Lies Employers Tell Nursing Assistant Jobs Seekers

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.

 


Medical Billing Online Students, Protect Your Network!

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.


Networking Best Practices for Healthcare Jobs

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 Influencer

4. 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.


The Best Browser for Medical Billing Online Classes?

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!


Nursing Assistant Training: Not Too Late to Achieve Career Greatness

Making significant achievements is not an activity strictly reserved for the young.  You may have worked for a decade or more in a field you find unrewarding and unprofitable.  But just because you’re no longer college aged and fresh faced, that you cannot turn over a new leaf and engage in some nursing assistant training to land a job in a field you will find rewarding both emotionally and financially.  Nursing assistant training can be taken by the young and the old alike and both age groups will find plenty of work available to them when they complete their studies.

Don’t believe that you can begin something like nursing assistant training at a later point in your life?  Think achievement is only for the youngsters?  Consider seasoned NY Mets baseball player Bartolo Colon.   Colon is set to turn 43 on May 24 and had never hit a home run during his long career in Major League Baseball.  Yet, this past weekend, Colon drilled one against Padres right-hander James Shields, blasting a two-run homer into the left field seats at Petco Park in San Diego.  In so doing, Colon became the oldest player in MLB history to hit his first career homer.

What are you waiting for?  If you’re sitting on the bench worrying that you’re too old to make a huge event occur in your life, think about Bartolo Colon and step boldly to the plate to take your swing.  Allen School is here to help you knock it out of the park!


Body Language Tips for Landing Medical Assistant Jobs

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 Position

Being 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-Contact

Not 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 head

Don’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 Open

Everyone 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!


Ransomware: At the Nexus of Medical Office Assistant Training and IT

An interesting story rests at the intersection of medical office assistant training and IT-centric activities like online medical billing.  According to news reports, MedStar, a health network of 10 Maryland hospitals, was  struck by a ransomware attack last week.  What’s ransomware?  If you’re soon to complete medical office assistant training or online medical billing classes, you’re on your way into career positions that require you to be knowledgeable almost as much about IT as medicine – ergo you MUST learn about ransomware so you can help keep it away from the computer systems in the offices where you’ll be employed.

Ransomware is a type of virus that is delivered via an email.  Typically, the email has what looks like a legitimate purpose, with a seemingly innocent subject line.  Many victims report the email subject says “Invoice Inside – Please Remit”.  Inside the email is an attachment that looks like the invoice.  When the diligent medical office assistant opens the attached invoice to process it, the virus is inserted into the computer.  The virus immediately shuts the use out of the computer and will not allow the user re-entry until a ransom is paid to the hackers.

This article from techie site ArsTechnica details the failure of MedStar IT personnel to properly guard against this form of cyberattack.   While MedStar was able to gain reentry to its entire network of infected computers without paying the hacker’s ransom, there was still a good deal of waste and headache caused by the event which idled the company’s workforce for a period of time while the issue was sorted out.  Obviously, this is something that any organization would rather avoid than figure out the hard way (like MedStar).

It pays for people like you taking medical office assistant training to educate yourself on computer systems and IT considerations like this.  You needn’t be a geeky propeller-head or a serious computer nerd.  But knowing about tricky virus scams like this – and how they’re communicated – can really be a lifesaver (no pun intended) when your office is confronted with attacks like this.  Be aware of emails with attachments from senders you’re not familiar with.  Don’t be afraid to show anything suspicious to IT team workers if you think there’s a chance it is a scam.  The life you save may be your computer’s.


Reducing Cable Bills for Online Medical Billing Classes

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. 

Job Security for Certified Nursing Assistants

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.

tigers make work for certified nursing assistants


Online Medical Billing Classes DON’T Lead to This

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:

  1. A new career
  2. Job security in a field noted for ongoing growth opportunities
  3. The freedom to study wherever you wish to be situated
  4. The freedom to work in any major US market
  5. Improved financial stability and security

There are some things which online medical billing classes DON’T lead to.  For example, according to the Money and Career Cheat Sheet at www.CheatSheet.com, there are 10 “worst jobs for 2016”.  You’ll note that not a single one of them includes medical billing and coding.  The top 10 worst jobs for 2016 are:

10. Firefighter

  • Annual median salary: $45,970
  • Growth outlook: 5%
  • Annual median salary: $23,210
  • Growth outlook: 13%

8. Advertising sales person

  • Annual median salary: $47,890
  • Growth outlook: -3%

7. Retail sales person

  • Annual median salary: $21,670
  • Growth outlook: 7%

6. Pest control worker

  • Annual median salary: $30,660
  • Growth outlook: -1%

5. Enlisted military

  • Annual median salary: $27,936
  • Growth outlook: N/A

4. Disc jockey

  • Annual median salary: $29,010
  • Growth outlook: -11%

3. Broadcaster

  • Annual median salary: $37,200
  • Growth outlook: -9%

2. Logger

  • Annual median salary: $35,160
  • Growth outlook: -4%

1. Newspaper reporter/print

  • Annual median salary: $36,390
  • Growth outlook: -9%

As you can see, all of these jobs come with negative growth outlooks.  So why not choose online medical billing and coding classes with the Allen School as a means to securing a great career with a bright future?