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.