2020 has presented new challenges in every aspect of life, as work, home and school have all fused into one shared location. Like so many, Naa Tetteh has had to balance the parenting and homeschooling of four elementary-age children while maintaining her career as a Group Claims Analyst at Cigna Group Insurance during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Even with all that was already on her plate, Tetteh had a strong desire to advance in her career and education. With her work now online from home and her children doing their schooling online from home, her educational pursuits needed to be in an online program that provided flexibility.
After exploring “various opportunities at many universities,” Tetteh decided on the online Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics from the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine.
From her own professional experience, Tetteh could see the demand for information technology within the healthcare industry. “I decided to broaden my knowledge in health informatics because I had only basic knowledge about technology in healthcare,” she explains. “The Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics offered me the route to improve upon my knowledge in [the] application of information technology in healthcare, as well as add value to my career.”
While the flexibility of an online program was a must, an ultimate deciding factor was “the reputation USF Health’s Morsani College of Medicine [has] in providing top-notch education,” says Tetteh of her decision.
In being based within a highly respected medical school, the program has not only provided Tetteh with valuable career applications but has also opened her up to the bigger picture of what her career can provide others.
As she explains: “I have shifted from the mindset of only economic benefit of career advancement to actually caring for how the healthcare industry would be able to improve to provide better health services…I have gained insight on how I can contribute to the health and wellbeing of humanity to improve healthcare.”
Through the Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics, Tetteh feels she has a better grasp on “the real need in healthcare currently,” while also furthering her professional interests and goals.
“I love to learn and am very analytical by nature,” she says. “I knew within myself I had what it took to do well in health informatics.”
Her enjoyment for data analysis made the course in Health Data Management one of her favorites, saying, “Among all the courses, I felt that was the most important aspect of health informatics I needed. Moreover, it was practical in nature and the professors were available to guide us.”
This guidance from the faculty, along with networking with her classmates, was important, as “there were lots of assignments and writing” and some strict deadlines she hadn’t quite anticipated in a certificate program. “However, it really helped me stay focused,” Tetteh emphasizes.
Even with the amount of coursework and high-level expectations, Tetteh felt supported every step of the way in the USF Health online graduate program.
“Throughout my education, I never felt alone,” she says. “I was very impressed with the courtesy, patience, knowledge, encouragement and help I had.”
With the completion of her Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics, Tetteh has set her sights on the master’s degree program next. With the foundation the certificate program has laid, she is confident that she “will be successful in a master’s program in the field of health informatics.”
Before pursuing her master’s degree, Tetteh has a few other professional goals she’s focused on, such as securing a position in which her newly acquired knowledge can be applied (she already has an interview scheduled) and sitting for industry certification exams. She is considering both the AMIA Health Informatics Certification (AHIC) and Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS).
The knowledge gained through the Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics from USF Health has equipped Naa Tetteh to pursue her goals with confidence, focus and hard work.
“I believe this program prepares anyone for various opportunities to advance in their career,” she says. “It is a wise decision to be enrolled in this program. Educational background is not a limitation; with hard work, you will succeed.”
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