Career development in health information management in Nigeria


There have been many practitioners in all aspect of health who regarded health information as an essential factor in the development of their own work progress in medicine itself. This is not to say that the quality of the information content which has been is and must forever remain as health responsibility was not as should be what was lacking was up of the information for a variety of additional purposes not previously considered i.e. concept of the care maintenance and analysis of health information. It is a historical fact that the ancient time, appreciate the necessity to make information concerning the sick people who sought their aid and skills systems and operate procedures have been discovered and all these have been handed down to posterity and have provided stimulus to scientific progress throughout the ages.

Health information management is designed to:

  • Enable physicians to give proper and contentious care to patient.
  • Furnish information which on analysis combined with comparative studies will improve the quality of health care through educational training and research respectively.
  • Be used as administrative planning medium for the provision of adequate facilities.

Following the trends in health care, as human population Increasing so also demands for health care increase proportionately. Hence the introduction of clerical assistance at various point provided reduction in such obvious tasks as filling jut it is believed that little or no instruction was given to these clerks about the principles and actual methods of filing.

A professional can be as easily identifiable and specialized occupation, normally requiring at least, years of Higher Education that offers a life-time career to the persons in it. On another note, it can be described as a cohesive and autonomous body of trained public on the basis of applied scientific knowledge.

We shall therefore examine together those concepts we must adhere to reflect professionalism in us and to assist in enhancing and sustaining as already highlighted above and that have universally acceptable as the hail mark of professionalism. Suffice to say that whatever factors or concepts we might be considering today, professional association(s) plays major important role(s) individuals efforts and aspiration toward professionalism of enhancing and sustaining the integrity of her profession can only complement the stand of her professional association.


As a result of the dynamics nature of the profession, it is now referred to and called health information management. The duration of the training programme for an aspiring health information officer is 4 year leading to an award of Higher National Diploma. The training programme broadens students horizon that at end of the programme, one can go into full academics in the field of Health information management through the Masters Degree Programme in the Field and other relevant fields available for study in some of the renowned Nigeria’s citadel of academic learning including Nigeria’s premier University, the great university of Ibadan or becoming health information management professionals and consultants.

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The concept career development

Piper et al. defined career development as systematic attempt to harmonize individual interest and wishes and the carefully assessed individual requirements for furthering their career with the forthcoming requirements of the organizations within which they are expected to work.

Proposal for establishment career development by the Health Information Management Association of Nigeria in its draft constitution stated that members to be elected into the committee should be people of great mind, ideas, invention and innovation to be able to develop series of learning activities that would build capacity of our professionals.

Career development is a lifelong process of developing beliefs, values, skills, aptitudes interest, and personally characteristics and knowledge of the world. This proceeding statement was made by Tolbert (1974) however the opinion of Murphy et al.(1981) was that career development is attained by ability and taking personal responsibility. In the opinion of Saye (2003) the contents of career development is development concept that represent the determents of career maturity personality development, theories. Those are geared toward understanding human characteristics and matching it with appropriate career.

Therefore career development is concerned with career preferences, retention on the job, satisfactory performance and overall success on the job, as translated in satisfying the individual need and c capacity to contribute positively to the socio-economic development of the nation.

Factors influencing career development in health information management

  • Family: The primary group play significance role in career selection and development.
  • Personality: Individual personality is instrumental to one vocational/work preference this is largely because particular occupations demand personality traits from its workers.
  • Aptitudes: These also influence the vocational work choice, individual are likely to be admitted to succeed in and to improve the quality of work they are also to perform.
  • Intellectual ability: This is a major determination to the entry’ and performance in most jobs, health information management profession is not an exception.
  • Interest: Individual’s interest and motivation would influence his choice and performance in any chosen career.
  • Self concept and self esteem: Individual perception of his ability to perform different tasks and occupational roles.
  • Values: Values attached to a particular profession
  • Attractiveness: Most people are attracted or distracted from a profession due to name attached to it.
  • School: School provides individuals with variety of experiences interpersonal relation with teacher peers and any others contribute to shape careers of individual.
  • Sex: Gender is an important determinant in career development, and planning. Rationally there are careers that are considered feminine e.g. teaching, nursing, catering, hospitality etc. However the dividing line between the supposed machine and feminine careers are diminishing ‘in that you can find both sexes in almost all professional fields.
  • Expectation and prestige: The importance and prestige attached to a given career influence its choice
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Career development process

  • Career need assessment: A person’s career is highly personal and very important element life own career choice. The assistance need might be in the form career choice.
  • Career opportunities: During the early stage, the young professionals need to known the type of jobs opportunities available within the content of health information management relevant institution in the immediate, environment, medium and long term perspective.
  • Need: Opportunity enlightenment in this situation emphasis should be given to the individualized development techniques such as special assignments, position rotation, and supervisory coaching during performance appraisal and management by objectives programmes.

Relationship between ethics and career development

Ethics in relation to career development as to make towards including rational actions and value re—orientation to an idea mindset of professional practices in health information management both on individual and institutional levels. Therefore health information management professional, as a teacher need to develop special skills in teaching and school administration to correct indiscipline and developing the students for a prospective career.

Webster 21st Century Dictionary (1991) defined discipline as strict training, or the enforcing of rules to produce ordered and controlled behaviour. The young health information managers need to be initiated into the health information profession through professional oath taking.

Ladies and gentlemen permit me to highlight at this juncture the general principles required to guide our young professionals such as:

  1. Endeavour, to serve the needs of others rather than pursuing personal gain.
  2. Posses a specific body of knowledge attained through a specialized higher education or post-graduate educations. Observe the code ethics and maintain the standard competence established by the professional association. Managers of health information system are responsible and be held accountable and liable for the damage done by system for their reliability and security.

Problems of career development in health information management professional institutions

At the moment there is no single health information school that is fully accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (N.B.T.E) for the Health Information Management Programme in Nigeria.

  1. Lack of qualified health information management teachers: Most our health information professionals that are expected are not up to date in terms of the current curriculum; I wonder how many professional we have in the country with either Masters Degree or PhD in Health Information Management.
  2. Non availability of scheme of service: The health information management profession in the country doesn’t have any meaningful scheme of services it is worrisome to note that all of us the professional in this profession are leading a career without any guide in the civil service. This further deepened the career development.
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Frustrations of both the young professionals and the professional already on the job whenever administrators decide to be rigid we may be easily vulnerable. According to Civil Service Handbook (1997) civil servant is expected to assist in formulating and implementing policies approved by government whatever his personal opinions or attitudes may be civil servant should no circumstance take illegal action, if so directed, he should invite attention immediately.

Consistency of health information management

Nomenclature such as health records management, health information management, health record and information management, medical record science and vital statistics are so conspicuous on the various certificates of our professionals and prominent in our professional activities. The proliferation of various professional nomenclatures may impact negatively during job interviews and job placements.

Characteristics of a career

Any meaningful career has the following characteristics:

  1. Identifiable cause of life endeavour
  2. Hardworking
  3. Educational Success
  4. Promotional Steps
  5. Full time occupation
  6. Life time occupation
  7. Means of livelihood

In the opinion of Rosefeld et al. (1999) career is the linear sequences of steps taken by an individual though a number of. organizational positions, career according to the scholars correlate strongly with age as such the potential development is likely to become less as health information manager gets older in the some vain, Flippo (1984) mentioned that career is a sequence of separate but related work activities that provide continuity and meaning in a person’s life while discussing career Ouch (1981) notified that based on a research conducted Americans often switch they tend to stay within the same specially while Japanese switch specialties while conducting their careers within the same organization the tradition is referred to as the principle of lifelong job rotation.


Abubakar, U. F. (2003). Improving professional ethnics towards promoting organizational and patient care relations. N.U.R.D unpublished Seminar Paper Benue.

Administrative Staff College of Nigeria Management Development Workshop Participant manual 2004.

Flippo, F. B. (1984). Personnel management McGraw Hill Singapore.

Araoye, M. O. (2004). Research methodology with statistics for Health and social sciences Vathadex Publisher Ilorin.

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary (1999) Chambers Publishers Edinburgh.

Denga, D. l. (1983).Information Source in Education and work, Butterworth Publishers Cambridge.

Edwin, L. H. (1972) Career guidance through Life Span Little Brown and Company Canada.

Roseafeld, R. H. et al. (1999) managing Organization McGraw Hill England.

Saye, S.M. (2003) Guidance and Counselling Tunlad Publisher, Kano.