After 20 years away from the health care profession, Elizabeth Said was ready to re-enter the workforce.
“I didn’t feel I could go back to nursing because of the hours required, so I researched online and the HITECH program at JCCC seemed to be a great way to get back into the medical field,” she said.
The HITECH continuing education program provides training to those with work experience and/or education in the related health care and information technology fields who want to transition into the specialized field of health IT. The program is funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.
“I have always been very compassionate about health care. I chose nursing because the profession offered a variety of clinical options and I enjoy seeing my patients directly benefit from my care,” Said said. “Looking back, sitting in the college counselor’s office discussing the various paths a nurse could take, I never realized that my nursing degree would open so many doors for me, even almost 20 years later. It’s an exciting time to be working in healthcare and I couldn’t have applied for the job I currently have without my prior nursing background.”
Said is Project Manager RCM for Netsmart Technologies, a health care software company specializing in Behavioral Health.
Said said she particularly appreciated the real-life experience her professors brought to the program.
“For each course, we had a different professor, all of whom had daytime employment similar to the course that they taught,” she said. “They were able to bring to the class real-life experiences and implement their profession into our teaching.
“The intimate class size was a major benefit,” Said added. “Each professor could address every student by name, and there were always ample amounts of time to ask one-on-one questions. My professors pushed me to work hard and think about the ‘bigger picture,’ which always made the vigorous courseload seem easier and more interesting.”
The HITECH program also provided her with more intangible but equally rewarding benefits.
“The small class size also helped me to develop personal relationships with my classmates, and by the end of the course, we would celebrate each other’s success after getting hired for a new job, or even something that had happened in someone’s life outside of the workplace,” Said said.
As for the future, Said is researching the HITECH master’s program offered by the University of Kansas.