Charon Shorty’s background in the medical field is vast. With an eye toward one day becoming a doctor, she went to college to study medicine, biology, and so on.
Though she didn’t complete college, Charon still began a healthcare career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), often working with the elderly. She then moved into the hospital setting, where she excelled as a surgical instrument technician for a time.
Eventually, she went back to working in elderly care, where she began to lament over the level of commitment and lack of consistent care she felt the field had for its older clientele.
“I had a couple of deaths with patients,” Charon said. “I really care for my patients, so it took a toll on me, and I said I don’t want to do it anymore. I still wanted to be in the medical field because that’s the direction I excelled in. But, I started thinking about going into the administrative part of it.”
Prompted by brand recognition and a personal recommendation from her cousin, Charon contacted UEI College and enrolled its Medical Billing and Insurance Coding Program (MBIC Program) at its Riverside campus. And, despite encountering some personal obstacles, Charon found the motivation and support through UEI faculty, as well as within her own family, to complete the program.
Today, she works full-time at a medical billing company with an eye toward one day starting her own billing services business.
“The people at UEI were really very supportive,” Charon said. “They never gave up on me, even though I was giving up on myself.”
FINDING UEI SUCCESS THROUGH PERSONAL & INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT
According to Charon, her commitment to family – her kids specifically – greatly defined the course of her medical career. Many of the times that her education and career changed direction, it was to focus on raising her children.
Between her own children and her step-kids, her household is made up of 10 dependents.
“It’s chaotic, but my kids are very supportive,” Charon said.
So, when the going got tough while she was a student at UEI College – when transportation to class became an issue, or when COVID inundated her household for a stretch of time – she turned to her children for motivation. It was important to Charon that she set a good example for them, especially those old enough to be considering their own educational journeys.
“I have a daughter who’s going to Northwest, and she’s taking surgical tech, so I didn’t want to give up on her,” Charon said. “I didn’t want to give up on my other sons who are trying to go to college. I have an 18-year-old who’s looking to go into the Air Force, and a 17-year-old who wants to go to Berkeley for law.”
Charon had a lot of support in her corner at UEI College, as well. Specially, she said instructor Arnetta Anderson bent over backwards to give Charon the help and motivation she needed.
“She never gave up on me,” she said of Arnetta. “When I couldn’t make it to class or I couldn’t attend a meeting online, she took her own time to make sure I caught up. ‘What help do you need? Do you need tutoring?’ She kept on me. She called me, and she’d even call my relatives saying she knows I’ll do great at this. She reached out to a lot of people, and she never gave up on me … not one time.”
“Mrs. Shorty just needed someone to believe in her. So, I couldn’t give up on her,” Arnetta said. “I knew she could complete this program, and she did. I am so proud of her. Mrs. Shorty will go far due to her intelligence and her determination. I am expecting her to excel and go far in her new career journey. She was a pleasure to have in class.”
PUTTING HER KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS TO WORK
UEI Career Services Specialist Crystal Flores also worked closely with Charon to help her secure an externship working on the billing team at a medical practice. She loved the experience, but after the externship ended, the practice had no open positions.
So, Charon applied for an earned a full-time position on a billing services team that works with healthcare professional that offer a variety of services. Still new to the medical billing and insurance coding field, Charon said there’s been challenges, but she appreciates the wealth of knowledge and experience she’s getting early in her career.
“I’m enjoying it,” she said. “It’s a lot of detail. There’s a lot you have to learn, but once you get repetitive in doing it, it gets easier. It’s what I signed up for and what I’ve wanted.”
“My experience with Charon enlightened me to the realization of why I enjoy doing what I do,” Crystal said. “Charon was the embodiment of determination, and it was rewarding to see her succeed when faced with difficult obstacles. With the burden of juggling both family priorities and school, I knew exactly the company for her when her externship was coming to a close. Given her intelligence and perseverance, I knew the day I sent her for an interview that she was going to ace it.”
The experience, Charon added, will help her develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to one day reach the goal of starting her own billing services business from her home. She hopes to do this with one of her former UEI classmates.
“I want to build my experience up so when we can do this, I’ll have a lot more behind my back that I’ve learned during that time,” she said. “Where I work now, it’s a medical office with different types of doctors, and we’re doing their billing, collections, making sure their insurances are up to date … I want to eventually do all that.”
Until she gets to this point, however, Charon said she continues to appreciate all the help and support she received while completing UEI’s Medical Billing and Insurance Coding program.
“I’m satisfied with my schooling,” she said. “It was a road – it was a tough road – and I got through it. And, they made it much easier for me.”
Charon Shorty is a self-motivated individual who was determined to graduate and move into a new career,” said Kevin Quirk, Campus President at UEI College in Riverside. “We are all proud of her perseverance and grit, and we look forward to celebrating her success as a medical biller at our upcoming graduation.”