Student Spotlight: Vandna Bhambri, Health Informatics Program
Vandna Bhambri is a Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSIN) student from Boston, Massachusetts. With a desire to help people within the healthcare field and a passion for technology, health informatics was a natural career choice. “I knew that there was a demand for Health Informatics and a limitless world of possibilities for what I could do with an advanced degree.”
After growing up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Vandna earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She’s currently working in a role that ties into the health informatics field. Her job is focused on training hospital staff, super users and end users on how to use Epic software at a top medical facility in Massachusetts. In this role, Vandna trains the staff to “get acclimated to the interface” and helps them “navigate around the system so that they can perform their jobs efficiently.”
In addition to working by day and studying by night, Vandna is also involved outside of the virtual classroom. She was selected as a Program Assistant for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference this past February in Orlando.
Deciding to Pursue Health Informatics
After completing her undergraduate studies, Vandna decided to take a short break to figure out the next steps in her career path. She explained, “Let’s just say that short break became a really long one… I was feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied with the jobs that I was working at. I knew that I was capable and deserving of finding a career that made me happy. I finally decided to make a decision to pursue my graduate studies in Health Informatics. I knew that there was a demand for Health Informatics and a limitless world of possibilities of what I could do with an advanced degree.”
On her decision to pursue health informatics as a career, Vandna remarked, “I have always had a strong desire to work in health care and enjoy helping people. I also wanted to learn more about technology because its presence is everywhere and as a society, we have become dependent upon it. I feel that health informatics offers the best of both worlds.”
On Choosing UNE
There were many reasons that Vandna ultimately chose to attend UNE for her master’s degree. One of the reasons was that UNE was more affordable than other universities offering similar degrees. Another important factor in her decision was that UNE is accredited and ranked as a top university by U.S. News and World Report. She felt that earning a spot on this competitive ranking list, signified the value of a UNE education. Finally, the fact that the MSIN program was entirely online was a major selling point and offered the flexibility that Vandna needed.
Balancing Work and Classes
Working full-time and pursuing a degree can be challenging. Vandna discovered early on that a major key to success was reading the syllabus for each class in advance to get a sense of when deadlines will need to be met. By referring regularly to the syllabus, she is able to budget her time for the upcoming week accordingly. She also sets aside time each weekend to study and work on assignments so that her work week runs smoother.
Making Online Learning Personal
Vandna has been impressed with the quality of instruction in the MSIN program. She commented, “I’ve had the same instructors and worked with the same peers for a few consecutive semesters now. Professor Duane Bedell has gone above and beyond his duties by providing interactive weekend sessions where we discuss upcoming assignments. We get to see him and our peers via webcam and we have an opportunity to ask questions. These interactive sessions have given us an opportunity to get to know each other better and form a sense of comradery.”
Vandna has also been impressed with the level of support she has received from the university. She elaborated, “Even though I don’t live in close proximity to the campus, there is a student support specialist that reaches out every semester to see how things are going and to answer questions. UNE offers remote tutoring for certain classes, which really helped me with my writing assignments in the first year of the program. I don’t ever feel forgotten or alone because of the university support system.”
Favorite Class: Data Visualization
When asked about any particular classes that Vandna enjoyed, Data Visualization was the first one that came to mind. “The class projects have been fun, challenging, and have allowed me to connect with my creative side. It’s a great feeling when I can see the positive end result of my project after I’ve put in countless hours of hard work. It’s very exciting and fulfilling to be able to create a visualization!”
Thinking about the Future
In her current role training others to use Epic, Vandna has found a deep respect for teaching. In the future, she would love to continue teaching in some capacity. Additionally, she explained that one trend she’s particularly interested in is “wearables (devices and sensors) that are used to compile patient-generated data (blood glucose levels, heartbeats, breathing). The collected data can then be used for health, wellness, and biomedical research. It’s amazing how a little device can measure and track patient vitals!”
If you are interested in pursuing a career in Health Informatics, or if you’re simply interested in discussing the program, please reach out to an Enrollment Counselor at (855) 751-4445 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, fill out an online application today at go.une.edu/apply – we look forward to hearing from you!