Professional Growth

Professional Growth

In this fourth installment in our series, 5 Benefits of Being a Traveling Clinical Documentation Specialist, we are discussing one of the two most given reasons a Clinical Documentation Specialist might choose to travel – professional growth.

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

If we take the career path of CDI, one that is relatively new compared to the nursing, coding and medical professions, add a relatively small team member size, and it’s easy to see how stagnancy can occur relatively easy. The CDS who longs for more in their career might begin to seek other avenues within the facility if there is no opportunity in the CDI department, and if finding no suitable positions, might seek options outside of their home hospital. They will perhaps realize that they could find the satisfaction and growth they desire in traveling.

I often have traveling CDSs relate that they wouldn’t have the professional growth, nor be as far along in their career, had they remained at their home hospital, and that is true in my case as well. There seems to be little opportunity to further develop their skills into leadership.

The popular opinion is that, for example, within a seven member CDI team, there are at least several who are great leaders just waiting for that opportunity. You probably know someone who does not hold a leadership title, yet is a leader nonetheless, and who flourishes in a position once given the opportunity. Traveling CDI can give you that opportunity should you desire it.

Of course, a leadership position, or a manager or director title might not be your goal. You may want to broaden your horizon toward the many emerging branches of CDI. As the CDI profession continues to be recognized for the immense value that it adds to a facility, the future looks bright as a CDS can branch into leadership roles of informatics, auditing, outpatient CDI, education, compliance, quality, and risk adjustment, to name a few.

I want to end by letting you know that I have worked for MedPartners, a top ranked staffing company, for almost 5 years, and traveled with them for 3 of those years. Because of my experience with traveling, I know without a doubt that considering traveling is a big step because I have been there, done that!

I want to share my email with you in case you have any questions about traveling CDI, or if something that you have read has piqued your interest and you would love to learn more. My mission is to set people up for success! Please don’t hesitate to contact me at



Karen Newhouser, RN, BSN, CCM, CCDS, CCS, CDIP
Director of Education, MedPartners