Be good to yourself

Sept. 27, 2017 / By Kelly Long, BS, CPC, CPCO, CAPM

I have been told since the start of my coding career (21 years gasp!), that there are no coding emergencies. That it won’t “hurt” to wait until the next day to save the coding world. But is this true? What if a client is holding claims awaiting your response on a pressing coding question before they can submit to the insurance company? Or they are conducting a provider education in-service and a doctor has a pressing question? Or they simply need to know right now what modifier is needed due to a CCI edit?

If you are anything like me, I do not like to leave loose ends or unanswered questions. So that is when I throw on my superhero cape, roll up my sleeves and get to work. My immediate response is to tackle any issue head on: Research, analyze, prepare and present to my clients. But, is this always the best way to handle things? What if this issue can in all honesty wait a day or two? Have I programmed myself to react in such a way that I am losing focus on being good to myself?

My manager, Debra Jones, recently presented a book at our weekly team meeting titled Emotional Agility, authored by Dr. Susan David. I was simply amazed at what a light bulb moment this was for me. The book stresses the importance of “Getting Unstuck, Embracing Change and Thriving in Work and Life.” This presentation caused me to pause, to reflect and to slow down.

Everyone will have their own take-aways from what Dr. David so eloquently wrote. But for me, it was refreshing to know that it is okay to thrive in my career, that it is okay to seek challenges and that it is okay to grow and evolve. But also, there is nothing wrong with taking a breath, stepping back and realizing that I may be feeling overwhelmed. That I cannot go 110 mph every day without negatively affecting my well-being. That I cannot please everyone all of the time even though that is what I have programmed myself to think over many years’ time.

I know old habits and thought processes are hard to break. But my challenge to myself and to all of you in this fast-paced healthcare industry, is to recognize that although we are very good at what we do, we also MUST take the time to be good to ourselves. To realize that sometimes we need to hang up our superhero cape, grab a bowl of ice cream and watch the leaves fall out our window.  After all, tomorrow is another day to accomplish even more.

Kelly Long is a clinical development analyst with 3M Health Information Systems.