Wednesday, October 17, 2018

From RN to RHIT – Meet Sheryl Carter

Health information technicians are in high demand and that is why Peirce’s Health Information Technology (HIT) program is so valuable and marketable in today’s workforce leading it to be this month’s program feature.

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), the HIT program at Peirce is guaranteed to position students for future certifications, degrees and careers. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Check out a Peirce alumna’s story who found success and accomplishment when she enrolled in Peirce’s Health Information Technology program.

A single mother of four children never considered returning to school after moving into domestic violence housing in 2014. But, thanks to the encouragement of her counselor and her desire to achieve a better life for her and her family, Sheryl Carter set out to discover what being a non-traditional student was all about.

Sheryl had earned her associate degree in paralegal studies years prior and had been enrolled in a registered nursing program for a period of time. But, as it does, life got in the way and she never used any of this classroom experience. When Sheryl decided to head back to school, she not only wanted to re-evaluate what degree she would pursue, but also find a school that would accept her transfer credits to allow her to excel through the college process as quickly and efficiently as she possible.

After some research, Sheryl decided Health Information Technology was the perfect match for her due to her passion for the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, the first school Sheryl attended dropped the program only after she had been enrolled for a few short months. Luckily, with the help and encouragement of those around her, Sheryl discovered Peirce College and that is where her new journey began.

“I knew I had a deep interest in the healthcare field and at this point in my life I knew I needed to find a program that was CAHIIM accredited, online and flexible so it fit my schedule of being a mom of four. I found all that at Peirce College,” said Sheryl.

During Sheryl’s time in the Health Information Technology program at Peirce College, she was challenged beyond her wildest expectations and wasn’t sure she’d be able to get through at times, but thanks to her support system in and out of the classroom, she found the success she was looking for.

“At Peirce and in the HIT program, I have felt positively challenged by my instructors, so challenged at times I honestly considered giving up, but much to my amazement after the encouragement and time spent with my professors I would earn an A in the class which helped my self-confidence,” explained Sheryl. “It made me feel smart and empowered to keep going.”

And Sheryl certainly kept going, right to the finish line. In December 2017, Sheryl proudly graduated with her Associate in Science in Health Information Technology.

Since Peirce College’s HIT program is CAHIIM accredited, Sheryl was able to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam following graduation. She said thanks to Peirce’s program, she was ready and able to pass this next step in her educational goals. “Peirce College prepared me for the RHIT exam through repetition. In each class I took leading up to my RHIT exam I would see and hear about some of the same material; they were designed to be like building blocks. This helped engrain the material in my mind to be prepared when it was time to test on it.”

To Sheryl’s excitement, she PASSED on the very first attempt and Peirce College was there to reward her with their RHIT Exam Incentive Program. Through this opportunity, eligible Peirce students or alumni are encouraged to take the RHIT or RHIA Exam by offering reimbursement on the exam fee to successful, first-time test takers.

Currently, Sheryl works two jobs, one for the State and one for a Health Information Management department in a local hospital, where she is gaining experience to go alongside her new degree. In addition to this strong work ethic, Sheryl seamlessly transitioned right into Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration program, so Sheryl is still an active student chasing her dreams. Sheryl hopes with her continuous education, new certification and years of experience she will be able work one day for the State Cancer Registry or the Federal Government.

Congratulations to Sheryl on all of her accomplishments so far!

If you or someone you know is interested in learning about Health Information Technology or the RHIT Exam Incentive Program, reach out to me, Dr. Stephanie Donovan at 215.670.9327 or sadonovan@peirce.edu.