The KFC Double Down, the McGriddle, the Quadruple Bypass Burger and now the Waffle Taco! Long time readers of the Allen School Blog know I have a predilection for reporting on the worst excesses of the American Fast Food industry, which seems to have no self control when it comes to developing foods that may ultimately kill their customers. I just find it almost comical the lengths to which fast food producers will go to stuff more fat, sodium, sugar and calories in their offerings with seeming disregard for the health consequences.
Today, Taco Bell joined the illustrious list of over-the-top fast food merchants with the announcement that it will be entering into the highly competitive “breakfast” segment of the fast food market with something called the “Waffletaco”. As the name implies, it is a taco-shell shaped Belgian waffle stuffed with sausage, egg and cheese and is intended to be topped with a torrent of maple syrup. Why am I appalled and intrigued at the same time? I know I should avoid this nutritional abomination like the plague, yet, I am oddly seduced by this siren song of breakfasty goodness.
Whether you favor or scorn such fanciful fast food creations, the bottom line is they must be good for business. The publicity these monster menu items produces is reason enough for these purveyors of heart disease to continue to try and one-up each other with ever more bizarre and unhealthy products. And what is good for their business also happens to be good for Certified Nurse Assistant schools like the Allen School. The contribution of the Waffletaco to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, sleep apnea and a host of other ailments keeps demand high for well-trained medical office assistants, certified nurse assistants and all other healthcare professionals! So bon appetit!
If you’ve been reading this blog over the years, you know I rarely (if ever) give any product or service endorsements (except to recommend particularly useful websites or particularly over-the-top fast food creations). But I feel like the experience I recently had buying a new laptop computer was worth sharing. Especially for those of you who are studying medical billing and coding online (or those who may be considering it.)
Did you know that most computer manufacturers sell “scratch & dent” and “refurbished” products through websites not typically connected with their main website? Yep. Its true. In the past, I have purchased machines from Dell Outlet, HP Outlet and just this week, “Lenovo Outlet” stores. I have purchased “scratch and dents” which, although it sounds scary, typically means nothing more than tiny cosmetic blemishes that aren’t even noticeable. Refurbs are almost always machines that were ordered, delivered and sent back because the buyer didn’t want it when it arrived (read: found a lower price elsewhere). Or perhaps there was a defective component when they buyer first booted the machine. So it is sent back to the factory where the original manufacturer’s technicians replace the faulty component, returning the machine to virtually brand-new status.
These “Manufacturer’s Outlet” sites sell these computers beginning at 50% off! And the deals get even better than that. I bought a refurbed Lenovo laptop with a touch screen, a superfast dual core processor (3Ghz), 6GB of RAM memory, DVD burner, webcam, Dolby speakers and Windows 8 operating system. It was a $1100 ,machine. I paid $388.00!
Studying online to earn your degree in medical billing is a smart way to go. Be smart about buying a good computer to support your studies.
Nursing assistant schools should expect to continue to be in high demand if its true what the World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting. According to a report from CNN, the WHO has been sounding the alarm that cancer is approaching global pandemic proportions with almost 1 in every 8 deaths worldwide attributable to the disease. Whether it is colon cancer in men, cervical cancer in women, or lung cancer among smokers, cancer is on the rise as more countries become industrialized and adopt Western lifestyles.
While this is truly ghastly news, it should be noted that one of the byproducts of this spreading disease is an ongoing, high demand for people with nursing assistant education and all other types of healthcare related workers. While many of the steps people can take to minimize their cancer risk (like quitting smoking and increasing physical activity) are not something a certified nurse assistant can influence directly, there are other things that require direct involvement of a nursing assistant. For example, vaccinations. Women can get vaccinated against HPV virus which is a precursor to cervical cancer.
In any case, the silver lining in this troubling story is particularly bright for those taking nursing assistant training with the Allen School.
Did you know that you can potentially lower your tax liability if you know what deductions you can claim on your tax return? As a careerist in the fields of certified nursing assistant or medical office assistant, there are a number of things you can write off if you’re filing an itemized tax return. Knowing what is an acceptable deduction (and what is not) is important though, so you don’t run afoul of IRS guidelines.
At the www.nursinglink.com website, they’ve published an article entitled, “Financial Tips for Nurses – Income Tax Deductions” which includes some interesting information about what may be acceptable tax deductions for folks working in the medical/healthcare field. Things like uniforms and equipment, licenses and training fees, travel expenses and other things typically experienced by CNAs and medical assistants are all examined and explained. Definitely worth a quick read as tax season is now upon us.
Yes, we all know taking medical billing classes online is a great way to insert career training into an already busy lifestyle. Even if you’re working a job (that you’re desperately trying to leave in favor of a rewarding career by earning a medical billing certification) you can easily study in your downtime, from the comfort of your own home. Yet, sometimes, you find yourself away from your own home and your computer.
Let’s say you’re visiting family out of town, or traveling for any reason. Did you know you can access your home computer using virtual desktop software? So even though you may be able to access your classwork from Aunt Betty’s computer, you still need access to your files and other course material which may be stored in your computer’s hard drive at home. There are numerous “desktop sharing” programs that you can use to gain access to your files from anywhere and without having to put them in a cloud based storage like Dropbox or some such.
The brilliant folks over at Lifehacker.com have done the homework for you (no, not the medical billing online homework) and reviewed the top 5 remote desktop sharing programs. Here’s a link to the article the produced sharing their findings. This blogger has used Team Viewer as well as Microsoft Remote Desktop (2 of the 5 listed) and has found them both to be easy and extraordinarily useful. Have a look at the article and if you’ve got a trip planned, know that you’ll be able to keep connected to your studies and anything else you may need to access while away!
I am not in the habit of repeating things fools say. But in this case I think I will have to make an exception. That is, I am happy to republish this piece originally printed at the website of the Motley Fool (www.fool.com) which is a well-respected site for investment advice. In the piece linked here, “fool” Patrick Morris lays out the jobs with the best prospects for the next ten years in terms of availability, stability and pay.
Not surprisingly, the perennial favorite for lists like this – registered nurse – made the top of the list. True to form, several other medical/healthcare industry careers made the list as well, a testament to the demand for workers experienced by a nation with a rapidly aging population. Also not surprisingly, nursing assistant was included on the list. Studying to become a certified nurse assistant is a very logical and low-risk/high-reward proposition. As the Baby Boomer generation continues to retire at a rate of several dozen per minute for the next ten years or so, there will be no shortage of patients seeking help for a multitude of ailments and illnesses associated with aging. If you’re holding a nursing assistant certificate, you’ll be well situated to be fully, gainfully employed. If you’re thinking about a new career, you should definitely consider the Allen School for nursing assistant training.
If you’re not aware of the issues of net neutrality, and you’re a student of medical billing education through Allen School Online, you should take a moment to read up on it because the courts are making changes to the laws that govern the way the Internet works. And while there may not be an immediate and present threat to your ability to study online, the potential for that to happen is being greatly increased. Start by reading this short piece from Wired.com on yesterday’s decision by a Federal appeals court to gut Net Neutrality regulations.
For those who just want the gist of it, here it is. Essentially, Net Neutrality meant that all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – you know them as Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and others – were legally bound to treat all web content equally. That is, until yesterday, the ISPs could not treat any website with preference over any other. So what?
Here’s an example. Let’s say your ISP is your local phone company or cable TV company. Let’s also say you decide to do away with your landline telephone service (or cable VoIP phone service) and instead use a web service like say Skype. Well, with Net Neutrality regulations removed, your ISP can now slow down (throttle) your connection to Skype, making it work poorly essentially forcing you back into using their service. Or let’s say to save money you decide to do away with Cable TV, “cutting the cord” and using Hulu and Netflix instead. Well, now, if your ISP is your cable company, they can throttle your connection to Hulu and Netflix so that the user experience is horrible. Then you’ll have to go back to them for TV and movies. The elimination of Net Neutrality essentially gives the telecoms all the power and eliminates your freedom of choice on the net.
If you believe in a free and unfettered Internet (and if you’re an online medical billing and coding student you probably do) you should be aware of the changes taking place and make your voice heard.
Way back in April 2010, I blogged about a student who invented a a suction device for surgical use that cost a mere $3 to produce, making a truly life-saving impact on the lives of folks living in the most impoverished places on Earth (like Haiti after the huge earthquake they experienced). This story perfectly illustrated how a student could make an outsized impact on the lives of millions and the medical treatment they may now receive as a result of one person’s efforts.
The above video shows another example of this maxim. This doctor, running a medical clinic in rural Nigeria, invented a simple device to perform the duties of a centrifuge which was critically needed but too expensive to purchase. Using bicycle parts and a lot of ingenuity, this rural doc was able to make healthcare happen for his patients.
If you’re studying to become a certified nursing assistant with the Allen School, you should be prepared for a career that holds the potential for success beyond simply learning the skills you’ll need to earn a good living and improve the lives of those around you. You’ll also be learning how to think outside the box and you will take with you – once you graduate – an ability to perform great acts in service of others.
Image courtesy of Accuweather
So, if you’re in the Northeast these past few days, you’ve encountered some subzero temperatures not seen in this region for more than 20 years. The meteorologist tells us we’re in the grip of a polar vortex, which sounds like something from a science fiction flick. But, if you’ve stepped foot outside in the last 72 hours, you know this is no fiction.
If you’re enrolled in online medical billing school with Allen School Online, it’s entirely possible (assuming your home was well stocked with groceries and you have a Netflix account) that you haven’t needed to set foot outside. Especially as, with temps this low, you may lose said foot to frostbite. Studying medical billing and coding online is a great way to greatly reduce the number of times one has to brave the elements; whether it be the crippling polar vortexes of winter or the blistering heat waves of summer.
Of course, if you’re not fazed by such ridiculously low temperatures, you could spend your spare time (after studies of course) to go surfing in Lake Michigan in minus 50 degree weather with these fellows of questionable sanity.
Today, the third day of 2014, begins with a snow storm and temperatures near the zero mark (and well below with added wind chill). If you’re not someone studying medical billing classes online with the Allen School, then you’re likely someone who has to put on 27 layers of clothing, dig yourself out from beneath a mountain of snow and ice and then take your life in your hands to get to wherever it is you need to go to study (or work) today.
Moreover, as Winter has really just begun with the Winter Solstice happening a few short weeks ago on December 21, we have much more brutal winter weather to endure before the season passes into Spring. If you’d prefer to study in the comfort of your own home, and if you are someone seeking a promising career in a stable and growing field, then you owe it to yourself (especially your frozen extremities) to look into the online medical billing and coding program at Allen School.