You’ve recently completed your certification in nursing assisting and you’re turning your attention now to landing nursing assistant jobs in your area. Here at the Allen School Blog, we’ve done a lot of writing about what to include in your job hunting resume and what NOT to put into it. After all, embellishing your resume in an attempt to get a leg up on the best available nursing assistant jobs is not only unethical, but it can have negative consequences for your ability to land a job in the future too. It’s a small world and bad news travels fast. But today, we’re gonna clue you in to some of the unethical (or at least questionable) tactics used by some employers as they seek to fill roles at the lowest possible cost. This is not to say that all employers are out to stiff workers with low wages. Yet, just as there are shady applicants claiming to have experience and credentials they don’t really have, there are also shady employers looking to get over on their workforce. Since you really want to avoid working for an organization with questionable ethics anyway, here are some things to look for during the nursing assistant jobs search which may be indicative of shenanigans. (These are excerpted from this excellent article at www.CheatSheet.com. 1. The phrase “income potential” This phrase attracts applicants by prompting them to imagine potential earnings beyond what is typical for the position. The CheatSheet says, “But typically, you’ll be let down. There are also several schemes and scams that will employ similar language, so if you see this phrase, proceed with caution.” 2. Impossible experience requirements Ever see a job listing that says, “Entry-level position — 2 years experience required”? Or how about a job asking for five years experience using a software tool that has only been available for three years? CheatSheet says, “This is a tactic used by some big corporations to sneakily cut down on costs to hire foreign labor. Essentially, they’re creating an impossible job to fill, so that they can dip into foreign labor markets in order to pay lower salaries.” 3. “Salary DOE” The CheatSheet correctly notes, “Just like “income potential,” “salary DOE” is another way for employers to be non-committal about how much they’re willing to pay for a particular position. While there are cases in which the salary does very much depend upon one’s experience, it’s a method of fishing around for potential employees at a discount. You can’t really blame them for that. But as a job seeker? Be aware.” 4. Advancement opportunities This commonly used term is designed to make candidates believe there is room for growth in the opportunity. Either room for promotion, or pay increases. Or at the very least, opportunity to gain practical skills you can take with you to the next job. However, many places are not the fertile ground for advancement they like to portray themselves as. To be sure you’re not getting taken for a ride with this promise, you should read reviews on Glassdoor or other sites. See what people who have worked or are still working there are saying. CheatSheet is right when they say, “If they’ve been stuck there for years with little, or no hope of advancement? Keep your job search alive.” You’ve earned a great credential as a certified nursing assistant. Make sure you find an equally honest opportunity for growth and advancement.
If you’re taking advantage of all the amazing benefits associated with studying medical billing online with the Allen School, you need to read this! Of all the amazing benefits of Medical Billing Online study, perhaps the most attractive is the freedom to study from the comfort and convenience of your own home. And if you’re like me, that means having a laptop connected to a wireless router so that I can work in the kitchen over morning coffee, in the sunbeam in the living room in the afternoon, and from the peace and quiet of my man cave in the evening when the family’s home and the noise level is high. But do you sometimes notice that your wireless signal isn’t strong as it should be? Or maybe you have signal but at some times, the pages load suuuuuper slowly? Ever wonder why and what you can do about this? Having a solid wireless connection is essential to medical billing online studies; especially if you want to use a laptop or mobile device. Sometimes our home networks are “pilfered” by neighbors or others in close proximity who simply notice an available wireless network. Of course, you should always keep your wireless network secure behind a password to keep unwanted users from “borrowing” your internet access. If you live in a city in an apartment, it is particularly important since there are so many people so close by who could pilfer your signal. The more people using your wireless router, the slower your browsing will be. Not to mention the other security risks inherent in allowing access to your network. If you live in a less populated area, it may not be as big a deal to secure your network, however, you’d be surprised how a neighborhood might leverage an open network. To find out who is connected to your network besides you, you can download a free piece of software called “Wireless Network Watcher” here. The simple tool will show you all the devices connected to your wireless network. If you notice devices connected that you’re not familiar with, then you know others are “piggybacking” on your signal at expense to you. For those of you with networks that are already secure, you might still notice that when you move to a different room to study your medical billing online, your signal slows. But if your network is secure, its not because of pilfered signal. It may simply be non-optimal placement of the wireless router within your home. Want to know where the dead zones exist in your home so you can place your router in a better position to cover the whole place in sweet, sweet internet signal? Dig this great article explaining how to download a free tool for mapping your wireless footprint.
You’re soon to complete your course of study with the Allen School and gearing up to go out and seek healthcare jobs in the marketplace. Whether you’re a newly minted medical billing and coding pro, a soon-to-be certified nursing assistant or a medical office assistant, networking is a crucial step in moving up the ladder from a good job to the next, better job and so forth. But networking isn’t just attending job fairs and handing out resumes or business cards by the hundreds. Neither is it posting all willy-nilly on boards like LinkedIn, Indeed and others. Of course, all these activities mentioned are part of networking to land more and better healthcare jobs. But its not just what you do to network, but how you do it! The key to successful networking is focusing on building relationships with people where there is a mutual opportunity for both parties to gain from the interaction. Simply accepting the networking requests of anyone who invites you to do so is a waste of time. Find people in hiring positions, or even in positions you’d like to hold within any given company or industry. Reach out to those folks and offer to help them support their efforts in any area they may be in need of help. Do it well, and you’ll build a network of folks who will be happy to help you with your job-related challenges when you need it. Be wary of connecting/networking with people who are only interested in what you can do for them. These people are a time sink and not likely to help you find your next healthcare jobs. Here are some networking tips from leading business minds: 1. Keep your network fresh and up to date – Jeff Ragovin, Former CSO, Salesforce 2. Focus on building relationships – Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative
3. Add value without expecting anything. – Jon Levy, Author and Renowned Influencer4. Network with people live, not just online. – Allen Lo, Google 5. Join Professional Groups. – Ines Gonzalez, Director at LinkedIn Share your most effective networking strategies in the comments to help the next generation of medical billers, nursing assistants and medical office assistants get a leg up in the field.
Ask a dozen computer users to sound off on their favorite web browser and you’ll likely hear hundreds of answers. The web browser is a piece of software that, when working as intended, mostly fades into the background of the online experience. But when it is not working well – loading pages slowly, rendering broken images, hanging up and crashing – it becomes very noticeable. For heavy users of internet, like folks studying medical billing online classes for example, having an effortless browsing experience makes a huge difference. So which browser is the best for students of medical billing online classes? There are numerous variables to consider. First, what are the options for people who may not typically concern themselves with the software running on their computers? Most internet users worldwide surf the ‘net using Windows Internet Explorer or ‘IE’. This is not because it is the best browser out there. In fact, most serious tech folks consider it to be among the worst performing browsers. However, since most computers worldwide come with Microsoft’s Windows operating system pre-installed, most computers come with IE loaded and set as the default browser from day one. People with a bit more familiarity regarding web browsing software may know about some of the competing browsers that have been fielded in recent years. These include Google’s ‘Chrome’ browser and the ‘Firefox’ browser from software company, Mozilla. Other popular options include ‘Safari’ (for Apple computer users), and newer players like Vivaldi and Opera. Which one is best for you when you’re taking medical billing online classes? Brandon Widder at Digital Trends published an exhaustive comparison to provide users with all they need to determine which browser they will give them the best mileage. Have a look at his article, “Battle of the browsers: Edge vs. Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Safari vs. Opera vs. IE vs. Vivaldi” to help make the decision that is right for you. To be clear, any of these browsers will suffice to serve as your portal to the study of medical billing online classes. But choosing the one you like best will make a great experience even better. Happy studying!
Done with your medical assistant training and ready to begin interviewing for your first medical assistant jobs? Then you’ll probably want to know the following tips for using the unspoken dialogue of body language to your advantage in the interview. Here are some tips for leveraging body language cues to help increase your attractiveness as a candidate for medical assistant jobs in the eyes of hiring managers.
1. Demonstrate your Excitement for the PositionBeing excited and enthusiastic is a great way to make a strong first impression on a hiring manager. It also provides you the opportunity to work your knowledge of the role into the discussion. If you’re in introverted person by nature, or just not comfortable with robust displays of emotion, just focus on remembering to smile. Nothing is more disarming than a simple, authentic smile.
2. Maintain the Right level of Eye-ContactNot too much or you’ll seem creepy or overly aggressive. But not looking people in the eye indicates deception or may simply make you seem less than confident about your abilities. Studies suggest meeting eyes about 60% of the time with your interviewer makes one appear friendly, interested and trustworthy. So the eyes have it!
3. Nod your headDon’t be a bobblehead, wagging your dome wildly. But do try and nod in an affirmative way when making your points to the interviewer about your qualification for the role and you will notice they’ll be inclined to nod back in kind. It is an affirmative gesture that people intuitively mirror leading to positive impressions.
4. Keep your Palms OpenEveryone intuits the negative or blocking energy from a posture showing crossed hands or clenched fists. These behaviors suggest a person is closed off to the ideas being discussed. Instead, keeping your hands open and palms upturned conveys trust and makes people better at ease. Here’s a link to a Forbes slideshow demonstrating 10 body language errors to avoid for some more help in preparing yourself for a medical assistant job interview. Good luck out there!
You’ve made the wise decision to study online medical billing classes with the Allen School. You’re ready to embark on a path toward better job security and pay. So why not take a few steps to protect your imminent earning power a bit more by lowering the cost of the cable internet subscription you’re using to study online medical billing classes? Here’s how you can interact with the billing people at your cable provider to gain a discount on your monthly cable bill. Step 1 – Review Your Current Package and Costs Determine what cable services you’re paying for (it may also include TV and phone). See if there are services you’re paying for that you aren’t using like certain movie channels for example. Also, determine if you can purchase your own cable modem instead of renting theirs every month. Perhaps you can do with a slower internet speed too if you’re only using it for web surfing and online medical billing classes. If you’re not gaming, you may be able to save by purchasing a slower speed connection.
Step 2 – Be Ready for Your Call Research what the competing cable providers in your area are offering for similar service. Knowing what lower cost competitors may be in your neighborhood can be a powerful negotiation tool. Also, if you’ve noticed a recent jump in your rate, make sure it wasn’t from the conclusion of a promotional rate you received when you first signed up. Step 3 – Call Your Provider Ask for the cable provider’s “retention department”. They’re the ones authorized to negotiate. Explain that you’re not able to continue to pay the high rate and that you’ve been talking to the competitor who offers similar service for a lower rate. Just make sure not to make threats to the people in retention. No one responds well to that. Be nice and they’ll likely lower your rate to keep you as a customer. Step 4 – Avoid the Upsell The retention person may first try to avoid lowering your rate by instead offering you more services for the same rate you’re already paying. A movie channel package or extra premium channels. Stay focused. You’re there to lower the bill, not accept more services. Courteously decline any such offers and reiterate that you’re in need of a lower payment. Step 5 – Be Diligent If the first rep you speak to won’t help you out, thank them kindly and then call back later. Speak to a different rep. Chances are, you’ll be able to negotiate a lower rate with a different person. It may take an hour or two to get it all done, but there’s nothing better than saving money on the tools you’re using to study your medical billing online classes.
In case you were worried about the job security that comes with a job as a certified nursing assistant, let us reassure you. The world is full of people willing to take exceedingly stupid chances with their health and physical safety. There’s absolutely no shortage of people who will need serious medical attention after doing all manner of moronic activities. We sometimes like to share these potential Darwin Award winners as proof that there will always be plenty of work for certified nursing assistants. From people trying to jump their motorcycle from rooftop to rooftop, to people trying to wrestle alligators, the world is full of folks with poor judgement and the injuries that almost always follow. Case in point: The woman in the video below drops her hat accidentally into the tiger’s cage at her local zoo. Typically, the large cats are kept well-fed and mostly docile. But in this video, it is clear that the zookeeper had yet to feed the Bengal tiger and this woman almost became the tiger’s lunch, all over an easily replaceable ball cap. You can hear the voices of astonished spectators who had some choice words for this foolhardy woman. She should take consolation in knowing the words cannot hurt her. Although a giant cat would’ve inflicted serious bodily harm upon her had she been caught before she could bound over the fence. The moral of the story is, if you’re seeking a career opportunity in a field where it is unlikely for economic shifts to negatively impact your employment, you should definitely consider taking the courses so many certified nursing assistants have already taken to embark on a new, stable and secure career. Folks like the woman in this video basically guarantee there’ll always be work available.
So, you’re considering taking online medical billing classes with the Allen School. That’s a wonderful idea, and one that leads to so many interesting and affirmative occurrences in your life. Online medical billing classes DO lead to the following:
- A new career
- Job security in a field noted for ongoing growth opportunities
- The freedom to study wherever you wish to be situated
- The freedom to work in any major US market
- Improved financial stability and security
- Annual median salary: $45,970
- Growth outlook: 5%
- Annual median salary: $23,210
- Growth outlook: 13%
- Annual median salary: $47,890
- Growth outlook: -3%
- Annual median salary: $21,670
- Growth outlook: 7%
- Annual median salary: $30,660
- Growth outlook: -1%
- Annual median salary: $27,936
- Growth outlook: N/A
- Annual median salary: $29,010
- Growth outlook: -11%
- Annual median salary: $37,200
- Growth outlook: -9%
- Annual median salary: $35,160
- Growth outlook: -4%
- Annual median salary: $36,390
- Growth outlook: -9%
Its a well-known medical fact that different foods have positive or negative impacts on cognitive abilities. According to nutritionists, these are the best kinds of foods and drinks to consume before taking exams that tax your thought processes. Medical assistant studies can be rigorous and demanding of one’s brain power. So here are some things we recommend chowing down on before you take your next medical assistant studies exams. According to test prep expert, Kelly Roell in an article at About.com, the following foods/beverages are best for test takers.
Brain Food #1: Green teaKey Ingredient: Polyphenols Test Help: Brain protection and mood enhancement According to Psychology Today, polyphenols, the bitter-tasting substance in green tea, can actually protect the brain from wear and tear. Plus, it helps dopamine production, which is key to a positive mental state. And really, when you’re going to take a test, you absolutely must have a positive attitude about it, or you’ll doom yourself to second-guessing, worry, and fear, which do not good scores make.
Brain Food #2: EggsKey Ingredient: Choline Test Help: Memory improvement Choline, the “B-vitamin”-like substance our bodies need, can help your brain do something it’s good at: remember stuff. Some studies have found that increasing choline intake can improve memory, and egg yolks are among the richest and easiest natural sources of choline. So scramble them up a few months before testing day to see if it helps you remember how to fill in an oval.
Brain Food #3: Wild SalmonKey Ingredient: Omega-3-fatty acids Test Help: Brain function improvement The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid found in the brain. Eating food rich in omega-3’s, like wild-caught salmon, can improve brain function and mood. And improved brain function (reasoning, listening, responding, etc.) can lead to a higher test score. Allergic to fish? Try walnuts. Squirrels can’t have all the fun.
Brain Food #4: Dark chocolateKey Ingredient: Flavonoids and Caffeine Test Help: Focus and Concentration We’ve all heard for a while now that in small quantities, 75% cacao content or higher dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and cholesterol because of its powerful antioxidant properties from the flavonoids. But one of the best uses of dark chocolate comes from its natural stimulant: caffeine. Why? It can help you focus your energy. Beware, though. Too much caffeine will send you through the roof and can actually work against you when you sit down to test. So eat the dark chocolate in isolation.
Brain Food #5: Acai berriesKey Ingredients: Antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids Test Help: Brain Function and Mood Acai has become so popular, that it seems cliché to want to consume it. For test-takers, though, the incredibly high antioxidant levels can help blood flow to the brain, which means in short, it’ll work better. And, since the acai berry has a ton of omega-3’s, it works on your mood, too, so you’ll be more confident of your abilities as you’re working your way through complex math problems. So, on test day, why not try a cup of green tea, some scrambled eggs mixed with smoked wild-caught salmon, and an Acai smoothie followed by a piece of dark chocolate? Worst case scenario? You’ve had a healthy breakfast. Best case scenario? You improve your testing score.
So you’ve completed nursing assistant training at the Allen School and you’re about to set out to land a new job in an exciting field. Or perhaps you’re long past having completed nursing assistant training and have already worked in a few places. Either way, there are things you should know how to avoid if you don’t wish to torpedo your chances during the all-important job interview process. After all, you won’t know if you blew the job interview. You just won’t get a call back. They certainly won’t call you back to debrief you on how/when you blew the opportunity. So here are some fantastic tips on ways hiring managers report, candidates take themselves out of the running; and often times not even knowingly. You Were Inflexible in Scheduling The interview is only a small portion of what is used to gauge your suitability. Many other factors – some overt and some intuitive – are factored into the decision to “hire” or “pass”. When called to schedule an interview, if you seem inflexible about the time they offer, it can be a serious strike against you. Yes, we’re all busy and perhaps the hiring manager offered a time you simply could not be available. Unless it is impossible, you should try to accept the time they wish to offer. If you cannot, be ready with several other suggestions for times that work for you so that you come across as both responsible and flexible. You Arrived too Early (or Late!) Everyone knows it is a dealbreaker to arrive at your interview late (especially without calling to let the interviewer know). But being too early is also a turn off for many hiring managers. Being there a half hour or more early is a bad plan. It conveys that you think the interviewer doesn’t have lots of other tasks to address. If you do arrive to early, it is best to wait outside until just 5 to 10 minutes before your appointment. Go sit in the park or have a cup of coffee instead of lingering on the waiting room couch. You Weren’t Cool to the Gatekeeper You may not know it, but receptionists hold a lot of power over your candidacy. They can (and often do) report on your behavior and attitude to the interviewer. So (and this really should go without saying) be courteous and friendly with reception. While waiting, be well-mannered. Don’t for example yak away on your cell phone. Be professional with a quiet air of dignity. You Used Your CV as a Script The CV (or resume if you prefer) is the tool that gets you the interview. It is not a cheat sheet for you to parrot back to the interviewer. They can read and have already reviewed what you wrote on your resume. Use the time instead to talk about how your qualifications and experience will bring value to the role you’re applying for. If you’ve just completed your nursing assistant training and don’t have much on the job experience to tout, talk instead about how you bring the same dedication and effort you brought to nursing assistant training to the tasks you’ll be assigned on the job. Failed to Ask Questions Most hiring managers agree that the candidate who doesn’t ask any questions when given the opportunity to do so is often not well-engaged with the opportunity. Don’t ask pointless questions either, just to have something to ask. Do your homework about the position, the company, etc., and then ask a few cogent, thoughtful questions. After all, before you’re hired is the right time to ask. Once you’ve accepted the job, should you encounter facets of the role that you find objectionable, it is too late to lodge complaints because you’ve already accepted the job and the terms.