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Trainee Clinical Coder - didn't even get an interview

(21 Posts)
pennycan Wed 29-Mar-17 20:01:52

Have worked in NHS admin for 20+ years and would love to be a Clinical Coder. Recently applied for a post as Trainee, working towards accreditation within 2 years. Pretty vague Person Spec but have had some limited experience. Just got an email, not even been shortlisted! It said they wouldn't offer feedback but i have emailed the named contact just to see if they can offer me any info.
Does anyone have any experience of recruitment around this? My gut feeling is that I'm probably competing with ex nurses etc with more medical knowledge.

bluebelltippytoes Wed 29-Mar-17 23:42:37

Did you pick off every item on the person spec and give examples?

My friend interviews as part of her NHS role and she said that if people tick all the boxes for the essential items they have to give them an interview. This was a bit of a revelation to me as I come from private sector which is slightly more woolly.

300barsrest Wed 29-Mar-17 23:48:16

Most people in my office have come from admin NHS roles or similar. There are only a couple with actual medical experience.
I think bluebell might be thinking along the right lines - my application was pretty much a point by point response to there person spec.
Or, more cynically, they already have someone in mind for the post.....

300barsrest Wed 29-Mar-17 23:48:48

*the person spec

HatHen Wed 29-Mar-17 23:50:38

@bluebell I don't think that's true. I have applied for around 20 roles, with each addressed each competency and I was only shortlisted twice. All in the NHS

NoMudNoLotus Wed 29-Mar-17 23:52:16

For clinical coding now they are looking for finance skills/experience - not really clinical staff , because the coding obviously has so many financial implications .

Out2pasture Wed 29-Mar-17 23:53:38

this is probably not helpful but in Canada clinical coding is a very sought after job and pays well. you need to have a degree.
now I have worked in hospitals for 30 years and my experience is that people who are successful for "trainee" positions are almost fully qualified (think awaiting their final results) or that they have a specific new grad in mind (who may have done their preceptorship there) and posted the job but already know who is getting it.

NoMudNoLotus Wed 29-Mar-17 23:54:31

300 bars is right.

In NHS it is about addressing each point in the person spec and offering examples of how you fulfill that criteria .

ChristmasSeacow Wed 29-Mar-17 23:55:17

I have recruited clinical coders. Hard to comment without seeing your application to be honest. People with clinical qualifications or even med secs (usually with medical terminology experience /qualifications) would have a definite advantage so depends how your experience stacks up.

Clinical coding is a shortage area so a lot of places are trying to train their own up. What band were they offering? That might give a clue as to whom it might appeal and therefore what the competition is like

ChristmasSeacow Thu 30-Mar-17 00:01:34

Sorry to disagree with NoMud but I would not prioritise financial experience over clinical /medical terminology. Both would be great but otherwise the financial principles are fairly easy to grasp, easier than the medical language if reading e.g. Theatre notes with no experience or knowledge. There are financial implications (penalties) for getting it systematically wrong so you do need to feel confident your coding would pass an audit.

ChristmasSeacow Thu 30-Mar-17 00:07:43

Out it's the same in Australia, and I have recruited a coder from there. And excellent she was too!

We are not quite there in the uk because the skills shortage was so big (it is improving though). 5 years ago a lot of places were training people up from scratch because they had no choice. It is definitely better now but there are still not a excessive number of people ready trained.

To compound the problem the private sector is having to start OPCS /ICD coding of admissions now due to legislative changes so that means more coding work for the same number of trained coders... that's a new pressure that will probably affect NHS receuitment.

bluebelltippytoes Thu 30-Mar-17 09:26:34

Could you actually tick everything on the person spec and give examples?

I've just had an NHS interview for a role very different to my current career. I could tick everything on the person spec (essential and desirable) but it was a real push. I really had to rack my brains for some of them.

If you did, then perhaps you need to have a critical look at your application? A hit rate of 2 out of 20 applications isn't great if you already have insider knowledge of the NHS (sorry, I don't mean to be cruel to you).

Can you get some advice from the clinical coders? Alternatively, how about some voluntary experience? There are loads of volunteer roles with our local hospital trust and some of the roles are really interesting/useful if you are wanting to gain experience.

If you really want to do this then don't give up. Just see this as a starting point/learning experience. Perhaps this opportunity wasn't right for you and something better will come up at a later date.

300barsrest Thu 30-Mar-17 23:41:24

Also, a recent round of recruitment here attracted a qualified coder from another area - they'll always get the job over an unqualified because of the cost/time involved in training. Could be that?

SorrelForbes Thu 30-Mar-17 23:47:29

I've recruited many clinical coders. At the last big trust in worked at, trainees started on a Band 4, had to be at graduate level (or equivalent) educationally and have good knowledge of anatomy and medical teminology.

What did the JD ask for?

chanie44 Fri 31-Mar-17 13:59:51

They were probably inundated with applications as it's an entry level post. When that happens the bar is raised for who gets shortlisted and it's only the strongest candidates who go through. When I say strongest, I mean the ones who have the most relevant experience.

pennycan Fri 31-Mar-17 22:11:35

The person spec was very vague and I feel that I did meet each one. I think you are right about the level of experience. Although they advertise that they are willing to train they would be mad not to take people with more medical knowledge or experience. I'm just a bit depressed because I can't match that and if I can't even get an interview for a trainee post I'd better start looking for something else. It wasn't me who applied for 20 jobs Btw.

bluebelltippytoes Sat 01-Apr-17 09:49:28

Don't give up. See if you can get someone to look at your application and give you some advice. If you met the criteria then perhaps you didn't make it clear enough. I was advised to pick off each item on the person spec confirming the item (i.e. I am a good communicator) and give an example (i.e. at Robot Manufacturing I did x, y and z). It seemed a bit ridiculous but I got an interview.

If you really want to change then don't give up at the first hurdle. There will be an opportunity out there for you.

300barsrest Sat 01-Apr-17 21:43:52

That's how I did my application too bluebell - point by point with examples. Very tedious, but I got the job....
penny are you in the south east?

pennycan Sat 01-Apr-17 22:09:54

I'm in the South, I've applied to 2 local hospitals recently and I was shortlisted for another post but I withdrew because the Clinical coder job was what I wanted. So my application can't be all bad. I think I was a bit naive about what a trainee with no experience meant.

ChristmasSeacow Tue 04-Apr-17 07:12:33

If you really want to move into this field and you don't have any medical terminology experience could you perhaps take an AMSPAR medical terminology course? Could you justify it as part of your current admin role or if not, self-fund? If you don't have any clinical or medical admin qualifications you will be at a bit of a disadvantage but if you could get that it will help your applications (and also help you in the job / training if successful).

jamietee Fri 07-Jul-17 16:14:15

I don't mean to necropost, I know this is an old-ish thread but I saw this and wanted to add my input.

I have just been invited for an interview for the role of trainee clinical coder and some things that people have said above are definitely worth taking into account.

Prior to applying, I had spent the year working towards an AMSPAR qualification, which is very desirable at the moment. I would recommend looking into the course. When applying for a job, it's really important to use the person spec as a guide when writing your supporting information. Follow all the essential criteria and talk about them, example aren't necessary but you should show you understand them.

Hope this is useful for anyone seeking more information on this.

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