What Microsoft’s Purchase of Linkedin Means for Medical Office Assistants

You may have heard that Microsoft recently announced its acquisition of popular business-social network, LinkedIn for the princely sum of $26.2 billion.  Why should this matter to you as a medical office assistant training student with Allen School?First, if you’re planning to study (or complete your studies) with the Allen School and enter the workforce as a medical office assistant, you should familiarize yourself with LinkedIn which is a tremendous resource for job hunting, networking and burnishing your online reputation as a professional.   LinkedIn enables users to find available positions and even to see who they may know that work within an organization where a job may be available.  That kind of insider connection sometimes makes it easier to land an interview and even the position itself.  LinkedIn is a great place to keep track of the people with whom you studied medical office assistant training.  As everyone progresses through their career, those early contacts can become very valuable later in one’s career.  LinkedIn enables users to stay in touch with their classmates, and then later, with colleagues, former colleagues, employers, former employers and even recruiters.In addition, the site is an excellent place to stay abreast of trends and topics that are relevant to the industries in which you work.So, now that Microsoft has purchased LinkedIn, what can users expect from this new relationship?  According to popular techie website, TechCrunch.com, “Microsoft details how it plans to use LinkedIn’s social graph as an integrated selling tool alongside its existing CRM products (which are second to Salesforce in the market currently). That can help users find leads, open conversations and close deals.”Of greater relevance to medical office assistants, TechCrunch notes, “There are other elements of LinkedIn’s business that are interesting to consider in light of this acquisition. LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com, for example, to spearhead a move into offering online learning tools to users” which certainly has implications for online studies like the medical billing and coding classes offered by Allen School.  Most importantly though for medical office assistant trainees, the integration between LinkedIn and Microsoft promises to bring the productivity-boosting tools Microsoft is known for, together with the networking/recruitment and professional development functions for which LinkedIn is famous.  Taken together, this merger promises to make a more complete environment for users of all types to enjoy when it comes to finding jobs and performing on the job.

Tech Behind Online Medical Billing and Coding Classes Shouldn’t Be Barrier

So maybe you’re a middle aged person who has been downsized out of a job in a disappearing field like manufacturing.  Or perhaps you’re just tired of the long hours and abysmal pay of the retail and service sectors.  And you want to start a new career but don’t have time to attend classes at college given your age and levels of responsibility.  Maybe your niece suggests you look into online medical billing and coding classes.  “You can study on your own time schedule from your own location” she says.  But you’re not sure your computer skills are such that you’d be able to not only manage, but to learn the material using the virtual classroom environment.Stop worrying!  You can do this.   There’s nothing about online medical billing and coding classes – from the subject matter to the technical ability required – that you cannot handle.  Consider that many people your age working for NASA just succeeded in sending a probe to Jupiter, arriving after 5 years of travel and falling into a perfect orbit around the giant planet.  The science, technology and expertise needed to achieve this astonishing feat is orders of magnitude more difficult than earning your certification with the Allen School’s online medical billing and coding classes.  And if you think all the folks at NASA are young, tech-savvy Millennials, you’re absolutely wrong!Look, the bottom line is, if you’re using the internet and a browser like Internet Explorer or Chrome or Firefox to read this blog, you have all the technical ability you need to pursue a lucrative, stable new career in a field predicted to exhibit continued growth.  Take inspiration from NASA’s Juno probe that arrived today at Jupiter, 365 million miles from Earth.  Online medical billing and coding classes are simple compared to that great feat!  You can DO THIS!

Allen School Blog Wishes All a Happy 4th of July

To all the medical billing and coding online students,

To all the nursing assistant certification seekers,

To all the diligent medical office assistants out there,

From all of us at the Allen School Blog,Have a happy, safe and healthy Fourth of July.Happy Birthday America!

3 Good Questions in Medical Office Assistant Jobs Interviews

Going out into the field to land medical office assistant jobs can be a bit nerve wracking.  Actually, that’s true when interviewing for almost any job.  But, if you’re a person prone to proper planning – and it seems you are as evidenced by the fact that you studied at the Allen School before going out in search of medical office assistant jobs – you’ll probably like this list of three powerful questions to ask in your next interview.

‘Why is this position available?’

This question demonstrates a healthy level of curiosity and interest.  It is non-confrontational and at the same time, helps you to understand more about the history of the company and the position.  The answer you’ll get to this question will likely shed some light on whether the medical office assistant job you’ve applied for is the result of the company growing or because of turnover in the role.  Both of which are good things to know about the gig.

‘How does this job interact with the direction of the department and the company at large?

Asking this question will give you insight into the larger themes at play in the department where you’d be working and the company overall.  Understanding the broad, thematic forces driving the company’s direction (and the role of hiring within it) gives you better perspective on how to sell your skills in ways that are relevant to the job and the company.

‘What do you like most about working here?’

Enthusiasm is hard to hide.  Asking this question can often help you to decipher if the workplace is truly a positive, affirmative place.  If they place is a happy environment, you’ll be able to tell in the interviewer’s smile as they tell you about their favorite things regarding the workplace.  If they have very perfunctory and joyless responses, that can indicate the opposite.  Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” explains the benefit of asking this question.  “Are they thrilled about mentoring their staff, their product or service, the innovative atmosphere? Do they focus on only growth numbers and minimizing expenses, with no mention of the team, training, or growth opportunities? It gives you a sneak preview into your prospective manager’s priorities and all-important personality. This is where it pays to have your people radar up, to evaluate if this is a boss you can respect.”
Happy medical office assistant jobs hunting to all!

Fast Food that Doesn’t Provide Job Security to Certified Nursing Assistants

It has been over a year since this blog looked at gruesome fast food offerings.  For a while between 2011 and 2014, this blogger ran regular articles half-jokingly asserting that fast food restaurants in the US were actively working to ensure there was no shortage of demand for certified nursing assistants.  With each restaurant chain seeking to outdo the rest with ever-increasing odes to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, we gleefully reported on what seemed to be weekly additions to the deadly (if often delicious) one-upsmanship.This February 2014 post from the Allen School Blog does a good job of recapping the “best of the worst” from McDonald’s McGriddle, to the Heart Attack Grill’s literally deadly Triple Bypass Burger to KFC’s fried-chicken-cutlets-as-buns-on-a-bacon-sandwich Double Down.  While we were clearly having some fun with horrible food porn, it is still true that America’s obsession with fast food is among the leading causes of the ailments and afflictions we mentioned earlier.  And it is also true that the ongoing health implications of the American diet most certainly keep certified nursing assistants in high demand in the workforce.But times change and people change.  In the past several years since this blogger swore off the blogging equivalent of junk food (i.e. posts on these almost cartoonish foodstuffs), people’s attitudes toward dietary content have evolved.  And in response to changing market environments, the fast food industry seems to have embraced the changes as well.  Fast casual places like Chipotle Mexican Grill now offer healthier fare including brown rice, more fresh veggies, even a tofu product they call “Sofrito” – an option designed to be a replacement for heavier, fattier proteins like Pork Carnitas.  (Although Chipotle is still protecting job security for certified nursing assistants thanks to ongoing outbreaks of food borne illnesses for which they have been in the news in the past year.)Not to be left behind, granddad of all fast foods, McDonald’s has announced it is bringing the Lobster Roll back for the summer to markets in New England including New York, where the Allen School is situated.  Made with real lobster and fresh vegetables this sandwich weighs in at a mere 290 calories which is about half the calories of the Big Mac.  That’s about as close to health food as  McDonald’s can get.  But before you start to worry that this trend may take a bite out of job security for certified nursing assistants (take a bite, get it?) McDonald’s also announced the release of a Dr. Pepper and Softserve Vanilla Ice Cream Float!

Medical Billing Online Students, Update Windows or PAY!

For the past year or so, this blog has been periodically reporting on the new Windows 10 operating system and the saga of users being nagged to death to take the free update.  If you have been procrastinating and trying to avoid updating the computer you use to study medical billing online classes, there’s good news and bad news.  The good news is, soon, the nagging will stop.  Microsoft has announced the free update period for accepting the upgrade to Windows 10 will end on July 29.  The bad news is, if you neglect to accept the free update by that date, it will cost you around $200 to upgrade at any point in the future.Medical billing online classes require a student to have a good, dependable computer that runs efficiently.  It makes online learning all the easier.  Having a slow, glitchy machine can make the medical billing online study experience a frustrating one.  So it seems like a good idea to upgrade to the newest, fastest version of the Windows operating system.“But we don’t want to change and deal with all the hassles that involves” say many computer owners.  While it is true, there is always some challenge to be expected when one does a large scale upgrade to their systems, this blogger can attest to the relatively painless process upgrading to Windows 10 involves.  I have upgraded several of the computers in our offices here at the Allen School Blog and can tell you that most of the update happened overnight, leaving the new operating system ready to use the next morning.  For the most part, the Windows 10 OS is intuitive and takes the best of Windows 7 (which most everyone loved) and Windows 8 (which most everyone hated) and rolls them into a single, effective OS.Windows 10 reinstates the “Start Menu” which had been stripped out of Windows 8 to the chagrin of many users.  It also reduces the prominence of the “tiled” interface which most people hated about Windows 8 as well.  The tiles can still be seen under the Start Menu for those who favor them (typically those with touch screen interfaces on their computers).  Windows 10 also comes with Cortana, Windows’s version of Siri (the artificial intelligence assistant offered with most Apple operating systems) and numerous other productivity boosting bells and whistles.The time is running out to update for free.  So what are you waiting for?

Allen School Blog Stands with Orlando

Tragically, this blog marks the grim news of the 50 killed and 53 injured in this country’s latest instance of gun violence.  We here at the Allen School Blog stand in solidarity with the LGBT community of Orlando, Florida and all members of that city grappling with the unspeakable hatred and evil that has been inflicted upon all of us as Americans.Whether these senseless killings were driven by religious fundamentalism, or hatred against people for their sexual orientation, the fact is that it was an act of pure malevolence.  There can be no room in a free society for those who would seek to impose their will or viewpoints upon others at the point of a gun.  As the details continue to trickle out, let’s all. as Americans, treat one another with dignity and respect, and to resolve our differences without resorting to prejudice, enmity or violence.  

Congrats to Allen School Grads

The current crop of Allen School students graduated over this past weekend.  Let’s all wish these newly certified nursing assistants, medical office assistants and billing and coding agents the best of luck as they make their way toward the future.  Here’s a link to the Allen School Facebook page with some pics from the graduation ceremonies.  We know you’re going to be most successful in your new careers.If you are someone who is considering a new career as a certified nursing assistant, a medical office assistant or a medical billing and coding professional, get started today with your enrollment.  New classes are beginning soon!

Should Medical Coding Online Students Buy Computers on Craigslist?

Decided to begin a new career by taking medical coding online studies through the Allen School? That means you’re going to need a good computer to access the course materials and other activities involved in medical coding online studies.  You may be considering buying a second hand computer as away to save some money.  Not a bad idea.  Many people turn to online classified website, www.Craigslist.com for the wealth of sellers and options.While most of the millions of Craigslist users never have a bad go of it, there are some bad actors that lurk on those pages.  Consider the case of this one fellow who ran across a known filer of frivolous lawsuits.  The seller simply wanted to sell a used computer printer for $40, and after years of legal wrangling, wound up having to pay the scammer a $30,000 judgment.But don’t let this story scare you away.  Craigslist can be a great place to find a good desktop or laptop computer for far less than it would cost to purchase one new.  But make sure to follow these suggestions for being careful buying from private sellers who aren’t obligated like a commercial seller to ensure you’re treated fairly.
  1. If it seems to good to be true, RUN!  Nobody is ever going to sell you a $3000 laptop for $200.  EVER! Ridiculously low asking prices are often indicative of stolen goods.
  2. Avoid buying from Craigslist sellers far from where you live.  Better to find someone near you so that you can examine the items in person before handing over the cash.
  3. Meet sellers in well-trafficked public places like a coffee shop, or a public library or other public building.  That way you lessen the risk of being scammed and you have a place to test the item before concluding the transaction.
  4. Never send anyone money via wire or Paypal or any conveyance.  Always do business with Craigslist sellers in person or don’t do it at all.

Never Forget!

To all those who’ve served.  To all those who’ve fought and died to protect freedom and the American way of life.  For all those families who paid the ultimate price for our collective good.  Today, we remember all that you’ve done.  We pause to reflect on your courage, sense of patriotism, selflessness, dedication, conviction and love.  For you truly define what it is to be an American.  We salute all our fallen soldiers and all those who aspire to service.  Thanks for all you’ve done!  Happy Memorial Day from all of us at the Allen School of Health Sciences.