My name is Jennifer Martinson, and my educational journey with Herzing University started in January 2020. I was a registered dental hygienist for more than 15 years and while I enjoy oral health and healthcare in general, I didn’t feel fulfilled. The aspects of my job that I enjoyed the most were the administrative tasks, customer service and patient care.
Here’s how I decided to change my career to medical billing and insurance and how you can too:
Choose a Career
I knew that I wanted a career change, but I needed to be certain which profession I wanted to choose. I contemplated a major for many years and the fact that I couldn’t settle on any one particular subject is what kept me from taking any courses in the interim. If you know what degree you want to pursue, you should begin taking courses or at least doing more research on the educational requirements for your degree and profession of choice.
For me, two other important factors were making sure I had the time and money to get it done. Be sure to look into part-time or online classes, especially if you’re working full time. You might also consider reducing hours at your job if you can while pursuing your education.
Budget Time and Money
Before you enroll in a program, you should determine how much time and money it will take for you to earn your degree. I would also recommend looking into your financial aid options and meeting with a financial aid advisor at the university you’re interested in.
When budgeting for a career change it’s important to consider whether your previously earned college credits will transfer, which will also help you gauge how long it may take you to obtain the degree you desire. You may need to re-take classes because they don’t transfer, which can be frustrating.
Find Your Passion
You should also ask yourself if your career change is something you truly want or if it's a thought that others have instilled in you. We are more successful and so much happier when we do what we enjoy and comes naturally to us. This creates passion for our work, and passion is one thing that can’t be taught. Over time, we tend to regret and quickly become unhappy with an occupation that others may have pushed us toward or had us thinking we should pursue.
I ended up choosing Herzing’s medical billing and insurance program for a few reasons. While I knew I would be taking a pay cut with my career change, I was experienced enough to know that doing what I enjoy will bring more happiness and satisfaction in my life. This degree will also allow me to stay in the healthcare field without working in a clinical setting. I’ll be able to concentrate on performing administrative duties while having valuable clinical knowledge. There are also more potential job opportunities with a medical billing and insurance degree, which will allow advancement opportunities and versatility in my career.
Choose a Career that Challenges You
For me, an important part of a new career is finding the perfect combination of being enjoyable and challenging, and I’ve finally found this with medical billing and coding! People don’t realize how much goes into billing and coding. Professionals need strong attention to detail and accuracy for reimbursement, record keeping and public health records. There are a voluminous amount of codes to choose from and what code you use ultimately impacts your organization and the patient. While electronic records facilitate some of this, you still have a professional duty to make sure the bills accurately reflect the documentation in the medical records.
Find a Career that Satisfies You
I have already found happiness in what I’m doing through my coursework and have no doubt this career will bring me professional satisfaction. It would be great to have the ability to work from home, and this career field has more options for this to become a reality for me. I see myself doing things such as coding/billing audits and policy/procedure protocols for years to come.
Being good at what I was doing and my commitment to my patients and employer were my biggest hurdles to overcome when changing careers. I knew I would have to take a giant leap to leave all that I had worked for and established in life, but that’s exactly what I did. I finally knew what I wanted, and I made the tough choices necessary to get there. Education is the one thing no one can ever take from a person. It may not be easy, but it will always be worth it!
If you’re thinking about a career change, consider meeting with one of Herzing’s admissions advisors who can provide you with helpful information on potential career options and degree pathways that might work for you.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.