Multitasking

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone! How have you been?  Did you enjoy your Turkey Day with friends and family?  Or did you hang out in your room with your favorite homework?  Ha-ha I hope not.  Just don’t be like me and let your homework sit until you remember you need to finish up at least two tests by a specific date.  I think it is in my nature to wait till the last minute and then cram everything in when I am down to the wire.  So I was trying to multi task my homework, my blog for work, and also have a mentor meeting via Skype.  “Bad Idea” doesn’t do it justice.  I was literally talking gibberish! My poor mentor was so confused.  There are many people who are great at multitasking but I am definitely not one of those people.  So for today I wanted to have a small chat about how to handle multitasking when it comes to medical documentation.  In the real world, when you will be doing actual medical documentation, you will have to multitask on a daily basis.

Multitaskimg

I am pretty sure I will have as many resources as I can possibly have open on my computer as well as my reference books from class, so that I can have every answer I can think of when it comes to talking to patients as well as the doctors.  There are so many different scenarios that we may encounter there is no way to be fully prepared except to be confident in our research abilities and knowledge of procedures.

What are some of the best ways that you multitask?  Do you always feel like there is never enough time in a day to accomplish all your tasks?  This is an everyday thing for me to deal with.  I create a list and by the end of the week I always have at least 3 things that I have yet to accomplish.  I have never finished one week with nothing left on the list.  That is so frustrating!  So here are some of my tricks or tips I should say…

  1. Create your list the week before; do not add to that list at all.
  2. If you need to add something to do make a separate list that is a standby list for when you finish your current list.
  3. Set specific alarms to allow a certain amount of time for each task.
  4. If there is something that I can combine into one task I will condense it in heartbeat. For example I have audio books I use for homework tasks and I have to listen to so many chapters, I will put them on while I finish laundry. While I am folding clothes I will do my small workout too, so I am covering 3 tasks at once.  Or if I have to go do errands I will make sure that I have the audio books in my car and can work on that while I am driving.  Just finding things I can combine to make the best use out of my time.
  5. Do not make an unrealistic list. Remember there are only 24 hours in a day.

Hope you have a productive week and I will talk to you all next week.

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Lesson Learned

By: Jessica

Hey Everyone! I hope you are having a great start to your week.  Did you have a great weekend?  I really do not want to start this on a negative note, but I want to share with you the hard lesson I learned over the last month.  I have no clue why it has taken me a month to remember to blog about it, but here it is.  This has to do with when you are taking the final quiz of each chapter.  Everyone that is currently taking this course knows that you only get one chance to take these quizzes, whereas the other quizzes you have other chances to retake your quizzes.  So with that being said, I took a test last month and I totally forgot to enter in some information for the medical bill for a new patient.  Have you done this before?  I totally freaked out because each one was worth over 10 pts each!  I immediately sent a message to my current teacher and asked if there was a way to go back and submit it.  She got back to me within the hour and said that I could just go in and add the info.  My test was already graded, but I could possibly get the points for entering in the information.  I was very grateful.

So, just as a helpful hint when you are doing your test, make sure to read all of the instructions (of course everyone knows that), and make sure to read the back of each page if you have the paper test sent to you.  If you are unclear of what to do reach out to someone that can help.  I would recommend doing this before you start the test.  Tests are very important to your grades.  If you are anything like me you like to jump right in and get everything finished in as short amount of time as possible…specifically tests because I tend to freak out before taking one.  Knowing that I have only one shot to make it perfect should give me enough sense to make sure I have all my ducks in a row, but as you can see, mistakes happen and that is why we have student services and teachers or tutors.  We are human and will make mistakes and that is ok, just make sure to not just say, “Oh well!” and take the bad grade.  Here are my test taking tips…

  1. Read the entire list of instructions before beginning.
  2. If there is a section of the test that needs to be completed in another section, read those instructions and make sure you are comfortable using that section.
  3. If you have questions on how to use another section, ASK. I cannot say that enough. I am guilty of just taking a bad grade so I don’t feel silly.  Do not do that.
  4. Take your time and go over every answer and make sure you have not missed anything before submitting.
  5. You can always save and submit later.

Hope this will help you.  See you guys next week!

Thanksgiving

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone! I hope you have had a great weekend and are ready to accomplish a lot in the few days this week before the big day of eating the huge feast.  With that being said, remember last week when I asked you to make at least one new friend or at the least sayThanksgiving hello to a fellow classmate or an instructor?  I hope you did because this week I would like you to reach out to that person and explain why you are thankful for being in the course you are in.  If you would like to add in why you are thankful for meeting them also, please do add that in – everyone likes to be appreciated.

This week we are all about being thankful.  What are you thankful for?  Have you told anyone that you are thankful for them, or even what things you are thankful for?  I have always believed in being open to talking about being thankful or showing appreciation to the ones you love and depend on.  So there will be homework at the end of the blog also.  When you show appreciation to someone it makes you feel good and the other person feel even better than that.  You never know what others are going through, so that one smile or nice comment could totally change how a person’s day goes from that moment on.  In today’s world there is so much negativity and so many challenges we all face every day.  Sometimes it may feel like you are all alone or in a never ending bad day.  So can you guess what is next? That’s right I am going to list what I am thankful for.  Ha-ha

Things that I am Thankful for …

  1. My family – for all the support on my journey through going back to school and beginning a new career.
  2. My instructors – there are so many times that I was up late at night pulling an all-nighter to get some homework caught up and I have always gotten a response from my amazing instructors in no less than 24 hours.
  3. The opportunity to go to school online as well as working from home so that I can accomplish lots more with my free time.
  4. The opportunity to share my experiences through this blog.
  5. Thankful for my past experiences that have lead me to At-Home Professions. I am pretty sure I did not see this as a thankful opportunity, but I am not sure I would have had another opportunity to take up these offers.  You never know where life is going to lead you.

I hope that you have a fantastic week and enjoy your time with friends and family.  Your homework for the week is to ask or just tell one person what you are thankful for, and why.  Tell one person why you are thankful for them being in your life.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday Study Tips

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone! I hope you have had a fantastic weekend and are ready to start a new week.  I can tell you one thing that I was not ready for was this cold northern air.  But I doubt that anyHoildaysone is ever ready for the arctic burst.  So with that being said there are so many family obligations and fun things to start for the holiday season.  With so much to be done and so much to do with friends and family, where does that leave any time for homework?

To tell you the truth there is never enough time in the day to do your homework.  But we have to schedule it in and continue to stick to a routine or we will never get any homework accomplished.  At least I know that is how I would be.  I tend to stick homework on the back burner far too many times.  So I have my calendar with notifications set every morning that I need to do homework from 7am till 10 am Monday through Friday.  Now around the holidays I am very flexible with that schedule because there is seriously not enough time in the day for me to accomplish the things that need to get done in the week.  So I do change the schedule up quite a bit in holiday season.  But I have always stuck to Sunday mornings from 7 am till 10 am no matter what.  Yes, I really hate getting up that early on a Sunday.  It is just routine for me to have a day to accomplish things I was not able to get done during the week.  I am a procrastinator when it comes to working on things that get too overwhelming so if I tackle them a little at a time it really helps.

Another thing I love to do before the holidays is get ahead of things I know that build up super fast.  So if I get ahead at least 5 chapters I am good for a week of slacking off.  Having that Sunday morning to myself in my quiet office helps me to take that time for myself and enjoy a hot cup of cider and just relax and get my brain going for the day.  It sets the tone for my Sunday.  I also made a sign for my door so that my family knows when I am studying and I am not available unless it is an emergency. Keep that cell phone in a different room so that you are not tempted to get off track.  Remember all habits take at least 2 weeks of constant practice before they are formed.  Are there any other tips that help you personally?  Have any of you tried to reach out to others in the school community to be your study buddy?

Now let’s have a bit of fun.  Comment below what is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?  Mine has always been going around the table and each person stating what they are thankful for that year.  Have a great week and see ya next week!

Classmates

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone! I hope you have had a fantastic weekend, and are ready for a productive and fun week ahead?  I am super excited about this week.  Halloween is over and that means I get to start decorating for Christmas and get some baking started.  Yes this time of year is a very busy and chaotic time of year.  But there are so many memories to be made with friends and family and lots of yummy food to be eaten and made.  But there is also staying on task when it comes to schooling.  I have to say this is the hardest part of going to school from home.

There is always going to be tasks to do, and often times friends and relatives that come over for a quick visit.  Now I am not saying ignore your friends and family, by no means.  What I am saying is to change up your schedule for the holidays to make sure you can enjoy them, as well as family.  But how do you feel about not seeing other classmates?  To me, I actually really would love to see some of my past and current classmates.  Have you ever interacted with any of your other classmates?  Do you know how to?

You can interact with other classmates on the chat.  You can exchange emails and messages all you want.  I loved having the accountability group.  There were four of us when I first started my medical documentation journey.  I went on the chat and I wasclassmates1 always asking so many questions and there were the three main people that always had answers or positive words of wisdom for me.  But I actually asked my classmates if I could have their email addresses and we could email each other at specific dates and times and hold each other accountable for doing our homework.  It really worked well for me.  I also gained 3 new lifelong friends.  We have chatted since and have mentioned meeting up some time after we are all done with school.  But we have not set a date yet.  So with that being said, now what do you think or how do you feel about not seeing classmates?  Is there something you would like to see in your medical documentation journey to bring you closer as a classroom?  Ok so for your homework this week….

  1. Create a new schedule just for the holidays that allows for you to still stay on task, and also allows for more family time.
  2. Reach out to at least one person on the chat.
  3. Learn 3 things about someone new in the chat.
  4. Reach out to one of your instructors and learn 3 things about them, too.

When doing this make sure to document how much better your life gets while doing homework knowing you have someone to talk to and not feel like you are all alone on this journey.  We are all family in a small way and we are in this together.  Have a great week and see you next week.

Homework Storage

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone! I hope you have had a fantastic week and are ready to tackle a whole new one!  But guess what…Halloween is here so that is a treat in its self.  It is one of my favorite holidays!  So this week is all about how and where you should store your homework.  Because let’s face it, we have animals and possible children that like the taste of our homework sometimes.  Plus there are always the accidental sticky fingers or Storage-blog-post.jpgspills.  So I like to keep my homework as far away from those types of things as much as possible.

There are tons of ways to store your homework.  I have actually changed between three or four already. It is all what works best for you.  I would just like to share my ideas and experiences so far.  Let’s begin with what made me have to make sure that my homework is put in a safe spot.  So I have a young pup that thinks that if I have anything I touch he thinks that it is actually his too or he is like a child and thinks that if it is something I like he has to take it from me and tease me with it.  I had a packet with my tests in it. He got it off my table and bolted through my screen door at 4 am in the morning while I am in my pjays chasing him around the yard looking like a crazy person.  Needless to say the papers were soaking wet from the dew on the ground which made them shred with every little shake he took so that is why I came up with the basket storage.  I keep a square basket large enough to hold a magazine box.  In the magazine box I put all my tests and paperwork and in the bottom of the basket I just lay my texts books and study materials.  I also attached a chalk board label to the front of each basket so I can label them and know where to look for future references.  I used to store my school materials in the boxes they were shipped in, and I would just write on the boxes with sharpies. This worked fine, but I prefer the look of baskets that go with my office décor.  I am debating hanging file boxes on the wall.  Since we only get 5 shipments I know for sure that I could fit 5 boxes on my wall and have them in order.  I would absolutely suggest labeling them.  I know in my last few tests I have had to go back and reference some of the material in the 1st and 2nd workbooks, so it is nice to have them accessible to use as reference.  Just do what works best for you.  But for sure keep the stuff away from small children and animals.  So I hope you have a productive and successful week.  Until next week, hope you had a fantastic and safe Halloween!

Happy!!!

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone! Hope you have had a great week and weekend.  The weather here in Michigan was fantastic it was 78 and sunny.  I got to spend time with my family and get some orchard time in with yummy donuts and cider.  That is what I would like to chat about today is HAPPINESS!  I am sure you are all well aware of all the negative stuff on social media and the news.  It’s overwhelmingly negative.  It is very rare to see happy things on the news and on social media.  Let’s get positive!  SO my question to you is what makes you happy?  Why types of changes in your life can you do to turn your negatives into positives?

Happy-blog

From my experience I was a very unhappy and negative person with my old job.  I literally would be the grumpiest person in the morning I couldn’t even stand myself.  I was so unhappy with my job and how I let myself go health wise.  I would call in sick at least 2 times a month if not more.  I was an absolute miserable person to be around.  I felt stuck in a dead end job and just plain unhealthy.  I had been at the same job for over 15 years and was making less than $20 an hour.  I literally focused on that daily.  Why do people focus solely on finances?  I took a day to myself and went to a favorite spot on a lake near my house and put my kayak in the water and paddled and paddled and cried.  I got so tired and I just looked at myself in the reflection of the water and got mad.  I decided right then and there that I was not going to be this ugly negative person.  On the drive home I decided I was going to figure out something that I was passionate about and pursue it.  Literally that following Monday I got let go from my job.  After packing all my belongings and going home to tell my family, I had a long talk with myself that this was happening because I needed the change.  I got home and started applying for jobs like a crazy person.  But looking at my resume I knew I needed to get some extra training and experience under my belt.  I kept getting these fliers from AT-HOME Professions.  I decided that I was going to do it.  I took a leap and here I am!! I haven’t regretted it at all.  I did get my job back, but within the last month I put in my resignation and have moved on to work from home doing what I love.  I work from home for a top Fortune 500 CEO as a secretary and coordinator.  It is my passion to be organized and efficient.  I am currently striving to become a medical biller from home.  So, reach for your happiness and let it shine through!  Have a great week and write down 5 things everyday that make you happy.

Flexibility

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone! This week is all about flexibility.  We use flexibility everyday.  Some of us more than others.  When I am talking about flexibility, when it comes to At Home flex.jpgprofessions of course, we love the flexibility of studying from our home.  But also in this course there are several other job opportunities that will be open after the completion of your certificate.  You could also choose to go on and get your associates degree, and even further than that, there is no limit in knowledge.  But there are other opportunities that are opened also such as secretarial – transcription for other things than just medical.  There are several others to list but I am sure you get the big picture.

To be honest that is why I personally chose this course, for the flexibility it offers to be at home instead of a classroom.  But also in the fact that I could have the building blocks for other careers.  Of course in today’s economy you can never feel too safe in any position.  I lost my job 4 years ago after being let go after 15 years because of budget cuts. I was mortified and also wrong in thinking that I was always going to have a place in that company.  So from that day forward I have said that I would continue to always have more than two different streams of income.  I will never be put in that position ever again. I want to be job friendly with the flexibility to juggle multiple positions so that I am indispensible.  Everyone wants job security.  The only way to guarantee your security is to keep your skills and assets up to date.  Always continue to learn and sharpen your skills.  Think of yourself as technology.  Your computer is literally upgradable in less than a year – it’s that quick.  My advice is to get learning.  Now I am not saying to make your career as a college student.  But continue to learn things such as watching videos on YouTube, or even checking to see what classes may be offered by local businesses in your area.  Also, another resource would be your employer.  Ask them if they would offer more training on something you want to learn.  Let them know that you are all about being an asset to the company and willing to do the work to show it.

Flexibility is also how you can spend your time with family, work, and school.  We all know that our time is always spread very thin within the 24 hours in a day already, and work takes most of our time.  But it is possible to do it.  There are plenty of students that do it yearly.  It all depends on how badly you want something.  With that being said, I hope you have an enjoyable week and a may your weekend be fantastic.  See you next week.

Back to the Basics

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone! I hope you have had a great weekend, and enjoyed some much needed time with family and friends.  I had a great weekend kayaking with friends and family on the river! I am tired and sore, but well worth the laughter and workout.  So let’s talk about the medical professional documentation course.  There are 3 basic things being taught in this course.

  1. Medical Terminology
  2. Medical Coding
  3. Transcription

I will go over my experience in each of these categories…

Medical Terminology is a big one and I felt it was the hardest for me to get the hang of, but it is the most important one.  I say that it is the most important because it helps you to identify terms and body parts to help you in the coding process.  There is no way in the world that you can possibly memorize them all – so it is helpful to keep the flash cards handy.  Keep them in order or that will really mess you up.  I kept them on an O ring in order so I could just flip through them.  Laminating them is a good idea to so you do not rip them.  I use mine a lot.

Next up is Coding.  Oh coding…there are so many possible answers that it can seem overwhelming.  There are lots of rules on how to get your answer – I’m sure every doctor will teach you their preferred way to code.  But don’t get worried! Once you have the terminology and the coding process down, it all fits together like a puzzle and you will have that ahhha moment.  That moment is the best feeling in the world. In coding you have to think of it as looking up a word in a dictionary and finding the best possible solution to problem solving in math.  Yes I know that makes no sense but once you start coding it will make perfect sense.  Before I took this course I thought all the codes were just as simple as typing a letter in the system and letting the system do all the hard work for you.  Nope, I was wrong.  But that is ok because now I have the knowledge and understanding of how it all works.

Last but not least is Transcription.  To me, this is my favorite!  I have just started so that may change, ha-ha.  Just listening to some of these samples in the test book make me nervous because I know there are some doctors who speak quickly and are hard to understand that I might have a hard time typing the notes.  It’s not as easy as when the person is there and you can ask them to repeat something.  But these are just small trial of the profession and with more practice and knowledge it will get easier.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.

So I will end on that note and until next week keep going for your goals and enjoy your week.

Bad Habits

By: Jessica

Good morning everyone! Hope you have had a great weekend.  I have had a great past two weekends and am just waiting for the bad weather to get up to Michigan. I have a horrible feeling that we are going to get a bunch of snow this year.  If you know anything about me you know I dislike snow with a passion.  But this week I would like to talk about our bad habits.  Everyone has them, and everyone tries to overcome them.  But there are the select few that do not care to overcome them.  That is perfectly fine as long as it does not hinder your well being right?

First we have to decipher what your bad habits are…so make a list.

Here is my list for example:

  1. Take on too much.
  2. Do not like to commit to long term like working out with someone every day.
  3. OCD about cleaning and everything being perfect.

Those are a few that I am currently working on.  So now that we have our list we need to make a plan on how to manage them.

  1. When I take on too much I have to use my planner and set up a specific time schedule for each activity that I have taken on so I can give attention to each one equally, as well as quality time to accomplish the project to my standards as well.
  2. I also get boxes or bins for each project so that I can keep all the materials in one place and not spend my time looking for all the materials needed. (Example all my school supplies for class are all in my backpack and each course is labeled and in a file in my File cabinet.  )
  3. I always have a backup plan for a person that I can trust with a project just in case I may need someone to lend a hand or for the most part give me advice. This person is usually my husband or my best friend.  They are also good for keeping me on track.

Now the next step is to make a plan or a way to stop doing these bad habits.

  1. Keep your planner in your cell phone as a reminder so when someone asks for you to take on a project you can physically see that there is no time or room to take on another project.
  2. Using that calendar to put reminders in so that you can commit to long term things with friends, which also keeps you healthy. Or in my case I workout better on my own without others watching me look goofy.
  3. With the OCD ways my husband will go behind me and switch things up when he knows I am super busy. Then I will notice it and giggle because I know it is his way of doing things to mess with me and put a smile on face, and letting me know it is possible to not have things perfect and still live my life.

So if you have a few bad habits you want to change try my advice this week and see how it works for you.  A little change may seem horrible but in the end it may be the best thing for you.  Have a great week and see you next week.