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Midland College graduates inaugural class receiving bachelor’s degree in healthcare administrationJune 12, 2019

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Kayla Goodson

Midland College graduate Kayla Goodson decided she wanted to get into healthcare. She began a nursing program at another school until she decided that path was not for her.

“I did not like nursing,” Goodson said. “I wanted to help more than just six patients a day, so I started looking up administrative options online. I saw MC’s healthcare administration bachelor’s degree program and thought ‘this is exactly what I am looking for!’ Since it was a bachelor’s degree at a community college it was also a lot more affordable than going to a big university.”

Being the mover and shaker that she is, Goodson dove into the healthcare industry and secured a part-time job at Midland Health as a patient advocate at the same time she started classes at MC. She knew she needed flexibility in her education. MC’s program is an online program that allowed her to manage her schedule and schoolwork.

“Since the healthcare administration program at MC is all online, I was able to stay in the workforce, and I felt like I learned twice as much,” Goodson said. “If I had gone to a university, I would have just sat in a class and learned the principals, but I believe you do not fully learn until you are in the field, doing the work. I actually got to experience everything I was learning. One day I read a scenario in the textbook; the next day I actually experienced that same scenario at work, and I knew what to do! For those interested in this degree, my advice would be to try to get your foot in the door at a hospital or healthcare facility so you can apply your knowledge. I learned so much, and I was able to stay working at the hospital to put it all together.”

A large part of the healthcare administration program is a comprehensive, capstone project during the last semester. Goodson tackled emergency room processes and patient experiences at Midland Health and Medical Center Hospital in Odessa by studying those two hospitals and comparing them to other hospitals.

“I put together this huge presentation of different things the hospitals could do from leadership all the way to simply painting the walls,” Goodson said. “The ER is a patient’s first experience. When patients come to the ER they are in severe pain. Operations need to be as seamless as possible because if not, patients are going to find everything wrong as an inpatient later.”

“I had the pleasure of working with Kayla on her capstone project last semester,” Health Services Management Department Chair Professor Husam Asfoor said. “Kayla’s project was a great one. It addressed all the data points and goals needed for a successful, transformative work. She is a go getter, clear thinker and laser focused on great ideas in pursuing this project and her career goals.”

Goodson presented her project to the ER director at Midland Health where she works. Later when there was a job posting for that department, she talked with the director and convinced the hospital to combine that job with another to essentially create a brand new position just for her. Goodson started as the Emergency department operations coordinator in April 2019.

“Because of the confidence and knowledge I gained from this program, I was able to go to the director of the ER at Midland Health and show him everything I had learned,” Goodson said. “I told him everyone in the ER administration is clinical, and I believe a clinical mind works in one way; they are all about saving lives. A non-clinical mind like mine, with my education, is going to look at a path and find a different way to get there. I am so happy to be serving patients at Midland Health as the Emergency department operations coordinator.”

Goodson was a member of the first graduating class receiving a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration at MC’s 46th commencement on Friday, May 10.

“I never pictured myself getting to where I am today at such a young age; I am only 23 years old,” Goodson said. “I have worked hard to get where I am. My goal is to get my master’s degree and become the chief operating officer at a nursing home. I am so grateful that this program allowed me to see all aspects of healthcare administration. I did not just learn about running a hospital; I learned about long-term care, physicians’ offices, community health, healthcare law, healthcare coding, healthcare finance and community relations. In this program you learn a little bit of everything.”

“Kayla Goodson is an outstanding student: hardworking, persistent and passionate about improving healthcare,” MC Professor Dr. Elizabeth Neichter said. “I am honored to have been one of her instructors and eagerly look forward to see where she will go from here. She should be proud of her efforts, and MC should be proud to have her as one of our alumni.”

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