My Career Step: Danita Allen

Danita Allen

Danita's Goals

  • Transition to a medical coding job at her hospital
  • Find a training provider that would fit her busy schedule

Benefits of her Career Step Education

  • Online training allowed her to study from her very small town without a huge commute
  • Quality curriculum helped her gain the skills she needed to be a successful coder

Career Transition

I’ve worked at my community hospital for a number of years. After about 4 ½ years in patient accounting, I learned that my position was being eliminated. I asked my supervisor to transition to medical coding, and she pointed me to two distance-education programs: one through Arapahoe Community College and one through Regis University. Because I live in a very small town and work full time, I had to find a good distance education option, and since I didn’t want to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree, I decided to train through Arapahoe Community College, which had partnered with Career Step.

Finding Work/Life Balance

I started training in December of 2010. Adding a full training schedule to keeping track of my 16-year-old, getting my 18-year-old ready for college, working full time, and visiting my grandson in Cheyenne, Wyoming as often as possible meant that I spent a lot of nights on my laptop. But I loved learning something new, and working at the hospital throughout my training allowed me to see the practical uses for everything I was studying. Because I would have loved to train in a more personal, classroom environment but just couldn’t because of my location and situation, I especially appreciated the orientations before the different sections of the course. They were great opportunities to speak with the coding instructors, and I really enjoyed these conversations and felt they helped me through the training program. Overall, it was a hard course and there were times when I wasn’t sure it was worth the time and effort, but I made it and graduated in November 2011. 

Full-time Coding

My connections at the hospital made my transition to a full-time coding position relatively easy. After graduation, I earned my CCA designation from AHIMA and was able to actually start coding in March 2012 after the hospital hired a senior coder who could check my work. My department head has specifically told me that I’m doing great as a coder, and I know that Career Step made that possible by helping me gain the skills I needed. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished, and my children have even told me that I inspired them to go to college so they have access to more job opportunities.

If you’re self-motivated and interested in a medical coding certificate, Career Step is a great choice.

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