How to Cope with Stress as a Medical Coder

Medical coders have one of the most difficult jobs in the healthcare field and they don’t always get enough recognition for their efforts. They have to spend hours sifting through medical records and sorting through all sorts of different codes to find which one applies to a patient. One small mistake could have very serious consequences too, which is one of the reasons why a lot of coders, especially new ones, deal with very high levels of stress and anxiety. Thankfully, there are plenty of things that you can do to facilitate your tasks and prepare your body for long periods of stressful work. Let’s take a look at how you can cope with stress as a medical coder.

Don’t Neglect Your Nutrition

So many people overlook the importance of nutrition when it comes to stress management but eating properly is one of the best ways to keep you mentally stable. The foods you eat will have a direct impact on your performance at work too and will help you battle things like brain fog and fatigue, among others.

Your diet should consist of a good mix of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants, and you should avoid foods that will hinder mental performance. Anything with saturated fats, for instance, should either be eaten in moderation or completely avoided. 

Saturated fats have been shown to directly contribute to stress and reduce mental clarity. Instead of going for those, aim for good fats like those contained in most nuts and olive oil. 

Have a colorful diet consisting of vegetables and fruits, and make sure that around 30% of what you eat is made of protein. Protein plays a very important role in helping you maintain focus, and it acts as a mood stabilizer too, so add more to your diet if you’re feeling stressed and you feel as though you’re not getting enough.

Use the Right Tools

It’s also important that you have all the tools at your disposal to make the job as easy as possible for you. A good MRA calculator, for instance, will greatly help with AMA risk adjustment documentation and coding. You also need to find tools that will help you organize and break up your days more efficiently. Daily planning tools like Todoist can come in handy here, and you should check out a few Pomodoro tools for productivity. 

Pomodoro tools can be used to plan work sprints with regular breaks so that you don’t overwork yourself. These have been shown to greatly reduce stress, and once you start getting a hang of them, you’ll hardly feel like you’re working while still getting work done, so consider looking at a few of the tools today and try different settings until you find the perfect one for you.

Make Your Workspace as Comfortable as Possible

The way your workspace is set up will make a huge impact on your stress levels, so try to make it as cozy as possible while still being conducive to work. Invest in a comfortable chair, and an ergonomic desk, and have good speakers so you can listen to a relaxing backdrop or music. You should also have a space where you can lounge during breaks and choose a room that has plenty of natural light and aeration. Choose colors properly too, and think about adding something like a water feature to make the space even more soothing.

These are all tips that will help you keep your stress levels as low as possible while doing medical coding work. Don’t forget to treat your body right and don’t hesitate to speak with someone if you feel like your stress levels are becoming unbearable.