Friday, February 2, 2018

February Program Feature: Health Information Administration

Stephanie Sheeley is a mother of two, a working adult and an eager and dedicated student who found Peirce’s College’s Health Information Administration (HIA) degree to be the program for her, and it might be the right one for you, too.

Building on last month's program feature - Jennifer Shaw’s story on Healthcare Administration - we focus this month on Health Information Administration. Peirce began offering our HIA degree in 2012. Since then it’s grown and gained much recognition, most recently through the accreditation by CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education) last year. This accreditation means students like Stephanie will be able to sit for the RHIA exam, a highly valued certification by regional and national employers, following graduation.

Stephanie enrolled in the program after life threw her a twist and she found herself needing to return to the workforce full time. Stephanie realized what many working adult learners do: if you want the career you deserve, you need a degree.

For Stephanie, returning to the workforce full-time “was a wake-up call because it made me realize what a disadvantage it was not to have a college degree. I was able to find a job, but it was well below what I needed to earn as a single mom. I knew I deserved better and was capable of so much more.”

Stephanie looked into accelerated Health Information programs for adult students and quickly came across Peirce College. She says, “Once I made the decision to return to school in this area, it was almost as if Peirce found me, which demonstrates that making the commitment to accomplish a goal starts to open doors that we may not have ever known were in front of us.”

Once Stephanie found Peirce, she was immediately pulled in by the flexibility. “I had been to a few information sessions at other area colleges that offered accelerated degrees, but none of them offered a degree that fit my experience and interests.”

When looking closer at Peirce’s Health Information Administration, she discovered it would be the best fit for her for three main reasons: “First, I was already working in the healthcare field. Second, I enjoy the complexity and diversity of what it takes to provide care for patients behind the scenes. Third, it is a career path with a strong job growth rate and potential to work in a variety of roles.”

Stephanie's description of the industry is spot on. Health Information Administration graduates usually enter jobs in the healthcare setting, including hospitals, clinics, medical offices, insurance and pharmaceutical companies. And that’s only a portion of the variety of job opportunities available to you when you earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration.

Currently, Stephanie works as an HIM Operations Analyst at UHS, Inc. She had been working in a psychiatric hospital prior to her current role, but was eager to move up. Once she began at Peirce and started to obtain the required education, she was able to advance to her new position. “I am excited to say that my experience and my education through Peirce helped me to successfully land that job. I hope to continue to grow in my career and advance within the company.”

Stephanie is getting the most out of her experience with Peirce and wants to be sure you do the same. For all those working adults out there considering going back to school, Stephanie has some advice.

“It may seem like a lot of work, but it is easier, in many ways, to make the sacrifices necessary to earn a degree as an adult. Once you set a vision for yourself, your mind will find ways to make it a reality,” says Stephanie. “I think many adult students are afraid to go back to school because they fear they are not smart enough, but the truth is, they only need to be willing to put forth the effort. My experience at Peirce has taught me that my effort is matched by faculty that have encouraged and supported my path to graduation.”

Stephanie is set to graduate this June! Congratulations to her on all of her accomplishments.

Check back for more program features in the coming months!