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How do I Become a Health Information Technician?

A health information technician specializes in managing patient files.
An associate's degree is required to become a registered health information technician.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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A health information technician is someone who is responsible for managing, organizing an analyzing patient medical files. As part of their duties, they must prepare statistical reports, studies and participate in data management projects. In order to become a health information technician, you must attend specialized post-secondary education and obtain an associate degree. Candidates who have an undergraduate degree in a different field, or who completed their training in another country must complete bridging courses to become a health information technician.

High school students interested in becoming health care technicians should take a combination of science and computer courses. Science courses like biology and chemistry are a great way to develop an understanding of the naming conventions used in science. They will also reinforce the importance of information accuracy and clear communication.

Computer courses should include advanced courses is data management, relational databases and word processing. These courses improve understanding of computer software and basic user functions. Invest the time in advanced analysis courses, as you will be relying on these skills in your role as a health information technician.

The next step is to attend a community or career college and complete a two-year program to obtain an associate degree in health information technology. There are a wide rage of colleges offering this program with continuous intake and advanced learning credit for practical experience. This academic program covers statistics, data processing, management, business, and communication.

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Upon successful completion of this program, you are now qualified to apply for a position as a health information technician. There is a growing demand for technicians in the United States, based on an aging population and the increased need for data analysis and management. The increased use of computers to manage large programs and institutions has created new job opportunities.

Technicians can enhance their careers by obtaining the registered health information technician designation. Potential candidates are required to successfully complete an associate degree in health information technology, have several years work experience, and pass several specialized courses. The local registered health information technician association in your area manages this program.

Candidates with RHIT credentials are well-positioned for promotion to management and senior administrative positions, as they become available. Health information technicians and registered health information technician can find opportunities in hospitals, heath care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, law and insurance firms and health product vendors. Keep your skills and academic credentials up to date to ensure a long and rewarding career.

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SarahGrove
Post 2

@HappyDay45 - Normally health information technicians do not have any patient contact. They work with patient records. You will need to have a fairly good foundation in math since you will need to take courses in science and computers, but the main focus of this career is not math it is working with patient health records.

As mentioned in the article you will need to understand medical terminology and it is helpful to have strong computer skills. You will receive training in databases and statistics which requires some basic understanding of math.

HappyDay45
Post 1

I enjoy working on computers and I am interested in science. I have volunteered in a hospital as a candy striper and it was OK, but I really don't like blood or bedpans. Would this job be a good fit for me? Do I need to know a lot of math?

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