Nurses over 50 &/or with health issues affecting work - page 16

I'm sure I'm not the first (or the last) nurse to deal with this issue - I've been a Nurse for over 27 years and now I find myself having trouble "keeping up".(( Due to age? Weight? Arthritis? effect... Read More

  1. by   Daytonite
    Quote from mattsmom81
    Good luck with the health info and coding...I have thought about learning that myself...who are you studying with????. . .I seriously think it may be time for me to hang up the nursing steth and go into something else, like you are. Tempting.
    I am in the Health Information Management (HIM) program at Cypress College in Cypress, California. It is an AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) certified program. I took a medical coding class from a vocational school a couple of years ago (don't go that route, I've since learned that your job options are very restricted). I learned more in one coding class at the college than I did for the whole year I was in the vocational school. With a AA degree in HIM you can take the RHIT (Registered Health Information Technologist) exam from AHIMA. With a RHIT you can work in a hospital HIM (medical records) department, birth certificate registries, cancer/tumor registries, and medical staff office management just to name a few. You also need the coding certificate programs from a junior college to get into hospital medical coding. Pay is nearly the same as an RN and can be higher in some cases. I liked coding because of working with numbers, but it does get a little boring after awhile and you are very limited in what you do. With an AA in HIM and your RHIT a world of opportunities opens to you. As Medicare and Medicaid become more and more strict with their reimbursement larger healthcare institutions are making sure they have RHITs around to be able to make sense of all that stuff. So, if you have an anal retentive streak in you, check this stuff out. There is also a higher level, the RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator) which now requires a bachelor's degree in HIM. The schools that offer this are limited. RHIAs run the HIM departments in hospitals and make larger salaries than RNs. The new Medical Records department now requires a knowledge of computer information. DRGs and medical coding are what changed everything in medical records.
  2. by   krisssy
    Daytonite, what kind of nursing experience do you need to take the course you are taking? I am an RN with very little experience. Thanks Krisssy
  3. by   cantoo
    Quote from Karen4HIM1951

    Well folks - sounds like we all belong to the same club!

    Where are those jobs that can use all our out vast years of experience that can't be taught in Nursing school!

    Where are the wise Administrators that recognize that we are still the same people that have made literally hundreds of patients smile and feel better?

    Now I know what they mean that youth is wasted on the young!

    I am a nurse manager in a LTC facility. One of our house supervisors is 64 y/o and has been nursing for 40 plus years. She has heart problems and narcolepsy among other issues. I've had several concerns from family members thinking she is intoxicated or impaired. She tends to fall asleep at times! But, this nurses knowledge is astounding. She never, ever calls in sick and her stamina is amazing. She simply doesn't sit down....always on the go, be it a little slow. Our staff is very protective of her and they never let her do actual hands on care. We realize she may be slow and need help, but we all have our faults. Her knowledge and her loyalty make her an asset and we value her so much. It seems to me as though we all have our good and bad points and we need to compensate for each other. There will be a time, probably soon, when she will no longer be able to work and we will all miss her. I can only hope she wil lbe available to answer all our nursing questions by phone!
  4. by   Thunderwolf
    Cantoo, it is so nice to hear praise (and acceptance of a colleague's limitations) where praise is due.

    Thank you

  5. by   Daytonite
    Quote from krisssy
    Daytonite, what kind of nursing experience do you need to take the course you are taking? I am an RN with very little experience. Thanks Krisssy
    None. Kids out of HS can go into HIM. There are pre-reqs, they are the same as for all the other healthcare programs: Anatomy and Physiology, Survey of Disease, and Medical Terminology. I got credit for them because I had an active RN license and had taken the A&P before anyway. The rest of what I take is merely the HIM and coding classes. In Intro to HIM we learned how the hospital chart was set up and they focused on the discharge summary, History & Physical, and operative report as well as consultations, progress notes and doctor's orders. These are the main documents that hospital coders go to when they are coding charts. When the instructor did a couple of lectures on JCAHO and we had to actually look at the JCAHO standards, us nurses had no problem understand this. JCAHO also surveys the medical records department. There are standards regarding the keeping of medical records and the HIM people are just as paranoid about them as the nursing department is about the nursing standards. The HS grads had a lot of trouble understanding JCAHO and I believe it was because they had no hospital experience to help process it. We also talked about the best place to put files and how to determine the amount of space needed for files, assigning medical record numbers and filing charts by terminal digits. Coding is learning how to find the 4 or 5 digit number code that is universally used throughout the U.S. in place of the diagnosis or medical procedure. Just about every single diagnosis a doctor can attach to a patient has a matching ICD-9 code. Because doctors can write a lot of diagnoses a couple of different ways, a coder is needed to analyze and verify the correct code is assigned. Finding them is almost like using a dictionary. This is how a patient's medical information in fed into a computer in order to generate bills. If you look carefully at the Explanation of Benefits form you get from your insurance company when they have paid part of your medical bill for some service you had, you will often see the 5 digit CPT codes also listed. CPT codes are the ones applied to procedures and doctor visits. CPT codes are put into the computer and the computer is programmed to automatically tack on a dollar amount to that particular code as it generates the bill that goes to your insurance carrier or you.

    FYI. . .the World Health Organization (WHO) compiles the world statistics on morbidity (chronic disease) and mortality. It is done through ICD-9 codes. Each death in the U.S. is given a diagnosis code (for the cause of death) and reported to the WHO as well as our own government agencies. The U.S. is not the only country in the world to use these codes--it is done worldwide.
  6. by   chuckc
    I am 46 and in my second semester of an ADN program. Reading all this is kind of depressing but I understand. I feel it when we are doing alot of pt moving in clinicals. I have already thought about this issue and decided I need at least a BSN so I don't have to do floor nursing forever. Nurse practitioner would interest me, if I can stand to go to school that much longer. Much love and concern for all you nurses, a very tough job physically and emotionally, yet I would not dream of doing anything else. Take care
  7. by   earthgirl56
    I have a friend who is 72 and works as hospice nurse,please dont ask her about retirement!:hotchocolate:
  8. by   armstrong
    Although some may disagree, nothing makes you feel older than a career in nursing.

    I can remember my first day as an LPN, in my 20's and full of excitement. After 25 years of long shifts, school to receive my RN, eating wrong foods at wrong times, and irregular sleep times I feel old.

    More than that, I am working with nurses that were my age when I first started work. The majority act like they have to tell you how to do your job (I want to tell them I was a nurse before they were conceived). Many are totally unprofessional in their conversations at the nurses stations, for example, telling about their sexual escapades (no discretion), continually on the cell phone or texting.

    I am looking to a new profession.