Possible career change to RHIA-need advice!!

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Jill in MI in Wyandotte, Michigan

72 months ago

Currently I work as an office manager in my family's business. I am looking to possibly change careers and I have been accepted to a AIHMA accredited RHIA bachelor's online degree program. I have also been accepted into a RHIT program at a local college on campus. I am leaning towards the RHIA since it is only a few classes more.
As I have done more research, I am getting a bit of cold feet reading on people having difficulty gaining entry level positions. I would hate to spend all this time and money to not be able to gain employment...I have no experience in the medical field-should I possibly look into a AIMHA approved coding program first, then go for my RHIA?
Salary is a consideration for me...I have worked 2 jobs for 10 years to make ends meet which is one of the reasons for the career change. Can I realistically make around $40K with my RHIA?
What would you do? Get the associates or coding cert first or just go for your RHIA with no experience-HELP!! I need some insight...
Thanks!

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Annie21 in Millington, Michigan

71 months ago

Do you already have a degree in something? The reason I ask is because at the facility where I currently work (large hospital), an RHIT+a B.A./B.S. in an unrelated field is viewed the same way as an RHIA. The managers in our deparment (HIM) are a mix of either RHIT with other BA or RHIA. In Michigan, (and this is based on the other people in the field I know, along with people I've met at conferences and MHIMA meetings) RHIT is viewed the same as RHIA when it comes to entry level positions, but when it comes to management you have to have that 4 year degree--whether or not it is in HIM. Other states and areas may vary. So, the question for you to ask is whether or not you want to go into management or not.

The other issue is that it is very unlikely that you will start out at $40k a year--the starting wage will be a little more than half that from what I've seen. But if you work hard you will advance fairly quickly (1-2 years). I graduated last August and I am currently an ROI tech (release of information). At our facility you must be RHIT/RHIA eligible for this job but the pay is meh. BUT, they promote from ROI to coder, so it is basically the started position for most of the coders. It gives the management a chance to see your work ethic, you learn about the facility, etc, and then after a few months you're ready to promote. Other people may disagree here, but at least for jobs in the hospital setting that's what I've experienced.

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Jill in MI in Wyandotte, Michigan

71 months ago

Thanks for your response!
I currently have a bachelors degree in pre-law studies from Michigan State-I was planning to be a lawyer before I luckily got sidetracked...:)
Part of my thinking was it will take 72 credits to get my RHIT and approx. 80 to get my RHIA (still evaluating my transfer credits) so I just thought why not just get my RHIA if it is only a few more classes...I wouldn't mind management-obviously right out of the gate I wouldn't be able to do that but I have been an office manager and supervised people.
If within a year or so, I can advance and make more money, it will be ok but I can't work for 5 years and make $30K...I want to have a career change so I have the opportunity to advance and make more money and have diverse career options.

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Annie21 in Millington, Michigan

71 months ago

Jill in MI in Wyandotte, Michigan said: BTW, the admissions advisor the local college where I have been accepted into the RHIT program told me an entry level RHIT starts at $38K-obviously from what I am reading, it is less than that...

I'm a Spartan too :-) I have a BA in English. I really do think it is about preference--and money. If you are deciding between the two schools I think you're deciding on, you might come out ahead to get your RHIT first. I went to Davenport because they have the RHIA program and I did the same math as you in terms of the credits I needed. Once I got into the program I realized I would have been fine with the RHIT and my BA. (Not that there is anything wrong with two bachelor's degrees!) Davenport is very expensive compared to other schools in Michigan that are CAHIM approved like Schoolcraft and Macomb Community College. I had a wonderful program and I learned a lot, but it also cost me almost 20k for my second degree--yikes! I still might go back and get the RHIA at some point because I am only a few classes away. My reason for that would be to have a better chance of getting into grad school for an MBA. My MSU gpa is low (3.0), compared to my Davenpor gpa (4.0). I could build on that and be able to get into a good MBA program.

But I haven't decided any of that yet. I really think it comes down to preference. I do think it is rare to make 38k fresh out of school, but if you are comfortable with starting out at a lower wage and working for a year or two I think you can get there. (But I'm still doing ROI and I am a new RHIT so take it as you will!) Most of the coders in my department started coding within two years of graduation, and the average time an ROI tech (with their RHIT) stays on the job before promotion (either at hour facility or elsewhere) is 9 months.

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Jill in MI in Wyandotte, Michigan

71 months ago

Wow! Davenport was one of the schools that I was looking at. Frankly, the cost is high and they would only transfer 25 credits from my degree which I wasn't happy about. I looked at other options and found Stephens College (fully accredited) for my RHIA. I also have been accepted to Baker for the RHIT but it isn't online and I feel I have more flexibility with the online vs. going to classes after work.
Has anyone you know had any luck landing a job through an intership at a hospital? I was hoping that might be a possibility...

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Annie21 in Millington, Michigan

71 months ago

You might want to look at Macomb--I think their program is online and the cost is very resonable (less than $200/credit hour).

I did not get my job through my internship, BUT, I found out today that I am promoting to inpatient coder at my facility :-) Like I said above, my current job is as an ROI tech and I enjoy the work but not the pay. This position just opened up at my hospital and I applied even though I wasn't sure that I had a chance--and I got it!! The pay is great and the hours are flexible. So, it took me 7 months from graduation to get a coder job and I had to start at the entry level. This job was never posted outside our facility so the public never had a chance.

My friend did get her job through her internship, but she is not at a hospital (dr office). I know that PHNS takes interns from Baker and Schoolcraft and they do hire people from their internships--they contract the HIM services for many of the major hospitals in Michigan.

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Jill in MI in Southgate, Michigan

71 months ago

Congratulations on your promotion!!! That's great news!
I looked into Macomb and their program isn't online :(
It's a bit too far from where I live to attend there when Baker is only 15 mins. away so if I decide to go for my RHIT, I would go to Baker. I am waiting to hear from Stephens to hear how many official credits I will need to get my bachelors. If it is only a few, I will most likely go for my bachelors.
Your story has made me feel better about going forward. Seems to be a matter of getting your foot in the door somewhere...Not to mention, once you gain experience, it looks like the field opens up. I don't think I am going to let the initial hard to get entry position discourage me from this path. This field looks so dynamic with so many different options that if I have to be a coder to start for awhile that's fine to learn it, but ultimately I don't think I want to code forever. There have been lots of interesting job titles that I have seen in my research like case managers, etc. Thanks for all your insight! Go Spartans!!!

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Annie21 in Millington, Michigan

71 months ago

Jill in MI in Southgate, Michigan said: Congratulations on your promotion!!! That's great news!
I looked into Macomb and their program isn't online :(
It's a bit too far from where I live to attend there when Baker is only 15 mins. away so if I decide to go for my RHIT, I would go to Baker. I am waiting to hear from Stephens to hear how many official credits I will need to get my bachelors. If it is only a few, I will most likely go for my bachelors.
Your story has made me feel better about going forward. Seems to be a matter of getting your foot in the door somewhere...Not to mention, once you gain experience, it looks like the field opens up. I don't think I am going to let the initial hard to get entry position discourage me from this path. This field looks so dynamic with so many different options that if I have to be a coder to start for awhile that's fine to learn it, but ultimately I don't think I want to code forever. There have been lots of interesting job titles that I have seen in my research like case managers, etc. Thanks for all your insight! Go Spartans!!!

Tnanks :-) This time last year I started to get very worried about getting a job and I was afraid that I would spend years looking. Attitude has so much to do with advancement, though, and it sounds like you have the right mentality. Every coder I've met likes their job and speaks highly of the career--there are few other fields I can say that about.

It's true that the starting salary for a coder is around $20/hour but before you can get that job you have to do some entry level work at $10-15/hour. I think a lot of people go through programs without realizing that their diploma does not guarantee a high-paying job right off the bat. I'd be frustrated too, but this is also one of the worst job markets ever, so things are tough everywhere. Post updates when you can, I'm pulling for you!

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Cathy Miller in Elkhart, Indiana

71 months ago

Question?? I have been told the ONLY way a person can get a RHIT/RHIA certification is if they take their courses through an accredited AIHMA school. Consequently, right now there are VERY few universities that are fully accredited to meet the RHIT/RHIA criteria. Is that true???

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Annie21 in Millington, Michigan

71 months ago

Cathy Miller in Elkhart, Indiana said: Question?? I have been told the ONLY way a person can get a RHIT/RHIA certification is if they take their courses through an accredited AIHMA school. Consequently, right now there are VERY few universities that are fully accredited to meet the RHIT/RHIA criteria. Is that true???

Yes, this is true, although there are actually a number of schools to pick from. Many of them have online programs as well, so location isn't an issue. There are more RHIT (2 year) programs than RHIA (4 year). Go to ahima.org and look under schools and you'll be directed to the CAHIM site. The schools are all listed there.

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Annie21 in Millington, Michigan

69 months ago

Future RHIA in Olmsted Falls, Ohio said: I disagree on a 4-year degree + RHIT being the same as an RHIA. Your chances of getting hired as a director without your RHIA are slim to none. Those of you who have a 4-year degree should be looking at certificate programs where you can take 30-35 credits and sit for the RHIA. I encourage you do to some research on AHIMA.

I was speaking from my experience, yours may be different. We have two department heads--one is RHIA, the other is RHIT + a BA. I know a few other managers who are RHIT + BA. The rules/expectations may be different in your area. I not only looked at AHIMA, I called them when I was deciding where to go to school and I was informed that the only way to be RHIT/RHIA eligible was to complete the RHIA/RHIT program. There is at least one post-bacc RHIA program that I know of, but it was completely online and I preferred to take classes locally so I could make contacts.

In other words--research your region because every ares is different. What may be acceptable in one area may not be in another.

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holly57701 in Sarasota, Florida

69 months ago

I am wondering how difficult this degree is to obtain online? I have been lurking on this board for a few days trying to figure this field out. I have decided I want the BA degree, and I would guess that I have about 1-1.5 years of credits that will transfer. My kids area grown and I am on my own now so I have the time to devote to full time+ for a degree. I am kind of "stuck" here in SW florida since I can't afford to sell my house at the loss I would take right now, so it seems online is the only option open to me at this point.

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Annie 21 in Otter Lake, Michigan

69 months ago

And the "gold standard" is not the RHIA--it's the MBA.

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Akron OH area in Akron, Ohio

69 months ago

I've been "read only" for over a month now and I feel compelled to respond to the assumption that you can sit for the RHIA exam if you have a BA or BS. AHIMA's web site states:

Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)
Applicants must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
• Successfully complete the academic requirements, at the baccalaureate level, of a health information management (HIM) program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)*

• Graduate from an HIM program approved by a foreign association with which AHIMA has a reciprocity agreement

Unless your baccalaureate is in HIM, you CANNOT sit for the exam. There appears to be no exceptions to this.

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Akron OH area in Akron, Ohio

69 months ago

Yes, this is true only if you have certain degrees such as business admin. It seemed you were implying that any baccalaureate could do this and from what I have read it is a very limited number of degrees that can make the transition. I have a BA in Microbiology and according to the University of Toledo I do not have the required course credits for the post-bacc certificate program. If you know of legitimate approved programs that allow ANY baccalaureate to apply for a certificate program then please post the web addresses. Thanks!

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sim in Orlando, Florida

69 months ago

Do any one had idea about University of Chicago online Post-baccalurate certificate programme...please post more info.

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Annie 21 in Millington, Michigan

69 months ago

Akron OH area in Akron, Ohio said: Yes, this is true only if you have certain degrees such as business admin. It seemed you were implying that any baccalaureate could do this and from what I have read it is a very limited number of degrees that can make the transition. I have a BA in Microbiology and according to the University of Toledo I do not have the required course credits for the post-bacc certificate program. If you know of legitimate approved programs that allow ANY baccalaureate to apply for a certificate program then please post the web addresses. Thanks!

Thank you--this was my experience as well. I already had my BA and I was not eligible for such a program. The quickest way to get the RHIA was to get the RHIT and then progress to the RHIA at the same school. If there is such a program (one that would take any BA/BS degree) I would like to look at it because it would be amazing that they could teach all of the necessary information in 30 credit hours. But I started my program almost 3 years ago, so it is totally possible that things are different now or that there are new programs that did not exist then. I also wonder if the post bacc certificate program is online--if not then that would be another barrier for a lot of people.

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Ginger in West Milton, Ohio

69 months ago

Hi All,
This field is so new for me. I have been doing alot of research in it. I currently am going to be laid up at home for awhile so I'm looking at doing this program entirely online. I have noticed the difference with a program being AHIMA and CAHIIM approved and one that isn't, and the difference is huge!
I am leaning towards De Vry. Can anyone comment or contribute anything about De Vry, that would be very helpful. This will be my first time doing a course/program online, so I'm not too sure on what to expect. I have been visiting there website alot to get a good idea.
I am going to have surgery soon and will not be able to drive, so this is really my only option. I haven't been back to school in years and I am very nervous.
Appreciate your time!

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MJ_SEA in Georgetown, Texas

69 months ago

Hello Future RHIA in Olmsted Falls, Ohio,

Would you mind telling me which program you are attending for the post Baccalaureate certification? I have a bachelor’s degree in psych, a minor in public administration and a few other certifications. I currently work for Head Start as a coordinator, and I’m also the administrator of a software program for data collection, assessment, monitoring and reporting information of our clients to the federal government for compliance. I create health forms, and train employees on collection, and confidentiality. While I do health information management at a small scale I would like to become a RHIA and change careers.

I used the search option at CAHIIM, didn’t find anything where I live (TX) and only three master level programs through distance learning, averaging about $2,000 a class. They are fairly expensive, which is a bit nauseating since I just graduated college Dec 08 with a few loans.

How do you feel about the program you are attending? What is the costs and time to complete your program?

Thanks,
MJ_SEA

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student in Franklin, Ohio

69 months ago

Ginger in West Milton, Ohio said: Hi All,
This field is so new for me. I have been doing alot of research in it. I currently am going to be laid up at home for awhile so I'm looking at doing this program entirely online. I have noticed the difference with a program being AHIMA and CAHIIM approved and one that isn't, and the difference is huge!
I am leaning towards De Vry. Can anyone comment or contribute anything about De Vry, that would be very helpful. This will be my first time doing a course/program online, so I'm not too sure on what to expect. I have been visiting there website alot to get a good idea.
I am going to have surgery soon and will not be able to drive, so this is really my only option. I haven't been back to school in years and I am very nervous.
Appreciate your time!

I live on Ohio as well. I was leaning towards Devry and the $20,000 price tag until Sinclair CC got their online HIM degree approved. Sinclair's tuition is super cheap, about $75 a credit hour plus about $5 per online class. I really like the online format, I've done a few classes through Sinclair online and on campus. The whole degree will cost me about $10,000, half of what Devry is charging.

If your very self motivated and self disciplined then online work shouldn't be a problem. I love the flexiability of an online class. There is a lot more reading involved but again if your are disciplined, it should be fine. I find that making out a weekly school schedule helped me a lot to stay on track. I would work an hour or so on one course, take a break, then work on it again. You can also email the professors with any questions, they are very helpful.

Good luck with your decision. I hope your surgery goes well!

Sinclair offers an associates degree and then you can finish up you bachelors degree also online through the University of Cincinnati.

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Ginger in West Milton, Ohio

69 months ago

student in Franklin,

Thank you for your comments. I think I am going to look into Sinclair before I make a final decision. My surgery is coming up this next week, so maybe I'll be up to the course work by the time the next classes start. I just hope I will be able to do what I need to totally online with them, at least in the beginning anyhow.
Going back to school is a huge decision for me, it's very intimidating.
Thanks again and good luck to you as well.

Ginger

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SpringOwl in Sterling Heights, Michigan

69 months ago

I stumbled across these posts as I am feeling I will never get anywhere in this field. I work full time and I am currently taking one class at a time in order to enter the HIT program at Macomb college in the fall of 2010.

After reading all the posts, i am thoroughly depressed! I have been working so hard with just my prerequisites and have had so much determination because I dislike my job so much but it seems I will never be able to get my foot in the door anywhere.

I am starting to feel I am going to waste a lot of time and money for nothing.

Just venting!

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Ginger in West Milton, Ohio

69 months ago

Spring Owl,
I feel your frustration. I have not even begun my courses and I have surgery coming up this Wednesday. I really need something I can do totally online, have been thinking of DE Vry, but hate the thought of their expensive program. As an alternative, I do have my local community college that is AHIMA complied, but would still be some amount of driving involved, which I will not be able to do for awhile. So I've decided to look into Medical Transcription online course and the credentialing it needs, and then possible transferring my credits later for the RHIT program.
Feeling frustrated and venting here too I suppose.
Good luck to you!
Ginger

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DEANNA GLD in GLADWIN, Michigan

69 months ago

We all did a lot of venting while going through the RHIT Program!! We were the first set of students to go through the program...so instructors and students all had a learning curve. You are learning about a different world...DON'T give up! There was 5 of us from our hospital in the program...some with children, many with full time jobs, and most maintained 12 credit hours a semester. One could only imagine the stress our employer went through with all of our schedules. Many employers would not of supported one employee let alone 5. If you job is during the day consider night courses. If the college is not offering the classes at night see if there are other students who would be interested and approach the director. Remember you are the customer and many educational facilities are becoming more fexible to accommodate their students. There has been a fair amount of discussion re: RHIT and RHIA ... I decided with a certificate in Medical Billing/Coding and the RHIT. I have seen job postings for Supervisor/Directors of HIM Depts requesting either RHIT or RHIA and experience. I would suggest seeking work now in the health field so you can acquire some experience. This could be extremely helpful in the event a job posting does become available and is posted internal. If you are a housekeeper and a recent graduate of a RHIT you could possibly be reposition in the HIM Dept. Good Luck!

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Akron OH area in Akron, Ohio

69 months ago

Future RHIA in Olmsted Falls, Ohio have you come up with the RHIA certificate programs yet?

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student in Franklin, Ohio

69 months ago

Akron OH area in Akron, Ohio said: Future RHIA in Olmsted Falls, Ohio have you come up with the RHIA certificate programs yet?

If your looking for programs the only one I know that offers a bachelors degree (you need a bachelors for RHIA) is University of Cincinnati, but you have to have your associates RHIT first. UC's degree is a completion program. There are a few on campus RHIT programs in Ohio. The only online one in Ohio is Sinclair Community College. You can go to this site and search www.cahiim.org/directory/Index.asp

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cp122578@yahoo.com in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

68 months ago

Try Stephens College in Missouri. (www.stephens.edu/gcs/new/hia/) They had a distance study program before the online school existed. My mother graduated from there, and they are a very good school, which has been around for a long time a great reputition. Here is another one which is been around for many years, St Scholastica (www.css.edu/Academics/School-of-Health-Sciences/Health-Information-Management/RHIA-Exam-Eligibility.html)

There are many more, so don't start with a RHIT Program if you already have a degree. You can spend the same amount of time and get a higher credential.

student in Franklin, Ohio said: If your looking for programs the only one I know that offers a bachelors degree (you need a bachelors for RHIA) is University of Cincinnati, but you have to have your associates RHIT first. UC's degree is a completion program. There are a few on campus RHIT programs in Ohio. The only online one in Ohio is Sinclair Community College. You can go to this site and search www.cahiim.org/directory/Index.asp

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bb8496 in Detroit, Michigan

68 months ago

I found this at St Scholastica...
Post Baccalaureate Certificate: Students who already hold a Bachelors degree may opt to complete the educational requirements for eligibility to sit for the RHIA exam by earning a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in HIM. Students will be required to meet the same foundational courses as students in our RHIT to RHIA Progression Program, as well as complete all the core courses in the Progression Program. The Post Baccalaureate Certificate eliminates the need to meet the general education requirements of a bachelors degree at The College of St. Scholastica. Completion of the Post Baccalaureate certificate does qualify students to sit for the RHIA exam

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srqAlice in Sarasota, Florida

68 months ago

The school I am going to attend has a BS in Health Information Administration (the AS degree is Health Info Technology). Is Health Information Administration different from Health Information Management? Or are they th same degree?

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sim in Orlando, Florida

68 months ago

I have Master degree in Economics and Bachelors in public administration,Economics from another country.Presently living in Florida.I am very much Interested to become RHIA.Please give me more information which online AHIMA approved Post baccalurate is affordable and easy to get in with out going to all the pre requisites.I am disperately looking for the information,please post which online colleges you are attending...appreciate your help..

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Nadege in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

67 months ago

Being a RHIA means n0thing t0day.. Nurses take it 0ver...after graduati0n M0nths and m0nths c0uldn't find n0 j0b in the medical rec0rd ..needed t0 rel0cate which i was n0t ready t0 m0ve ..I'm w0rking as a pr0ject c00rdinat0r in geriatric n0w .. i make m0re than my friend wh0 has an RHIA..Sh0uld I take the exam? it might l00k g00d behind my last name I did graduate with a bachel0r in Health Inf0rmati0n Management... T0 ALL 0F U G00D LUCK!!! Think again ab0ut y0ur career y0u might need a change

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jundesperate in Palm Bay, Florida

67 months ago

Nadege in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: Being a RHIA means n0thing t0day.. Nurses take it 0ver...after graduati0n M0nths and m0nths c0uldn't find n0 j0b in the medical rec0rd ..needed t0 rel0cate which i was n0t ready t0 m0ve ..I'm w0rking as a pr0ject c00rdinat0r in geriatric n0w .. i make m0re than my friend wh0 has an RHIA..Sh0uld I take the exam? it might l00k g00d behind my last name I did graduate with a bachel0r in Health Inf0rmati0n Management... T0 ALL 0F U G00D LUCK!!! Think again ab0ut y0ur career y0u might need a change

Hurray!!! I salute you for your comments. This is true people. I graduated last May 2006 for my HIT program and pass my RHIT June 2008 but until now I couldn't find a job. I applied with several entry level as well as clerical positions in the HIM field but unfortunately, no positive response. They said I am not qualified because I don't have the experience. Don't waste your time and money for HIM!

Now, I just finished my only one prerequisite for the Nursing Program and hopefully I will be in this January for the program. GOD BLESS ME!

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NADEGE in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

67 months ago

jundesperate in Palm Bay, Florida said: Hurray!!! I salute you for your comments. This is true people. I graduated last May 2006 for my HIT program and pass my RHIT June 2008 but until now I couldn't find a job. I applied with several entry level as well as clerical positions in the HIM field but unfortunately, no positive response. They said I am not qualified because I don't have the experience. Don't waste your time and money for HIM!

Now, I just finished my only one prerequisite for the Nursing Program and hopefully I will be in this January for the program. GOD BLESS ME!

Jundesperate.. G00d luck...since i have a bachel0r is g0nna take me a year t0 get the BSN..WE MIGHT STUDY T0GETHER F0R THE STATE B0ARD ;-)

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val in Orange County in Buena Park, California

65 months ago

I have a BS in Civil Engineering. I'm trying to find out if with the BS in Civil Engineering and a Certificate in Health Information Technology I am eligible for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam, or I must have a least an associate degree from a HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). After a lot of searching and reading these posts I am still confused. Thank you

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Nadege in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

65 months ago

val in Orange County in Buena Park, California said: I have a BS in Civil Engineering. I'm trying to find out if with the BS in Civil Engineering and a Certificate in Health Information Technology I am eligible for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam, or I must have a least an associate degree from a HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). After a lot of searching and reading these posts I am still confused. Thank you

Why u wanna take the RHIT EXAM...waste 0f time

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clneal in Long Beach, California

65 months ago

I disagree with the comment from Nadege in Florida.. Val in Orange County the
RHIT Exam..Opens up many opportunities in Health Information/Coding..You can
make a wonderful salary and course work in many specialties..My sister is a
Travel Coder..In which she does have the opportunity to go to different part
of the United States..Don't ever let anyone encourage you from advancement..
these individuals are looking to bring you and your hardwork down..Take it from me...Go for it !!! and GOOD LUCK!

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Akron OH area in Akron, Ohio

65 months ago

Val, no that won't make you eligible for the exam not the certificate program. The degree needs to be in health care or business I believe. You can get more info by going to the web site for University of Toledo (I think they have the certificate program).

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Akron OH area in Akron, Ohio

65 months ago

val in Orange County in Buena Park, California said: I have a BS in Civil Engineering. I'm trying to find out if with the BS in Civil Engineering and a Certificate in Health Information Technology I am eligible for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam, or I must have a least an associate degree from a HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). After a lot of searching and reading these posts I am still confused. Thank you

This is from the Medical College of Georgia's web site for the certificate program: This program is a "4+1,'' meaning the student who has earned a bachelor's degree in allied health, nursing or business/healthcare administration and computer science may apply for the online or traditional face-to-face post-baccalaureate.

I have a BA in Microbiology. I've taken tons of science courses and there is no way a certificate would have prepared me for HIM, let alone the RHIA exam. People are always looking for shortcuts but the quality education even though longer is usually best. You know yourself. Will a 1 year certificate and a civil engineering degree prepare you for the change in careers? Will someone hire you instead of someone with the appropriate 4 year degree and RHIA crediential?

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val in Los Angeles, California

65 months ago

Thank you all for your response. I understand that there is no way to sit for RHIT exam unless I complete the academic requirements, at an associate's degree level, of an HIM program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM. I'm 41 and with my family situation time matters, so I may look for shortcuts in a way that I don't want to take general education classes twice. I was looking for a certificate because the difference between a certificate and an associate in HIT program is the general education classes. For example, Santa Barbara City College has a Cancer Information Management Program - Certificate, and Associate degree. In order to sit for CTR exam you need a Associate degree in CIM or the Certificate in CIM and an associate or BS in any other field. I was looking for RHIT credential not for RHIA. Thank you.

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Akron OH area in Akron, Ohio

65 months ago

If you have a degree already, more than likely your general education credits will transfer. You can also look at testing out of some classes if you already have the knowledge- this is very difficult but I did it for 3 classes. I took 1 year off my associate degree with credit transfers and testing out.

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clneal in Long Beach, California

65 months ago

I agree with Jessica in Midland..It seems as though that you've already talked yourself out of becoming an RHIA according to your comments that's
displayed on this site...What's the use in asking for advice if have negative
thinking in place..I would suggest to reevalutate your decision..This may not
be the field for you..With that being said...Good Luck in your future endeavors

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clneal in Long Beach, California

65 months ago

Personally to end all woes regarding criticism on subjects as this..The bottom'
line is to either become a RHIA or RHIT that's a choice of that individual..Go
for the courses and continue to invest in yourselves.Don't depend on anyone who
is going to put you down or not encourage you...MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY!!THAT GOES FOR EVERYONE ON THIS SITE...LIVE YOUR LIFE!AND ENJOY YOUR NEWFOUND CAREERS AS
CODING PROFESSIONALS!

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Angel in North Hollywood, California

65 months ago

Hi there, I'm an economist masters degree and want to change into Medicine. Do you guys know how many more years i would go ? and I'm 37 yrs now. And have a beautiful and great supportive wife. I still have thoughts for how busy will I be when children come when they come...

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Peg Conmy in Berwyn, Illinois

65 months ago

Ginger in West Milton, Ohio said: Hi All,
This field is so new for me. I have been doing alot of research in it. I currently am going to be laid up at home for awhile so I'm looking at doing this program entirely online. I have noticed the difference with a program being AHIMA and CAHIIM approved and one that isn't, and the difference is huge!
I am leaning towards De Vry. Can anyone comment or contribute anything about De Vry, that would be very helpful. This will be my first time doing a course/program online, so I'm not too sure on what to expect. I have been visiting there website alot to get a good idea.
I am going to have surgery soon and will not be able to drive, so this is really my only option. I haven't been back to school in years and I am very nervous.
Appreciate your time!

I am currently attending DeVry University for my associate's degree for RHIT. I'm a little more than half way through. I really enjoy the classes and like taking the classes online. A lot of work but so worth it, if this is something you would like to do. I can highly recommend DeVry with no problems, staff is very helpful and the classes are interesting. Good luck with where ever you choose to go!

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Robyn in San Jose, California

65 months ago

Peg Conmy in Berwyn, Illinois said: I am currently attending DeVry University for my associate's degree for RHIT. I'm a little more than half way through. I really enjoy the classes and like taking the classes online. A lot of work but so worth it, if this is something you would like to do. I can highly recommend DeVry with no problems, staff is very helpful and the classes are interesting. Good luck with where ever you choose to go!

Peg,
Thanks for your input, I am considering DeVry HIT program and was happy to read that you are having a positive experience.

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Ana in Los Angeles, California

65 months ago

Robyn in San Jose, California said: Peg,
Thanks for your input, I am considering DeVry HIT program and was happy to read that you are having a positive experience.

If you are interested in HIT AS Degree you may want to check Santa Barbara City College (www.sbcc.edu/hit/website/HIT_AS.html).

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Robyn in San Jose, California

65 months ago

Thanks Ana, I have know someone getting ready to start at Santa Barbara. Time is of the esscence for me, I am enrolled to start DeVry on Monday, whew, what a week!

Looking forward to it-

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Peg Conmy in Berwyn, Illinois

65 months ago

Robyn in San Jose, California said: Thanks Ana, I have know someone getting ready to start at Santa Barbara. Time is of the esscence for me, I am enrolled to start DeVry on Monday, whew, what a week!

Looking forward to it-

Good luck Robyn Hope you enjoy it!

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Dee in Columbus, Ohio

65 months ago

I am a RHIA and have been in the profession for 15 years. I've worked as a manager and as a coding consultant. I currently work from home as coding specialist. I never have a shortage of work and make as much as an RN.

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aprilmariah22 in Oxford, Michigan

65 months ago

I have a BA in Psych. worked as a social worker for several years working now on a psych. unit at a local hosptial....I would like a career swich as a medical coder....I would like to be able to work nights? I need some info. help....and any suggestions....what do I need how long will it take me how much $ will it cost....is it worth even going back to school?

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