Nothing dissuades winners from their ultimate triumph. Countless volumes have been written by or about those who have made some of human history’s most significant achievements. The similarity between every winners’ story is a strong tendency to persevere. Those who have ultimately won and captured the prize they pursued all agree that countless failures had to be endured along the long road to inevitable success; a road that one cannot travel to its terminus without dogged determination and a mindset that doesn’t view adversity or challenges as obstacles. But rather, as stepping stones to something greater.
If you’re a certified nursing assistant, or if you’re considering becoming a certified nursing assistant, but there are obstacles preventing you from acting on your desire to take CNA training, you should consider the story of Dr. Jan Brunstrom-Hernandez. Her story of overcoming adversity and even leveraging her challenge into a life-affirming solution is truly inspirational. It should demonstrate that there are no true obstacles. Only setbacks on the road to success.
Listen, anything worth having has to be worth fighting for. If you’re thinking about making a bold career change and enrolling in Allen School Online to study medical billing and coding, what’s stopping you? Are you concerned about the challenges of learning by remote? Do you think the field may be too difficult or you’re worried you won’t be able to keep up? No one says it is easy to become something more, but, you have to turn a deaf ear to the naysayers, and get out there. Consider the 14 year old boy in this video. Born with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, his parents were told he’d never speak. And yet, clearly, they misjudged the determination of this family. Today, 14-year-old Jacob Barnett is regarded as probably smarter than Einstein. Watch the amazing video and may it provide you the inspiration you may need to take a big step and study medical billing and coding online for a brand new career.
You’re a medical assistant or a certified nursing assistant. People come to your workplace seeking relief from the entire range of ailments and disabilities. They count on their doctors, nurses, CNAs and medical assistants to be compassionate and comforting. So it would not be comforting to them to bring their ailments to someone whose face is puffy, eyes and nose are runny and who is sneezing uncontrollably. But if you, like millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, you may find it difficult this time of year to put forth the healthy, comforting image expected of a CNA or medical assistant. Yet, you cannot simply take a month off while the pollen cycle occurs. So what can you do? You don’t want to take too much over-the-counter allergy meds which may make you foggy and drowsy. That wouldn’t set an ailing patient’s mind at ease either would it? There are alternatives to the standard medicines which may work for you if you take the time to try them. Time magazine has a brief article out about some non-traditional allergy remedies already in widespread usage in Europe. Not as popular here in the US yet, these treatments seem to produce decent results in the recent studies performed here in the US. My grandmother used to swear by the strategy of taking a teaspoon of locally produced honey each morning during the pollen season. For her, it always helped keep the sneezing and runny eyes at bay. Do you have any alternative allergy remedies you know of?
The old saw says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure”. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the process of job interviewing. As another old (but still true) saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. So it is exceedingly important that before you head out the door to go on an interview for a position as a certified nursing assistant, a medical assistant or a medical billing and coding specialist, you prepare yourself well. This not only includes dressing for success and being punctual to arrive to the interview. It also involves being ready to adequately answer any and all questions the interviewer may pose to you.
Our last post focused on making sure your resume is in top condition. So today, we’re going to focus on being prepared for the interview process. Again, the job pros over at www.monster.com have produced some very excellent materials specific to the types of questions a CNA, medical assistant or medical billing candidate may reasonably be asked in an interview. Below are links to specific information for each of these job fields. If you’ve recently completed your CNA training or the medical assistant or medical billing programs at Allen School, you should definitely read these documents before you head out to find a new job.
Résumé writing is not what it was even five short years ago. Did you know that with so many people in the job market, HR professionals and other hiring authorities now use software to pre-screen résumés? Its true! Known in the human resources field as “ATS” for Applicant Tracking Systems, these “résumé robots” scan each and every résumé and employment application submitted, looking for keywords relevant to the job opening. If your cover letter, application and résumé contain the right keywords, then your materials are delivered to an actual human being in the hiring department.
The correct keywords to use in your résumé can be gleaned from the job listing itself. If the job listing for a medical billing and coding position includes language like, “Extensive experience with CPT, ICD-9 and medical insurance”, then you should be sure to include those same words in your materials (assuming you have those skills). That way when the ATS scans your documents, it flags them as “relevant” and boosts the chances your materials will be passed along to a human.
This is important information to understand because even if your résumé shows ample experience and healthy employment history, it may not ever even be seen. Insufficient inclusion of keywords is only one pitfall. Another is formatting. Since most of these ATS rely on Microsoft Word, those sending PDF files of their résumé are also very likely to be passed over since the “bot” doesn’t read PDF. It’s functionally the same as sending a blank sheet of paper.
Feast your eyes on this awesome cell model cake created by a student named Nicolle WIliams for her Introduction to Biological Data class. If you’re taking certified nursing assistant training with the Allen School, you may not get the opportunity to eat pathogens, microbes or other assorted bacteria while studying about them. While the idea sounds pretty unsavory, I bet Nicolle remembers the difference between mitochondria, ribosomes and lysosomes because each had such a wonderfully distinct, fruit flavor!
Working as a CNA or a medical assistant requires a great deal of organizational skills and productivity. We all know how hard it can be to become – and then remain – super productive. That is why I want to share with our Allen School readers a great piece that was published over at www.lifehacker.com. In this piece, the author shares historical evidence of productivity secrets from none other than George Washington, our country’s first president. So successful was he at being on top of his game, that our country has flourished and grown into the the amazing place that we all call home today. Read the article here and take away as much wisdom as you can from our founding father. Be a leader in your own right as you embark on a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant or Medical Assistant.
So you’re about to complete your studies to be a Medical Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant or Medical Billing and Coding pro. Congratulations to you! Soon you’ll be finding a job. And when you do, despite the nature of the work after medical office assistant training, you’ll still be working in – wait for it – an office! As such, you’ll be subject to the same rules of workplace etiquette as those who work in every other kind of office environment.
As someone who has toiled in the fluorescent halls of nearly every kind of imaginable office, let me pass along a little wisdom that will help you avoid landing in hot water in your new office gig. The folks over at job board Monster.com published this great little piece about the 5 things you should never say in the office. High on that list is the old chestnut, “That’s not my job!” I cannot tell you how many erstwhile colleagues I witnessed utter this job-torpedoing four-word resignation. Another “no-no” utterance from the article is “It’s not fair!” Even shorter, at three words, this little sentence will also dramatically reduce the number of days you’ll likely spend in the employ of the office wherein you made that plaintive whine.
Here’s the whole article. Read up and avoid making these rookie mistakes in your first office ecosystem. Better to learn it here than learn it the hard way. I know, because I dropped a couple of these bombs myself as a green office denizen. I can attest to the negative influence on one’s earning ability these simple sentences bring. Just don’t do it!
Here at the Allen School Blog, we frequently shine the light on instances of people who began their careers as CNAs, medical office assistants or even medical billing and coding specialists, using this valuable training as a springboard for advancement through the medical industry ranks. There are those who even leverage their studies towards the end goal of one day becoming physicians. But a commenter on an earlier post made me aware of an interesting trend wherein some doctors are leaving the stress and demands of their jobs behind to instead take positions as nurses and medical billing/coding specialists. After all, some fields of medicine are particularly stressful. With the pay for medical billing and nursing jobs continuing to remain robust – and with their well-established knowledge of the field – it seems natural that some doctors may make the switch back to the lucrative and less psychically demanding field of medical office support. The hours are better, the pay is good and the working environment is much lower key than on the front lines of medical practice. Has anyone else heard of this trend? Here are links to a couple articles about this phenomenon.
The appalling and tragic attack on the Boston Marathon reminds us that whatever rivalries may exist between New York (home of the Allen School) and Boston on the ball fields and basketball courts, pale in comparison to the solidarity we all share as proud Americans. What harm was visited on them is visited on us all. As an institution that trains caregivers, we stand ready to provide all the care and support we can – physical, moral or spiritual – to our brothers and sisters in the city of Boston. Stand strong, we’re right here beside you in your hour of need.