With no background in health care, Navy veteran Oliver Grant turned to Tidewater Community College in hopes of training for a career. “I knew I wanted to go to school in the medical field and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do,” he said. “From everything I heard, TCC was the best.”
After starting classes in October, Grant already has a credential and is preparing to start a job next week at Beach Eye Care. Grant completed the five classes required for Certified Medical Billing & Coding, among the fastest growing professions in health care. In the evening program, now being offered 100% online, students learn diagnostic and procedural coding necessary for insurance form processing.
Grant, 27, paid nothing, as his GI Bill benefits picked up all costs. Many students are also eligible for FastForward grants that provide financial assistance up to 90% of the total cost of training. In addition to health care, FastForward programs include welding, logistics and transportation, IT and cyber security, and skilled and maritime trades.
Grant picked up the billing and coding material easily, he said, thanks to the patience and thoroughness of the instructors. “Prior to the program I was in the Navy and before that, I drove trucks,” he said. “I had zero experience in this, and all I heard was how difficult billing and coding was.”
Initially he planned to go to school for radiology but was deterred by the two years necessary for an associate degree. Instead, the billing and coding program allowed him to earn his credential in months, and he was able to balance two jobs with classes.
“We started at the very bottom and slowly they taught us,” he said. “Before long, we were coding ourselves.”
Due to COVID-19, classes shifted online in March.
“I had never used Zoom before, but we didn’t skip a beat,” Grant said. “It was a seamless transition to online.”
Grant aced the credentialing exam and credits the instructors for offering detailed review and test preparation. He is also grateful for their help with resume building. In addition to offering interviewing tips, he learned phrases to make his resume stand out. He wrote a thank you note after his initial interview at Beach Eye Care on advice he learned at TCC.
“When I got the job, my employer told me how much he appreciated that,” Grant said.
“Getting a job is a huge relief. I’m excited to start work in a field I went to school for. I owe my success to TCC.”
Interested in one of TCC’s short-term workforce programs? For information, email email@example.com or call (757) 822-1234.