Jul 292014
 

The Department of Health Services and Information Management at the College of Allied Health Sciences has created a new opportunity for students with its Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) graduate certificate program.

The RHIA graduate certificate program will provide students that already have a bachelor’s degree with the knowledge and skills needed in order to serve as a critical link between health care providers, payers, and patients. The curriculum is designed to help students develop characteristics associated with an effective leader in health information management: critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, communication and interpersonal skills, and ethical values.

The objective of this certificate program is to expand upon the students’ current knowledge and skills in order to qualify them to register for the national Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) credential examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Dr. Paul Bell

Dr. Paul Bell

“The Department of Health Services and Information Management is proud to offer the new graduate registered health information administrator certificate. The certificate makes it possible for individuals with a previously earned undergraduate degree to become eligible for the RHIA credential. Furthermore, the RHIA credential should help strengthen an individual’s overall marketability in the growing field of health care informatics and information management,” said Dr. Paul Bell, professor in the department and coordinator for the new certificate.

Students enrolled in the Registered Health Information Administrator certificate program will not only be prepared to take the RHIA exam, but will also be equipped with the skills to manage patient health information and medical records, administer computer information systems, collect and analyze patient data, and use classification systems and medical terminologies. Along with those skills, successful students will be able to effectively interact with various levels of an organization that employ patient data in decision-making and everyday operations.

Career choices for students holding this certificate are available in multiple settings throughout the healthcare industry such as program director, chief compliance officer, director of risk management, and director of clinical informatics.

For more information, visit the RHIA certificate website at www.ecu.edu/hsim/RHIA.cfm or contact Dr. Paul Bell at bellp@ecu.edu .

To check out other certificate programs offered by the Department of Health Services and Information Management visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/hsim/degrees.cfm.

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Jul 232014
 

Carroll portrait BSOMDr. Robert G. Carroll, a professor of physiology in the Brody School of Medicine, was selected as the 2014 Claude Bernard Distinguished Lecturer by a national society this spring.

It is one of only 12 distinguished lectureships sponsored by the American Physiology Society and approved by the APS Council. The APS Teaching of Physiology section chose Carroll, who presented “The Social Contract of Learning” at the APS Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego on April 27. 

Bernard (1818-1878) was a famous French scientist and the founder of modern experimental physiology.

 Carroll earned his Ph.D. in 1981 under the direction of Dr. David F. Opdyke at the Department of Physiology of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Newark. This was followed by a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at University of Mississippi Medical Center under the sponsorship of Drs. Thomas E. Lohmeier and Arthur C. Guyton. 

Among his many service roles, Carroll is a past chair the education committee for the American Physiological Society and is chair of the education committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. He served as chief editor of the Advances in Physiology Education journal for six years. In the past, he served on the United States Medical Licensing Exam Step I physiology test material development committee of the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Carroll has worked at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine since 1984 where he also serves as interim associate dean of medical education.

Jul 112014
 

The College of Allied Health Science is strengthening its focus on research through the development of a new Office of Research webpage and newsletter, as well as improving existing research lab websites.

Under the direction of Dr. Heather Harris-Wright, the associate dean of research for the College, the research website underwent a face lift to allow for a more user-friendly look.

“Research within our college well represents the diversity of Allied Health. It is exciting to learn about the breadth of our faculty’s research and I am thrilled to be able to support our faculty as they pursue their research goals, disseminate their research findings, seek and procure funding, develop and strengthen collaborations within the college and across the university, and engage students in their research programs,” said Dr. Wright, “The Office of Research is here to support our faculty and provide the resources and services needed so the faculty can advance their research programs.”

The new site will feature a monthly interview with a research faculty member from the College, this month’s interview subject was Dr. John Willson from the Department of Physical Therapy. Each faculty member will answer the same five questions regarding their research, their experience at East Carolina University, and their passion for teaching.

The site also provides links to useful resources for both faculty and students along with links to important research-related sites within the Univeristy.

Research Page

Along with the website update for the Office of Research, several CAHS research labs beefed up their web presence as well. Links to information on labs such as the Human Movement Analysis Lab in the Department of Physical Therapy, Navigate Counseling Clinic in the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, Research for the Adult Driver Initiative in the Department of Occupational Therapy, and the Aging and Adult Language Disorders and Voice and Swallowing Labs in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are all available on the “Research in CAHS” page of the Office of Research website. Through the lab websites, you can learn more about the research topics being analyzed at the College and discover information about publications, facilities and current faculty working in that area.

HMAL lab

the ECU Human Movement Analysis Laboratory website is updated and informative, visit the by clicking this screenshot.

Faculty, staff and students can stay up to date about happenings in the “research world” by not only visiting the Office of Research site, but also through the monthly research update e-newsletter. The newsletter will provide vital information about funding opportunities, upcoming deadlines, resources and highlights from CAHS research developments. If you would like to receive the research update, contact Dr. Wright at wrighth@ecu.edu.

 

Jul 082014
 

East Carolina University’s College of Nursing continues to produce the most registered nurses in North Carolina and its graduates pass the state nursing exam at a rate above the state average, according to data in a report prepared for the UNC Board of Governors.

The annual tracking report, received by the board at its June 20 meeting, said that 95 percent of the 273 graduates of ECU’s bachelor of science in nursing program who took the state exam in 2013 passed it.

The average state exam passing rate of all 12 UNC system campuses with nursing programs was 90 percent that year. The passing rate of all nursing programs in North Carolina, including those at private colleges and universities, was 85 percent in 2013, the report said.

Enrollment in all UNC nursing programs soared by 31 percent in the past five years, rising from 2,985 in 2009 to 4,212 in 2013, according to the report. Three UNC campuses launched nursing programs in recent years.

With more students in the pipeline, the UNC campuses with nursing programs are graduating 20 percent more RNs now than five years ago, the report said.

But despite the rise in nursing school enrollment, 3,500 nursing jobs remain unfilled across the state, the report said in citing March 2014 employment data.

Across the UNC system, enrollment in master’s degree programs grew from 1,471 to 1,637, or 11 percent, between 2009 and 2013. The number studying for doctoral degrees rose from 119 to 157, or 32 percent, in that time period, according to the report, which is based on data submitted by each campus.

At ECU, enrollment in master’s degree programs grew from 486 to 547 in that five-year period, while enrollment in doctoral programs grew from 31 to 49 in that period, the report said.

The Board of Governors has encouraged growth in enrollment in nursing programs since 2004 when, in conjunction with the N.C. Institute of Medicine, it created the UNC Committee on the Future of Nursing. The committee concluded that graduating more nurses was critical to improving access to health care.

More recently, the Board of Governors green-lighted new master’s and doctoral programs to increase the supply of nurses specially trained to take on more of the health care workload. An example is the doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP) created in 2013 at ECU and five other campuses.

Sylvia Brown, dean of ECU’s College of Nursing, said the DNP program will produce graduates critical to improving health care in the region. She said the program “will help to achieve our mission of improving the health of citizens through the preparation of expert practitioners who deliver primary care in rural areas of the state and assume leadership roles to advance health care delivery.”

The DNP prepares nurses for direct clinical practice and for executive roles in areas that support clinical practice, such as administration, organizational leadership, academics and health policy.

East Carolina’s DNP program coursework is totally online, and clinical practice sites include primary care clinics, hospitals, and public health care agencies. Students are required to attend skills sessions at the College of Nursing several times a year.

Twenty-one students were accepted to the first DNP class in fall 2013. More than half were from eastern North Carolina.

Jul 012014
 

“We had a class several times a week at night given by the Chicago Modeling Agency to teach us manners, how to walk properly, etc. At the time we hated it, but it was useful later.” – Nancy Thar Fiedler

Imagine having to take a modeling class as part of nursing training. As far-fetched as the idea seems in today’s world of theory and clinical-based instruction, Nancy Thar Fiedler, a 1960 graduate of the Evanston Hospital School of Nursing, shares her experience in the new display, “Nursing School Memories: Nursing Education in the Mid-20th Century,” currently on view at East Carolina University’s Family Medicine Center in Greenville.

The exhibit is located on the second floor across from the elevators in the Family Medicine Center, 101 Heart Drive. Memorabilia from Fiedler’s nursing school experience are featured along with objects, photographs and archival documents from the collections of The Country Doctor Museum. The items help tell a story of shared camaraderie of nursing school students as they advanced through rigorous programs marked by enduring traditions, high expectations and long hours.

The exhibit focuses on the history of three-year diploma training programs at local hospitals from 1940-1960. While attending classes, nursing students were scheduled to work in hospital wards and received on-the-job training.

Nursing school traditions including capping ceremonies, the awarding of class pins and lighting of Florence Nightingale lamps which signified students’ progress to graduation. These events occurred at nursing schools across the county and were augmented by banquets and graduation events to form an identity unique to each school of nursing. Caps, Florence Nightingale lamps, invitations and a junior class banquet poster from the Rex School of Nursing in Raleigh (circa 1947-1948) are on view in the exhibit.

By 1960, four-year baccalaureate degree programs were becoming more popular. By the end of the 1970s, most three-year diploma programs had closed and student nurses were pursuing their two or four-year nursing degrees at colleges and universities. An early style of ECU’s nursing uniform, cap and pin design also are on display to highlight the growing difference between hospital and university-based programs. Dr. Frances Eason and Dr. Kathleen Sitzman of ECU’s College of Nursing graciously reviewed the content and scope of the exhibit.

Fiedler considered nursing to be “a profession of dedication” when she entered nursing school in the late 1950s. Many would agree this description is still true today. The Country Doctor Museum invites you to take a few minutes to see this new exhibit in ECU’s Family Medicine Center.

Annie Anderson

The Country Doctor Museum

The Country Doctor Museum, located in Bailey, is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday. All tours are guided and available every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Group tours can be arranged. For more information, visit http://www.countrydoctormuseum.org