A community of 30,000 US Transcriptionist serving Medical Transcription Industry

RHIT or Registered Nurse - Anne

Posted: Apr 15, 2012

Just wondering what the majority thinks about these career paths. It seems as though a lot of MTs are moving or considering a move  to the RHIT/RHIA world of especially medical coding. I am assuming that the lure of 'work at home' is pulling many in this direction, and I have actually seen where many are questioning whether medical coders are 'paid per code' or 'paid per case' or what? I asked myself what are these people thinking? Has anyone experienced this, and what is the opinion of the RHIT/RHIA career path and medical coding heading near limited jobs or to the same path as MT is now? Thinking back to years ago, it seems as though the RHIT and medical coding world is heading in the same direction as MT with the very same path. What is the opinion on this, and what is the opinion of spending money on the RHIT/RHIA path and medical coding versus a direct-entry master's program in nursing as a registered nurse? All opinions pro and con appreciated.

my opinion RN hands down - ann also!

[ In Reply To ..]
With the aging population, RNs are sure to be in demand. There will continue to be some outsourcing and computer programming in the coding field (although I DO think this is still a viable option, but fear there may soon be a LOT of coders entering the field). With BSN or master's, there are a multitude of jobs available, utilization review, RN on floor, administrative jobs, teaching with a master's, working for insurance companies, etc. Most of these jobs can't be as easily outsourced.

Do you want to do hands-on work with patients or do you prefer administrative work? - sm

[ In Reply To ..]
It all depends on what you prefer to do. If you have a strong desire to do hands-on patient care, go for nursing. If you prefer administrative work, go for coding, although you won't get enough coding education in an RHIT program. I'm not sure where the jobs will be for an RHIT unless you take additional coding courses until you are able to pass credentials and get your CCS.

So you would have two decisions to make.

Hands-On Patient Care or

If hands-on patient care, go for nursing.

If Administrative, RHIT or Certified Coding Specialist.

If RHIT, exactly what job do you hope to fill? Find out before going that direction.

If Certified Coding Specialist, go for the best education you can find that prepares you for credentials. Maybe later you may want to add more credentials, but the CCS is the crucial one to have. A CPC is also good to have in addition to, but not instead of the CCS.

I'm not a hermit (sm) - LOL

[ In Reply To ..]
I'm not a hermit so I can't say it's the idea of working from home that lures me into coding/medical transcription. Sure, I love the perks of working from home, but I also love the perks that working in an office can bring. I'm actually really sociable, so sometimes working from home makes me a bit antsy, what with feeling so isolated from my co-workers.

I can only speak for myself, but I started doing this in the late 80s from the hospital setting. The draw of the MT world, for me, was the ability to work in the medical field (with which I've always been fascinated), without actually having to smell/see/hear any of the events associated with actual patient care. I've no stomach for vomit (if I smell it, my stomach contents are coming up, too), bed pans, people soiling themselves, the infamous "death rattle" sound (heard this once hand-delivering a report to the OR about 10 years ago and will *never* erase it from my mind), etc. So, for me, MT or coding is perfect, as it piques my interest, but it keeps me at a safe distance from the actual patients.

I can deal with the visualizations of my job, but I know I could never deal with the actual sights involved with my profession. I'm a bodily fluid wimp.

Im not a hermit - RN is not for you. Just read - your post again, especially 2nd paragragh..sm

[ In Reply To ..]
you said:

"actually having to smell/see/hear any of the events associated with actual patient care. I've no stomach for vomit (if I smell it, my stomach contents are coming up, too), bed pans, people soiling themselves, the infamous "death rattle" sound (heard this once hand-delivering a report to the OR about 10 years ago and will *never* erase it from my mind)"

Everything you mentioned above comes with the territory of being a nurse. I was a nurse before I got into the MT business and the things you name are inevitable unless you are considering an office setting or D.O.N (director of nursing) where they sit in the office all day.

And with that you will need a B.S.N and most of them have still had to work "X" amount of years on the floor before being eligible for that position.

Even as an office nurse you will be exposed to some of that type of thing.

So maybe RHIT is what would be best for you.

Oh, I surely know that, lol! (sm) - I was responding to OP

[ In Reply To ..]
I was responding to the OP who had asked about coding, MT, nursing, RHIT, etc. OP had mentioned she thought the lure of MT/coding might be the ability to work from home; I was just expressing that I'm far from a hermit but LOVE the medical field and found my niche with MT, as it requires no patient interaction...Oh geez, I'm such a wimp when it comes to blood or vomit or..."other" bodily functions that I'd be drummed out of nursing school as soon as we reached the hands-on part, LOL!

Ironically, my daughter is very interested in pursuing a nursing career. Her iron-cast stomach must come from her daddy's genes, because she sure didn't get it from me.

I'm sure there are a lot of people like me, who best serve the medical field when staying as far away from the actual patients as possible, lol!

Coding is not what you seem to think - sm

[ In Reply To ..]
Coding is not "MT with codes" instead of words. There is more to it than you seem to see. There is little to no comparison between it and MT.

I have done both and am an RHIA so I am more familiar with this job market.

Jobs in HIM are changing. They are adapting from paper-based tasks like making folders and filing papers in them to electronic-based jobs involving setting up and managing EHRs, training users, and security/privacy concerns. Coding is not disappearing, but becoming more data-oriented, more involved insetting up automated systems, and more involved in clinical documentation as it applies to coding and revenue. Automated codingsystems cannot code if there is little or nothing in the record which is meaningful for coding.

If all you see or want to do is "typing up codes" instead of words, HIM is not going to be good for you. You have to be motivated and willing to step into a new era in HiM, one that may involve statistics, data analysis, documentation improvement, information technology, and even computer programming.

As for some coders being paid by the case or code, that is nothing like being paid pennies per line of typing. The revenue stakes are so high in coding that pay is excellent no matter how it is generated. Those same high stakes are what is discouraging outsourcing and offshoring, too. The majority of outsourcing occurs when facilities are unable to find qualified coders locally.

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