You Heard it Here! A Former Student Details Why Parker University’s Undergraduate HIM Program is a Great Fit for You!

Parker University's HIM Program
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Parker University's HIM Program

An alumna of the 2020 class, Tonja Grimes, RHIA, CCHP, now the Health Information Management (HIM) director for two healthcare facilities, recently offered exclusive insight into what an HIM career really looks like!

Can You Relate to Tonja’s Story?

Tonja was a teenage mother when she first started college, eventually dropping out. She re-enrolled at the age of 32. She started at San Jacinto College and earned her associate degree. During a conference, Tonja met Parker University HIM Program Director Joe Lintz, whose unique insights into Parker University piqued her interest. “Drawn to the unique structure of their classes, I decided to transition to Parker University to complete my bachelor’s degree,” Tonja says.

Tonja is passionate about the HIM program because it aligns perfectly with her innate drive to solve puzzles and her analytical thought process. With a constant stream of challenges and complexities to unravel, whether ensuring accurate coding, maintaining data integrity, or navigating regulatory requirements, she says, “I find immense satisfaction in delving into these intricacies, applying my analytical skills to solve problems, and ultimately contributing to the efficient management of health information. It’s a field where I can continuously learn and grow while making a meaningful impact on patient care and healthcare delivery.”

Parker University’s One-of-a-Kind Online HIM Program – Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree on Your Schedule

Parker University’s Bachelor of Science with a major in HIM program is integrated with existing programs to provide a leading health and wellness education resource. The HIM program focuses on Health Information Technology, Medical Coding and Classification, Data Privacy and Security, Health Information Management Principles, and Legal and Ethical Considerations.

This degree provides additional educational opportunities and contributes toward filling the need for HIM personnel in the ever-changing job market. It prepares students to work in the real-life HIM profession, which focuses on healthcare data and the management of healthcare information resources. The profession addresses the nature, structure, and translation of data into usable forms of information, including electronic health records for advancing health, and the healthcare of individuals and populations. HIM professionals collect, integrate, and analyze primary and secondary healthcare data, disseminate information, and manage information resources related to the research, planning, provision, and evaluation of healthcare services. HIM professionals (could be you!) are integral to the planning, implementation, and utilization of electronic health record systems.

In addition, Parker University’s HIM graduates can sit for the national certification examination to become a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA).

As a standout perk, Parker University’s HIM program offers an opportunity for individuals like Tonja who are eager to pursue higher education while managing other commitments, such as work or family responsibilities. Tonja says, “One of the standout features of Parker University’s program is its flexibility, which allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree while continuing to work. This program allows individuals to explore firsthand the different facets of HIM and find a niche that aligns with their interests, skills, and personality traits.”

Learn It. Live It.

Tonja’s combination of education, experience, leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, innovative thinking, and commitment to excellence helped her excel in her current role as the HIM director. Tonja shares, “I love teaching. I believe teaching goes hand in hand with leadership. I enjoy my job every day. I work for an amazing facility, Midland Memorial Health Hospital, with a ‘mission of leading healthcare for the greater Midland community.’”

As the HIM director at a 580-bed inpatient hospital, Tonja oversees a range of critical functions that ensure the efficient management and integrity of health information. “My responsibilities encompass several key areas, including Coding Management, Release of Information, Birth Registry, and Data Integrity. I collaborate closely with other departments and stakeholders to support the hospital’s overall goals and optimize the use of health information for patient care, research, and administrative purposes,” Tonja shares.

If you pursue a career in HIM, every day on the job will look different. Whether you’re delving into the intricacies of medical coding, navigating complex regulatory requirements, or collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to optimize health information systems, every day on the job provides new challenges and opportunities for your professional growth.

Parker University’s HIM program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and versatility required to successfully carve out fulfilling and impactful careers. Whether you specialize in a specific area or embrace a lifelong journey of learning and development, the HIM field offers unlimited possibilities for professional fulfillment and advancement.

What’s the Wait?

Now, just like Tonja proved, it’s your turn to make a change and pursue all the future has in store for you. Can you see yourself as a Parker University graduate pursuing a successful career in HIM? We can too!

To learn more about Parker University’s versatile online HIM program, click here!