Avoidable Mistakes at Medical Assistant Job Interviews

The Allen School blog frequently posts on ways to improve job interview performance, resume writing and other job search related topics.  The Allen School does a great job preparing people for new careers as medical office assistants.  Yet after graduation, there are another set of skills required to land a job; beyond the skills and practices you study to earn your certification.  The jobs search is almost a job unto itself and here the blog, we try to provide as much good information and support as we can.  The following information provides some information that I find to be very astute and more insightful than the typical information we typically see on this topic.

The article here from LiveScience via Yahoo! News provides a very interesting list of 6 mistakes you can avoid during your next job interview if you’re prepared in advance.  Here are the six mistakes:

Mistake No. 1: Pretending you can do it all
Mistake No. 2: Dismissing questions about social media.
Mistake No. 3: Bringing in negative energy.
Mistake No. 4: Overlooking interests and hobbies.
Mistake No. 5: Failing to research the company.
Mistake No. 6: Not asking questions.

You can read the elaboration on each mistake, why people typically make each one, and how to avoid falling into the same trap.  Read all about it and be well-prepared for your next job interview for medical assistant positions.

Windows 8 is Great for Online Medical Billing School

windows-8.1 for online medical billing classesAs we reported a few weeks ago, Windows XP operating system is about to fade out of existence.  With so many computers still running Microsoft’s most popular OS ever, this means many of the folks who studying medical billing and coding online using Windows XP computers have recently upgraded to a new system (or will be soon).  That can be scary.  Especially since, since they’ve still been using Window XP, that means they missed the incremental changes spread over the releases Microsoft issued between XP and the present (which includes Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and most recently, 8.1).

But fear not students of medical billing and coding school!  The new Windows 8.1 is actually pretty easy to use- some might even say ‘fun’ – even if you’re an XP diehard.  Microsoft built Windows 8 to act much more like a tablet, phablet or smartphone.  If you have an iPhone or an Android phone, you’ll intuitively understand the “Tiles” which are similar to the apps on your tablet.  What’s even more comforting is that the newest release, Windows 8.1 was issued specifically to restore some of the traditional Windows features that users complained were stripped out of Windows 8.  Things like a START button and right clicking of things have been restored in 8.1.  Overall, this blogger has found it to be the best of both worlds, tablet computing and classic Microsoft tools.

Bottom line, like anything new and different, it will take a little adjustment time, but if you’re being forced to upgrade by XP’s final log off, you’ll have even more fun studying online medical billing classes with 8.1!

Nursing Assistant Training is Tax Deductible

So, I was absorbed in my tax filing process using the TurboTax tax preparation software (no endorsement implied, it’s just what I use) when the words “Certified Nurse Assistant Class” jumped off the computer screen at me.  While I write about certified nursing assistant training regularly, I wasn’t expecting to see it in my tax software.  But there it was.

It was a question from another user asking the user support community if certified nursing assistant courses could be listed as deductions on her tax return.  The support representative had responded with the relevant link to the IRS publication that covers this question.  Sure enough, it revealed that the kind of studies you can engage at Allen School, from certified nurse assistant courses to medical assistant certification to medical billing and coding online, were all eligible deductions.  Now, I am not a tax expert by any stretch of the imagination.  And I don’t recommend taking these deductions without first making sure they are proper for you given your personal tax situation.  But it does seem probable that you can take this deduction.  Check with your tax preparer first or read the IRS information very carefully to make sure you qualify.

April 15 is right around the corner!  Good luck getting your taxes done and may your refund check be a fat one!

Buying a New Computer for Medical Coding Classes Online?

If so, you’ll be dealing with the issues surrounding what to do with your old computer.  Discussions on the technologies used to take our medical billing and coding online course are a regular feature of the Allen School Blog.  In these posts, we seek to provide good information to help our online students maximize their experiences studying by remote.  Today’s post deals with the best practices you should use when disposing of an old computer, tablet, handheld or other device.

As we shared in this recent post about the end of Microsoft support for Windows XP, it may be time for many people to bite the bullet and buy a new computer.  Yes, you can opt to purchase a newer operating system like Windows 7 or Windows 8.  But chances are, if your machine is running XP, its probably at least 8-10 years old.  And with a new OS costing close to $200 (and the prices of new computers lower than ever before) you may be better off simply purchasing a new machine that comes with the latest operating system pre-installed.  But what to do with the old machine and the likely sensitive personal data that may be stored in the memory banks therein?

Dan Tynan for Yahoo! Tech explains the five key things you must do to properly dispose of old computer gear without leaving yourself vulnerable to identity theft or polluting the environment. The five things are as follows:  Back it up, wipe it down, destroy it, recycle, keep records.  Click here to read the details from Dan’s article and protect yourself and the earth when it is time to upgrade your hardware.

Another Breakthrough in Medical Science

As a certified nursing assistant, you probably won’t be performing any brain surgery.  That said, it is still interesting to note whenever a breakthrough is achieved in the medical field.  As a member (or soon to be member) of this exciting career field, it should be a point of pride for you whenever such innovations occur.  For our part here at the Allen School blog, we always try to publicize these occurrences.

Today’s nifty news story comes from University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands where neurosurgeons completed the first successful skull implant using a large, 3-D printed skull.  The patient was a 22 year old woman with a bone disorder.  This step marks the opening of an exciting new frontier in medicine wherein 3-D printers can be used to fabricate replacement parts for the human body.

If you’re just completing your certified nursing assistant course with us, you’re at the beginning of a fabulous career during a period in history which will be replete with fantastic breakthroughs that would have been considered science fiction just a few short decades ago.

A Framework and a Dream – Succeed in your Medical Billing Education

There may be a thousand reasons not to do something.  But there’s only one reason why you should: because you’ve decided to do it!   Listen to those who tell you that becoming a medical billing specialist is too difficult or too costly and you’ll never know just how rewarding – personally and financially – it can be to earn a position in a stable and rapidly growing field. Sometimes, we all need some inspiration to overcome self-doubt, anxiety and other negative emotions that hold us back from achieving our true potential.

This is why I am pleased to share the following ten truly inspirational quotes with you.  The title of this post takes an excerpt from Michael Dell, without whose contribution to society (Dell Computers), I wouldn’t be writing this blog.  (Yes, I am using a Dell computer.)  He said something that is very applicable to those considering the study of medical billing and coding online with the Allen School.  He said, “You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.”   Studying to earn your medical billing certification with Allen School provides both the framework and the dream needed to launch yourself in an amazing new career.

The quote above from Michael Dell was number 5 on the list of Ten Inspirational Quotes published by the entrepreneurial folks at Inc. magazine.  Read the full list here.  It’ll get you pumped up to pursue your dream like never before!

Avoid “Email Fail” Seeking Medical Billing Specialist Jobs

Soon, another class of medical billing specialists will complete their medical billing classes online with the Allen School and gear up for the tasks of landing their first job in their new career.  They’ll be well prepared to perform at a very high level, having been trained by one of the top medical billing and coding schools in the country.  What they may not have been taught however, is how to avoid making mistakes in their approach to hiring managers.

For example, the very first step in a job hunt is to send email queries to hiring authorities, offering a resume and trying to get noticed over the other respondents to advertised job openings.  But did you know that this seemingly simple first step can truly hobble your efforts if done improperly?  Yes, it’s true.  There are some very common mistakes job candidates frequently make when sending out job search emails.  Learn what they are and avoid shooting yourself in the foot from the get-go!

Here are the four email fails reported by the folks over at the SavvyIntern blog.

  1. Your Resume Filename is… “Resume”
  2. Your Email Makes No Reference to the Open Position
  3. Your Email Has No Text
  4. You Tell Me You Have “All of the Right Qualifications” (Wrong!)

Visit their piece here for all the details on why each of these four common screw-ups make for bad job hunting mojo!

Affordable Nursing Assistant Courses and Affordable Medical Equipment

The Allen School Blog always keeps an eye out for stories of people doing amazing things in healthcare with very little resources.  Like the story we published about a Nigerian clinic operator who built an operable centrifuge out of a bicycle, or the doctoral student who developed a surgical suction device that could be manufactured and sold for a mere $3, today’s story offers the same spirit of frugal medical achievement.

Affordable nursing assistant coursesAccording to this story from ABC News, “Manu Prakash, a professor at Stanford University and his students have developed a microscope out of a flat sheet of paper, a watch battery, LED, and optical units that when folded together, much like origami, creates a functional instrument with the resolution of 800 nanometers – basically magnifying an object up to 2,000 times.”  This amazing idea and the ones referenced above prove that it doesn’t take a fortune to produce things that will help advance the cause of medicine and aid millions of people for decades to come.

Of course, the Allen School is also proof of that axiom.   The certified nursing assistant course is eminently affordable and produces hundreds of certified nursing assistants every year. Certified nursing assistants who go out into their communities and, over the course of their lifetimes in this compelling career, provide comfort, aid suffering and help thousands upon thousands of people to reach better states of health and wellness.

Lies Damage Your Job Prospects After Healthcare Training School

Like many students at the Allen School, perhaps you’ve decided to study medical assistant training or certified nursing assistant courses as part of a plan to switch career fields.  Yet, when you go out to seek your first new job in this exciting field, you’ll still need to include positions at your past employment on your résumé .  You may feel like you need to “fudge” a little, or embellish on your experiences.  Or maybe you wish to obscure the reasons behind gaps in your job history lasting more than a few weeks/months.  But be cautious in this regard.  Fibbing or even “creative explanations” on a résumé can often be easily uncovered by interviewers and the small white lies can wind up damaging your credibility and torpedoing your chances.

Yahoo’s Small Business Advisor published a list of 5 Lies that Damage Your Reputation.  They are:

  1. Hiding a Gap in Employment by Excluding the Months of Employment on Your résumé
  2. Hiding Why You Left a Previous Employer, or, Why You Were Let Go
  3. Hiding Information That May Show Up on a Background or Drug Screen
  4. Providing a Friend as a Manager Reference
  5. Falsifying skills you have or have gained in your past employment

Read the full article at Yahoo Small Business Advisor and then make sure you’re prepared with well-conceived, thoughtful responses to the questions that you feel inclined to avoid.  In this way, you’ll demonstrate that not only are a a well-trained certified nursing assistant or medical office assistant, but you’re also a person of integrity.

This is Why We Go to Healthcare Training School

Sarah is a reason to become a certified nursing assistantThere are many good reasons to get a nursing assistant education or to take medical assisting training: a stable career path, better compensation, strong employment numbers for the field.   Yet, there is no better reason to become a certified nursing assistant or a medical office assistant than for all the good you will be able to do for your fellow humans over the course of your career.

Here’s a story that reminds all of us of the human element and the rewards that far outweigh monetary earnings.  Little Sarah Murnaghan (and happy St. Patty’s to her) was born with Cystic Fibrosis and by age 10, her lungs were failing.  She needed a double lung transplant to survive.  After navigating serious legal issues surrounding the rules for transplant patients and age restrictions, she underwent a TWO transplant operations, as the first transplant was rejected.

Against all odds, physical, medical, legal and others, little Sarah has begun the arduous road to recovery.  Just recently, she took her first bike ride ever on a little pink bicycle, a marker signaling her return to “normal little girl” status – a huge milestone for a brave little girl and her long-suffering family.  None of this amazing story would be possible without the hard work and dedication of her surgeons, doctors, nurses, and the medical office staffs including certified nursing assistants and medical office assistants.  THIS is why we go to healthcare training school!