Eat This Before Medical Assistant Studies Exams

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 tea

Key Ingredient: Polyphenols Test Help: Brain protection and mood enhancementAccording 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: Eggs

Key Ingredient: Choline Test Help: Memory improvementCholine, 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 Salmon

Key Ingredient: Omega-3-fatty acids Test Help: Brain function improvementThe 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 chocolate

Key Ingredient: Flavonoids and Caffeine Test Help: Focus and ConcentrationWe’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 berries

Key Ingredients: Antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids Test Help: Brain Function and MoodAcai 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.

Job Interview Torpedoes for Nursing Assistant Training Grads

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 SchedulingThe 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 GatekeeperYou 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 ScriptThe 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 QuestionsMost 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. 

How Market Leaders Got their Names

Do you know how market leading technology organizations like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Apple, Samsung and others got their names?  Just like the Allen School Online for medical billing and coding classes online, the reasons behind some of these well-known brand names are often interesting stories.Apple got its name because Steve Jobs liked apples and suggested the name for the fledgling company after returning from a trip to an orchard.  He also liked it because it put his company before his former employer (Atari) in the phone book.Google was chosen as the way most people would likely spell the word “googol”.  Googol is an immense number (1 with 100 zeroes after it) that Google’s founders likened to the vast amount of information their search engine would give access to.Yahoo! was simply an acronym for, “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.You can read about the origins of many more tech company names at this nifty article from Yahoo! Tech.Here’s some information on the origins of the Allen School and Allen School Online for medical billing and coding classes online.

Allen School for Physicians’ Aides (the original name of the institution) was first incorporated in December, 1961 for the purpose of providing residents of the Jamaica, Queen’s area with a quality professional institution offering Allied Health Programs. The first graduating class was in June, 1962. Loretta Teich, purchased the institution on January 31st, 1980. Mrs. Teich owned an employment agency and found that applicants were not properly prepared for careers and lacked the appropriate skills necessary to enter the workforce. She decided to explore the possibility of being involved in skills based training to enhance the ability level of the applicants with whom her agency serviced. The Allen School was purchased.

Read the whole Allen School origin story here.


News Medical Office Assistant Training Can Use

You want to be as well-versed as you can be on current events emanating from the medical field if you’re to be a successful medical office assistant.  Even if you’re still taking your medical office assistant training, it pays to keep one eye on the health and wellness headlines.  This way, you’ll be knowledgeable about the latest and greatest ideas, advances and news that affects your patients once you’re done with medical office assistant training and working in a medical office somewhere.Today’s installment comes to us via the Cleveland Clinic which has released research proving what many doctors had believed was a myth.  For people battling high cholesterol, Statins are the doctor’s go-to treatment.  These widely used drugs are known to reduce bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.  Yet for years, doctors had been dismissing complaints by some patients taking statins who reported increased levels of muscle spasms that began after they had taken their statin meds.From the CBS Evening News:

Dr. Steven Nissen is the lead researcher of the Cleveland Clinic study. “We’ve confirmed that this is a problem and it’s real and we’ve given them an alternative,” he said.

Dr. Nissen said problems including muscle pain and weakness effect up to 10 percent of people on statins or three to four million Americans.

The study looked at more than 500 patients who reported side effects and are considered “statin intolerant.”

This latest research proves the veracity of the claims made by a not insignificant number of statin users and has led to the development of alternative treatments for high cholesterol among those who exhibit this side effect to the statins.  This is a good piece of information for you to have in your back pocket once you’ve completed medical office assistant training and get out there into the job world.  Your employer will be impressed if a high cholesterol patient taking statins complains of muscle cramping and you respond with this information from Dr. Nissen at the Cleveland Clinic.

Career Tips for Certified Nursing Assistants

You’re bound to hold a number of positions as certified nursing assistants are in great demand.  Over the course of your career, you’re likely to change employers multiple times.  And as with almost everything else one can do in the world, there is a right way and a wrong way to leave a job.  If you’ve been working in corporate healthcare you’ll likely have to endure an “exit interview” with corporate HR before you fully fly the coop.  The purpose of the exit interview is to provide the organization with some ideas about how to improve their workplace systems and processes.  It is also an opportunity for inexperienced workers to damage their professional reputations by falling victim to any number of pitfalls.  Here are some of those pitfalls culled from a list of things you should never say during an exit interview.“My boss was a jerk.”  No matter how true this may be, it reflects poorly on you if you mention this to HR in your exit interview.  Remember, you may want to have the ability to use that jerk as an employment reference.“My co-worker was lazy.”  Any variation on the theme that has you trash talking your former co-workers makes you come across as bitter.  Again, preservation of the reference is what you stand to gain by taking the high road.  No matter if you were always taking up the slack for a slacking co-worker.“This place will fall apart without me.”  No one is indispensable and you too will be replaced.  You may be king or queen among certified nursing assistants, but the time for tooting your own horn was during the hiring interview, not the exit interview.  Saying this makes you look petty.“I was never paid what I was worth and my new job pays much better.”  Again, you accepted the pay rate when you accepted the job.  Even if you are leaving because you feel you’re able to earn more elsewhere, it reflects poorly on you to be complaining about something you’d agreed to when you were hired.“My new job is with a much better company.”  No one likes to be denigrated.  You have nothing to gain and reputational points to lose by trying to make your exit interviewer feel “less than” by comparing their employer unfavorably to yours.  You may be leaving.  But they’re staying.Are you seeing a pattern here?  Certified nursing assistants can mostly choose where and for whom they want to work.  But getting the next job always depends to some extent on how you performed at the last job.  An exit interview may seem like a good time to unload all the bull you were forced to swallow on the job you’re leaving.  But it is far more professional to smile and be diplomatic.  Living well is the best revenge.  Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by being petty and vindictive.

Secret Windows 10 Features for Medical Billing Online Students

Well, its official.  Over the weekend, Microsoft updated my operating system from Windows 7 which I loved and didn’t want to change to Windows 10 which I did not want or authorize.  But this is the world we live in and I guess I have to accept a forced upgrade or spend who knows how many hours uninstalling it.  To my surprise, Windows 10 is a great operating system.  I hated Windows 8 and that’s why I was not keen on Microsoft’s next experiment (where consumers play the role of guinea pig).  Alas medical billing online students, if the computer you use for online medical billing and coding studies is forced to upgrade as mine was, let me tell you, it ain’t all bad!Here are some of the nifty new hidden features contained in the Windows 10 system.There are lots of useful keyboard shortcuts including nifty new virtual desktops (like having multiple monitors), easy access to news and even activation of Cortana, Windows’s new voice recognition AI assistant:
  • Windows Key-Tab (Task View)
  • Windows Key-Right-Up (moves app to top right quadrant; you can use different directions to position windows where desired)
  • Windows Key-Up and Down (snap apps to top or bottom of screen or maximizes)
  • Windows Key-Ctrl-Left or Right (scrolls between virtual desktops)
  • Windows Key-Ctrl-D (creates a new virtual desktop)
  • Windows Key-Ctrl-F4 (closes virtual desktop)
  • Windows Key-Ctrl-C (Cortana listening)
  • Windows Key-S (Daily Glance for weather, news, sports)
Another cool secret feature is the return of the “Start” menu.  You may recall Windows 8 did away with the super useful menu to much wailing and gnashing of teeth among users.  Well, its back and in Windows 10 you can get to it by simply keying “Windows Key + x” for instant access to task manager, command prompt and other system tools.Read all about the cool, new, hidden features in Windows 10 at the Cheat Sheet, and make your experience as a medical billing online student all the more efficient.

Characteristics of the Ideal Nursing Assistant

If your passion is helping others, a career as a nursing assistant could be for you. Nursing assistants play an important role in caring for others in a hospital, surgery center, physician practice, rehabilitation facility and/or assisted living facility.Those considering pursuing their education as a nursing assistant at the Allen School of Health Sciences often wonder if the profession is for him or her. While people of a variety of personalities and interests may choose to pursue a career as a nursing assistant, there are some personal traits and interests that could indicate a career as a nursing assistant is well-suited for you.The Roles of a Nursing AssistantNursing assistants are vital to helping their patients carry out activities of daily living (ADL’s), meaning they play a vital role in helping patients heal. Examples of duties a nursing assistant may perform include:
  • helping patients bathe and dress
  • assisting patients to the toilet
  • helping patients transfer, walk and turn
  • helping patients eat
  • taking patients’ vital signs and measuring blood glucose levels
Nursing assistants work with nurses and doctors in the care of their patients.Do You Have What It Takes?Not that you know the duties of the job and have ideally heard tasks that interest you, it’s time to consider the qualities that could mean you’re an excellent fit to be a nursing assistant. If you identify with the following statements, you should consider a career as a nursing assistant:I enjoy working with and caring for others. A nursing assistants’ most important characteristic is his or her compassion. A nursing assistant often cares for patients at their most vulnerable states of illness and injury. They must show caring and comfort for those who are in need.I can listen to people and communicate well with others. Nursing assistants must be communicators, often interacting with many members of their communities. This includes patients of all ages, their families, healthcare providers and more. Nursing assistants also must not be afraid to speak up if they have a concern about a change in a patient’s health.I’m in good physical shape. While you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to be a nursing assistant, you do need to be able to complete some physical tasks, such as lifting and moving patients while working with other nursing assistants and nurses. Nursing assistants also do a lot of walking from different patients’ rooms, supply closets and nutritional facilities, so you should be prepared to be on your feet for quite a while during a shift.I can be patient with others. Being a nursing assistant requires patience with your patients. When they aren’t feeling their best, they may require a level of help that can sometimes be frustrating. You’re also often asked to care for multiple patients, which can create a certain level of stress. However, if you can handle stressful situations and have a good amount of patience, you will find the abilities to care for others as a nursing assistant a rewarding profession.If you’re ready to start on a rewarding career as a Nursing Assistant in the medical field, call the Allen School of Health Sciences at 1 (888) 620-6745. Nursing Assistant educational programs are offered at our Jamaica, NY, and Brooklyn, NY sites.

We Stand With Belgium

It is getting to be too frequently that we’re compelled to write posts such as this one.  As an organization that trains people to be care givers, healers and enablers of the healing process, we’re highly attuned to human suffering.  We all wish nothing more than to provide comfort to all those afflicted and to salve the wounds both physical and emotional.  So today, rather than our typical content on all things related to studies at the Allen School, we’d just like to send our thoughts, prayers and well-wishes to our stricken brothers and sisters in Brussels.  Stay strong and know that we’re behind you every step of the way.  Perhaps one day the world won’t witness so much hatred, killing and fear.  Peace.

What Did Your Parents Do, Nursing Assistant Trainees?

“Like father like son” says the old maxim.  But how much truth is there to this idea?  Is there any correlation between the career roles selected by people and the types of work their parents did?  How many Allen School students taking nursing assistant training had a mother or father who worked in the medical field?  How about in scientific fields?  Office fields?  Or is there no correlation at all?You may be surprised to know there’s some actual, productive information that comes from the unbelievable volume of personal data collected by Facebook.  The Research at Facebook blog slices and dices this data and sometimes provides interesting insights.  So it was with great interest that we played with their interactive graphic which mapped the careers of fathers against those of their sons as well as careers of mothers against those of their daughters.  The results were fascinating if not inconclusive.According to Facebook research, there are numerous interesting questions users can find answers to in the data provided, including, “How much of our choice of profession depends on who our parents are? Parents pass on their genes, set an example, provide opportunities, and give advice to either aim for or steer clear of their own lines of work. In the end, do their children end up in the same type of job? Do siblings choose the same occupation? And is this more or less true for different professions?”While there may not be any concrete correlation between parents in medical/healthcare careers and the paths chosen by their children, there is still much that can be learned from the interesting data.  Why did you decide to take nursing assistant training with the Allen School?  Was your mom or dad any influence in your decision making?

Medical Office Assistant, Know Your Cloud Productivity Tools

Medical office assistants are heavily involved in the effective, efficient administration of the medical office.  Like any other administrative career role, a medical office assistant will certainly need to be able to manipulate the productivity software tools in use in office environments around the world.  If you don’t know what a productivity suite is, it is a group of software programs (typically marketed as a package by software companies) that are used for such things as written document creation, spreadsheets, presentation slide design tools, email, calendar management and more.If you’ve used a computer at all, you’re probably already familiar with the Microsoft Office productivity suite which comes installed on the vast majority of computers in the world.  Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and other tools in the Microsoft suite are standard tools used by office administrators and medical office assistants to produce, maintain and store all manner of documents created in the office environment.  What you’re probably not aware of however, is that there are competitive productivity suites that are giving Microsoft Office a run for its money.Enter Google which has fielded its own suite, very much analogous to Microsoft Office.  Google Docs is a word processor like MS Word.  Google Sheets is the equivalent to Excel for spreadsheets.  Google Present is their version of Powerpoint.  And of course, Gmail and Google calendar can easily replace Microsoft Outlook.  Generally speaking, if you’re proficient in manipulating the Microsoft tools, it would be an easy transition to use the Google suite which largely uses the same commands and functionality.One of the best advantages of Google’s tools however, is the fact that it is cloud-based, meaning it is accessible via internet browser connection as opposed to being software you have to install on your local machine (like Microsoft Office Suite).  The cloud accessibility is also very good for collaboration between users in the same office or in offices anywhere in the world.  If you’re a medical office assistant in a large healthcare group with offices all across the state or country, the Google suite in the cloud is an exceptional productivity tool.Having been overtaken by Google’s dominance in the cloud, Microsoft recently released Microsoft 365 which is their cloud-based version of the productivity suite that attempts to offer the same level of collaborative capability as Google.  It mostly succeeds in this regard with one small but important distinction.  Whereas Google’s tools are free to the home-based user, Microsoft’s require a minimum $10 monthly subscription to use.Ultimately though, you probably won’t be the person deciding which productivity suite to use as the medical office assistant.  It will likely have been selected before you get to the job.  That said, a good medical office assistant brings to his/her position, sufficient knowledge of all the administrative tools in wide use out in the business world.  How proficient are you?