically non-existent for me, I'm seriously considering training for a career change.  I looked into the health care industry because, let's face it, it's a growing industry, especially with the aging demographic that this nation has.  Problem is, I don't have the physical strength or back to become a nurse, much less the four years it would take to become one.  Plus, I'm not much into sick people.  Don't get me wrong- I feel for them and pray for bad cases; I just don't want to be around them. Which is probably why I have the utmost respect for Registered Nurses and everyone else who deal with sick people.  It really takes a special type of person to care for others when they are not their best, or just plain helpless, and I recognize and admit freely that I am not one of them.

I was lucky enough to find the American Medical Association's Health Care Careers Directory online, and medical coding looks like something for which I can train quickly and become certified quickly.  And quick is the name of the game here, because I am no spring chicken.  Another good thing is that in some situations, you can do medical coding at home, not that I am going to count on that.  Most of what I've found is outpatient coding, so I am not sure if training to be an inpatient coder at a hospital or surgery center would be better paying or whatnot.  It would certainly preclude medical coding at home, however.

At any rate, I had the heart to heart with my loving husband, and his sage counsel is to go ahead with the first prerequisite online class, anatomy and physiology, and see how I like it and all that.  There are companies all over the place that want to teach you medical coding, but I figure that the best place to start is with a nationally recognized organization that provides certification testing, figuring that they'll do the best job readying me for the test, which is evidently six hours long.  It has been a really long time since I last took a class- I'm not even sure I'm capable of retaining anything.

The state of Oregon has a Training Unemployment Insurance, for which you have to apply ninety days before your class starts.  The local community college doesn't do this type of training, and I'm not sure that I want class room training anyway; I discovered long ago that if I can't interact with the instructor and put in my two cents worth every so often, I will fall asleep.  I can't just sit through lecture.  And I don't know if I would even qualify for TUI, after applying for it, or if it would be the same weekly amount as the regular Unemployment Insurance I'm currently receiving.  So online training is probably my best bet; I can do it while I'm still looking for work, and if I manage to get a job, I can still continue to train for my certification. 

At least in this day and age, we have resources like online training.  I may not have enough working time left to go back and get a degree, but I can do something about getting trained for something else.  And that's a hell of a lot more empowering than just looking for work and not finding anything for which I'm qualified.  A lot more empowering.

The question still to be answered though, is can this old dog learn some new tricks?  We'll just have to see.  Rolling over and playing dead won't be one of them, though.

3 comments:

Miriam said...

Sounds like a great plan! I think I understand your questions about going back to school - it's not so much "Can I do it?" but "Will I have a chance to do it in a way that makes sense to me, or will I have to follow someone else's path blindly?" It seems to me that knowing yourself so well, knowing your preferences and strengths, has to contribute to your chances of success. And by the way, when I was a teacher, I loved having active learners in my classes who wanted to engage and interact and put in their two cents' worth - it kept me from falling asleep, too.

Joleen said...

I think that's an excellent idea. I've looked into that myself. It pays a lot so you could do it part-time and make good money and not even have to work all the time and I think, from what I hear, it's not that unusual to find a position doing that from home. Learning medical terminology sounds overwhelming, but it actually makes a lot of sense once you start learning. Have confidence in yourself - you can do it.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Boy, oh, boy... I worked as a medical biller and did coding as one of my jobs for twenty years.
My advice - go for it! Try and pick a specialty for coding - it pays better. Psych was mine and I was able to work from home until I got into forensic work then I travelled to Washington, DC once a week. (long and classified story!) After I was at the billing for a bit I was able to take clients at my leisure and pick and choose who I wanted to work with. Please feel free to email me if you would like any details on what I did or if you have any questions. I'd be happy to help as much as I can!
You seem like a very determined woman to me (that's a good thing) and can do anything you set your mind to!