Stories from Beyond the Gateway

Janice Hewitt is a recent graduate of our Health Information Management Program who was also one of our award recipients in 2016 for her academic achievement. Not only did she enjoy our online program and the life balance it provided her, but she also now has an exciting new job at London Health Science Centre. Janice has some helpful advice for other students challenging themselves to grow in their professional lives.

About Janice

I began my first semester as a Health Information Management (HIM) student with the CHA Learning program in September of 2014. At the time, I was working at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and at a local dental office. My dental hygiene career began in 1998, and since then I have also held research and administrative positions in cardiac surgery at LHSC. I was looking to further my career in healthcare data analysis and build on my experience as a research associate in cardiac surgery.

Why CHA Learning?

A colleague of mine recommended CHA Learning and upon investigation, I realized I could pursue the field of HIM and still work while completing this program online. During the program, I enjoyed the flexibility to complete my studies while continuing to balance work, and life.

The online discussion boards are an excellent communication tool for connecting with instructors and students across Canada. This diverse student body lends itself to sharing, comparing and contrasting experiences, knowledge and challenges from the health system, across different provinces, regions and organization.

Beyond the Gateway

In the HIM program, the practicum placements were very valuable, and provided me with the big picture and finding the right role to pursue after graduation. I expressed my desire for more exposure to data analysis while on site, and I was delighted when my request was honoured for a two-week project management practicum in this area of HIM. Following my project management presentation to HIM Leadership, I was invited to present the project at the City-Wide Health Information Management Committee meeting. My practicum experiences and subsequent networking opportunities were key pieces on the pathway to my new role and led to a full time job as a Health Information Management Support Analyst after I graduated in July 2016

Advice to Learn By

My advice to busy professionals trying to balancing life, work and education is to first and foremost examine organization and time-management, Using a daily planner is an excellent organizational tool, which can be used to note important due dates, exam dates, and practicum dates, in addition to your weekly plan to complete readings and course work. Creating your own personalized schedule is a foundation of success, and can help keep you on track with your work, education, and life. I don’t think we can minimize the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, minimizing stress, providing balance to help us with completing important tasks on time!

~Congratulations on your choice to focus on your own important professional development, and may the road ahead lead you to great success!