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How to get into Clinical Coding?

By Jonathan France ACC

Clinical Coding. analysis of clinical statements and assigning alphanumeric codes using a classification system to episodes of healthcare. A career that’s rewarding, satisfying and unique in a way that you only tend to get out of coding what you’re willing to put in. But how do you get into this industry?

NHS Jobs: NHS Jobs is the obvious place to start. There are plenty of trainee jobs around the country. All you’ll need is a good grounding in the holy trinity of basic education (maths, English and science). A good grasp of IT will help too. With all that you’re ready to go. Whilst starting salaries vary from trust to trust you’re sure to find something within your area soon.

Former Nurses What the industry tends to see is a lot of former nurses try their hand at coding once they’ve decided to give up the long shifts and late nights. This makes sense as they already have the anatomy and physiology knowledge, along with a healthcare mindset of what to look out for in the notes. Always good for those tricky abbreviations too.

Ward Clerks Like nurses, these roles are responsible for maintaining patient case notes with some basic medical and terminology knowledge. It tends to be the younger end of the spectrum that get into coding this way after regular with chats with coders (that code out on the wards) which tends to pique their interest. More often than not a step up in salary too. Now that can’t be a bad thing surely?

Apprenticeships This is the latest initiative to help blood a younger generation of coders into the industry. Health Education England in conjunction with The National School of Healthcare Science are leading the way in this respect and are offering end point assessments for an 18 months clinical coding apprenticeship. This not only helps guide trainee coders through the initial steps but also provides trusts with funding to help with training and development to ensure their trainee coders get the best start possible.

Apprenticeships are also available from now skills who offer their own apprenticeship schemes and funding programmes

 

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January 1, 2021

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