Do I need my RHIT credentials in order to get a job in medical billing

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susieque in High Point, North Carolina

57 months ago

I graduated almost 3 years ago with an Assoiate in Health Information Technology but have still not taken the RHIT exam. I am still looking for work and was wondering what is holding me back. Is is no work experience or not taking the RHIT exam? Also if anyone has any resume advice that would also be helpful. Thank you. Susie

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Patrice in Houston, Texas

57 months ago

Both. I am not familiar with the job market in your area, but most employers want your credentials and a little work experience. I literally took this position while studying for credentials that would give work experience, and as soon as I received credentials the opportunites were great for me. But then again, I live in HOuston and there are a lot of hospitals and medical facilities in my area. Good luck.

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susieque in High Point, North Carolina

57 months ago

Thanks. Do you know if I can still take the CPC exam?

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Hamburgler in Houston, Texas

53 months ago

Patrice in Houston, Texas said: Both. I am not familiar with the job market in your area, but most employers want your credentials and a little work experience. I literally took this position while studying for credentials that would give work experience, and as soon as I received credentials the opportunites were great for me. But then again, I live in HOuston and there are a lot of hospitals and medical facilities in my area. Good luck.

I "was" looking for a CCS, RHIA and/or RHIT in Houston for the last two months and didn't see one resume from someone with these certifications, so we had to settle on someone without certification. Are there literally more jobs than there are certified coding specialists in our area. Whats your take on this?

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Patrice in Houston, Texas

52 months ago

Personally, Hamburgurler I feel that a lot of people do not know about the H.I.M field, period! When I tell someone that I have associates degree in Health Information, NO ONE has the slightest clue what that career entails. So that reason right there MIGHT have something to do with the position you advertised for. Another reason, which I prob. wouldnt say for this situation, is a lot of H.I.M students are scared to sit for their certification exam. It is a very difficult exam for your RHIT credentials. What position did you advertise for? For me, it is hard breaking into a coding position because everyone wants 2 years of experience. I do not have problems with other positions in H.I.M. field. Also, what rate of pay were you hiring for? That could also be a reason no one certified applied?

Hope I was helpful!

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Hamburgler in Houston, Texas

52 months ago

Patrice, I posted for the following title "CCS, RHIA, RHIT Medical Coder needed" I don't think we were paying to low because we were looking in the 22-28 hr range. All we kept getting were people with either a CPC certification or no certification who only had experience with outpatient coding and we needed experience with hospital coding. We even tried advertising through three major sites but to no avail. We give a coding test to test the applicants knowledge in case they might have the skill but not certification. I was surprised to see how many people didn't know what a UB04 form was.

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Patrice in Houston, Texas

52 months ago

Yeah, most new graduates are not offered coding positions because of lack of experience. Facilities often advertise for at least 2 years experience. Which how do you obtain that experience if no one is willing to hire? What is your opinion of breaking into a coding position? I think facilities should offer maybe a coder trainee program, and maybe have that individual work in position for say a year before they are off that probation? Currently I work for a facility where I audit medical records and code and abstract ICD-9. With this coding, do you think a facility would be open to hiring me? Most of the codes are mental health, but the other codes are your regualar ICD codes. I would like to break into coding so I can travel while Im single, as well as obtaining a remote position later on. What are your thoughts? Sorry, this entry is so long but Im very interested in coding.

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Hamburgler in Houston, Texas

52 months ago

Patrice in Houston, Texas said: Yeah, most new graduates are not offered coding positions because of lack of experience. Facilities often advertise for at least 2 years experience. Which how do you obtain that experience if no one is willing to hire? What is your opinion of breaking into a coding position? I think facilities should offer maybe a coder trainee program, and maybe have that individual work in position for say a year before they are off that probation? Currently I work for a facility where I audit medical records and code and abstract ICD-9. With this coding, do you think a facility would be open to hiring me? Most of the codes are mental health, but the other codes are your regualar ICD codes. I would like to break into coding so I can travel while Im single, as well as obtaining a remote position later on. What are your thoughts? Sorry, this entry is so long but Im very interested in coding.

I think it would be great if the schools would work with employers to offer coding externships. That way individuals would get the training they need and employers would get first chance at hiring the individuals once the externship was done. I've seen them do it for outpatient clinics but not for hospital coding. As far as what your doing now Patrice, I really couldn't answer without more information as to the type of things your coding and whether its in/out patient. I know most of my clients look for people who can code the following: Emergency Room, Preadmission Testing, Lab, Imaging, Physical Therapy, Orthopedic, Spine and Hyperbaric Medicine. Personally I think the best way for a newly certified coder to get both inpatient and outpatient experience at once is to target their searches to surgical hospitals because they do so much of both, but are small enough that they usually have individuals work on both in/out patient and don't have them broke up into seperate groups... but thats just my opinion.

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SALSATWEETY55 in Baltimore, Maryland

51 months ago

I am looking for some help from someone who is in the HIM field as a coder. I have a few questions, hopefully somone can answer for me. I am thinking about going into this field, but am not quite sure. Hopefully I can get some insite form your answers.
What educational background did you need to get in this field?
What are your job responsibilities?
Why did you chose this profession?
What are your credentials?
What were your career goals when you got into this field?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.....Thank You!!

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

51 months ago

SALSATWEETY55 in Baltimore, Maryland said: I am looking for some help from someone who is in the HIM field as a coder. I have a few questions, hopefully somone can answer for me. I am thinking about going into this field, but am not quite sure. Hopefully I can get some insite form your answers.
What educational background did you need to get in this field?
What are your job responsibilities?
Why did you chose this profession?
What are your credentials?
What were your career goals when you got into this field?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.....Thank You!!

I have a certificate in medical billing/coding. When I started in this field 6 years ago, it was enough.

I am a coder, so my responsibilities include coding multiple, multiple specialties and contacting physicians in regards to missing dictation. I just started my current job, so I don't have many responsibilities yet.

I don't like interacting with the general public, so as a coder, I don't have to talk to people LOL

I am a Certified Professional Coder (CPC)

I have thoroughly enjoyed this field and love my job. It is a great field to go into, however, it is hard to get into.

There are a TON of new graduates with no experience, and most employers require 1-2 years experience, so I would suggest starting somewhere else in the field, like medical records, front desk or billing, gain experience and knowledge of ICD 9, CPT and reimbursement regulations, then leverage your experience into a coding job.

Good Luck

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Destiny in Houston, Texas

50 months ago

Patrice in Houston, Texas said: Personally, Hamburgurler I feel that a lot of people do not know about the H.I.M field, period! When I tell someone that I have associates degree in Health Information, NO ONE has the slightest clue what that career entails. So that reason right there MIGHT have something to do with the position you advertised for. Another reason, which I prob. wouldnt say for this situation, is a lot of H.I.M students are scared to sit for their certification exam. It is a very difficult exam for your RHIT credentials. What position did you advertise for? For me, it is hard breaking into a coding position because everyone wants 2 years of experience. I do not have problems with other positions in H.I.M. field. Also, what rate of pay were you hiring for? That could also be a reason no one certified applied?

Hope I was helpful!

I went in the H.I.M in school and I enjoyed it. I have been done with school for over 9 months now.

I can NOT find a job any where. I have even offered to do an internship and turned in my resume to anyone who would take the time to take it from my hands. Seriously, When I talk to the office managers,they look at me like I am from outer space and explain to me that they do not offer that position in their offices.

I am at a complete loss for what I am suppose to do about this issue. I feel like I have wasted tons of money and time and effort. I have not taken my Texas test. My friend told me it was not necessary to do so but I am beginning to second think that. I also have a Medical Transcription certification and again the same story.

I am hoping third time is a charm by just reading some Medical coding and billing books and taking the required exams in hopes of getting that job. I would welcome any info or advice.

Thank you.

P.S. I too live in Houston, Texas.

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patrice in Lewisville, Texas

50 months ago

Not signed in replying from email, but I am from Houston. The top just says Lewisville for some reason. Anyway, stick with it and do not give up. I just so happened to strike gold because I was offered a position last year as a performance improvement specialist, which gave me a lot of experience in the field. Now, I work in Revenue Integrity at a local hospital. Keep looking, and you will find something. Even if you have to take a clerk position in H.I.M. take it. Because with your credentials and your work ethic you will move up quickly. Also, remember RHIT does not necessary mean work in medical records. There are a ton of positions that you can branch into. So, good luck to you. If you have any other question/concerns please feel free to email at spw_83@yahoo.com

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Destiny in Houston, Texas

50 months ago

Thank you for your encouragement. I seriously have felt defeated over the past year with all this. I most defiantly will keep on keeping on. I would love to work in that field. As of right now, I am doing retail as of right now. I will keep my eye on the goal ahead of me

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Julie in Brandon, Mississippi

50 months ago

I graduated in May 2009 with an Associates Degree from a community college here in Mississippi. I have my RHIT through AHIMA. I worked at a local hospital here in Jackson, MS as an outpatient coder for 7 months. I have been without a job since the end of January and am having a great deal of trouble finding a job now. I have great clinical knowledge as I was a nurse before going into the HIM field. I would love some advice!!!!! I am sooo frustrated! I love the field and want to get back to working in it but it seems like no one will give me a chance. Thanks for any input! It will be greatly appreciated!!!

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Christy Jackson in High Point, North Carolina

49 months ago

Hi Susieque of High Point. I am also in High Point and I am currently enrolled with Kaplan University for RHIT. Yes, you do need credentials in order to obtain a well paying job or even getting a job at all. Taking the exam is very very very important.... think about it, we can go to medical school to be physicians but we have to 'prove' that we actually learned what we're supposed to by sitting for the exam....

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Janiece F. in Lacey, Washington

40 months ago

I am thinking about getiing into a HIM program that is not accredited by CAHIM. Is it possible to get hired with an AAS degree in HIM?

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Queenie in Lawrenceville, Georgia

40 months ago

Janiece F., yes, it's possible to get hired with an associate's degree in HIM. An associate's degree is an entry level degree in HIM.

However, do NOT get into a program that is not accredited by CAHIIM. No matter what the temptation is, stick with CAHIIM-accredited schools. There are a variety of different accredited programs to choose from - traditional & distance learning - and the prices are often low and/or manageable and there is financial aid.

Plus, if you do not attend a CAHIIM-accredited school, you won't be able to sit for the RHIT exam which grants you "RHIT" title. Employers prefer hiring those who have achieved certification.

To do a non-accredited program would be a complete waste of your time, energy, and money. There's already a lot of competition for HIM jobs and by having a non-accredited degree, you wouldn't be considered competition.

Check out cahiim.org, hicareers.com, and ahima.org. Good luck.

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valentine in Park City, Utah

40 months ago

Queenie in Lawrenceville, Georgia said: Janiece F., yes, it's possible to get hired with an associate's degree in HIM. An associate's degree is an entry level degree in HIM.

However, do NOT get into a program that is not accredited by CAHIIM. No matter what the temptation is, stick with CAHIIM-accredited schools. There are a variety of different accredited programs to choose from - traditional & distance learning - and the prices are often low and/or manageable and there is financial aid.

Plus, if you do not attend a CAHIIM-accredited school, you won't be able to sit for the RHIT exam which grants you "RHIT" title. Employers prefer hiring those who have achieved certification.

To do a non-accredited program would be a complete waste of your time, energy, and money. There's already a lot of competition for HIM jobs and by having a non-accredited degree, you wouldn't be considered competition.

Check out cahiim.org, hicareers.com, and ahima.org. Good luck.

I agree with everything you said! There are so many CAHIIM schools, and most offer online classes, there isn't any reason to attend a non accredited one. I believe it is the RHIT credential that demands more pay, rather than the degree itself.

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Ellen in Traverse City, Michigan

39 months ago

susieque in High Point, North Carolina said: I graduated almost 3 years ago with an Assoiate in Health Information Technology but have still not taken the RHIT exam. I am still looking for work and was wondering what is holding me back. Is is no work experience or not taking the RHIT exam? Also if anyone has any resume advice that would also be helpful. Thank you. Susie

No. I have 30 experience in HIM. I have the associate in science and still haven't taken the test. I have worked as assistant dir and presently a coder at home for a large hospital. I am also a certified tumor register. Hospital will hire you, but want you to take test within usually 2 years of hire.

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Barb in Danville, California

37 months ago

Ellen in Traverse City, Michigan said: No. I have 30 experience in HIM. I have the associate in science and still haven't taken the test. I have worked as assistant dir and presently a coder at home for a large hospital. I am also a certified tumor register. Hospital will hire you, but want you to take test within usually 2 years of hire.

Take the exam. I passed it on the first try and was shocked. I went there with the intention that I would fail and take away where I would really need to study. I couldn't believe that I passed the test! I used the PRG test book prior to taking the exam. Give it a try. You may be shocked like i was.

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Mary Jackson in Chicago, Illinois

36 months ago

I recently graduated and I agree with Destiny in Houston. Here in Chicago coding jobs are not very plentiful and everyone wants experience. I can tell you one thing don't do it like I did online. Most online courses offer no externship and you are stuck with a high student loan to pay back, nothing but an Associates and no job prospects. I am beginning to think that this was a bad decision. I even graduated in the top 10% of my class. If anyone has any helpful information please email me at maryfjackson@yahoo.com.

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elizabet in Laredo, Texas

33 months ago

I graduated in Spring 1999 and took the test that summer. I failed and never retook the exam. What do I do now that I need work. What steps do i take to get back into the swing of things to take my exam

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kathy in Anchorage, AK in Hanover, Pennsylvania

32 months ago

I completed my couse in 2008, top 10%, I have been working at a hospital before taking any classes,as a MHSII now that I have my degree, I was told that I first need CSC before I can get my RHIT? Is there any truth to that?
O B T W, with the title Medical records / MHSII, I have, I was told I make to much money to work in billing & coding.

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david.hua.truong in Houston, Texas

31 months ago

I have both a bachelor in HIM and the RHIT and it is still hard for me to find a job. I graduated 5 months ago. Sigh

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Patrice83 in houston, Texas

31 months ago

Sorry to hear that David however my question to you is are you only applying to traditional HIM departments? If that is what you truly want to do, then I wish you best of luck. But your degree qualifies you to work in different departments as well as the traditional route.

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david.hua.truong in Houston, Texas

31 months ago

I have been applying on anything that pops up in relating to HIM, HIT, coding, billing, EMR, EHR, etc. It seems that every where that I have applied to want some sort of experiences, which I only have through internships. I don't really know what else to do anymore. I guess my next step is to find any place that will allow me to volunteer in the medical records department until I can find a place that will accept me.

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lg in Norristown, Pennsylvania

31 months ago

susieque in High Point, North Carolina said: I graduated almost 3 years ago with an Assoiate in Health Information Technology but have still not taken the RHIT exam. I am still looking for work and was wondering what is holding me back. Is is no work experience or not taking the RHIT exam? Also if anyone has any resume advice that would also be helpful. Thank you. Susie

Well it seems that you need to take the AHIMA RHIT program, I'm also in a HIT program where I'm going to take a review course and if I receive a 70% or higher, the RHIT exam is paid for me. Also, take the CCA or CCS exam in additon.

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mrd in Taylor, Michigan

31 months ago

I am what they call a 'Medical Records Director'. In my case In 2003 I completed a 9 month course at the National Institute of Techolgy in Southfield in medical administrative assisting. I spent 3 years as a medical records assistant then accepted another position as a director for 4 years at a nursing home.I would like to get certified in HIM because even though I have the experience but some employers would like certification. Can I just take an exam or will I have to complete a college course? I worked in this field for over 7 years and would like to dodge the classes. Any ideas on this?

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valstyn in Waltham, Massachusetts

29 months ago

Barb in Danville, California said: Take the exam. I passed it on the first try and was shocked. I went there with the intention that I would fail and take away where I would really need to study. I couldn't believe that I passed the test! I used the PRG test book prior to taking the exam. Give it a try. You may be shocked like i was.

Hey Barbara,

Do yo uhave a pesonal email address? I would like to chat with you further about the PR test book. Thanks so much.

Corinne
vals600@comcast.net

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Princess in Spokane, Washington

28 months ago

Hey everyone,
So I am starting the HIM program this fall at a community college. Im transferring from a four year because i feel like the job opportunities in health care will be much better. I have s couple of things on my record from when i was 18 or 19 and it stopped me from getting a good job. My question is will i be able to take my RHIT if i have something on my record?

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chocolatedrop in Forest Park, Georgia

27 months ago

I would like to study before taking the RHIT exam. Is there any type of study guide or test prep book/courses that can be taken. $229 is a lot to spend on an exam and I do not want to fail. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thx

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susieque in High Point, North Carolina

25 months ago

Ellen in Traverse City, Michigan said: No. I have 30 experience in HIM. I have the associate in science and still haven't taken the test. I have worked as assistant dir and presently a coder at home for a large hospital . I am also a certified tumor register. Hospital will hire you, but want you to take test within usually 2 years of hire.

How do I get my foot in the door without credentials? How did you do it? Thanks!

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Airart in Euless, Texas

23 months ago

@@PLEASE READ THIS IF YOU WANT RHIT OR RHIA CREDENTAILS@@

You have to take an AAHIMA approved course in order to sit for the RHIT or RHIA exams. I made this critical error when I received my Bachelors in Health Information Technology. I wanted to take my RHIA exam and was told since my school was not on the "approved" list then I first had to get a "Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Information Management" from an approved college of course. Go to AAHIMA's website and search out "approved" schools and then go from there. I am finding out the hard way that my degree is useless and the colleges either want me to start over or get a second-bachelor, either way its another two years of school. My loan debt is already sitting at $60k+ and now I feel like its been a total loss. So I am passing on this critical benefit for you so you don't end up like me with debt and no career hope for advancement.

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Airart in Euless, Texas

23 months ago

mrd in Taylor, Michigan said: I am what they call a 'Medical Records Director '. In my case In 2003 I completed a 9 month course at the National Institute of Techolgy in Southfield in medical administrative assisting. I spent 3 years as a medical records assistant then accepted another position as a director for 4 years at a nursing home.I would like to get certified in HIM because even though I have the experience but some employers would like certification. Can I just take an exam or will I have to complete a college course? I worked in this field for over 7 years and would like to dodge the classes. Any ideas on this?

Knowing my area in Dallas, TX, you definitely have the work experience and skills, but without the credentials it won't help. You will need to achieve at the minimum a CCS or RHIT. The CCS is for hospital coding. You do not have to have a degree to obtain this. Just study with AAHIMA's CCS prep book and then take the test. AAHIMA website tells you all you need to know. For some employers here in Dallas the CCS, RHIT, and RHIA credentials are at the same level. Your work experience will place you higher than others with just the credential and no work experience. In the meantime find an online "approved" college through AAHIMA, UIC in Chicago has one and work towards the RHIA. HIM Directors need this certification. Good Luck!

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Airart in Euless, Texas

23 months ago

chocolatedrop in Forest Park, Georgia said: I would like to study before taking the RHIT exam. Is there any type of study guide or test prep book/courses that can be taken. $229 is a lot to spend on an exam and I do not want to fail. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thx

AAHIMA website has a prep book for the exam. Go to their site and search by credential RHIT and everything will come up and choose from there. Again, if you did not get an Associates degree through a "CAHIIM-accredited HIM" college program you will not be able to take the RHIT exam.

*AAHIMA SITE - This exam prep series is designed for individuals who have successfully completed a CAHIIM-accredited HIM college program, and are preparing to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification exam to obtain the RHIT credential

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Airart in Euless, Texas

23 months ago

susieque in High Point, North Carolina said: How do I get my foot in the door without credentials? How did you do it? Thanks!

For you, I would look for places that take interns or externs. Work for free so they can evaluate you as a person and your quick learning skills. Maybe they will hire you at entry level and give you a time period to take the test.

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Airart in Euless, Texas

23 months ago

david.hua.truong in Houston, Texas said: I have both a bachelor in HIM and the RHIT and it is still hard for me to find a job. I graduated 5 months ago. Sigh

Have you tried UTMB? Do a search for remote RHIT jobs in Houston. I saw some search engines not too long ago for RHIT people. Houston is so big, but I hear alot of peole not finding jobs still. Try interning also.

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Airart in Euless, Texas

23 months ago

I feel for everybody on this forumn. I have a bachelors degree in HIT, associates in EMRs, 15+ years knowledge of insurance processing medical claims both professional and hospital, I am a certified coder with AAPC going on 7 years now, I have worked the last 3 years in appeals/denials/collections/payment posting/refunds to insurance and patients/review/auditing, etc for a large hospital/physician network in Dallas hoping to transfer soon to their HIM department. SCCCRREEECHCCH! Brakes, no RHIT, no RHIA, or no CCS and you will not pass Go and not collect a single cent. Must have those creds in Dallas. Start with your city hire websites and see what credentials employers are looking for. I have education and skills but 0 actually coding experience. Can't get in anywhere in HIM. I detected a Medicare fraud scam with an old employer and watched a year later them walking out in handcuffs. I had 0 coding experience then too, but I know fraud when I see it. Medicare and the FBI thought it was good enough too, but I think it would be career suicide to list on a resume, you think?

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Robin in Mohave Valley, Arizona

22 months ago

Patrice in Houston, Texas said: Personally, Hamburgurler I feel that a lot of people do not know about the H.I.M field, period! When I tell someone that I have associates degree in Health Information, NO ONE has the slightest clue what that career entails. So that reason right there MIGHT have something to do with the position you advertised for. Another reason, which I prob. wouldnt say for this situation, is a lot of H.I.M students are scared to sit for their certification exam. It is a very difficult exam for your RHIT credentials. What position did you advertise for? For me, it is hard breaking into a coding position because everyone wants 2 years of experience. I do not have problems with other positions in H.I.M. field. Also, what rate of pay were you hiring for? That could also be a reason no one certified applied?

Hope I was helpful!

I am a currently a student in a HIM program. It was suggested to me by my academic counselor that I look into becoming a member of AHIMA. Student membership is minimal. they offer mentor program and help finding employment. You might also consider using Facebook or LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking site. I plan on sitting for my RHIT by the end of summer. I am told that the credentialing coupled with a degree in HIM will enhance my career opportunities. Good Luck!!

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valentine2 in West Jordan, Utah

22 months ago

Robin in Mohave Valley, Arizona said: I am a currently a student in a HIM program. It was suggested to me by my academic counselor that I look into becoming a member of AHIMA. Student membership is minimal. they offer mentor program and help finding employment. You might also consider using Facebook or LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking site. I plan on sitting for my RHIT by the end of summer. I am told that the credentialing coupled with a degree in HIM will enhance my career opportunities. Good Luck!!

Not to rain on your parade, but while a degree and a RHIT are great, most employers also want experience. Just a heads up if after you get your RHIT and you are not having luck finding a job. Try to find something entry level HIM, something to get your foot in the door.

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