Hello everyone,

My name is Diane and I have been in the IT field for over 30 years.  I have done just about everything from DBA, programmer, web designer, network support, pc support, and IT Asset Management just to name a few.  So my background is heavy in systems.  I am fascinated with the medical field, but do not wish to become someone that works with patients at bedside, plus I do not have a 4 year college degree.  Everything I learned, was mostly through my work experience.  I do have quite an extensive knowledge of medical exposure due to my 7 surgeries and my late husbands 7 surgeries as well, which included a liver transplant.  

So, I am at a juncture where I was just layed off from an employer I was with for 20 years.  I have not signed up yet, but seriously thinking of signing up for the online certificate program at UCDavis.  My questions are as follows - hoping you can share and help.  Thanks in advance, and I look forward to getting to know you all.

  1. Have you taken the onlline certificate program at UCDavis?  And if so, were you happy and did you land a job in Health informatics?  Can I ask you more questions about your experience.  In particular, I am thinking of taking the intro class and one other class the first semester.  I figured it might not be bad since I am out of work right now.  And I will be recovering from some foot surgery - that starts the same week of school.  eeeks.  Doable?
  2. If you obtained a certificate program and you do not have a college degree, where did you get your training?  Were you happy?
  3. If you primarily had a systems background, and decided to move into HCI - was it difficult to find a job in HCI?
  4. If you currently work in a HCI field, what type of role do you work in?  Hospital setting, doctors office, or where?  What are the hours like, are you happy with the salary.

I realize it's a lot of questions, but I really would appreciate your advice or input.  Thanks.

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  • Hi Diane, welcome to the forum.

    There is quite high demand for IT professionals in healthcare at the moment, so with your skills and experience I would have thought it would not be overly difficult to find a position. You might be better searching under IT terms rather than Health Informatics/Clinical Informatics as often, HI or CI jobs are designed for people with a healthcare background.

    We have a few members here either from UC Davis or linked to them - I would suggest connecting with them to discuss the course: http://www.healthinformaticsforum.com/profiles/members/?q=uc+davis

    I'm sure other members will chip in with their ideas for you.

    Best of luck!


    • Thank you so much Chris.  I appreciate your input.

      Chris, where do you suggest I go to get an online class that is a great basic health / medical course.  Thanks.

  • Diane,

    It is a great idea to take advantage of Chris's MOOC course as that will give you a very good idea about the scope of the Health Informatics field, similar to what you would learn in most certificate programs. What you are probably missing is an actual experience in a hospital's CIO shop. Some programs will have an associated internship at a local hospital so you get a little clinical experience in a hospital and get to know some of the issues, unique to healthcare. This might be a paid or non-paid experience. The bottom line (unfortunately) in the US is that if you want quick employment in this field the desire is to have candidates that are ready to hit the ground running: 1. IT experience 2. Clinical experience 3. IT project deployment experience......Bob

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