Many nurses find that it can be pretty taxing to deal with a high number of patients on a regular basis, and as a result, burnout is not uncommon in the field. For a while, there haven’t been many options that allowed for lateral shifts in employment. For most nurses, supervisor positions or advanced degrees were the main options for taking a break from the doctor’s office or emergency room, but the growing need for health information technology workers is offering another option.
After all, in just three years, some 50,000 new health IT workers will be needed nationwide, and as education requirements become more stringent for nurses, including the need for a bachelor degree, there’s good news for those considering information technology. There are a number of federal grants that were included in the Affordable Care Act, and many of the costs that aren’t covered by the government will be covered by continuing education benefits.
It also offers a major change in working environment. Health information technology technicians work in the backrooms of hospitals and doctors’ offices, collating records and updating computer systems. It may offer a great break, enabling nurses to take a break from stressful situations. More importantly, they may be able to take a break from the shift work common to nursing, which can increase stress.
The training depends on the environment. Some technicals schools offer accelerated programs for those already in the healthcare industry. For those who may be considering going back to school, there are a number of associate’s degree and certificate school programs that can allow for a shift in as little as a few months, or up to about a year.
While the wages are lower than starting wages for some nursing positions, there is an advantage in terms of peace of mind. In addition, those with prior healthcare experience will have a leg up on the competition. They may also be asked to consult on updates to billing qualities.
For some people, nursing is a true calling. For others, lifestyle changes or adjustments in family life may require a different sort of job. Advancement is one option for nurses, but health information technology technician positions and other lateral movements are options, too.