Editor’s Note: The following article is a Guest Column from Tonya Chesnut, the associate director of admissions at Florida Polytechnic University. To learn more about submitting a Guest Column, Click Here.
Health informatics continues to revolutionize the health care landscape. By fusing the principles of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the field focuses on creating safe ways to collect, house and analyze patient data, as well as promote sustainable health care information management solutions. Each year, more health care professionals adopt health informatics systems, which creates two demands: the need for individuals with field preeminence and continued field progress.
STEM education is one way the health informatics field is growing, specifically through industry-specific courses, hands-on learning environments, and elevated career opportunities. Let’s take a closer look:
Not-so crash courses
Health informatics degree programs incorporate vital field components into curriculum coursework. Programs at STEM-centered universities deep dive into topics such as systems acquisition and data communication, which expose students to the most current and important industry information. This approach helps students better understand the industry landscape they’re trying to pursue. It also fosters industry experimentation and advanced study, which motivates students to challenge field methodology using curiosity and reasoning.
Students learn best when actively participating in the subject matter. Many STEM-focused degrees promote environments that encourage group collaboration and hands-on learning activities. Aside from keeping students engaged in the material, this approach also helps bridge the skills gap in healthcare management and information science. The more students practice on using the tools found within the health informatics field, the more equipped they will be to operate field systems and technology, fine-tune industry-specific skills, and help solve real-world problems while in their careers.
Exponential career growth & opportunity
From clinics and labs to hospitals and major medical centers, health informatics is used in a variety of industry settings. This allows students to choose from a wide array of jobs, including those that prevent medical errors, monitor, and track diseases and expedite clinical research. As medical facilities seek advanced treatment solutions and sustainable workflows and processes, the need for more STEM-focused professionals will rise. This demand will ultimately result in more health informatics jobs and also elevate the value of health informatics degrees.
The total impact
STEM studies will continue to change the field’s landscape through challenging coursework, state-of-the-art facilities and career development. This will create a demand for STEM-focused professionals trained in the latest software and systems native to health informatics. Additionally, as the field of health informatics continues to evolve, so will other niche health-related fields such as nanotechnology. To stand out as a well-rounded job candidate, it’s important students start preparing for a career by investing in STEM universities that offer health informatics programs and additional concentrations, such as a nanotechnology degree program.
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