JobHITs Webinar Module 1:Course Introduction Questions and Answers
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Q: Do health systems know about the HITPRO exam?
A: Most don’t. The HIT national training program is only vaguely known by some larger organizations. For example, Sutter Health only recently began receiving resumes of HIT graduates being screened by Los Rios Community College. However the biggest value of the HIT PRO exam is that it helps the student and alumni practice what they need to know about the EHR implementation process–a great study tool and preparation for your job interviews.
Q: Why are there not many paid internships?
A: Managing any type of an internship takes supervisory time, including some perceived risks. So, even if it is not paid there is a cost to the organization. Generally speaking, and intern is not perceived to be of value unless it reduces a person’s workload, not increase it.
Q: Why doesn’t my current employer help me move into a Health IT field after obtaining my HIT certificate?
A: That’s an involved answer. There are many possible reasons including a culture of not valuing employee development; selfish supervisors that don’t want to lose a good employee in their department; lack of need; not placing value on the HIT certificate; lack of a formal employee development programs; something in your past work experience that has identified you as a non-promotable person, and so on. You might want to confront your supervisor.
Q: Would it help us get employment in Health IT if my college offered a list of students/alums to local healthcare organizations of people who have obtained their certificate as potential HIT employees.
A: Maybe. The problem here is that healthcare organizations don’t have time to screen applicants, and since colleges have an “open access” policy, there are HIT training completers that are clearly not employable for a host of reasons. For the placement process to be effective, you need a third party intermediary to screen candidates for the healthcare organization.
Q. Any suggestions for selecting your references? Is it appropriate to use folks who are retired/currently unemployed?
A. The decision to use a reference is based primarily on the credibility of the person giving the reference. The more prominent the person is, as measured by their job title and organization name, the better the credibility and value of the reference.
Q. Where might the healthcare organizations hear about the HIT Program and find out that we are trained in EMR?
A. Unfortunately the fact that you have gone through a short-term program does not make you “trained in EMR.”
Q. My interest is on the technical side of the EHR system. This is basically where EHRs interface with medical equipment or HIE development, etc. What are the top companies to seek these types of opportunities?
A. At this point in your career, you need to focus on the smaller, start-up organizations. Large, dominant employers can get the “pick of the litter.” Smaller, less known organizations have less to offer in the eyes of the labor market so your chances are greater. Go to the HIMSS 2012 conference web site page and study the 3,000+ vendors that attended the annual meeting in March 2012. Focus on location, type of services offered and job openings listed on their web site. The list of vendors allows you to search by location, for example, Sacramento.
Q. How much experience or go-lives are necessary to become a HIT consultant?
A. The term HIT consultant is very broad in meaning, and needs to be refined. Study the job descriptions of the six roles offered by the national HIT curriculum and see where your transferable skills best fit. You can experience “go-live” from an entry-level job to being the Project Manager of the installation.
Q. I’ve experienced inordinate delays and lack of responses re: obtaining HIT PRO study guides. I’ve submitted requests via e-mail and v-mail. Any suggestions on how to expedite?
A. A recently updated HIT Pro “Candidate Guide” which includes the exam blueprints is available on the HRMS.net web site by clicking on the HIT Pro link.
Q. Can we pay you to help us?
A. Yes, HRMS offers one-on-one Health IT Career Coaching. Click on the Career Counseling Services link for more information.
Q. I am curious to understand the influence of Strength Finders 2.0 results in the job search arena. I have heard that including the results is becoming an influential addition. Do you have any feedback?
A. I’m not sure what “Strength Finders 2.0” you are referring. Please send me a link that explains what that is.
Q. What if we want to attend all of your webinars, but a couple of them occur when we are not available – how do we get access to them – recordings of the webinars?
A. You can purchase webinars for each of our modules at the HRMS store by going to this link.
Q. Is separate registration required for the other 8 components? Or, by registering today, are we already registered for the other 8 webinars?
A. You need to register separately for each webinar, since each one has a different meeting ID.
Q. What are the best ways to enter the EHR/ EMR Project Management or Trainer Specialist positions without past experiences?
A. It’s highly unlikely an organization will hire anyone for project management positions without direct health IT management experience. On the other hand, training is a much more transferable skill. If you have corporate training background, you should spend time understanding how the training you did in your past experience is transferable to EHR training. Module 4 in the course shows you how to do that.
Q. How can I write my resume and cover letter to stand out so I can get my foot in the door?
A. Module 5 in the course will give you the strategies and techniques for doing that.
Q. what about the opposite problem- healthcare experience but not IT? My concern is I have a healthcare background but when I interview the employer’s concern is my lack of hands on IT implementation experience. In addition to my being a seasoned registered nurse, I have taught nursing. How does one get around limited IT implementation experience?
A. You need to demonstrate your knowledge and skill with computers, solving IT problems, learning new software applications, etc. Demonstrating your aptitude with computers, although not direct experience, will help. Can you find examples in your past work experience that validates you have computer skills, knowledge and aptitudes?
Q. Is it just me or does Mr. Katz sound like Dustin Hoffman?
A. I’m not Dustin Hoffman, but I would enjoy having his fame for a few days (and money) to see what that would be like.
Q. You mentioned the colleges that offer Workforce Training Programs now have hands on EHR systems. If we already graduated from the program would we still have access to those systems? Do you know of any programs, college or other, that offer hands on EHR training? I would be willing to pay to be trained.
A. Orange Coast College arranged to get hands- on “software” experience for its students. I don’t see any reason why other colleges couldn’t arrange for the same. Send me contact info from the college you took and I’ll see if I can help out.
Q. I completed my program at Cuyahoga Community college and did not have access to any software except Vista.
A. See answer above.
Q. I haven’t worked for more than seven years and most of my co-workers are no longer in company. How can I get references?
A. Might be a problem. If the company is still in the business, call the management contacts you knew back when and see if they can help you.
Q. I was a fireman/EMT many years ago. Should I mention that?
A. Yes, but you need to help the interviewer know that what you did in those jobs are transferable to the job you are applying for.
Q. I’m taking the clinical practitioner courses through the college. I am a physical therapist assistant. What role am I supposed to apply for when looking for employment?
A. Forget about trying to find a job opening with the same title as an ONC role. You have to dig deep into the skills associated with the job opening you are applying for and translate those qualifications to your work experience and knowledge you gained from the course. Remember, we are living in a HIT Job Title Chaos.
Q. In order to get the experience, I have tried to volunteer or shadow. This does not seem to work although who would not accept free help?
A. As I mentioned during the webinar, time is money. Most people view internships as more time consuming than what they gain from productivity. It’s up to you to show them that they will gain productivity from the time they spend training or supervising you.
Q. How can I get familiar with Nexgen and Epic applications? I have background with IHS EHR.
A. Most large, prominent software companies will not give you access to their software. Focus on the smaller vendors.
Q. I’m an experienced Certified Professional Coder/Educator who earned 33.5 CEUs in the Trainer curriculum of the HITECH Grant Program in 12/11 and earned the HIT Pro Trainer exam certificate in 2/12. How would you recommend getting a foot in the door with EMR vendors as an EMR trainer in Houston, TX?
A. Go to the HIMSS 2012 Conference Program and find vendors that went to the annual conference that are based in Houston.
Q. Is there any opportunity for entrepreneurial jobs?
A. I think so, but by definition if you are an entrepreneur you need to have the personality and skill to start your own company.
Q. You mentioned the HRMS Website in terms of the HIT Pro Exams. Are there practice exams to be had on the HRMS.net website or just the exam Blueprints?
A. So far the only the Blueprints. But as far as I’m concerned if you can answer the questions you can pass the exam and be much more effective when you communicate your qualifications.
Q. Aside from approaching the vendors, what would be some other stepping-stone type organizations / opportunities to focus on?
A. The best source of organizations to approach are those listed as exhibitors at the HIMSS 2012 conference. The link was provided in the slides.
Q. Aside from HIMSS, what are the best professional associations to join in terms of career networking?
A. There are many professional associations related to Health IT and healthcare in general. HIMSS is the largest and covers most fields of work. Use the following link to find associations that most closely aligns with your previous work experience: www.afpnet.org/
Q. I know it’s probably not polite to ask…what is the story about money, in terms of what kind of salaries can people expect?
A. It is polite and part of any business transaction. Remember, being hired is selling a product to a buyer and buyers don’t buy until they know what you are worth. Use the following sources: www.indeed.com; www.salary.com and www.onetonline.org.
Q. I was offered a job by San Francisco Public Health Dept Interview panel. HR Analyst is the hang up. How do you overcome HR analysts’ narrow view of job requirements?
A. If you were offered a job by the Panel, why are you concerned about what the HR department thinks? This question needs clarification.
Q. What are the prospects for older individuals?
A. Older workers have additional challenges. However, older workers bring maturity and a whole group of soft skill benefits to an employer. Older workers do get hired. I suggest you read Brad Taft’s book, The Career Management Guide for Baby Boomers and Beyond.
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