IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY – Medical Billing and Coding Graduates Stacey and Mark Roper Use Online Learning to Fit Their Family’s Needs
Stacey and Mark Roper have discovered a better way to succeed while both working and raising a family. In one word, it’s called teamwork. It’s also called working online. They enrolled at the same time in Carrington College’s online Medical Billing and Coding certificate program, studying and learning simultaneously while tag-teaming each other through household chores and raising their four girls, aged 2 to 19 in their home in Boise, Idaho. “We like to do things together; we’re home schooling our girls too.”
If that isn’t enough to do in a day, Mark and Stacey’s approach was to find work that fit into their lifestyle, not the other way around. They decided the online option to earn a certificate in Medical Billing and Coding and the opportunities for growth it provided in the healthcare industry was their ticket.
Neither one was particularly knowledgeable of Medical Billing and Coding. In caring for her mother who had lupus, Stacey had some experience dealing with the apparatus around the medical business, i.e., health insurance and payments. Mark, who had worked in several banks, was not familiar with the medical field. But after researching it, they thought it was a promising path and learning together online would certainly allow more flexibility in their busy life.
“Structure is essential,” says Mark. “Everyone shares responsibilities in the family. We don’t get much sleep, but it works!”
Their eldest daughter, Téa, was so inspired by watching her parents get through the online program, she decided to enroll as well in the Medical Billing and Coding program. James Brookes-Avey, Enrollment Services Team Lead, is the biggest supporter of this family effort and is very proud of their accomplishment: “This family exemplifies persistent effort, the strong bonds of family, and a passion for learning new skills together. Theirs is an inspirational story and can be of benefit to many other couples and parents.”
The field of Medical Billing and Coding is often overlooked because students may think it’s only for those who want to work in patient care – or, that it requires a higher level of mathematical or financial skills. Neither is true! As Mark explained, those that succeed in a Medical Billing and Coding career are people who have good organizational skills, pay attention to detail, are inquisitive and curious, and enjoy learning by research. It’s not exactly easy says Téa. “But just imagine the sense of accomplishment you feel completing the program and having a good job in the healthcare field.” In sum, she believes if you do have the curiosity to learn, the work will be interesting to you and your job will be easier because you enjoy it.
“The biggest thing,” Mark says, “is finding the right code.” That’s where the detective work comes in. It’s not a lot of math. It’s research, knowing where to go, what the terms are (which you’re taught in the course). These days information is so easily at your fingertips. I don’t think you have to be super smart.”
Stacey, Mark, and Téa have never met James Brookes-Avey in person or his teammates. Theirs is a success story of how to use Carrington’s virtual online services, from Enrollment Services Representatives to Financial Services Advisors to Academic Coaches to their Career Services Advisors. As Brookes-Avey tells all his students, “Just because you’re learning online, doesn’t mean you’re learning alone. We provide a ton of support to our students.”
The Carrington staff are great at being responsive to the needs of their students online and keeping it supportive and fun. Mark and Stacey will continue working together because Rhonda Platchek, Carrington College Career Services Advisor, supported their effort to find work in the same company. They will be starting new jobs at CVS very soon.
Téa, as a high school student, was fascinated watching her parents’ enthusiasm for their work. They have been her role models, raising her in a family structure that values hard work, sharing responsibilities, and taking the challenge to push oneself to do their best. Now following in their footsteps, she feels the responsibility of being a good role model to her three younger sisters.
“[My parents] have motivated me to get out of my comfort zone. They inspire me and encourage me to reach for the stars,” she says. In the Roper family, reaching for the stars also is encouraged and supported by a Carrington College online course right at home.