General Discussions

Module I Advice

 
Picture of Jason Th, CPC
Module I Advice
by Jason Th, CPC - Friday, 16 June 2017, 2:37 PM
 

Hello everyone. 

I am currently working on Module one section 8. So far I have done well on all of my tests and exams which i'm happy about but, I am concerned about my overall medical terminology and coding handbook retention. I feel like I have a basic understanding of the systems I've studied but I would need to refer back to my book quite frequently if I needed more than basic information. Is that normal in anyone's experience? I'm beginning to really stress about this and I am wondering if I need to go back and reread these chapters. As far as the Coding Handbook, I am sorry to say i'm not really remembering it because there is little to no application of the information right now. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions they'd be willing to share? I am starting to think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Thanks for any help!  Jason

Picture of Teri Ta, CCS, CPC-A
Re: Module I Advice
by Teri Ta, CCS, CPC-A - Friday, 16 June 2017, 3:14 PM
 

What you are feeling is completely normal.  Don't try to memorize, or you will get information overload!

You will be referring back to the code books and coding guidelines again and again as you progress through the course, and you will remember more and more as you go along.  I use the internet to research different diagnoses and procedures to better understand what I am coding.  You will also go back through the coding handbook in Module IV.  I am halfway through Module IV and can clearly see just how much I have learned.

So don't be concerned that you cannot remember everything.  Remember you can always refer back to your code books and guidelines for guidance.  


Picture of Jennifer Dr, CPC
Re: Module I Advice
by Jennifer Dr, CPC - Friday, 16 June 2017, 5:32 PM
 

Jason, what you're describing hit me at about the same time. (I'm about to do the oncology coding exercise for Module 1 Section 18 right now.)  I would say try not to panic.  The coding handbook is a reference that you will refer to always.  I work in the coding department of a hospital system currently, but not as a coder.  I can tell you that at our monthly staff meetings items from the coding handbook are reviewed and discussed for a review for the staff.  So, even experienced coders still need it and use it.  You want to read through it, make some highlights where it's helpful and get the lay of the land, so to speak.  But it's more like a reference guide that you'll keep circling back to and using as needed. 

There is so much terminology to learn, isn't there?  When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I try to focus on studying and reviewing the things that will probably help me the most on the fly, in the future.  Major body systems, major parts of those systems, and any body parts/diseases/treatments that I know I'll never remember belong to those major categories.  For example, if you already know a lot about cancer or gastro just due to life, that's great.  You might need to spend more time covering urology instead.  Work on your weakest area when you sit down to review.  Another thing I focus on are the boxes in the chapters with sound-alike words.  I know that I want to get those down so that I don't make too many really embarrassing mistakes on the job, like confusing ileum with ilium. 

Another thing I'm doing is taking notes over and reviewing the coding conventions and the guidelines at the beginning of each chapter in the ICD-10-CM.  As great as it is to immediately recall where the calcaneus bone is, it's going to be really important to know what the square brackets mean [ ] when we're looking up codes, right?  It sounds like you're doing great.  Focus on the big picture and try not to get too overwhelmed.  You've got months and months of studying ahead to cement all this in your mind.  Remember, you know that you can do this, because other people have gone before you and they've done it!  So, you can do it, too!

Jennifer

Picture of Jason Th, CPC
Re: Module I Advice
by Jason Th, CPC - Monday, 19 June 2017, 10:04 AM
 

Thanks for your advice! I really appreciate it.

Picture of Jason Th, CPC
Re: Module I Advice
by Jason Th, CPC - Monday, 19 June 2017, 5:59 PM
 

Thanks for all the great tips!