Earn Your Medical Coding Degree While Living in the UK
by Jenny Griffiths
Do you have dreams of living abroad and earning a degree? Thanks to technology, anything is possible. There are between 125,000 and 157,000 Americans living in the UK.
If you’d like to be one of them and get a medical coding degree, it is possible. Read on to learn what medical coding is, how to earn a degree in the UK, and get a job with your degree.
What is Medical Coding?
When you see the doctor for any issues, the doctor will fill out your chart, and hand it to the front desk. This usually contains information like diagnoses, treatments, and anything given to you in the course of treatment.
The medical coder is the one who makes sense of all of this information and enters it into the system. This may seem like basic data entry, but there’s much more to it.
Medical coding actually performs two vital functions in any doctor’s office. The first is that the doctor reviews past notes when treating patients. This information is important to provide quality care.
The second function is probably the most critical. The medical coder is the one who enters information in the system to be sent to insurance companies. That’s how healthcare providers get paid.
When they don’t get paid on time, they don’t have the cash flow to pay employees, order supplies, or give great care to patients.
This is a highly trained position because you have to understand insurance requirements and codes as well as the services that the doctor provided. You need to have an understanding of physiology, anatomy, and medical terminology.
Living in the UK and Taking Online Classes
Can you get a medical coding degree while living in the UK? It is possible, but there are a lot of factors at play.
Are you currently living in the UK? If you are and you have a visa to live in the UK, there isn’t anything stopping you from taking online classes based in the US to earn your degree.
For example, if you’re living in the UK with your spouse who is in the UK for work, you may be able to take online classes.
What if you’re not currently living in the UK? You have a couple of options. You can live in the UK without a visa for less than 6 months and take online courses.
If you plan to stay longer, you’ll need a student visa from an accredited school to study abroad. Some places have study abroad programs that allow you to take classes and live in the UK.
How to Get a Medical Coding Degree
Are you interested in getting your medical coding degree while living in the UK? Here are some tips to make that happen.
Your Career Goals
You want to start off with your career goals and the lifestyle that you want to live. There is a lot of flexibility in the medical coding field.
You want to understand the life that you see for yourself and reverse engineer the best path to get there. That includes where you want to live, how much you want to make, and what a typical day looks like for you.
Now you can work backward to create the path. You’ll find that the path begins with getting training and education.
Finding the Right Program
Now that you have your career goals laid out in front of you, you need to find the right program that will support those goals.
If you want to study for a medical coding degree while living in the UK, you’ll need to find healthcare classes online.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll come across will be the time difference. It’s a 5-hour difference between the UK and New York, an 8-hour difference between the UK and Los Angeles.
You don’t want to sign up for a program only to find that classes are offered when it’s midnight or later in the UK. You want to have a program that offers a lot of flexibility for taking online courses.
Your Career After School
When you earn a medical coding degree, you’ll almost be ready to get a job. This is the next step in fulfilling your vision.
There are a lot of opportunities in medical coding. Here are some of your options.
There are a number of jobs that allow workers to work from home as a medical coder. This is great if you plan to live in the U.S. after living in the UK.
You can also live like a digital nomad, traveling from country to country while working online. All you need is an internet connection and a good laptop.
Working from an office is a viable option, too. Some people prefer that as opposed to working from home. You get to connect with colleagues and patients in a way that you wouldn’t when working from home or abroad.
Believe it or not, some medical coding classes can translate to the UK. In the UK, a medical coding job is called a Clinical Coder.
The skills that you learn in a U.S. based school could be applied to the work in the UK. You would have to get experience and skills for terminology and billing issues that are specific to the UK.
In the UK, you’ll need to pass the National Clinical Coding Qualification Exam.
Get a Broad View of Healthcare Challenges
There are ways to live in the UK and get a medical coding degree.
The UK and the United States find it challenging to deal with rising healthcare costs. As a student of the healthcare industry in the UK, you gain a very unique perspective that you can bring into your work.
You’ll be well-prepared to make a significant contribution to healthcare and earn a good living.
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