WYS: Single mom nears second degree

Adriane Hardin

When Fannie Anders’ 8-year-old daughter tugs on her sleeve, wanting to play, Anders steps back from her studying and happily obliges.

It’s just part of being a full-time student and a full-time single mom, Anders said.

The Bowling Green senior is 37 and about to finish her second degree from Western. She received an associate’s degree in health information management in 1991 and will graduate in fall 2004 with a degree in health care administration.

“When I first started, my focus was on medical records management,” Anders said. “But I started to see other aspects of the business.”

Anders said 14 years’ experience as a consultant helped prepare her for the role of administrator.

“I decided that if I was gonna do those kinds of things I might as well get my degree,” Anders said.

Anders said her coworkers made her realize that administrators must remain neutral.

“I want to be understanding of employees,” Anders said. “But at the same time lead the facility to the best of my knowledge.”

Anders said that when she entered the workforce in 1991 she did her best to learn all she could from her supervisors about the business – including how to be comfortable around the elderly.

“I was scared at first,” Anders said. “The most important thing is to take care of the patients and make sure they’re comfortable in their surroundings.”

Anders’ nervousness quickly faded and was replaced with a genuine concern for patients.

“I fell in love with the patients and the patients fell in love with me,” she said.

Anders said she isn’t nervous about graduating and will search for a job in the fall. She said the courses required for her major haven’t been difficult.

“I’ve had experience and I put my experience to work with what they’re teaching in class,” Anders said.

Anders said that in any job you have to start at the bottom and learn from older and more experienced employees.

Anders said that when she re-enrolled at Western in 2001, she was nervous about classes and being around so many young people.

She said the maturity she had as a nontraditional student was an asset instead of a handicap.

“When you’re older you get more serious,” Anders said.

In the meantime, she continues to balance being a student and a mom.

Anders said her daughter understands she is going back to school to improve their quality of life.

“It’s not a hardship,” Anders said. “You have to be dedicated.”

She hopes her daughter will follow in her footsteps and one day get a degree.

“Rather than me sitting at home drawing off the government, she sees me doing this,” Anders said. “If she sees me reading and studying she will want to do the same thing.”

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]