Iwona Zylinska

Iwona Zylinska

A unique job in health care

Ten years ago, Iwona Zylinska moved to the U.S. from Poland, where she was a pharmacy technician. She wanted to build on her skills in the health care field and began her education with Oakton’s medical coding and billing certificate program. Seeing a chance for even more opportunity, she went on to earn her associate degree in health information technology

“I chose this program because it combines technology and health care. I always wanted to work in health care, but I did not want to perform any clinical patient care such as drawing blood. I can obtain entry-level employment in a variety of health care settings and can interact with many health care professionals including physicians, nurses, physical therapists and others. In addition, you always learn something new and update the knowledge that allows you to stay current with the health information management profession and be one step ahead.”

Skills beyond the tech

Iwona has always been interested in learning systems and organizing information. She sees her work as solving a puzzle. The challenge is exciting. 

“The most important part for me was to learn how to apply analytical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills when working on specific real-life scenarios. It was also very significant to learn how to use a variety of applications in the electronic health record, medical coding, the release of information and other health information technician roles. We also learned about the importance of teamwork. There are multiple intradepartmental and cross-departmental projects that HIT professionals need to perform, and I feel very well prepared for this role.” 

Support from day one

The faculty in the program were also part of Iwona’s team, bringing students together to not only learn the material, but prepare for exams for professional credentialing.

“The HIT program chair has always supported me in my journey at Oakton. I can always reach out to the chair if I have any issues or questions. All HIT faculty members are very supportive. We have two Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam review sessions in April. The HIT faculty members prepare guides to study for this exam and review with us—it’s very helpful.”