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 Jul DeGeus
“Let me check your records.” A phrase many of us hear when visiting the doctor’s office. But who manages these records? Who makes sure that our medical information is up to date and accurate?
That is part of the job of a Health Information Technician. We sat down with Amanda Carter, Centura College’s Health Information Technology Coordinator for the Chesapeake campus, to find out a little bit more about what it means to be a Health Information Technician:
What made you decide to become a Health Information Technician?
I decided to become a Health Information Technician after I worked in the medical field as a medical assistant for about two years. The job market was constantly changing, so I decided to branch out. It made sense for me to do it because the health care industry was growing larger. Gaining more experience opened up additional opportunities for me to advance my career and to educate people about the ever changing costs of health care.
What advice would you give those considering a career in Health Information Technology?
The advice that I would give those considering a career in Health Information Technology is that even though you don’t have a lot of ‘facetime’ with patients, you are truly making a positive difference in their lives. Health care costs and expenses can be one of the most stressful triggers for patients and their families. As a Health Information Technician you get the chance to help alleviate that stress.
What study aids did you use during your education?
It’s cliché, but my training reinforced that practice makes perfect. I constantly coded scenarios and corrected error reports just to try and trick myself. It helped me to be confident and also taught me to fix interesting and dynamic health care scenarios. It reassured me and gave me positive outlook for my career in the health care field.
What is your proudest moment as a Health Information Technician?
My proudest moment as a Health Information Technician was when I helped an elderly lady with her husband’s seemingly never-ending health care expenses. She was constantly confused and overwhelmed by her billing statements. I knew she needed help understanding them and I offered to explain them to her in a way that made sense. After I took the time to go over them with her, you could hear the excitement in her voice; she finally fully knew what was going on with her bills and was ecstatic. Just hearing her excitement over the phone gave me so much joy. As if that wasn’t enough, she even made it a point visit the office just to thank me in person with homemade chocolate chip cookies. It was the BEST DAY EVER!
Centura College expands upon its health care training offerings with the announcement of Health Information Technology Diploma program.
By Jul DeGeus
Centura College’s Richmond and Newport News campuses upgraded their curriculum by introducing Health Information Technology to their list of diploma programs offered. Students will train to work in the integrated industries of health care and information technology, through examination of health data and development of code for billing. Students can enroll now.
The Health Information Technology Diploma program is designed to ready students for the analysis of health data and transcription of diagnostic and procedural terms and services into a coded form for analysis and billing. Courses, such as Medical Terminology and Anatomy and Physiology, develop students for engagement within the health care field, while classes like CPT Coding and Computer Software Application in Healthcare develop students’ information technology skills. The program prepares students for entry-level positions within the health care field and is designed to take as little as 8 months to complete. Upon graduation, students will have acquired the knowledge and eligibility to take the Certified Coding Associate exam through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Career opportunities for a Heath Information Technology graduate include coder, health information specialist, biller, or a medical record specialist.
Centura College’s Richmond campus is located at 7914 Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond, Va. For more information, call 804-330-0111.
Centura College’s Newport News campus is located at 616 Denbigh Boulevard in Newport News, Va. For more information, call 757-874-2121.
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, legal studies 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.