To allow the students to get inside knowledge and professional experience in the medical coding field, completing an internship is very important for them. However, the internship will ease the students for a new job after they achieve the certification.
If you are currently attending the medical coding program, it would be better for you to take an internship. But, you should keep in mind that the majority of internships are unpaid. If now is your first time to take an internship, you may wonder how to get a medical coding internship.
Getting a Medical Coding Internship, Here’s How!
Since employers will search for the most potential candidate to apply for a medical coding position, the experience will actually be required for this job. So, it’s a great time for you to take an internship in a number of institutions that will give you a great chance.
The only one way to take an internship is by looking for the available internship program around your area. If you already determine an institution, you can then make an appointment with your career counselor at the school or program in which you will be or have been enrolled.
In fact, most community colleges actually have good liaisons with local provider offices and hospitals. They will also keep a listing of all available programs where a student will be able to participate in.
Alternatively, you can take an internship through AAPC that offers Project Xtern, helping certified medical coding specialists gain positions in this industry. In other words, it looks like a coding matchmaker program where if you will, it will match coders to provide facilities and offices which will be willing to offer job experience in an actual medical coding position.
For more information, the AAPC now works with over 200 facilities or offices nationally. When a facility or office submits an agreement to the AAPC, they will secure a position for every exam which includes at least 60% hands-on billing or coding training while completing a three-month (unpaid) program.
Where to Take an Internship?
As we’ve mentioned, you can take an internship in some medical facilities and offices. Certainly, there are a number of alternate facilities that will allow you to take an internship. Here are they:
- Doctor’s office
- Chiropractor offices
- Physical therapy offices
- Drug facilities
- Outpatient clinics
- The Red Cross
- Nursing homes
- Mental health facilities
- Government medical facilities
Well, those are the facilities that you can attend to take your medical coding internship. So, make sure to choose one best suit that you gain on the job experience.
If you already determine which facility you choose to take an internship, you may need to contact the facility and attempt to volunteer in the medical records department and file charts, if it’s possible.
Moreover, you may also need to check at a local doctor’s office and check if they really need help for verifying the patient’s insurance, type of overflow position and also accounts receivable follow up in order to gain an opportunity.
In this case, the employers will hire the candidates that have a long experience in the medical coding field. At the entry level, it is actually challenging for all beginners outside. That’s why doing your best is a must to secure a position in any available internship or externship program in order to get a job after certification and having to work hard for several months.
What will an Internship Position Do?
With unpaid salary, an internship position will work under the supervision of the manager/ supervisor. This position will have main duties and responsibilities that include:
- To analyze patient accounts to coordinate and complete patient concerns in office by phone or also through written correspondence.
- To gather outstanding balances from patients and insurance plans
- To provide timely and accurate follow-up for all inquiries
- To have a pleasant manner when working with patients
An internship also must have some required skills and abilities to work in a facility or office, here are they:
- Microsoft Office
- Have ability to work independently or also as a part of a team
- Minimum GPA of 2.5
- Require to have resume and cover letter with 2-3 letters of recommendation
What are Benefits of Taking an Internship?
When you take an internship in the medical coding field or others, there will be a number of benefits that you can get. What are they? Let’s see a list of benefits when taking an internship!
- Gain job experience
When taking an internship, you will gain job experience for the first time after a medical coding training program. Of course, an internship is a great way to fill the gap when a company will always select an experienced candidate for applying for a position. With an internship, you will get previous exposure to how a business in your medical coding field runs.
- Get research experience
In some scientific fields, an internship may consist of helping with research in a lab. Through a medical coding internship, you will be able to test the research skills that you have learned in your college courses in a practical setting. In fact, some facilities will require a candidate having research experience.
- Gain access to various medical coding tasks and departments
When you take a medical coding internship, it will assign you to a specific task daily. Others may enable exposure to people in a variety of jobs and departments. While taking an internship in a facility, you actually help your seniors to complete small tasks in patient records, observe the daily function of the facility and many more.
- Create your professional network
A medical coding internship is such a perfect way to expand your job network. While taking an internship, you will meet with many professionals around your workplace. So, it’s a big chance for you to open a connection with professionals to get your future jobs after completing a medical coding training program.
The point is, the most important thing when taking an internship is to show your curiosity, willingness and enthusiasm that can help professionals to see your good potential.