Written by Simone Francis
Have you been contemplating following your dream of working in the medical field? However, your age, the cost of medical school, the years it will take to complete the degree, along with residency and training causes you to reconsider? Luckily, the healthcare industry is one that career changers can pursue easily. This is possible due to the wide range of careers within this industry.
Many people consider going back to school as a way to develop specific knowledge that they will use to pursue a new career. Others want to gain skills that will result in them making more money. According to the National Center for Education, “more and more adults are returning to school. It seems like once parents send their children off to school, they start investigating what going back to school may mean for them as well.”
One career taking the healthcare Industry by storm is Health Information Technology (HIT). Health Information Technicians are also knows as medical coders or medical billers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations”.
Health Information Technology (HIT) is a great way for someone, at any point of their career, to enter the health care field because it typically does not require more than a two-year degree. As a Health Information Technician, you will work with computer software systems to analyze patient information to determine various ways of improving patient care or controlling costs for both the patient and facility.
Instructor Afyia Richards at Centura College Virginia Beach states, “This is the perfect career for all ages interested in working in the healthcare industry on the informational and technological side of the field.” Within this career, individuals will not work directly with patients in the way a doctor or nurse would do, but rather they play a vital role in keeping hospitals and clinics running. Ms. Richards states, “We play a great role in saving lives”.
Ms. Richards held a variety of positions in the healthcare field over the last 10 years, including auditor and medical coder. Working in this industry did not limit her to just working in hospital settings; she has worked in many organizations that use health information, such as insurance firms, pharmaceutical companies and law offices. Ms. Richards explained this is a great career opportunity for individuals looking to work from home. Health Information Technicians also have the ability to determine their own salary.
Centura College in Virginia Beach strives to assist individuals in starting careers instead of jobs. With the buzz around this career field, Centura College decided to offer the HIT program. Once students have completed this program, they will take the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) certification, which allows them to become more marketable in the field. Centura College is the only college in Hampton Roads that offers the certification included in the tuition, as well as AHIMA curriculum.
Mrs. Richards states, “I am definitely glad I made the decision to purse this career. The field has grown by leaps and bounds and it won’t be slowing down any time soon. This is my retirement plan.” So don’t let your dreams fade away, still thinking about going back to school, then Health information Technology may be right for you.
Centura College Newport News graduate Mary Majette.
Prior to her time at Centura College, Mary Majette had over 20 years of experience in the Human Services field. In 2010, Mary decided to move to the Hampton Roads area. Upon continuing her career path in Human Services, Majette quickly realized that she needed to go back to school if she was to improve her career prospects and earning potential.
With that realization in mind, Mary began to look into potential educational options. She chose Centura College because she could obtain her diploma in Health Information Technology in less than a year. On top of that, the Newport News campus was conveniently located near her home.
Mary completed her program in eight months. During her time at Centura College, she became a Centurian Ambassador and participated in several community volunteer opportunities. Majette maintained and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. She is now a member of Centura College’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC).
Centura College grad Mary Majette poses for photo op infront of Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute.
We are proud to announce that Mary is currently working full-time in her field at the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute. Way to go Mary!
About Centura College
Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu
By Cheryl Landreth, CVAB
After working in the financial services industry for many years, Tracy Peloquin found herself suddenly out of a job and relocated to a state that didn’t offer the types of financial career options she had in her previous home state. Tracy had often worked in food service and as a temporary employee in the past and once again found herself back into those types of jobs.
“When I reached my 50th birthday, I took a look at where I was in my life, what I had started and what I had not accomplished,” Peloquin stated. “Each day on my way to yet another temporary job, I passed by Centura College. I saw students outside and often wished I was one of them.”
In 2016 Tracy found herself laid off again and decided enough was enough. She went to Opportunity Inc. to see what options would be available to a middle-aged woman who had been displaced from her previous career. To her surprise and joy, there was a grant available to help with the cost of college. Her next stop was Centura College.
For the next year and a half, Tracy worked full time and attended school full time. Reflecting on that time, Tracy stated, “I really wanted to do my best at both. Whenever you would see me, I would either have a book in my hand or I would be working on homework.” Many late nights later, Tracy graduated summa cum laude with a 3.85 grade point average and a Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Management degree. Tracy exclaimed, “I felt so accomplished!”
Tracy knows this is only the first important step in achieving her dream to someday run her own business of helping low-income seniors with housing. She is currently working at Canon and advancing in her career. Her next step is to enroll in a Master’s program pursuing additional business and human resource training.
Moving forward on her journey, Tracy states “Had I never made that stop to Centura College, where I felt a peace as soon as I walked through the door, I would not have a plan for my future. I know where I am heading with my life and I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend Centura College. The instructors were great and offered additional assistance whenever I needed it. They taught me so much more than just the book material. I was able to gain practical application experience which helped me to fully understand the purpose of what was being taught.”
Centura Richmond Campus Executive Director, Rob Jones and Sarah Irby.
Centura College Richmond is passionate about the work at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Children’s Hospital. VCU Children’s Hospital is Central Virginia’s only comprehensive, full-service hospital devoted to the care of children. It’s ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospital by U.S. News and World Report and is Virginia’s only Level 1 pediatric trauma center.
Last year, the Richmond campus collected over 75 children’s books for the many kids undergoing care at the facility. This year we decided give back to the young patients again, by collecting everyday school supplies. Our students and faculty rose to the challenge presented and we outdid our donations from the previous year!
Student Services Representative Kelvin Lee and Sarah Irby.
With so many school supply drives, the children are unfortunately unable to attend those types of events due to the efforts concentrated on their recovery. Student Services Representative Kelvin Lee and Campus Executive Director Rob Jones decided to visit the Children’s Hospital to present Ms. Sarah Irby (Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator) our donations. With the incredible job this hospital performs on a daily basis we truly look forward to partnering together with Ms. Irby for future events. This was a great way to kick off the new school year by providing much needed school supplies to the hospital’s young patients.
About Centura College
Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and skilled trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.
Centura College Graduate Spotlight – Carissa Chalsma
By Lisa Pinson, Massage Therapy Coordinator, Centura College Newport News
Carissa Chalsma began her Massage Therapy career at Centura College in Newport News on October 17, 2017 and c ompleted her coursework on June 18, 2018. She was a diligent and engaged student, which resulted in her achieving a 4.0 grade in her coursework.
Currently, she is employed with Williamsburg Neck and Back Chiropractic in Williamsburg, Virginia as a Massage Therapist. Through her work there she uses a variety of trigger point, orthopedic, myofascial, and stretching techniques that are designed to treat injuries, ease muscle tension, reduce muscle spasm and pain. Her favorite work focuses on sports/trigger point and neuromuscular massage techniques that enable clients to regain and maintain healthy well-moving bodies.
Carissa has a passion for helping people through hands on healing. She intends to pair her Massage Therapy diploma with a degree in Physical Therapy that she is currently pursuing at Old Dominion University.
In her free time, Carissa spends most of her time furthering her education in the healing arts. She is dedicated to her craft and excels at it. She also enjoys her family, friends, and boyfriend and loves to travel when she has time.
Even as busy as she is, Carissa still comes back here to Centura to assist other students who are about to graduate. She serves as a Licensed Massage Therapist during clinicals and gives constructive feedback. She is a true mentor.
Carissa is one of our best and brightest. She is a true success story!