Trevecca health care degree helped prepare alumna for pandemic

Siobhan Thaxton spent almost 18 years working as a unit secretary and patient care technician at Jackson Madison-County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee. She loved getting to interact with patients and see them progress, but after so many years, she wasn’t being challenged. She thought about sticking it out—her job was secure, and she knew what she was doing. 

But still, that desire for more kept coming back to her. 

“I really felt like I was at a crossroads,” she said. “I went to school previously for chemistry, and after a while, I just wasn't happy with it. I’ve worked at the hospital for so long that I got comfortable. I liked the direction I was going in, but I needed something else. So, I decided to take the healthcare aspect of my work and run with it.”

Now, as a 2017 Trevecca graduate, Thaxton holds a bachelor’s degree in health care administration. She currently works as the lead office manager at West Tennessee Kidney Specialists. 

Thaxton says her new role has a way of keeping her on her toes—especially considering when she began the job, she had to jump right into leading the transition to a brand new electronic system.

“The person that left before me left without notice … [so] what I learned at Trevecca helped me to transition myself to the new role and to lead the program transition without interruption,” Thaxton said. “There’s a night and day difference [in the work I’m doing now.] As the office manager, I see a little bit of everything, and I’m responsible for managing the business structure and really just making sure there is consistency in our day-to-day operations: an aspect that was previously missing.”

Trevecca’s bachelor’s program in health care administration is a fully online degree that is customized for the working adult. In as few as 18 months, students can complete their bachelor’s degree.

“The purpose is to expose the students to what is occurring in health care that could impact them and their families now and in the future,” said Brandee Norris, who serves as the health care administration program director in addition to teaching in the program. “We hope to provide people who have a desire of pursuing a career in health care with a good overview as far as the career paths that are available and a framework for how to be positive, effective leaders in the healthcare industry.” 

In the rapidly evolving landscape of COVID-19, Norris said the team has their work cut out for them.

“Our content is constantly updated in order to keep up with the changing times and the new needs and demands of the industry so that our students leave fully educated and equipped to be servant leaders,” Norris said. “After the pandemic, the world of health care will never be the same. Our primary goal is to teach the students how to be prepared for the unexpected.”

Thaxton said, in her experience, the foundations of the program are designed with the evolution of the industry in mind.

“Trevecca taught me to pace myself, to approach issues without getting overwhelmed and to stop looking just at the surface of problems,” she said. “And everything I learned in the program, I use. That’s something I can’t say about the other schools I’ve attended, and it’s prepared me for every situation I’ve faced professionally so far.” 

In addition to the Bachelor of Science in health care administration Thaxton earned, Trevecca also offers a fully online master’s degree in health care administration. Visit www.trevecca.edu/online to learn more. 


By Bailey Basham, ’17
Media contact: Mandy Crow, mmcrow@trevecca.edu, 615-248-1695