Journal excerpt: Experience on a resume
When looking at a resume for a CDI position, Angelica Naylor, MBA, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS, senior healthcare performance analyst with 3M Health Information Systems based in Salt Lake City, Utah, says that she finds it important to differentiate the resumes from those with a clinical RN background versus a coding/HIM background, as the required skills for each will be different.
For example, when reading a resume from someone with a nursing background, there are a few things she looks for to make sure the candidate has the tools and critical thinking skills to succeed in CDI, she says. “If a candidate has an RN background, experience in utilization review or critical care is a plus.”
If you don’t have utilization review experience, Naylor says you can still be considered for the role. In her experience, however, she has found that RNs with utilization review or critical care experience tend to be top performers earlier on in their CDI career.
“This is because of the experience they already have with chart review, so it helps them grasp the position quickly,” she says. “If you’re a utilization review nurse, you’re doing chart reviews and reviewing with a purpose, needing to know the rules and guidelines already. So, in my eyes, it really is a huge benefit to have that experience on your resume if you’re looking to come into CDI.”
Whether a candidate is from a nursing or coding background, Naylor says she looks to see if their certification is up to date.
“If your license is expired, you may think that’s fine because you’re not at the bedside. But if you have a valid license, it tells me that you’re still doing your annual competencies,” she explains. “That shows me that you’re still dedicated to nursing and coding and that you’re continuing to learn and keep up with changes in the industry.”
Someone coming into CDI should ideally have a few years of experience in nursing or coding, as a candidate with minimal experience likely will not be as successful in the role.
“When you’re working as a CDI specialist, you get every type of patient coming through the door and you’re having to look at all sort of charts,” Naylor says. “Having more previous experience gives you a broad knowledge base for the clinical side, which sets you up to do the job of CDI and be successful.”
Ultimately, while there are key skills Naylor looks for on a resume for a new CDI specialist, she says it is difficult to judge a candidate on their resume alone. “When we get to the interview, that’s where we’re going to get a sense of your personality and work ethic and really dive deep to get an understanding of why you’re coming into CDI,” she says.