Proving Nursing Assistant Training Means Job Security

So you’re considering taking some nursing assistant training to begin a new career, but you’re concerned about the availability of jobs for certified nursing assistants?  We’d like to put any concerns you may have to rest.  The video below, courtesy of www.FailArmy.com shows dozens of stupid people doing even stupider things that surely wound them up in need of serious medical attention.  And this is but one video among thousands available for viewing every day. So take that nursing assistant training, get that nursing assistant certification and rest soundly knowing there will always be plenty of work for professionals in this field.

Nurse Assistant Trainees, Enjoy a Taste of Summer in NYC (in March)

You’re busy studying away all winter long to earn your certification through nurse assistant training with the Allen School.  Typically, this time of the year would be perfect to stay all tucked away in a warm classroom, out of the elements and filling your head with the knowledge you’ll need for your exciting new career as a CNA.  But for whatever reason – whether it was the prognostications of Punxatawney Phil or the Gods of Summer – we’ve been blessed here in the New York City region with near 80 degree warmth, weeks before the calendar end of winter.So with the next few days forecast to be an ongoing taste of a summer that isn’t due to arrive for nearly half a year, enjoy this brief, abridged list of 10 great outdoor places to visit in NYC distilled from this excellent post at the Gothamist.  Do yourself a favor and after the end of your nurse assistant training classes over the next few days, pop outside.  Get some vitamin D going with the sunshine on your exposed skin.  Pretend it is July!  Here’s some awesome local places to dig outside in March.Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Trails for hiking, sunset tours, boat trips, woods, water ponds, horseshoe crabs, turtles, butterflies and dozens of other animals and reptiles you probably don’t get to hang out with in the urban jungle.Muscota Marsh All the way at the northern tip of Manhattan in the Inwood district sits this lovely space, located on an acre by the Harlem River, with its beautiful walking paths, wetlands, marshland and, as winter thaws temporarily, perhaps a bevy of animal life the likes of snowy egrets and harbor seals. There’s also a dock for kayaks and canoes (though you’ll have to bring your own, sadly), picnic areas, and views of Spuyten Duyvil and the Palisades.Carl Schurz Park: This park has some of the best dog runs in the city, lovely gardens, green lawns and walking path; an East River promenade for pedestrians and bikers that affords great views of Queens and beyond; plus a statue of Peter Pan, pine trees and plenty more pretty sights.Read the entire lists for waterfalls, piers, quiet lawns and wooded areas all over the boroughs.  Take a little time to enjoy this wonderful respite from the winter.

Faster WiFi Tips for Medical Billing Online Classes

Taking medical billing online classes with the Allen School?  Chances are you’ve got a sweet internet set up at your home enabling you to study in any room of your home; wherever you’re most comfortable throughout the day.  At the heart of your system is the wireless router that beams sweet internet signal to all corners of your abode.  Chances are also good that there are places where your home wireless network functions better than others.Do you often say to yourself, “The Internet is slow in the bedroom”?  Or, “Videos seem to freeze or stutter in the the kitchen”?  These are common WiFi problems encountered by all users of wireless networks, not just those studying medical billing online classes.  And the good news is, there are solutions to these commonly occurring problems.Patrick Norton at Digital Trends offers some suggestions for ways to speed up your wireless network.  His first (and perhaps most obvious) recommendation for those in need of greater Internet speed is to avoid wireless connections altogether.  For high bandwidth operations like running HD video, Norton notes that the ethernet, or “wired” connection cannot be beat in terms of speed and stability of signal.  Plus, it has the added benefit of superior security since none of the data will be broadcast “over the air” to the wireless router.“But, I like to study my medical billing online classes from my comfy couch in the family room while wearing my feetie pajamas”, you may be saying.  (I know that’s what I’d be saying!)  So if going “hard wired” sounds like a drag, consider the physical location of your wireless router.  It may be situated in a location in your home that is less than optimal.  Norton says,
“All too often routers are stuffed in a closet in some far corner of your house. If this sounds like your home, do yourself a favor, and try to get it out in the open, as high as possible, with as few walls between it and the rest of the house. Also try pointing one antenna vertically and one horizontally, if it has a couple of external antennas.”
Another method for tweaking your WiFi for better speed involves changing the frequency/band it is using to beam signal around your home.  For example, if your router is set to run on the 802.11n frequency, you might want to try connecting via 802.11.g.  Most routers’ administrative panel permits users to change the bandwidth in this way.  There are also a good number of video tutorials available that show step by step instructions for making this fairly simple change.Don’t suffer with slow or spotty WiFi.  Take these few steps and improve your online study experience dramatically!

Leaving a Medical Coding Job? Don’t Neglect to Give Notice!

One of the best things about studying medical coding online with the Allen School is the fact that, upon completion of the course, you immediately gain access to a very robust medical coding job market.  There are available positions in medical billing and coding across every state in the union.  So regardless of where you live, or the environment in the workplace where you’re employed, you should always have a wide array of options for work.  This is good because inevitably, there will be positions where you’re unhappy with the work environment.  It happens to workers in every single field, bar none, and medical billing professionals are no different.  Whether it is a horrendous commute, obnoxious co-workers, a failed office romance or an overbearing boss, there are many reasons why some jobs simply don’t work out.  And if you should find yourself in such an untenable position, the following important advice is for you.DO NOT QUIT WITHOUT GIVING NOTICE!!!Unless you’re being physically or sexually harassed, there is never a good reason to leave your employer without giving two week’s notice.  Here are some reasons why:

Professionalism

Leaving a company without giving notice can damage your professional reputation.  You’d be surprised how small the business community can be, particularly when you’ve done something of questionable ethics like leaving without sufficient notice.  Also make sure you refrain from talking trash about the job during your notice period.  Even if you have good reason to leave the position behind, keep it positive.  It will reflect better on you.  Also, do your job at full effort during your notice period. Don’t just slack off because you’ll be leaving soon.  Manage your responsibilities promptly and professionally. It typically takes two weeks to tie up any loose ends, and coordinate with management and co-workers to ensure tasks and resources are reassigned properly.

Completing Tasks

Even if there aren’t any long term tasks or responsibilities in your role as a medical billing and coding worker, leaving without giving at least two weeks notice strains your employer and co-workers.  Remember, your co-workers will likely have to pick up the slack you leave behind until a replacement is hired. So leaving without notice kind of sticks it to people you may have fondness for.  You don’t want to be remembered as the person that screwed the team on the way out.  Showing that you have the integrity to complete your engagement properly will earn the employer’s respect and will help ensure that you get a positive reference as you seek your next job as a medical billing and coding pro.

Future Job References

As noted, the most important reason to provide and honor a formal, written notice of your intention to leave a position is to protect that you may need to rely on your past employment to help you secure future jobs.  References are very important and if you’ve done your last job wrong by leaving without notice or not completing your notice to full satisfaction, you could be damaging your future job prospects.Yes, there are plenty of medical coding jobs available in the marketplace.  But your reputation is yours alone to polish or tarnish.  Make the right choice when it is time to leave.

15 Habits for Nursing Assistant Training Students to Avoid

If you’re a younger person in your 20s or 30s working on gaining a certification through nursing assistant training, you may engaging in some youthful behaviors that, while useful now, will become burdensome as you grow older.  When we’re young and in our education and career building years, we tend to feel a bit invincible.  But, as any veteran nursing assistant can tell you, how you treat yourself now can come back to haunt you as the years accrue.  Here are five of the fifteen bad habits that you’ll regret as you age (taken from the full list published in a slideshow at Roasted.com).
  1. Pulling All-Nighters – Yes, working all day, then staying up all night to study is something we do with relative ease as a younger person.  But relying on this sleep-deprived method of “getting it all done” is not a sustainable practice.
  2. Relying on Coffee or Energy Drinks – Again, burning the candle at both ends to juggle work, family and studies is a habit that takes its toll on your nervous system, blood pressure and other functions as those drinks are high in sugar, caffeine and other substances that are less than healthy.
  3. Eating Junk Food – Being busy with nursing assistant training may seem like a plausible excuse for grabbing food on the go.  But years of eating highly processed fast foods and other convenient foods will catch up with you later in life.
  4. Racking Up Debt – Studying for a certified nurse assistant degree can cut into time you may have spent working at a dead end gig.  This is after all, one of the reasons you decided to embark on a new and gainful career.  But be careful to avoid plugging financial shortfalls with credit card debt.  Or you may find yourself working for years to pay down high interest debt.
  5. Drinking Alcohol – Study hard, play hard, no?  Actually, no!  While it is okay to periodically enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine, leaning regularly on alcohol as a means to decompress from busy days studying and/or working can take a great toll on your body and even blossom into a physical dependence.  Avoid using the booze as an outlet.
We highly recommend viewing the rest of the slideshow here, for more behaviors you should avoid as you pursue your new career.  Because today’s certified nurse assistant student is tomorrow’s veteran healthcare professional and you have a lifetime’s worth of service to provide the patients you’ll serve.  Keep yourself health, wealthy and wise!

Job Scoping: The Future of Medical Assistants

With an estimated job growth of 23 percent to 2024, the medical assistant field is a growing and thriving one. Medical assistants are an important part of a healthcare team and work in physician practices, hospitals and additional healthcare facilities. At the Allen School of Health Sciences, many students each year choose to pursue their educations as a means to expand their career opportunities and invest in an education to enter this health field.Medical Assistant DutiesWhile the duties of a medical assistant can vary based on the particular practice, some of the key tasks a person is educated on include measuring vital signs; taking patient histories and relevant personal information; preparing patients for exams; managing and updating patients’ electronic health records; scheduling patient appointments and giving patients injections or medications, if the particular state’s laws allow.One reason why students choose to pursue the medical assistant field is the variety of settings medical assistants work in. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an estimated 59 percent of medical assistants work in physician offices. An estimated 15 percent work in hospitals while another 10 percent work in offices for additional health practitioners. The remaining 7 percent work in outpatient care centers.The Expanding Medical Assistant FieldMedical assitantOur students opt to pursue the medical assistant field because they know it is a growing one that holds financial promise. According to the BLS, more than 590,000 people work as medical assistants in the United States as of 2014. The Bureau estimates this number will increase by the year 2024 when an estimated 730,200 people are expected to work as medical assistants (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm#tab-6).The projected growth of the field may be due to several factors. These include an aging baby boomer population where people will need more medical care and a growing number of medical facilities due to the increased availability of healthcare. Medical assistants are also found in a variety of physician practices, such as urology, dermatology, cardiology and pediatrics.The medical assistant field is expected to grow much faster than other healthcare support occupations, which are projected to grow by 19 percent until 2024.According to the American Association of Medical Assistants (http://www.aama-ntl.org/docs/default-source/about-the-profession-and-credential/medical-assisting-career.pdf?sfvrsn=10), healthcare employers prefer to hire employees with formal medical assistant training and education. Pursuing education in medical assisting can ensure students not only join this growing field, they also are the most likely to get high-paying and highly desirable jobs. The Allen School of Health Sciences offers Medical Assisting degrees at our Brooklyn, NY; Jamaica, NY; and Phoenix, AZ locations. For more information, call our toll-free number at 1 (888) 620-6745 or click on our “Live Chat” option to speak to our representatives

20 Job Hunt Hacks for Medical Office Assistant Candidates

You’ve completed your course of study and earned a certification as a medical office assistant.  Now, you’re preparing yourself to hit the job hunt trail and you want to make sure you’ve gotten all your ducks in a row so as to put your best foot forward.  Perhaps it is your first time in the hunt for a career position.  Or perhaps its your first time back in the race since making the decision to embark on a new career as a medical office assistant.  In either case, there is much new (and a good deal of old) wisdom that should be applied to your search if you want it to be fruitful.

Here are a few of the notable suggestions contained in Complex.com’s, 20 Job Search Hacks That Will Get You Hired. 

#20 on their list: Don’t present yourself as “out of work”

If you have gaps in your job history, it is better to think of any work-related activities you may have been involved in such as volunteer work or internships to fill employment history gaps.  The goal is to appear as though you remained busy and productive in-between jobs.

#19  on their list: Make Stories

Lists of experience and capabilities are not intrinsically interesting.  While they may be relevant, you’ll stand out much more as a candidate if you can convey your strengths and value through interesting anecdotes and tales of your career exploits in a way that humanizes and connects with the interviewer’s emotional side.

#14 on their list: Think What You Can Do for the Job

Don’t go into the interview with a mind toward finding out about how the role serves you.  Asking about the pay, benefits and vacation policy during preliminary interviews make you seem more interested in what the job can do for you than what you can do for the organization.  Instead, think of 6 ways you can deliver value to the employer in your capacity as a medical office assistant.  Convey these ideas to the hiring manager and you’re more likely to be seen as someone who’d be an asset to the team.

#6 on their list: Be Confident, Not Cocky

Employers want to hire people confident in their duties and roles.  However, no matter how good you may be at what you do, if you’re full of yourself, you will ultimately be seen as a liability.  Be sure when talking about your abilities to be humble and self-deprecating.

#5 on their list: Use Good Verbs

So many resumes tell hiring managers about nouns and not verbs.  Simply put, this is the difference between “was the person responsible for communications” and “produced and delivered effective communications.  Use verbs – action terms – to illustrate what you’ve actually done.  “Led, implemented, designed, organized, transformed” are all good examples of action terms.

Look, you’ve got a great education in medical office assistant training from the Allen School.  Read all 20 of these job hunting hacks then get out there and land the job you’ve been dreaming of!


Medical Coding Online Students – Beware “Locky” Ransomware

We always try to report on emerging threats to heavy users of computers and internet technology so that our medical coding online program students are well-informed and can avoid damaging and costly viruses and other online threats.  Since people taking medical coding online programs are, by definition, “netizens”, we are writing today to warn of a new threat out on the ‘net.Today’s special little online irritant is known as the “Locky” ransomware virus.  Ransomware (according to Wikipedia) is a type of malware that restricts access to the infected computer system in some way, and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction.  Locky encrypts your data using AES encryption and then demands .5 bitcoins to decrypt your files.  It is transmitted via a harmless looking email that pretends to be an invoice seeking to be paid.  Users get the email seeking remittance for a payment due.  When the Microsoft Word document supposedly containing the invoice is downloaded and opened, the malicious code is injected and the user’s computer is frozen until the ransom of .5 bitcoins is paid.  (For those unaware, Bitcoin is an online “crypto-currency” or form of online money.The good nerds at www.BleepingComputer.com have run down the details on the scam, how it is transmitted and how it can be avoided.  You should immediately read their article here.  Studying an medical coding online program is a very safe and effective way to earn a certification and a new career.  There are very few risks involved and things like this should not dissuade you from considering this course of study.  You should never open any email from unknown senders anyway.   We will continue to share this type of information as it comes up (which is really very infrequently).

Medical Billing Job Interview – One Thing to Always Bring

Yes, you should always bring your best manners, your sense of professionalism, and even a series of thoughtful questions to ask the hiring manager to any interview for a medical billing job. However, according to career guru, Amanda Augustine, there’s one physical item you should never forget to bring with you.  Whether it is for a medical billing job, a nurse assistant position or a medical office assistant gig, Ms. Augustine strongly suggests you bring numerous hard-copies of your résumé.Augustine, told Business Insider, “Yes, we’d like to think that every hiring manager or interviewer would walk into the interview room with your résumé in hand, but there are no guarantees,”.  And as interview protocol varies widely from organization to organization, you just never know who you’ll be asked to speak or meet with while on site for your interview.  At some companies you’ll only speak to the hiring manager.  At others, you may be asked to interview with departmental heads, physicians, human resources representatives, prospective co-workers or other stakeholders.  Some companies hold group interviews where you’ll be one of a number of candidates brought in at the same day and time.   This is why you want to make sure you have enough printed copies of your résumé with you that you can put directly in to the hands of all the people who will be evaluating your candidacy.You’ll want to hand a nicely printed hard copy to each of the people you’re interviewing with before you begin.  Augustine explains that providing the stakeholders with your profile on paper helps reinforce what you’re there to tell them in person about your capabilities, experiences and suitability for the job.  She told Business Insider, “You have to be prepared to walk people through your work history and tie your experience and education back to the role at hand, calling attention to the qualifications the employer is looking for. When you’ve done this prep work and you know your résumé front and back, you’ll also be able to confidently speak to the value you bring to the table. “So before you walk out the door to your next interview for a medical billing job, be sure you’ve printed a number of copies of your CV and make the best impression – both in person and on paper – you can.  Being an Allen School grad can’t hurt your prospects either!

Nurse Assistants, Pass On the Good News About Chocolate

Part of the job for those who have completed nurse assistant training courses and gone on to land a job serving actual patients involves passing along medically relevant news.  With Valentine’s Day just yesterday and Easter on the horizon, we thought there could be no better time for the following information about the health benefits of consuming chocolate.So nurse assistant training students, listen up and get ready to spread the good news. Emily Main or Rodale’s Organic Life recently published these 7 legitimate health benefits of eating chocolate.  Let’s take a moment before sharing the seven benefits to clarify that we’re talking about real, nice chocolate of at least 70% cacao.  Not the cheapo candy bars sold at the checkout line in the supermarket.  (Snickers won’t have the same medical value!).  The following is quoted excerpts from Main’s great article which you can read in full, here.
“Healthier Skin Eating antioxidant-rich chocolate leads to skin that’s smoother, less dried out, and more resistant to sunburn, studies have shown.
Healthier Teeth It’s the sugar in chocolate candies that rots your teeth—cocoa actually protects them. Cocoa bean husks contain antibacterial compounds that inhibit the formation of plaque and biofilms.
Reduced Cravings + Weight Gain Cocoa is rich in fiber and protein; a standard-size dark chocolate bar contains 4 grams and 8 to 9 grams, respectively, of each, and a tablespoon of cocoa powder contains 4 grams and 1 gram of each.  Smelling dark chocolate, they found, stimulates production of an antihunger hormone called ghrelin, and the effect lingers for about an hour.
A Healthier Heart Chocolate is often vilified because it contains cocoa butter, which is high in saturated fat. But it turns out that like other forms of saturated fat, such as coconut oil, cocoa butter could actually be good for you.
Sharper Focus Magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that chocolate boosts blood circulation to the brain, which can improve your ability to focus. Taking a small amount of cocoa flavanols for five days led to better blood flow to the brain in healthy adults who were performing cognitive tasks.
Less Anxiety Stress prompts your body to produce cortisol, which has an added downside of triggering the accumulation of the abdominal, or visceral, fat that builds up around your organs and can contribute to depression, along with heart disease and stroke. Yet a 2009 study found that people who ate 40 grams (about an ounce) of chocolate every day for two weeks saw decreases in levels of cortisol.
A More Effective Workout Boosting your pre-exercise energy levels, powering through a hard sweat session, and cutting down on post-workout soreness—chocolate helps all three. Cocoa’s catechins and epicatechins, two kinds of antioxidants, increase your muscle’s absorption of nutrients that create energy, which can help you get energized to work out.”

So share the good news with any patients you may come in contact with after you complete nurse assistant training courses and head out to work in the field.  You’re sure to get a sweet response!


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