If you’re looking for a career in healthcare, earning a health informatics degree may be your next move toward professional growth. Following are just five ways a graduate degree in health informatics prepares you for a career in healthcare.
Since health information management is such a specialized field, you will need highly detailed and industry-specific knowledge. While you may have worked for years in patient care, clerical or any other role in a medical setting, a graduate program in health informatics is your most direct route to gaining the most comprehensive body of health informatics knowledge needed to succeed in a healthcare environment. A health informatics degree program will provide you with the knowledge about information science, health policy, cognitive science, systems analysis, and high-powered analytics that you will need to enter the health informatics field.
Industry Specific Skills
As is the case with the content knowledge, success in health informatics heavily rests on the acquisition of a specific set of skills. Planning, development, implementation, and analysis of a health information system is an extremely complex, multi-faceted process. Omitting the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine from a drop-down menu, for example, might not seem important until a patient has an adverse reaction to the injected version. Health information systems developed by carefully analyzing and evaluating industry specific information needs can help practitioners avoid such errors.
Preview Practice Settings
In addition to teaching you knowledge and skills, attending school will also give you a much closer look at potential practice settings. Gone are the days when healthcare is exclusively a yearly visit to the family doctor and the occasional trip to a specialist or the hospital. Informatics support is needed for web or app-based wellness programs such as online health records or decision support tools. Health departments rely on informatics professionals for data mining, epidemic tracking, and epidemiological analysis. Elective coursework and internships can give you a glimpse into these career options.
Witness Workplace Culture
Interning can also give you the chance to experience specific workplaces. Healthcare informatics is much more than just sitting in front of a computer and analyzing data systems. Since healthcare information managers must frequently work directly with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to assess their data collection, storage and usage needs, good working relationships are necessary for high-quality healthcare. Not everyone is a good fit for every workplace, but healthcare is such a vast field that there is a suitable setting available for most potential employees.
Be The One That They Want
If you are fortunate enough to secure a field experience or internship in a preferred setting, everyday can be a chance to demonstrate that you have the characteristics and skills needed to succeed in it. Since most employers would rather hire a known commodity, you can become the employee whose work is worth one the average reported health information manager salary of $69,880. Even if you don’t get hired by your internship site, you will have gained some insight into what similar employers want, as well as valuable contacts that can help you begin your health informatics career elsewhere.
Securing a graduate degree in health informatics can give you a tremendous advantage in training for and securing a healthcare career. Considering the five reasons outlined in this article will help you decide if this is a good career decision for you.