Making the choice for a medical billing career, choosing the right program, and staying motivated are all important components to success in learning medical billing online. However, there is one more piece of the puzzle — pacing yourself. Many online and even “in person” training programs have a high drop-out rate. One reason is that some students become overwhelmed with the training. They either start out doing too much too fast and then lose momentum and fizzle out, or they do too little and their training time expires. Whereas, many online programs do offer low-cost course extensions, it's easy to avoid the problem of “pacing” in the beginning.
How to Pace Yourself During Your Online Medical Billing Training
Before starting your training program, consider how many chapters or modules are there in the course and how long is the training time. Then, make a schedule where you plan out your study sessions by the day, week, and month in order to complete on time. When you create a schedule you should plan for the least amount of work each day, week, month needed to graduate by the deadline. If you do more, which you probably will, it's great! However, you know if you at least do what you planned to do, then you are on target to graduate on time. Also, when creating your study schedule, put in some time as a cushion. An example of a “cushion” is as follows:
Monday – Friday- Study from 7pm-1opm
Saturday- Study from 4pm-8pm
Sunday- OFF- (This time can be used IF you missed any study time earlier in the week. It is your “cushion” of make up study time. )
Also, have a plan to know what you will study and when. An example might be something like this:
Mon-Tue-Wed- Reading 3 chapters, highlighting the text, and making notes.
Thur-Fri- Going online and doing the online work for the chapters on Mon-Wed.
Sat- Text book and online work.
The above are just examples of study schedules. Make your schedule according to your life circumstances, how you learn best, and when in the day or evening you learn best. Some people like study first thing in the morning. Others like to study at night. This is very dependent on your lifestyle and life/family schedule.
The important thing is to have a plan in place to pace yourself throughout your online course so that you do not get too far behind. Now, should you need a course extension for a month or two, it is usually not a big deal for most programs. However, if you don't pace yourself properly and end up getting very little done during your enrollment term, then you have wasted your time and investment. So, plan now to pace yourself properly, stay motivated, and choose a great course that offers the assistance of a qualified instructor.
By: Dawn Moreno, PhD, CBCS, CMAA, MTC. Lives in the beautiful Southwest United States and has been an instructor for medical coding/billing for the past 7 years. Interested in quality medical billing training?