At the end of 2014, Deana Jones was employed with a corporate company when it went through reorganization. Her department was eliminated, but being laid off gave her the opportunity to rediscover her interest in the medical field.
She began to research the field and discovered the work a medical coder performed fit her personality and mindset. The medical coding field has continued to grow and change, which made it a good profession for her to break into.
She heard about the Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program through previous classes she had taken at CCPE. She knew it was the right fit for her: The program prepares you to sit for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Deana thought the instructors brought a lot of knowledge to the classroom.
“The real-life expertise the teachers brought gave me a great learning experience and what I particularly liked most about each class at CCPE that I have taken,” Deana said.
Deana found it especially exciting when the coursework started to click and make sense to her. She started with no medical experience, other than the prerequisite class taken before the coding class, to fully understanding the medical terminology applied to the coding class.
She has since graduated from the class, received her CPC certification and landed an internship in the medical coding field at Northside Hospital.
Deana initially heard about the internship when she joined the Marietta chapter of the AAPC during her time in the medical coding class. She spends her time doing E/M coding, helping with various projects, and verifying procedure and diagnosis codes. She has enjoyed working for a company with such great rankings: Forbes ranked Northside to be the No. 1 employer in Georgia.
She said, “I am receiving what I consider being the best real-world training by some of the best professionals in the field.”
The medical coding class has greatly assisted Deana during her internship by covering all the body systems when learning the CPT procedure codes and the ICD-9 and ICD-10 diagnosis codes.
“It doesn’t matter what type of project I am assigned; I am familiar with the coding because it was part of the course curriculum,” she said.
Deana hopes to one day get another certification, but as for right now she loves focusing all her energy on learning all she can in this profession.
“I am really happy where I am and will just continue to learn all that I can from this wonderful group of people that I work with,” she said. “I feel very blessed and humbled to have been given such an incredible opportunity.”
As for students interested in this program, Deana advises to know it requires a lot of study time and hard work but it is worth it and very rewarding. She also suggests joining your local AAPC chapter. Deana said, “The AAPC meetings provide an opportunity to network, to listen to speakers who are professionals in their field and have a good time with great people.”