How to Become Indispensable in your New Medical Office Job

So you’ve gotten your medical billing and coding or medical office certificate from Allen School Online.  You’ve landed an exciting new position in the offices of a local physician or hospital.  Want to know the secrets of how to be the one person in the office they’d never even think of letting go?  Business Insider recently published this great article explaining how to become the indispensable member of the team.   The condensed version is:
  • Never take the shortcut.
  • Be adaptable, not rigid.
  • Be of service to others without expecting anything in return.
  • Be purpose-driven, not goal-driven.
  • Be assertive. Life is a game, so play big or go home.
  • Forgive others quickly.
For the details, read the whole article here.

Don’t Say That!

Foot in MouthOne of the most popular posts ever on the Allen School Online blog was entitled 10 Common Reasons People Get Fired!  You can read it here. No other post has generated anywhere close to the number of reader comments.  Probably because everyone knows a co-worker who does some of these “termination worthy” things (like failing to take a shower before work). Well, I think this post will be similarly popular.  It is based on an article published on Monster.com entitled, “Nine Things Never to Say In a Job Interview” and it contains almost as much cringe-worthy examples of ways people undermine their career prospects as the 10 Reasons People Get Fired piece.  Have a read and remember these things next time you’re interviewing for a job in medical billing and coding or medical office assistant.

Early Spring? Early (Allergy) Suffering

If you live in the Northeastern United States (as many Allen School and AS Online students do), you know we’ve been treated to a very early Spring.  After an exceptionally mild and mostly blizzard-free Winter, the temperatures have been in the mid-60s to 70s for the last 10 days or so.  The forecast is for over 70 degrees for much of the week this week.  In this blogger’s yard, the lilac bushes and forsythias have already begun to sprout early leaves.  While all this is a welcome occurrence, I know that I and many other seasonal allergy sufferers will be in for a bumper crop this pollen season.  While there’s very little you can do to stop the coming onslaught of pollen, there are steps you can take to alleviate the allergens in your home so you don’t suffer twice as much when the trees and flowers bloom.  Here’s a good piece from Men’s Health magazine about ways to minimize allergies in your home.  Enjoy this early Spring, and pass the tissues!

Non-Verbal Cues that Can Torpedo Your Job Interview

You only get one chance to make a first impression.  This is especially true in the interviewing for a job position.  With so many applicants for each available job, you need to put your very best foot forward.  Just try not to be tapping your best foot all through the interview.   Allen School Online students get a highly respected certification when they finish their studies of medical billing and coding.  However, no matter how good your grades are, and no matter how respected your education is, and no matter how articulate you may be in the interview, you can still blow it and not even know it.   The Wisebread.com blog site has a great piece up right now that chronicles some of the non-verbal or “body-language” cues that can distract an interviewer during your meeting.  Things like excessive staring (while trying to maintain good eye contact), bouncing one’s leg up and down (due to nervousness) or nodding too much (trying to indicate high levels of interest) can all be negatively interpreted by the hiring manager.  Click here to read the whole article and its list of “don’ts” for body language during the interview process.

Great Data from BLS on Medical Billing and Coding Employment

medicalbillingandcoding.org is chock full of tools and data you can use to learn more about the employment environment for your chosen career field. And I have to say, the data looks pretty good. The salary figures, the projected growth of the industry and other related statistics all point to a positive environment for jobs in medical billing and coding.  Stop by their site here and see for yourself.

Get a Real Job! **UPDATED**

This story has been exposed as a hoax.  Sorry for any inconvenience! You may have seen this story on the Interwebs today about the sneering banker who left a 1% tip on a $135.00 lunch tab at a restaurant in tony Newport Beach, CA.  Worse than that, he circled the “tip” line on the credit card receipt (where he filled in the whopping $1.35 gratuity) and left the server the nasty-gram, “Get a real job!”  What a Jerka-saurus Rex!  Now, you probably won’t make as much as a bankster with your certification in Medical Billing and Coding from the Allen School Online.  But you will have what no one – not even an overly entitled, imperious jerk like this banker – could ever accuse of being anything other than a “real” job.  A good job, with a respectable salary and benefits.  So keep on studying and remember to be nice to one another out there!

Don’t Miss Out on Education Tax Credits

So, the tax season is upon us.  Time to dig out all your last year’s receipts, paycheck stubs, W-2s, 1099s and any other income and expense related materials.  However you choose to make your filing — on your own, with the help of a service provider like HR Block or Jackson Hewitt, or online with a program like TurboTax — you should know that there are some pretty significant deductions you can claim for monies you spent in pursuit of online education with Allen School Online.  Now I am not an accountant and I don’t suggest you take this material as legally qualified tax planning advice.  But there are places you can go to find out about the deductions you may be entitled to for spending time and money studying medical office assistant and/or medical billing and coding.  Start here for a pretty good overview of what you can reasonably deduct.  The list includes tuition, interest paid on educational loans, cost of books, supplies and materials and other school-related expenses.  Depending on your level of income, you may or may not derive benefit from these deductions, but its worth a few extra minutes to look into what you may qualify for.  After all, why leave money on the table?

A Heart Attack on a Bun

We’ve all made this joking reference before to fatty fast foods that we love, but that are less than healthy to consume.  Regular readers of the Allen School Online Blog know that we love to cover stories about horrible fast foods.  From KFC’s gruesome Double Down sandwich to the greasy McDonald’s McGriddle breakfast sandwich.  As entrants into the field of medical office assisting, you’re bound to endure a lifetime of dealing with people who suffer the maleffects of eating this kind of diet.  Just look at the case of the man that suffered a heart attack while eating something called the “Triple Bypass Burger” (see photo) at a place in Las Vegas known as the Heart Attack Grill.  You may be as disgusted as I was to learn that this 8000 calorie monstrosity of a sandwich is not the largest one on their menu (see the Quadruple Bypass Burger to be truly impressed/repulsed).  So yes, the victim in this story did indeed suffer a heart attack while eating a Triple Bypass Burger at the Heart Attack Grill.  Is anyone surprised?  Always looking for stories about horrible dietary abuses so if you know of any places or stories like this one, please share with me in the comments.  Now go eat a spinach salad!  Happy Friday students!

What Can You Expect Salary-Wise With Your Certification?

For excellent information on the salary ranges you might expect to earn as a medical billing and coding professional or medical office assistant, I recommend the site: www.simplyhired.com.  There you can enter in the position you’re expecting to fill once you’ve completed your course of study at the Allen School Online.  It also offers functionality to search average earnings by location.  So if you plan to move to Tulsa to start your career, you can see what the market looks like for your job description.  The good news is that in the New York metro area, the average salary for medical billing and coding professionals in listed at $50,000/year.

The Best and Worst of Fast Food Burgers

As part of this blog’s ongoing series highlighting some of the best things and worst things to put into your body, I offer health.com’s recently published list of the best and worst fast food burgers (from a health perspective).  Now as a rule, burgers are probably not the healthiest thing you could choose to eat.  But you might be surprised to learn that some seemingly healthier options are among the worst in terms of sodium, fat and caloric content.  Whereas some sure fire artery bombs are actually not so bad comparatively.  Does your favorite burger make either of the lists here?  Share in the comments.  Then, my Allen School Online students of medical billing and coding, get out from behind your computer and go eat a salad!  LOL!