Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to School

This is week two of "My Young Adult Years" hosted at Mommy's Piggy Tales.

Over the last couple of weeks I have talked about my dreams and goals for college and the next step. Today I'll finally tell you that I did manage to go to college - finally - and complete a degree. However, it was not anything I had ever thought about doing before and, quite honestly, well....I'm jumping ahead.

During the year off from college while I worked in the mill, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, I would be returning to college. I could not picture myself working in a mill forever. And the mill I was working in was getting ready to move their productions to a town about an hour away. I really had no interest in that.

I still vividly remember this day in my mind. I was still determined to change schools to be near my boyfriend. Oh & one thing I should mention.....during the year I was home working, I broke up with my boyfriend (best thing I EVER did too). I still decided to go to the school I was planning to transfer to since all the plans were in place.

I had ordered a school course catalog and sat down on day in the middle of our living room to look at. Our house was old - the second oldest in our town. A few years before my Dad had refinished the floors to the original wood (so gorgeous) and my Mom had a braided rug on it - one made by a relative.

I flipped through all the different courses and made a list of those that held some interest to me and those I thought I might do well at. I even remember a few that made the list - even though I no longer have the original list.

  • Fashion designer. Yeah, well, I can't sew so needless to say that didn't make the final cut. (Um, no pun intended.)
  • Journalist. I love to write, but I couldn't see myself doing much with this. Aside from that it would have taken me four years. I was more interested in how fast I could get through!
  • Lawyer. Again - it would take too long.
  • English. Love to write and love words. But I wasn't sure what I would actually do with that.
Then I spied this one...."Health Information Technology." That one caught my eye for two important was a two year degree program and I already had most of my core subjects taken care of. Two...they had 100% job placement after graduation. 

So I applied.

Did I mention I still really had no idea what "Health Information Technology" entailed? In fact, I went to interview with the director of the program and I still had no clue what I was interviewing for? Yeah, that was interesting. Did I mention I wanted to be a lawyer? I was am pretty good at "subterfuge" when need be.

I ended up making it in to the program. 

Oh - so what exactly is "Health Information Technology?" 
Health information technology (HIT) is “the application of information processing involving both computer hardware and software that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making” (Brailer, & Thompson, 2004).

Yeah, now you see why I showed up to my interview still not really having a clue about what it was I was going to be doing right? I thought so.

Here are some of the things I studied for during my course work:
  • Legal aspects of medical records (releasing to patients, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Transcription
  • Medical coding/billing
  • Statistics
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Statistics (blah!)
  • Filing (yup!)
  • Managing a record department 
I actually really liked most of my classes. I went to a small branch of the university and liked the atmosphere there.

And just a couple of interesting tidbits...the director of our program taught about half the classes. She was originally from Oregon and was very excited to share how health care worked out west. They had these things called "HMO's" that were the best thing ever and she couldn't wait until she came east. Not so excited about health care now.

Second, I had a research paper I had to write my senior year. It was about "CPR" or "computerized patient records." All of those in the HIT field felt sure the CPR was on the horizon and we should all know what that entailed. Most facilities now use some form of a CPR but I've been out of college now for, well, a really  long time. It didn't happen quite as fast as many thought.

I'm digressing though.....

The only thing I didn't like about going back to school was the hour commute I was making each way to school. I decided that to save money I would continue to live at home with my parents. I was putting 500 miles a week on my car and having to get up early to make it to my 8am classes. Not a lot of fun actually.

After a couple weeks of this my best friend starting talking about the possibility of subletting in the house she lived in. If I managed to find a job down there, I planned to do just that. 

I'll share Part 4 next week and talk about what all that meant for me and my children!

Thanks to Ginny Marie (Lemon Drop Pie) for hosting "My Young Adult Years" at Mommy's Piggy Tales.

1 comment:

  1. It's only been in the past two years that my doctors have started having laptops and desktop computers in the exam rooms instead of carrying around my HUGE paper files! (And I'm sure my files aren't as thick as some peoples!) I love your telling of going back to school after your work at the mill.


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