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Carrington College Blog

Student Spotlight – Meet Dori Thompson

April 30, 2014

Health Studies Student Dori ThompsonHaving successfully completed the Medical Billing & Coding (MBC) Certificate program at our Carrington College Las Vegas, NV, campus, Dori enrolled in the Carrington College California online degree completion program in Health Studies in December. This online program allows Carrington College and Carrington College California alumni who have already earned a Certificate of Achievement to continue their health care education and complete an Associate of Science degree in Health Studies.

You can learn more about Dori’s background, motivations and her time on the MBC program in an Alumni Spotlight here.

What was the motivation to go on to study the Health Studies program?

My husband Herman has quite a few medical conditions; just after I graduated from Carrington College in Las Vegas we had to move back to where Herman is from, so he could have a dual transplant. I tried to find a job here, but because I was in a new place, trying to take care of him, and didn’t have much experience in the field, I wasn’t having much luck. But my mentality was “Ok, I want to be a coder, what else can I do in the meantime?”

The Health Studies program gives you the flexibility to attend school “anytime, anywhere.” How do you balance your time?

I can’t necessarily say that I’ve got a good balance, but I do have some balance. It is really difficult to study for just a couple of hours a day. It’s a lot of work; I try to ration my week out into the things that I have to do. At the end of the week, if I’m lucky, I’ll have a day and a half to spend with Herman.

In instances where we have to go to doctors’ appointments, I have the opportunity to read my e-books on my phone while we’re in the car or in a waiting room. It’s really difficult to give him as much time as I did with my campus program, but I think he’s used to it – he doesn’t complain as much as he used to!

How do you find the online program compared to the campus program?

With the online program, I feel that I have a lot more on my plate than I did in the classroom quite honestly. It’s been a major adjustment between the two.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about yourself so far?

That I can do it. I’ve made so many excuses in my lifetime; I made excuses that kept me from accomplishing goals, and after the fact I would feel horrible about it and down about myself. But I’ve learned that I’m the only one who stands in my way. ‘I do’ because I know ‘I can.’

Do you work too Dori?

No, I don’t have a job. Although I’m kind of looking, I’m actually waiting on getting a job right now. I know we need it, as my husband’s health keeps him from working, but I really have just a day and a half of spare time at the moment – I can’t imagine what it would be like to work as well. I just can’t wait for August 22nd when I finish.

So it sounds like you’re ready to be done with school?

As well as my Medical Billing & Coding Certificate and the Associate degree in Health Studies, I’ve scheduled my National Certification of Competency Testing. Once I’m done with that, I’m going to study for the ‘Professional Coder’ certification. I feel then I’ll have everything I need; I’m ready to work!

So talking of work, what would be your ideal job?

My dream is to be a medical coder for a hospital in Chicago – that’s what I want to do. I love coding – it’s an adrenaline rush for me! That’s not something I ever thought I’d hear myself saying a few years ago! While I do miss Las Vegas, and my family and friends, there are so many opportunities out here in the medical field.

What advice would you give to students just starting an online program?

I’m giving advice that I’ve not yet mastered myself; make sure that you balance your time between family and study just as well as you can. It’s a difficult task, it really is. Don’t wear yourself out on it – pace yourself.

What would you do with your time if you had an unexpected afternoon off?

Coincidentally that’s today, so I guess I’d have an interview with you David! But seriously, my husband and I like to go on walks and explore – we love to walk and talk, and sightsee. Back in Vegas we’d just jump on a bus, see where it took us, then get off and explore. We look forward to doing the same here now that the weather is finally improving.

You can read more about Dori’s time and experiences studying Medical Billing & Coding at the Carrington College Las Vegas campus in her Alumni Spotlight here.

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