3 Reasons for Older Workers to Embrace Medical Assistant Training

older nursing assistantTaking medical assistant training with the Allen School is a good strategy for young people who wish to embark on a lifelong career in the healthcare industry.  However, for people 50+ years old, taking medical assistant training is also an attractive option.  A recent USA Today article reporting on an AARP survey illustrates why folks in the middle of a lifetime can benefit from a significant career change, leaving behind work in wholly unrelated fields in favor of medical assistant training and other healthcare related jobs.

It is not a secret that the employment market has lately favored the younger worker for his/her willingness to work for less, leaving many middle aged workers unemployed for long stretches of time thanks to the economic downturn.  The AARP survey of 2,492 people, ages 45 to 70, who had been unemployed at some time during the past five years showed that people who were unemployed for a longer period were more likely to take a job in a different occupation than those who were unemployed for a shorter time.  Careers in medical assisting are a good choice for more seasoned workers looking to transition into a new field and here are three reasons – based on the AARP survey data – why this makes sense.

1)  Better Pay – 51% of respondents to the AARP survey said they earn more in their new jobs than their old.

2)  Better Work Environment - About half (49%) of re-employed workers say their working conditions at their new jobs are better than the jobs that left them behind

3) High Job Availability – 71% of the respondents said the biggest barrier to landing a new job is that there are none available; 60% reported the need to stay in the area where they currently live; 57% said that employers think they’re too old.  The medical field is one of the most robust sectors of the economy and will remain so for at least a decade according to US Dept. of Labor statistics and there is a need for healthcare in all 50 states.  Older workers beginning new careers in this exciting field can easily find work wherever they live and there are always positions in solid supply.

If you’re an older worker considering a new career path to get back into the workforce, medical assistant training could be the option for you.


Tax Deductions for Nursing Assistant Training School Expenses

Tax Deductions for Nurse Assistant Training SchoolYes indeed, that dreaded time is rapidly approaching us all again.  Tax time.  That time of year when – in a furious run up to April 15 – we all freak out trying to find receipts, make accurate calculations, gather our tax documents and get it all ready to report to the IRS.

If you were enrolled in nursing assistant training school at any point in 2014 (or any post-secondary educational institution) you’re probably eligible for some tax deductions related to your studies that can help lower your tax liability.  It could even help increase your tax return!

But you have to be careful to make sure you’re taking deductions you’re entitled to and avoiding ones that you’re not entitled to.  Now, as a lowly blogger, I am certainly no tax expert.  Nor is the Allen School Blog making any formal financial recommendations to our readers.  That said, I will point you toward the following page from the tax experts at Intuit’s TurboTax tax preparation service.  They have put together a rather exhaustive list of what you may be able to deduct and what common deduction mistakes to avoid.  The TurboTax article answers important and pertinent higher education tax questions as:

  • Which expenses qualify?
  • What if I receive grants or scholarships?
  • Who qualifies?
  • How much can I deduct?
  • and more!

Read it and get the most out of your tax return this year!  Whether you’re enrolled in nursing assistant training school, online medical coding classes, medical assistant training or any other higher educational endeavor, remember, April 15th is the deadline for filing so get a jump on it by starting today!

(Full disclosure: This blogger has been using TurboTax for years with positive results.)

The Bug Infecting Medical Coding Online Students

Infected Browsers Ailing Medical Coding Online StudentsYes, cold and flu season is still lingering with the unseasonably cold weather here in the Northeast.  So it may be true that students studying medical coding online with Allen School could be fighting off aches, coughs, sneezes and all the misery that these wintertime ailments bring.  But that’s not the kind of bug we’re talking about today.  We’re talking software virus “bugs”.

Almost as misery-inducing for the medical coding online student is the computer virus.  Once infected the online student’s computer will be just as knocked out and immobilized as the student would be if infected with influenza.  Particularly vulnerable to infection and hacker attack is the web browser.  Yes, the browser, the vehicles we all use to surf the net – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) represent a way in for malicious hackers to infiltrate your machine, often rendering it unusable.

We know that all browsers are susceptible to infection particularly well because of the Pwn2Own Hacking Competition wherein hackers gather to (legally) exploit the weaknesses in all internet browsers.  The browser companies sponsor the event as a way to learn where vulnerabilities lie in their products and (hopefully) make them stronger and more secure for users like students of medical coding online and other internet denizens.

Security website Threatpost reported on this year’s competition winner, a Korean hacker named Jung Hoon Lee:

“The story of the day was Korean researcher Jung Hoon Lee, who worked alone under the name lokihardt and earned the single highest payout for an exploit in the competition’s history, a staggering $110,000 in just two minutes.

Using more ht2000 lines of code, Lee was able to take down both stable and beta versions of Chrome by exploiting a buffer overflow race condition in the browser. He then used an info leak and race condition in two Windows kernel drivers to secure SYSTEM access. The standalone Chrome bug fetched Lee $75,000 while the privilege escalation bug scored him another $25,000. To finish it off Google’s Project Zero, as it usually does when Chrome is hacked at the event, paid Lee an extra $10,000.”

The takeaway message from this interesting slice of high tech intrigue is this: MAKE SURE YOUR ANTI-VIRUS AND FIREWALL PROTECTION IS UP-TO-DATE AND FUNCTIONING PROPERLY!



Repetitive Stress & Dragon Slaying Injuries Can Cost You a Nursing Assistant Job

Nursing assistant certification is like slaying a dragonSay what bloggerman?!?  Let me explain!  Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace, a human resources industry think tank recently published an interesting post on LinkedIn.  (Editor’s note: If you’re not using LinkedIn for your career development, you’re missing out!)  Liz explained the two most costly mistakes most people make when searching for a job.  As a recent recipient of nursing assistant certification from the Allen School, you should sit up and take note because you’ll have lots of opportunities to go to job interviews with your newly earned credential.

The first of Ms. Ryan’s two costly mistakes is what I like to call a “repetitive stress injury”.  No, not the dreaded tennis elbow or tendonitis.  I am talking about the mistake many job seekers make of building one résumé and then using it to apply to all the jobs they wish to interview for.  This is a big mistake.

Ryan says, “You have to customize your résumé to showcase your stories and experiences that are most relevant to the specific job you’re applying for.”

Certainly core pieces of your résumé  can be repurposed from one opportunity to the next.  However, key pieces of it should be modified and slanted specifically to address functions relevant to the specific job you’re applying for. 

“You’ll change the summary at the top of your résumé every time you apply for a job, to make it clear to your hiring manager that although you’re good at lots of things, at this moment in time you’re conveying your expertise in one area in particular — the one your manager is most likely to care about,” writes Ryan.

The second mistake according to Ryan is the failure to share your dragon-slaying stories.  Ryan explains that all companies have typical challenges and pain points which they experience day to day.  Ryan says to have your “dragon-slaying stories” — instances where you overcame particularly vexing or challenging problems — ready to share with hiring managers. “Develop your Dragon-Slaying Story list,” advises Ryan, “and focus on Pain rather than the bullet points in a job ad or your own done-to-death list of Skills!”

Take these two simple but important pieces of advice to heart and you’ll avoid two of the things that regularly cost candidates the job.

Online Medical Billing Classes Unimpressed by New Record

snow doesn't impact medical billing classes onlineDid you know that you don’t have to live in the NY Metro area in order to take online medical billing classes with the Allen School?  Yep, its true!  You could live in Albuquerque, Alabama, Alhambra or even Alaska and earn your certification as a medical billing and coding professional with Allen School Online from wherever you happen to hang your hat.

If where you happen to hang your hat happens to be in the City of Boston, MA, then some congratulations are certainly in order.  It seems that along with the last snowfall in Beantown, fell the City’s record for snowfall which as of this Sunday reached 108.6 inches for the Winter 2014-15 season, topping the earlier record of 107.6 inches set in 1995-96, according to the National Weather Service in Taunton.

That’s a lot of snow for Bostonians to dug out of and trudge through on their way to school, work or both.  But not if said Bostonians were studying online medical billing classes online with Allen School.  Those students would be far less impressed with the record snowfall because they’d have much less need to get out of their houses for school.  Instead, they could simply whip up another batch of hot chocolate, flip open the laptop and get right to work studying for a new and exciting career while they wait for the valiant men and women of the Boston Public Works department to plough, shovel and salt the roads.

So the bloggers here at the Allen School Blog offer congrats to Boston on setting this impressive record.  Online Medical Billing Classes however, remain unimpressed!

Salary Negotiation Tips for Post-Healthcare Training School Job Hunt

post-healthcare training school salary negotiationSo you’ve completed healthcare training school at Allen School and you’re ready to look for your first job.  Or perhaps you finished healthcare training school some years ago and you’re looking for a position with a leg up now that you have some practical work experience to put on your resume.  Either way, negotiating your salary with hiring agents is always a tricky task.

The old axiom dictates that “he who answers first, loses in the negotiation” with respect to how much the job will pay. They will surely ask you what you’d like to earn.  Answer with a number lower than they were prepared to pay and you’ve beat yourself out of some money.  So how do you get them to tell you what they are prepared to pay without coming off confrontational or difficult?

There are several strategies you can use to try and get the hiring agent to let you know what the job pays before you reveal what you need to earn.  There’s the Noel Smith-Wenkle Salary Negotiation Method which provides strategies to avoid ever giving your number first.  Then there’s the Jack Chapman Salary Negotiation Method which has a technique known as “the flinch” which is pretty clever.  Learn more about both these methods as well as plenty of other salient salary negotiation tips at this excellent post from LifeHacker.com.

Then get out there and get paid as much as you’re worth for having completed healthcare training school.

The Noel Smith-Wenkle Salary Negotiation Method

Medical Assistant Training is Key to Avoid Vanishing Jobs Syndrome

medical assistant training for jobs that won't vanishThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported that all the jobs lost during the Great Recession have been recuperated as of this year.  However, not all the new, “replacement” jobs are returning in the career areas from which they were originally lost.  In fact, there are 10 middle class careers that are on the brink of disappearing forever.  Either through obsolescence, outsourcing or automation, the following 10 jobs are going the way of the Dodo.  What’s important to notice however, is that not a single one of these jobs falls in the field of healthcare.  This is a good indicator of job security for those who are considering taking medical assistant training as a doorway into the healthcare field.

10. Couriers and messengers
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -11.1%
> 2012 employment: 98,200
> 2012 median annual wage: $25,440

9. Switchboard operators, including answering service
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -13.2%
> 2012 employment: 131,000
> 2012 median annual wage: $25,370

8. Reservation agents and travel clerks
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -14.0%
> 2012 employment: 139,100
> 2012 median annual wage: $32,400

7. Door-to-door sales workers and news and street vendors
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -15.3%
> 2012 employment: 92,700
> 2012 median annual wage: $21,470

6. Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -15.9%
> 2012 employment: 74,900
> 2012 median annual wage: $32,330

5. Information and record clerks
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -16.7%
2012 employment: 188,900
2012 median annual wage: $37,240

4. Computer operators
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -17.0%
> 2012 employment: 74,600
> 2012 median annual wage: $38,390

3. Data entry keyers
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -24.6%
> 2012 employment: 220,300
> 2012 median annual wage: $28,010

2. Word processors and typists
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -25.1%
> 2012 employment: 104,400
> 2012 median annual wage: $35,270

1. Postal service clerks
> Projected employment change, 2012-2022:
: -31.8%
> 2012 employment: 66,900
> 2012 median annual wage: $53,090

Click here to read the full post from Yahoo! Money including the particulars of each of the above-listed jobs and why it is headed toward oblivion.  Then give some serious thought to enrolling for medical assistant training and entering a field projected to grow through the next decade and beyond.  And if you’re a worker in one of the fields mentioned above, medical assistant training may be the perfect escape hatch for you to avoid unemployment.

More Evidence of Job Security for Nursing Assistants

The original “Evidence of Job Security” post was so well received, we decided to make a regular feature of it.  Here are some more people proving that nursing assistants will continue to be in very high demand for the foreseeable future.  So if you’ve been considering taking nursing assistant training but wondered about the prospects for employment over the long term, worry no more!

Motorcycles are a predictable source of injury sending hundreds of thousands of Americans to emergency rooms every year, but these two foolish riders take the danger to a whole new level.

nursing assistants standing by to put this moron back together

mad moto 3

Some motorcycle enthusiasts may be better off watching from the sidelines.  Ouch!  That’s gonna definitely leave a mark!

mad moto 3

Of course, “Full Contact Extreme Limbo” is another questionable activity causing people to find themselves in need of medical attention.  mad limbo

Any way you look at it, the world is full of people with poor judgment, ensuring the medical industry will remain the powerful job creator it continues to be.  Sign up today to become a certified nursing assistant!


Yahoo’s Milestone is one for Online Medical Billing Classes Too

20 years of medical billing classes onlineThose readers who are taking online medical billing classes as they begin their adult career lives grew up in the internet age and have little to no memory of the dark ages before the information superhighway.  For those readers who are taking online medical billing classes as part of a mid-life career change, prepare to feel old.  One of the foundational sites in the history of the internet – Yahoo! – turns twenty today!

It may be hard to think of another site more closely associated with so many things internet related.  Yahoo! was the early search leader (before Google grew into the juggernaut it is).  Yahoo! was also one of the first sites to aggregate content – news, weather, finance, entertainment, etc.   It is still the chosen homepage of millions of users worldwide.

At around the same time Yahoo! hit the scene, the newfangled internet was delivering another very important innovation to the world.  That is, the ability to cut the moorings of the educational process with the advancement of online study.  The internet brought learning from the “dirt world” campus/classroom paradigm into the study from home era.  What many of our students take as an article of faith today – that they can study medical billing and coding at exceptionally flexible times and places as dictated by their otherwise busy lives – was not an option before the birth of the modern internet as we now know and love it.

So as we take this opportunity to wish Yahoo! a happy 20th Birthday, we should give thanks for the role the internet plays in our ability to study medical billing and coding from the comforts of our living rooms, favorite coffee shops or anywhere we so choose.

The Medical Assistant Job You Lose May Be Your Own

be nice medical assistantNowhere is it more important to manage one’s temper and overall demeanor than in the role of medical assistant.  Medical assistants as well as most other healthcare career positions require a well-cultivated bedside manner.  After all, medical assistants and their colleagues routinely deal with people at their most vulnerable.  This would be difficult enough if not compounded by the fact that patients are often in a bad frame of mind precisely because they’re feeling vulnerable (not to mention the discomfort of their ailments).

Like any other fields that require direct service to the public, medical assistants must become very good at maintaining their composure, even in the face of anger. nastiness, impatience and other negative emotions that may be inadvertently directed toward them during the course of their workday.  Dealing with this is not necessarily something included in medical assistant training.  But failing to manage one’s temper can certainly come back to haunt a person.

This particular example illustrates the worst case scenario in this regard.  The story involves a man riding the Tube (the subway) in London one morning commute, when he finds his path is blocked by another man in the crowded train car.  The first man shoves his fellow “Tube” rider aside to pass by and lobs an “F-bomb” toward this obstructing fellow so as to punctuate his anger.   Later that day, upon arriving at a job interview, the angry rider came to the shocking realization that his interviewer was the very same man he’d cursed at in the Tube that morning.

Moral of the story?  Learning to moderate one’s temper has a direct effect on one’s ability to land and maintain a job.  This is true in all fields, but especially true in the medical field.  Be nice to one another out there!