Graduate Spotlight

June 19, 2019
REAL STORIES ABOUT REAL GRADUATES
Just think; this could be you!
ANDREA O.
Patient Information Management, B.B.A.
Class of 2014
Associate Medical Records Specialist
Coney Island Hospital
 BEFORE PLAZA
As a working mother, Andrea was looking to begin a stable career that would help her in not only supporting her family but in making a difference in her community. She knew the healthcare field was a good option, but she wasn’t sure where to start.
She turned to Plaza, a familiar neighborhood institution, to learn more about the Health Information Technology field. After speaking to her admissions counselor and learning more about the program and Plaza’s student services, she “knew then that Plaza College was the right college” for her.
 WHY SHE CHOSE THE MEDICAL FIELD
Healthcare had always piqued Andrea’s interests, but the thought of blood and clinical practice didn’t appeal to her at all. She liked the sense of community that healthcare teams have and that all members of the team rally to provide the best care and service possible to their patients.
Luckily, Plaza was able to help her explore the other integral parts of a medical team and get her started on her career in Health Information Technology!
 HOW SHE USES HER DEGREE EVERY DAY
As an Associate Medical Records Specialist, it is Andrea’s job to code medical records so that the hospital she works for can submit claims and receive accurate reimbursement for the services they provide to their patients.
“The courses I took while earning my degree taught me all about medical records and why it is important to have a complete and accurate medical record in order to efficiently code visits,” she explains. “I learned how to code both ICD 9- CM and ICD-10-CM during my program, which fully prepared me for the nationwide coding system transitioned to ICD-10-CM.”
Because Plaza’s HIT program is accredited by CAHIIM, graduates are eligible to sit for the Registered Health Information Technician exam (RHIT). Andrea was one of the first of Plaza’s graduates to take the exam – and pass!
“All of the courses I took in the Health Information Technology program prepared me for each domain that was on the exam, and my practicum gave me the hands-on experience to be able to see how the concepts are applied in the workforce.”
Now that she has the RHIT credential, Andrea is eligible for promotion to a supervisory position in the Health Information Management Department.
 WHY SHE ENCOURAGES OTHERS TO CHOOSE THE MEDICAL FIELD
Andrea describes her position on the healthcare team as meaningful and fulfilling.  She has been with the same organization (NYC Health and Hospitals at Coney Island Hospital) since graduating from Plaza and has experienced growth and promotion opportunities.
Access to healthcare is vital to our community, and the many members of the healthcare team – from the clinical practitioners to the records specialists, like Andrea – all make it possible to treat our friends, family members, and neighbors.

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