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Enjoying a career in health care minus scrubs and sneakers

A career in the medical field appealed to Ashlend Moise-James, but irregular hours and hands-on patient care did not.

After completing Tidewater Community College’s medical billing and coding program, Moise-James found the fit she wanted. She landed a job as a customer service representative in provider relations at Optima Health before she graduated and enjoys every day.

“No more scrubs and sneakers for me. I feel like a real person,” Moise-James said.

TCC’s medical billing and coding program comes with a reasonable price tag, too, as it is underwritten by the Workforce Credential Grant, funded by the Virginia General Assembly to encourage the attainment of high-demand credentials.

Eligible students can receive their credential at one-third the regular cost – or markedly less if certain financial criteria are met.

Spotlight: Medical Billing & Coding

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Moise-James moved to Virginia Beach as a Navy wife and held various health care jobs as a nursing care partner, including a stint in intensive care.

But the stressful work along with night and weekend shifts cut into family time with her daughter, Sidney. Entering the TCC program was her way of starting anew. She quickly became engrossed in the interactive classes that have components in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology law and of course, the coding itself.

“There was so much to learn; I loved the program,” she said. “Did you know there’s a code for a turtle bite?”

Moise-James completed the classes that total 188.5 hours at the Virginia Beach Campus’ Regional Health Professions Center, attending twice weekly. Day and evening sessions are options.

“You have to be dedicated to get through the program,” she stressed.

In October, Moise-James will sit for the Certified Professional Coder exam in hopes of advancing in the field.