While developed and practiced years prior, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of telehealth and providing healthcare virtually. Beginning this fall, Millersville University students have the opportunity to earn a certificate in telehealth as a part of their baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate studies.
Telehealth is the broad term applied to healthcare that involves any form of telecommunications. This includes virtual check-ups with a physician but can also include virtual counseling, physical therapy sessions, meetings with dieticians, remote home monitoring for senior care and much more.
The certificate is open to all majors, especially students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine or looking to enrich their experience in healthcare. Psychology majors, social work majors, biology majors and other students may be interested in the certificate. Junior standing is preferred for undergraduate students who may be considering the program or students with approval from faculty.
Dr. Kelly Rotondo, assistant professor at MU, explains that integrating telecommunications into healthcare can provide easier access to specialists and will promote efficiency, quality and safety in the field. Rotondo developed the certificate along with Dr. Kelly Kuhns, professor and chair of the Wehrheim School of Nursing at the University.
“One of my life goals was to educate on telehealth, even before the pandemic, so I was very excited,” says Rotondo.
In total, there are three courses to earn the certificate for a total of 10 credits, and the entire program is online. These courses are designed to focus on many different aspects of the field, from a broad overview of telehealth and its various uses to the politics and technology behind the practice.
Students will gain an understanding of the technology itself, instruction on how telehealthcare differs from in-person communication, and how to ensure quality interactions with patients.
“Obtaining the certificate will distinguish your elective credits apart from other nurses and healthcare professionals in the field,” Rotondo explains. “Technology is a large portion of the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses competencies and one that many hospitals have adopted.”
“Telehealth has been around a long time, but the pandemic has only strengthened the use,” she concludes. “Patients are now expecting the option of telehealth in their care, and they want competent quality and safe healthcare with providers able to assist them with technology.”
Interested in studying healthcare at Millersville University? Visit https://www.millersville.edu/nursing/index.php