By Ashley Strehle Hartman, freelance writer
for Columbus Community Hospital – Columbus, Nebraska
Published on the Columbus Community Hospital website, November 2019
Dustin Pendergast never really thought about pursuing a career in health care. He did, however, always know he wanted to be in information technology (IT).
With that goal in mind, Pendergast went to Northeast Community College in Norfolk for two years and Wayne State College in Wayne for two years and received a bachelor’s degree in information systems –programmer analyst.
After getting his degree, Pendergast was a draftsman at Nucor Detailing Center in Norfolk, where, in addition to his main duties, he got to help with some of the troubleshooting for computers and ran the intranet page.
Then Pendergast saw an open position as an information systems (IS) technician at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH), and decided to apply. He got the job in March 2018 and he has been in the position ever since.
“Honestly, I never really thought about pursuing a career in health care. I saw the position open and jumped in and I am really glad that I did,” he said.
As he transitioned to his new role at CCH, Pendergast said everyone has been very supportive.
“They are always willing to help if you haven’t done something before or if you just need a refresher,” he said.
This type of support is especially helpful, because Pendergast never knows what he’s going to be handling each day when he comes to work. In his position as IS technician, Pendergast takes phone calls and helps end users with issues they have with their workstations – but those are just the beginning of his duties and his days often see him doing a variety of tasks.
“One minute I could be sitting at my desk taking phone calls and imaging computers, the next minute I could be going up and working on a computer in OR, and then the next minute I could be in the ceiling pulling cable,” he said. “I never really know what to expect when I come in and that is probably the best thing about my job.”
In addition to the variety the job provides, Pendergast appreciates the fact that he is able – through his IS work – to help health care providers care for their patients.
“I know it can be pretty frustrating waiting on your computer while your patient is waiting in the exam room and being able to get that resolved quickly is a good feeling,” he said.
The IT side of health care also offers additional rewards.
“From the IT side, you definitely aren’t going to be bored. You will always need to be on your toes as you will never know what the next hour could bring,” he said. “You will also be learning new things everyday as technology continues to evolve.”
For more information on Pendergast, CCH’s Information Services or the hospital’s commitment to providing the latest technology, visit columbushosp.org.