Monday, June 18, 2012

Health Information Management grad finds dream career

Linda Ding
has something in common with SpongeBob SquarePants.

Diploma in Health Information Management (HIM), 2010; bachelor’s degree in food science, 1996 (China)

Data coordinator, Clinical Trials, at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver centre

Dream a better dream and work to make it real.

Why HIM?
Health care is one of today’s most dynamic and growing fields. It can provide good job security and stability. I knew I wanted to work in this field, but without patient contact. When I heard about the HIM program, I knew it would be my dream career.

The best thing about college
The practical experience. Beginning in first year, students are given the opportunity to observe and participate in real-life situations. The program is well-designed and helps students meet demands at work. When I started my job, I was well-prepared.

The HIM program taught me
how to learn and think critically. This includes organizing and making sense of information in your mind.

My dream job
The job I am doing now!

Never a dull moment
I like my job because it is a place where I am constantly learning and growing. Every day runs quickly - you will never feel bored.

School vs. the real world
At school they always have the right answer for you, and somebody will mark what you have done. When you get into the real world, all of the knowledge acts as a foundation, and you have to learn to how to use it to get the job done. You have to trust your own abilities.

The SpongeBob connection
When we celebrated our first Data Coordinator day on Feb, 15, 2011, all the data coordinators working at our department received a funny award certificate from our manager. Mine was the “SpongeBob Award” for absorbing all that comes my way.

Now is an exciting time for Health Information Management professionals, as they move into more non-acute roles like Linda’s. More and more HIM grads have begun working with physicians and other health care providers as they transition from the paper to the electronic health record.

During this past year, Lower Mainland Health Information Management created a new position titled Physician Documentation & Education Specialist. Data collection still remains at the heart of the profession, and in the Lower Mainland it is anticipated that half of all clinical coding positions will open within the next five years, due to retirement. Last month Alberta Health Services came to Douglas to recruit HIM grads for no less than 17 coding specialist positions. 

Find out more about the HIM program on our website or come to an information session Nov. 13.