• Beth Mills

Coping with Stress Among Medical Coders & Students

Studying to become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) can be stressful. Becoming a CPC, keeping up with new guidelines, and CEU's can be stressful as well.

You may be feeling overwhelmed. Do you have new aches and pains? Do you suddenly find yourself grinding your teeth? These behaviors and more are often symptoms of stress. Your body could be telling you that you need to slow down.

While stress is a condition that a physician diagnoses, there are benefits to acknowledging your stress and making changes to embrace a stress reduction lifestyle.

When feeling stressed, here are a few things to consider:

  • At some point, everything is new information.

  • It is a brave thing to decide to do something new.

  • It is natural to feel a certain amount of trepidation when embarking on a new journey.

  • Strive for excellence instead of perfection

  • Know your stressors so that you can respond accordingly.

  • Know what you are doing when you do it.

  • Remember, there is a science to everything.

  • Do not skip steps.

  • Do the work to get the ultimate reward.

Here are a few things to do to promote an ideal workspace / study space:

  • The best works space is quiet and well-lit.

  • Be well-rested.

  • Make sure you have energy snacks.

  • Ideally, an ergonomically designed work area is the best workspace.

  • If you work from home, make a schedule, and stick to it.

Even with the ideal workspace, it is a good idea to recognize signs of stress:

  • Nausea

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Dizziness

  • Upset stomach /chest pain

  • Loss of desires to do things you usually like to do

  • Colds and flues

  • Short temper

  • High stung

  • Depression

  • Feelings of isolation

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Anxiety

  • Poor judgement

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Overeating / undereating

  • Putting things off

  • Insomnia / oversleeping

  • Abuse of recreational or prescription drugs

  • Nail-biting

If you think you are under stress, consider the following stress management techniques:

  • The first thing you must do is to acknowledge your feelings.

  • Own the fact that you are experiencing stress.

  • Get professional support if you need to.

  • Confide in someone you trust.

  • Eat healthy food

  • Get fresh air and exercise.

  • Get enough sleep at night.

Your goal in life should be living. Live your best life. Make sure to make time for yourself outside of medical coding every day. Hobbies can be an excellent way to debrief. Read a good book, go for a nature walk. Be in the Sun and let it charge you. Whatever you do, know that you are in control, and YOU have got this!

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