VistA is the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture; the VA stands for the Veterans Affairs department of the United States government. The system is an electronic database which has been set up with the sole aim of providing complete records of all in and out VA patients; the database is designed to ensure that the best care possible is provided to all veterans.
There is a huge amount of information which needs to be stored safely and accessed quickly; the system consists of 160 different modules which link together clinical records, financial records and infrastructure. It takes specialized training to be able to use the software and a goo range of IT skills to be involved in the maintenance and development of the systems.
As the system looks after at least eight million veterans it needs constant revising and improving to ensure the data is safe and the information is available to the right people, as required. Those who use VA VistA as a database are usually medically trained; anyone looking to find an employment opportunity in the computer based side of this product will need extensive programming skills and experience.
There are many reasons why you might desire a VA VistA job, possibly the thought of being involved in such an important area of health care; one that affects nearly 25% of the population. You may wish to feel you can make a difference or you may have specialized knowledge which makes this the right field for you. Whatever the reason, in order to successfully obtain a VA VistA job you will need to have knowledge of programming and cache based systems.
The following attributes will assist you in locating the right VA VistA job:
There are several different programming languages and, ideally, you should have a good working knowledge of all of them. This will help you to locate a job within the computing industry; an essential task to ensure you have practical experience to compliment your qualifications.
Computer programmers are often not seen by the general public; however, this does not mean that there is no need to present yourself properly. When looking and applying for potential jobs you should always make an effort. It is likely that the dress code will be relaxed but first impressions count! This should also be taken into context as to what is appropriate for both the role you are chasing and your own comfort; do not wear a smart suit if you are so uncomfortable that you will be unable to focus on the interviewer!
Conferences and Seminars
These are excellent places to both stay up to date with the latest developments and meet new people. Most of the big firms will have representatives at these events, they will probably be looking to build on existing relationships and check on any new developments. You can use this information to your advantage; the stands which you visit to ensure you re up to date will be the same places that those who are working within the industry will frequent. It should be possible to start a conversation with some of them and investigate the potential job market.
Having up to date skills and qualifications will allow you to apply for the right roles; the following list will give you an insight into where to look for the best jobs:
There are many companies online which specialize in locating and recruiting computer programmers. If you are specifically after a job working with VA VistA or cache based systems then you need to look at companies such as henryelliott.com/va-vista.html who have been successfully trading since 1992. Firms such as this will be looking for staff to keep on their books and will deal with direct hire jobs on behalf of a client.
There are, still, a few firms which operate from physical premises and offer a good programming service. These firms tend to deal with only local clients and operate on a much smaller scale. However, they can be an excellent way of building practical experience within the market; provided you are prepared to move to wherever they are located.
In any line of business there remains nothing stronger than word of mouth. This is the fastest way to build a reputation and come to the attention of the necessary people. In fact, this remains the basic concept of all the social media sites; the opportunity to put yourself and your skills out to the world. If you have done well at college, university or within the firm you are currently working for, it is likely that your name will appear in many conversations and your reputation will grow. This will increase the likelihood that you are headhunted for a role. This is particularly true if you are looking for a specific role, such as a VA VistA job.
It is possible to search the internet and locate any vacancies currently available which may suit your needs and desires. The search engines are usually very good at locating information provided you input the right information. You will then be able to create your own database of available jobs! You could even consider building this into a database or webpage to showcase your own skills!
As has already been mentioned, attending conferences and events will provide you with the opportunity to network. It is also likely to provide you with a list of current job vacancies and the qualifications and experience needed for each job. Even if your skills do not quite cover all the items required it may still be worth applying for the job; simply focus on what you can do and how you can make a difference to the firm.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice for anyone wanting a VA VistA job; or other specialized programming job, is to persevere. There is actually a shortage of computer professionals in comparison to the number needed and this shortage looks set to get worse. You are in the right industry!