April 22, 2024

Elizabeth Johnson’s journey from a stay-at-home mom to a successful medical coder at Gillette Children’s is inspiring and a testament to the power of determination, support, and education.

Elizabeth’s story is a shining example of how never giving up on your dreams can lead to a fulfilling career that balances professional satisfaction with family life.

Becoming a mother at 17, Elizabeth felt her dreams of nursing were out of reach. Yet, the seed of aspiration was never truly dormant. “There was always a part of me that longed to be in the medical field, to make a difference,” Elizabeth shares. It was a sentiment that, despite the years and added responsibilities, never faded.

Medical Coding: A Perfect Career Fit

The turning point came when Elizabeth’s husband suggested medical coding—a field that would allow her to work in the medical sector, yet with the flexibility needed to juggle the responsibilities of a household as a busy wife and mother of 5.

“When my husband suggested medical coding, it was like a light turned on. I realized that I could still pursue my dream in the medical field, just from a different angle,” Elizabeth recalls. “Choosing to pursue medical coding was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Overcoming Obstacles to Success

The journey wasn’t without its hurdles. COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges, limiting in-person interactions, and transforming learning environments. Yet, Elizabeth found support in the digital world, making the most of her online classes and reaching out to resources like the Century College Library and academic support centers like the Reading and Writing Centers.

Elizabeth’s persistence paid off. Not only did she excel in her coursework, but she also secured an internship in hospice care—a rarity amid the pandemic. This hands-on experience not only enhanced her skills but also underscored the importance of her chosen field.

“Being able to do my internship, even in such challenging times, made me realize how essential the work we do is. It’s about more than just codes; it’s about ensuring quality care,” she says.

Career Connections Through Century College

The journey to graduation in Spring 2021 and starting her career at Gillette Children’s was a collaborative effort. Carla Tobin, Elizabeth’s instructor, was instrumental in this process. “Carla wasn’t just a teacher; she was a mentor, a supporter, and a big reason why I’m where I am today,” Elizabeth says with gratitude.

Carla’s support went beyond the classroom; she provided guidance, encouragement, and even a crucial job recommendation.

Career and Life Balance

Now, as a Facility Medical Coder with the freedom to choose her hours, Elizabeth has found the perfect balance between her professional aspirations and her commitment to her family. Her story is a powerful reminder of the transformative impact of education and the importance of pursuing one’s dreams, no matter the stage in life.

For those considering a similar path, Elizabeth advises, “Pursue a Century College degree and consider medical coding. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants to be part of the medical field and desires a career that offers flexibility and fulfillment.”

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