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Asking Questions & Find a Mentor

May 8, 2019  |  Comments Off on Asking Questions & Find a Mentor

Lessons from an Alexander Intern

With a background in research and art history, medical administration and coding seemed to be a big career stretch for Emily Bachner, current Medical Coding Intern at Alexander Youth Network. But through asking questions and finding a mentor on our Thermal Road campus she has been able to find her stride and find success over the past five months.

In that time she has been able to relate her background in research to the data specific needs of medical coding but also finds a connection to the mission of Alexander.

Emily is currently pursuing her Associate Degree in Medical Office Administration as well as a certificate in Medical Coding. As a part of her program, she is required to complete 160 hours of professional work and has the opportunity to work on a variety of projects during her time here including patient intake, legal documentation, archiving, and standard filing of records.

Major Lessons

1.       Ask Questions – In finding the right fit for her internship, asking questions was key. During her interview, she asked questions about Alexander and why staff liked working here. Hearing their responses helped solidify that Alexander was the right fit for her.

During her internship, she attributes her success in asking questions. The healthcare industry and medical coding, she needed to learn abbreviations, terms, ICD codes, and most importantly nicknames for locations on campus i.e. The Mew is the annex building on campus.

“It takes a while to learn all the new terms but asking questions take the pressure out of being in a new field. And gives you an opportunity to learn.”

2.       Find a Mentor – As a part of her Capstone project, Emily had to interview a fellow staff member, Amanda Pottinger, at Alexander. While talking to her, she realized the key to Amanda’s professional development was through finding mentors and connecting with leaders around her.

Emily Bachner and Maryann LaoEmily’s interview with Amanda gave her a chance to reflect on her own time at Alexander. When thinking back on the past few months she found her own mentors in Brenda Walker and internships supervisor, Maryann Lao. Seeing Brenda and Maryann grow their careers from the same degree and certificate program has provided Emily with encouragement and support for starting her own career in the field.

3.       Connect with the Mission –

“ The best part has been being able to look outside and see the kids playing on the playground. In some way I know I am making their therapists and counselors jobs easier by taking out some of the administrative tasks.”

Moments like this remind Emily why her responsibilities during her internship are so important. Working in the Medical Coding Department means she is working with our Access Team to facilitate intake and discharge. In her role, she is able to assist getting kids into the treatment programs that they need and transition them out of treatment when necessary.

Emily Bachner is a student at Central Piedmont Community College in the Associates of Applied Science Medical Office Administrative Program and is also completing a certificate program in Medical Coding. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Appalachian State University.


Written by Emily Gordon.

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