(ABILENE, Texas) – Jamie Nowotny is taking advantage of Texas State Technical College’s online Health Information Technology program this fall.
The first-semester student said she wanted to pursue a certificate in the medical records field but did not have time to be in the classroom.
“The only way I would be able to attend school was to have the program completely online,” she said.
The reason Nowotny needed an online program was to balance her job as a certified nursing assistant and an activities director at Mesa Springs Healthcare Center in Abilene.
“I work full time, almost 80 hours a week at Mesa Springs,” she said. “I work during the day and come home and do my schoolwork.”
Nowotny said the instructors have made it easier for her to communicate with them, even though she is at work during the day.
“They are working with me and are quick to respond to any of my questions,” she said. “They are very understanding of my situation.”
She said today’s “new normal” makes it easier for students to adjust to online learning.
“I just think with this new normal that everyone wants to be safer,” she said. “There is so much unknown with COVID. We are learning new things daily with this pandemic and have to adjust.”
Nowotny said she wanted to learn about medical records because her husband will be retiring from the U.S. Air Force in the next few years. When he retires, they plan to move to San Antonio.
“I wanted to get my feet wet with health information technology before we move,” she said.
Nowotny, a native of Greenville, grew up in Arizona and is no stranger to working hard. She admitted that she wanted to go to college, but because of financial issues she could not immediately further her higher education.
When her husband was transferred to Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, she earned a CNA degree and was hired by Mesa Springs. It did not take long for the company to promote her to activities director.
Nowotny knows that adding certification in health records to her resume will help advance her career.
“You could say I am a jack-of-all-trades,” she said. “Once I get the HIT certificate, it will help me expand my career further.”
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.