We have had many successful graduates of the Career Step Administrative Programs. We will be featuring interviews with a few of them in the next few blogs in hopes of helping and motivating current students and graduates who may not have found a position yet!
Our first graduate finished the Medical Administrative Assistant course in October of 2012. She graduated with honors and was employed within 2 months of graduation. She currently works as a Front Desk Receptionist in an Orthopedic Surgeons office.
Q. Did you have previous medical background?
A. My background previous to attending Career Step included a medical terminology class from my local community college and volunteered 8-16 hours a week at a local hospital in the insurance verification department. Because of those two things I got a PRN job at the hospital in their Imaging department as a front desk person there.
Q. Did you take the CMAA?
A. I did take the CMAA test. I actually found the Career Step tests more difficult than that test. While it took me nearly 6 weeks to complete the test due to various technical issues and the lack of locations in my area, I passed on the first try!
Q. Did you use graduate services? How did they help you?
A. I did use the graduate services to get my job. The availability of this service was one of the reasons I chose Career Step. They were very helpful and answered my questions regarding the Career Step tests, scheduling my CMAA test and helping me with what subjects/courses I needed to really focus on for that. I am not young, this was not my first career path, and I live in a rural area so I was worried that I would have to drive an hour or more to find full time employment. They were aware of these factors and sent me employment notices accordingly. I belonged to several job boards such as Monster, Careerbuilder and Indeed but they were still able to send me job postings that I had not seen before and also helped me with what words to use in a job search to bring up the most results. The job I have now in the Orthopedics office is from a posting they sent me (and it’s only 15 minutes from my home)! I actually interviewed for the job 3 days after passing my CMAA test. I received a call back the same day I interviewed offering me the job!
Q. What features of the course were most helpful during the hiring process?
A. I found when I was submitting resumes and interviewing that a lot of places were very happy to know that I had learned a little about billing and ICD 9 and CPT codes and that I was familiar with a CMS1500 form – even though that isn’t what I was interviewing for. That is why I assist our biller in my office now. I didn’t think I learned enough in CMAA training to do any billing but apparently just the brief part I learned is enough to navigate an electronic billing system intelligently.
Familiarity with medical terminology and billing were definite pluses when I interviewed.
Q. What are your job responsibilities?
A. My job responsibilities include:
- Answering the phone and scheduling appointments in an electronic scheduling system
- Creating and maintaining patient charts in an electronic medical records system
- Preparing patient charts for the upcoming days appointments
- Obtaining medical records and/or reports from other doctors to use in patient care and in updating their charts
- Checking in patients and collecting co-pays and any outstanding balances
- Ordering non clinical tests such as X-Rays, CT’s, MRI’s or physical therapy
- Ordering prescription medications for patients over the phone or hand writing prescriptions
- Verify insurance coverage and obtain prior authorization if necessary for certain tests or medications
- Scheduling appointments for patients at other medical facilities if needed
- Checking out patients by scheduling follow up appointments and ensuring they understood their office visit and any directions they were given by the doctor
- Maintaining the electronic telephone reminder call scheduler
- Completing forms for patients such as long and short term disability forms and motor vehicle forms
- Responding to requests from attorneys, workers comp claims adjusters and other physicians
- Assist the office manager with medical billing and making bank deposits
Q. What does your typical day include?
A. My typical day is never the same. I work for a surgeon so we only see patients all day 2 days a week and then in the afternoons once or twice a week. Sometimes if the surgeon is available we increase our appointment hours or if an emergency surgery occurs or a surgery takes longer than expected we have to rearrange and reschedule appointments.
Generally on the day that we see no patients is when we get as much of the office work done as possible such as electronic scanning, filling out of forms, ordering records, etc…
Q. How did your Career Step training prepare you for your position?
A. Career Step training prepared me for exactly the duties I am doing as front desk reception. I did not spend time learning things that I never use. I sometimes refer to my Career Step books to refresh my memory on things that I do in my job.