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Student Advances In Career and Receives Substantial Raise After Completing Externship

Sep 15, 2014

Heather Walker graduated from the Columbus Campus with an associate’s degree in health information management in July 2014.  She had no formal medical training but had worked in the medical field since 1998.  She knew that she needed a degree to validate everything that she had done and to fill in her educational gaps.  She said that there have been so many changes in the health care industry, such as the new ICD-10 and the changes in the HIPPA law that are coming.  “There are no real resources for small offices,” said Heather.  “If you have a small practice you are really on your own.” 

Heather said, “American National University just felt like the right fit,” because of the small class sizes and the fact that students can receive one-on-one attention from instructors.  She reflected on instructor Stephanie List’s Anatomy and Physiology class.  “She is a great nurse and it was a tough class,” said Heather.  “I learned so much.” 

Prior to coming to National, Heather had worked for Dr. Chris Keller of Keller Chriopractic, a well-known chiropractor.  While a student, she returned to complete her externship with Keller Chiropractic, helping them convert to electronic health records.  After completing her degree, she returned to work for the practice at a significantly higher salary than before she became a student.  

Since re-joining the staff, Heather has updated his privacy and financial policies and is responsible for billing management, online credentialing, and insurance verifications.  She is also training the rest of the staff on the new billing software and performing human resources duties. 

For anyone considering furthering their education, she said, “Definitely do it.  Education is such a critical thing no matter how old you are.  If you are willing to put forth the effort, [American National University] will help you.”

Heather Walker obtained a degree in health information management and is now employed by Keller Chiropractic. 

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tags: Medical: Health Information Management - Associate's Degree (HIM)