UTC Center for Professional Education’s instructors are the cream of the crop, and we are excited to feature them in our “Instructor Spotlight” series.
Our Instructor Spotlight is on our Medical Billing & Coding Instructor, Debby Craven, CPC, CPC-I, CPMA, CRC. She is currently employed with Floyd Healthcare as a documentation compliance auditor.
Marah: What professional experience do you have relating to the course you are teaching?
Debby: I have worked in healthcare on the clerical side for nearly 30 years. I learned early on that if I wanted to move toward a higher position and pay, I would have to start somewhere else and work my way up. I began my career as a receptionist and went on to become a transcriptionist; I then became a billing and assistant office manager. As I learned more about medical billing and coding, I began taking courses in medical terminology and anatomy to lay the groundwork. I took the Professional Medical Coding Course (PMCC) offered by the American Association of Professional Coders. All of these experiences paved the way for what was to become a wonderful career.
M: What made you decide to become a teacher?
D: My employer has a teaching hospital in its primary care network. One day, we were discussing how we needed more coders and how we were going to educate them. I thought, “I could do that!” I had been teaching in church for most of my life, and teaching came naturally to me. I wanted to share with others how they could build a career in medical billing & coding.
M: Why do you love teaching?
D: Again, it’s a great way to share a career that I love and has been an amazing experience with others who were/are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. I also love that I have been able to see students leave my classroom to work and go far in their careers. It thrills me to play a small part in helping them become the medical professionals they want to be.
M: What’s your favorite aspect of Medical Billing & Coding to teach?
D: Probably the CPT, which are code sets that we build for physicians when they have professional charges (like office visits, inpatient hospital visits, etc.) I like teaching it because that’s what I have done at Floyd for almost 15 years now. That’s always been a passion of mine-helping physicians know what they need to document and bill for their services.
M: What is your teaching philosophy?
D: If I am passionate about the subject that I am teaching, then I can light that fire in someone else.
M: What do you believe students will gain by taking your course? What are the key concepts you hope students will leave your course with?
D: I want them to believe in themselves and know that they will have to get their foot in the door and then prove themselves to get the job they want! Sometimes, students get discouraged after taking the course, saying “no employer will give me a chance.” I want students to be able to prove what they know and work hard to show it. Get a job in an organization as a receptionist, a checkout person, etc. Establish yourself with an employer, do the best you can in the job you have, and then when other positions come open, work your way up! This is a natural process, and hard work goes a long way.
M: How do you motivate students in your classroom?
D: I believe that encouraging them when they are down is important. I tell them that they will be confused at first when it comes to putting codes together, but there will be a point where a lightbulb will go off and they will understand what they’re learning.
M: What are three fun facts about you?
- I collect owls. They can be funny or serious, made of ceramic, wood, or cloth…but most of all, they must have a personality!
- One positive thing to come out of the pandemic is that I am now working remotely as a medical auditor/coder, and I am loving it.
- I have two Goldendoodles named Rylee and Kodi, and one Cockapoo named Maggie Mae. I love them very much!
M: Is there anything else you would like to share?
D: I am at the tail end of my career; I could retire now, but I want to keep teaching and working. I would like to continue seeing people get into careers they are passionate about and be satisfied with what they are doing for their entire life. Finding a career to be passionate about is so important; I didn’t start my career in medical billing and coding until I already had two children and was in Bible college. I went to work in an OB-GYN practice, and even though I had never worked in healthcare, they took a chance on me. I always tried to take someone and mentor them everywhere I have worked, and I hope to continue pouring into the lives of others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hi! My name is Marah Whitaker (think Laura with an M). I am the Marketing Assistant for UTC Center for Professional Education. During the workday, I spend time writing blog posts, creating content for social media, developing email campaigns, and building relationships with our customer base. During my free time, you can find me getting lost in a good book, having spontaneous dance parties, playing piano, and going to Buffalo Wild Wings on Wing Night. Professionally and personally, I aspire to live by the Mr. Feeny quote, “Dream. Believe. Try. Do Good.” I strive to use my passions to serve others and contribute positively to the world around me.
Connect with me on LinkedIn.