When Brianna Barber and her five classmates lined up to receive their diplomas at the spring 2018 College of Nursing and Health Innovation convocation, they did so as the first graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Coordination program.
Designed to prepare students to effectively coordinate resources and optimize individual health outcomes, Brianna and her classmates are at the forefront of the college's mission to improve health outcomes in complex systems.
Brianna admits it's been a difficult journey at times, but says she gained valuable insight into the health care industry and the work ethic needed to make a difference. Here she shares some insight into why she chose this degree program and what her plans are after graduation.
Question: What made you want to pursue this program?
Answer: I knew I wanted to be in the medical field but wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go. After taking many classes, I determined I wanted to be on the administration side. My goal is to be a hospital administrator, so this program was the best one that allowed me to pursue my goal.
Q: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized this was what you wanted to study?
A: Once I entered the program, when I started studying advocating for the patient, that’s when I realized this was my field. Patients can often go unheard and communication in the health care field isn’t the best, so I want to be one that can change that.
Q: What are two key lessons you learned from this program?
A: I learned to never give up, and always fight for what you believe is right. This goes for school and the future. Not every class was easy and there were often times I thought of doing something else. I learned to give your best in everything you do and if you don’t fight for something that you feel is right, change will never occur.
Q: Why do you think health care coordination is important to the modern health care industry?
A: The modern health care industry has places where it can improve. I think that health care coordination will only help the health care field. Care coordinators are out there to care for the patient, listen and communicate, and find the plan that best fits each individual. I believe that patients today are often rushed and do not receive the best care every visit.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I am looking for a career in the health care industry. I plan to continue schooling in about year for my Master’s in Healthcare Administration.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would tackle the health literacy issue. There is such a tiny number of adults that have the health literacy skill and it terrifies me to see what the future looks like. Those that struggle with health literacy are not getting the proper care they deserve because they simply don’t understand. This includes basic self-care, prescriptions and other health knowledge. Due to this issue, we are seeing increased readmission rates in hospitals, continued illnesses, frustrated patients and much more. Health literacy is something that I am passionate about changing for the future of health care.