From patient care to family care: Virginia Keizer University student pursues new career in health care

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A person’s daily routine can include a number of ordinary tasks. Going to work, doing household chores, and running errands can all juggle everyday life.

But for Trisha Booth, an average day is anything but ordinary.

“It’s a joy to be able to give her a life she probably never would have had,” Booth said.

For the past eight years, Booth has cared for her niece, Jennifer, at their home in Newport News, Virginia. Jennifer has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy in children, requiring full-time care. There is no remedy.

Booth describes him as knocking his niece down “like a statue”. She says it can be hard to know when they’re going to happen, so a keeper should always be ready.

“As long as she’s happy, even if she has her seizures, you catch the ones you can,” Booth said. “She’s still happy herself, she can still love it, still play, and that’s all that matters.”

Booth, also a mother of eleven-year-old son Loger, worked as a licensed physician assistant for eleven years. She quit in 2018 to take care of Jennifer.

“Basically, you do all the clinical work. A lot of people think it’s just paperwork,” Booth said. “We did everything from surgeries to taking vital signs, to blood tests, to injections, to pre-clearances. Everything, we did.

Booth says working in the medical field is his calling. She remembers caring for her patients, saying she had a relationship with each of them.

“You have to remember that you’re not in it for the money, you’re in it for the care of the people,” Booth said. “Your motto is to take care of them as you would want your family to be taken care of.”

After resigning as an RMA, Booth knew she wanted to continue working in the medical field while continuing to care for her niece.

It was then that she discovered Keizer University.

“The e-campus is really cool,” Booth said. “Keiser is a great school if you want to stay home and take care of your kids.”

Booth enrolled in the Associate of Science degree program in Medical Administrative Billing and Coding through Keizer University’s online division. The program prepares students for clerical and administrative work related to insurance claims, compliance, and reimbursement, as well as assigning accurate medical codes for diagnostic procedures.

“I did all my homework after [Jennifer] went to sleep. I would stay up until about 11:30-midnight, then get up and go back to normal routine,” Booth said. “I wasn’t going to be able to leave the house to go to school or anything, so online was really nice.”

Although caring for patients is Booth’s passion, caring for his family is his priority. This program, she says, allows her to aim to do both.

“Just being in the medical field in general makes me happy,” Booth said.

In April, Booth graduated with a degree in medical billing and coding. She eventually wants to go back to school to become a nurse.

Keizer University is a private, independent, nonprofit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and at two international locations. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees ranging from associates to doctoral degrees. Keiser University is a designated Hispanic-serving institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked #5 in the United States in social mobility by US News And World Report in 2022.

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