Oklahoma Health Informatics
From the plains and prairies to the mesas and mountains, a new occupation is gaining steam in the state of Oklahoma. Known as Health Informatics, this profession has put out the call for individuals capable of venturing out onto the cutting edge of computing and data collection, while maintaining touch with the ethical and legal grounds of the medical field. This diverse collection of men and women are in higher demand than ever, thanks to the continued march of medicine into the digital age.
Health Informatics Career and Certification in OK
The Sooner State is home to all manner of businesses, many of which have a need for Health Informatics professionals. Hospitals, veterinarian’s offices, correctional institutions, college campuses, and other large corporations all hold places in their ranks for qualified individuals. Those possessing an eye for detail and a commitment to excellence will doubtless find themselves in high demand.
Before stepping into the workforce, however, potential technicians will need to earn their stripes. In the Health Informatics world, there are two avenues available through college. The shorter is the Associate’s degree level Registered Health Information Technician, or RHIT, which takes two years to obtain. The longer, more intensive route comes with a standard Bachelor’s degree: The Registered Health Information Administrator, or RHIA. Of course, for those that are already in the field of health informatics, pursuing your masters degree is an option that may help you take your informatics career to the next level.
For both degrees, certification can come from only one place – the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management . Almost universally shortened to CAHIIM, this organization oversees the Health Informatics curricula across America’s college campuses. Known for their rigorous academic standards, CAHIIM is committed to producing proud, capable professionals. Students graduating from any one of their approved programs can be confident in their employment prospects.
Health Informatics Salary – Oklahoma
All this scrutiny, of course, translates into fairly high wages for Health Informatics practitioners. According to the nation’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oklahoma’s 2,970 RHIT’s and RHIA’s earned an average annual salary of $26,970 in 2009 . This measures out to $12.97 per hour. Those just starting in the field earned $10.43 per hour, with a yearly take home sitting at $21,690. Wages for the elite in the field range all the way up to $22.33 per hour, or just about $46,400 per year.
*Salary Data: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Earnings Statistics
All told, those are pretty respectable monetary figures. Individuals who would like to get in on this field will first need to select a proper school. Thankfully, Oklahoma is home to four such programs. At the RHIT level, there is Rose State College in Midwest City and Tulsa Community College in, of course, Tulsa. Surprisingly, Oklahoma also offers a pair of baccalaureate options – Ada’s East Central University and Weatherford’s Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Each of these schools features CAHIIM certification, ensuring that their graduates are some of the most qualified entries into the field. A number of other schools offer excellent programs as well, though they are not CAHIIM accredited. This however is not the end all be all, and you may wish to consider these as well. At the very least, take the time to find out about all of the health informatics programs in Oklahoma and online that peak your interest.
No matter where they graduate from, new RHIT’s and RHIA’s are encouraged to join the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Offering separate chapters for each state in the union, this organization is designed to help each and every Health Informatics graduate find and maintain employment. Their friendly organizers will keep members in the loop regarding the latest advances in the field, while their regularly updated job board will help recent graduates land their first practicing gig. More information can be found at their website, www.ahima.org.