Ways to Help Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Every month the Allen School of Health Sciences is proud to support a great cause that may impact our friends, families, and patients as our students begin their new careers in the field of healthcare and October is no exception. Each October our campuses “Go Pink” to help support Breast Cancer Awareness. We also educate ourselves and raise funds and awareness for this great cause. Below you will find more awesome ways you can help support those dealing with Breast Cancer. 
  1. Accessorize – Check your local retailers for pink accessories that not only show the world you support a great cause, but again will help a portion of your money find its way to great agencies that help support patients and families as they battle this disease.
  1. Go To Lunch – Be on the look-out for restaurants, coffee shops, and more that serve up tasty treats with a pink twist. Not only will you indulge your sweet tooth, but you’ll support a great cause at the same time.
  1. Volunteer – If a purchase isn’t your cup of tea and you prefer to be a little more hands-on look for opportunities to volunteer. Contact local Breast Cancer support organizations, participate in fund raisers, or look around for local events you can participate in to help show your support.
  1. #HashTag# – Adding the hashtag #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth will help draw attention to a great cause and help spread awareness to the issue. Every little act of support makes a difference.
  1. Wear Pink – Remember that every Friday in October you can wear pink to school and show your support. And don’t forget to share your awesome pink pictures on our Instagram account!
 The Allen School is a proud supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness in the month of October. If you’d like to learn more about this cause and all of the others we support throughout the year through our Institution for HOPE campaign please visit our website at http://www.allenschool.edu 

Types of Medical Assistant Careers

Medical assisting training programs have a relatively short training period, and prepare you to sit for the certification exam (CMA exam.) As a Certified Medical Assistant, the career potential is vast and rewarding, offering the ability to specialize in an array of healthcare fields and environments. For example, after certifying, an MA has the choice to work with patients of all ages and in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, or other medical facilities. Finally, a career in medical assisting is an ideal place to begin for those individuals seeking career advancement. Following is a list of available medical assistant opportunities upon completing your training and sitting for the CMA exam.

Administrative Medical Assistant

If your skills are suited for an MA position that is focused toward administrative duties, you can look for a medical assisting position that focuses on clerical tasks, such as scheduling appointments, answering phones, filing patient records, and arranging for medical tests. You could also be in charge of general billing, accounting, and bookkeeping. While identifying an administrative focus can certainly help funnel responsibilities toward your strengths, you may also have some clinical duties, such as ushering patients into their private rooms.

Clinical Medical Assistant

The clinical tasks of a medical assistant are similar to those of a licensed vocational nurse. If you choose to take an MA training program and sit for the CMA exam, this path allows you to provide more personal, hands-on care. Medical Assistants are typically the first medical professionals with whom patients engage upon arriving for an appointment. You may also record medical histories, assist physicians during medical examinations, explain upcoming medical procedures, and educate patients about any necessary home care.

Additionally, you will be expected to record vital signs, order prescriptions with pharmacies, transport and collect specimens from labs, update patient records, and provide minor medical treatments like dressing wounds, drawing blood, and removing bandages.

Specialty Medical Assistant

Healthcare is a multi-dimensional industry with many specialties to consider. If, after certifying as a Medical Assistant, you find that working directly with patients is not your preference, you might consider specializing in a medical laboratory environment. As a specialized medical assistant, opportunities include work in chiropractic, ophthalmology, podiatry, optometry, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatric, and EKG/cardiology.

Medical assisting is a versatile field with many opportunities for growth, beginning with entry-level CMA positions after graduation. At The Allen School of Health Sciences, our Medical Assistant Training Program includes clinical skills and theory classes, and the included internship helps students fully prepare to sit for the CMA exam. Contact us for more information.

Patient Centered Healthcare

I worked in a dental office for years and I remember one patient that came in for dental care. She was a new patient and worked as a model. Her chief complaint was her front teeth were yellow and she wanted them to be bright white for her job.A quick tour of her mouth discovered that her posterior teeth were decayed and needed restoration as well as periodontal issues. So…
  • As a patient centered healthcare provider:
    • What do we address? The patient’s chief complaint or severely decayed posterior teeth and periodontal issues?
    • How is this situation address with the patient?
In this situation the dentist sat down with the patient and discussed how just whitening the front teeth would address her cosmetic needs; however, the severe decay and periodontal issues needed to be addressed prior to bleaching the front teeth. The patient stated that she wanted the posterior teeth extracted and the front teeth whitened. She stated that she eats very little and really does not need the posterior teeth. The patient did not understand the connection between the front teeth, posterior teeth and the supporting structures.This is where patient education was needed and after a thorough discussion of what would happen to the front teeth after the posterior teeth were extracted, drifting and spacing, she made the decision to do all of the needed dental work.As healthcare professionals we must give our best to patient education and not just treatment. Patients need to understand how they can have some control over their health.The end result for this patient was a healthy oral cavity and a beautiful smile.

Finding Success in School

For many of our students the first module of classes can be challenging. It can be intimidating to have subject matter that is entirely outside of the scope of anything they’ve ever studied before. Learning new and seemingly difficult material can be almost overwhelming, but with just a few tips you can learn how to take on your new classes and find success. 
  1. Ask Questions – Your instructors are there to help you every step of the way, Do not hesitate to reach out before or after class or even on breaks and lunch.
  2. Work Together – Forming study groups is a great way to learn new material and make new friends along the way
  3. Study – You will need to study the material outside of class, set aside a little extra time each day to review what you’ve learned so far.
  4. Tutoring – Again if you need more help please attend any tutoring or make-up sessions being offered. This is a great chance to work one on one with your instructor.
  5. Practice Makes Perfect – When it comes to clinical skills be sure to practice every chance you get and ask your instructor to critique and help improve your skills.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon see that the material and classes are not as intimidating as you once thought they were. Remember that there are many resources available to you to help you both in and out of class. Before you know it you will be in clinic on externship and taking the first steps towards your new career.

Should Adults Limit Their Screen Time?

The vast majority of adults use technology during their work day as well as during their everyday lives. Is it possible to put limits on screen-time? Experts believe the average working adult spends close to 11 hours a day behind a screen and checks their phone an average of every 20 minutes. The bigger question has become when is it a necessity versus an addiction?

Identifying Signs of Addiction to Technology

The signs of addiction often mimic those of an alcoholic.

  • Family/friends are complaining to you about the constant use.
  • You are finding ways to lie or hide the use from your family or friends (hiding in a bathroom or staying in the car before going inside, etc…).
  • The immediate need to respond to a text or email.
  • Screen-time affects sleep, exercise, relationships, etc…
  • It’s the last thing you do before bedtime and the first thing you grab in the morning.
  • Headaches, neck aches, back aches, and shoulder aches.

Creating Limits on Screen Time

If you find that you have some or all of the aforementioned signs, there are steps you can take!

  • Try limiting non-work screen time.
  • Charge your phone in the kitchen so sleep is not interrupted.
  • Mealtimes should always be free of TVs, smart phones, and other screens.
  • Limit social media to once a day.

Let’s face it, your world is not going end if you don’t post a picture of your lunch salad. The endless pictures to scroll through are not going anywhere. Cherish you time and actually visit a forest or the beach instead of searching for images online. This is your life and you only get one. LIVE IT!

Why Medical Assistants Are in Demand Now

Medical assistant training programs offer a career that gives you the opportunity to help others while also providing variety and security in your career. Well-trained medical assistants are in high demand, with employment rates expected to grow by 29% from 2016 to 2026, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is largely due to the comprehensive MA training provided by places such as The Allen School of Health Sciences, where students are taught both clinical and administrative skills. With this education, medical assistants are equipped to handle wide-ranging responsibilities, which enables physicians to spend more time attending to patients. Keep reading to learn a few reasons why medical assisting opportunities have been increasing along with the demand for medical assistants.

Chronic Illnesses

More than 130 million Americans suffer from chronic illness. Individuals with conditions such as asthma, arthritis, diabetes, mental health disorders, cancer, obesity, heart diseases, require frequent medical attention and professional assistance. Medical Assistants help mitigate the resulting demand on a doctor’s time by helping patients understand the nature of their conditions, and educating them on how to implement necessary home care.

Aging Population

Older adults require more preventive medical care, and the aging generation of Baby Boomers almost one-third of the U.S. population has had a direct impact on the growth of the healthcare industry. As this population continues to grow, the already taxed healthcare system will become even more strained, which will continue to raise the demand for both preventive medical services and emergency medical assistance. Consequently, more trained healthcare professionals such as medical assistants will be hired to handle routine clinical and administrative tasks.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extended healthcare coverage to a greater amount of individuals, providing health insurance to more Americans than ever before. Previously, individuals without health insurance may have avoided seeking medical care because of the high cost. Subsequently, the spike in medically insured individuals naturally created a spike in office and hospital outpatient visits, which then increased the amount of paperwork – billing, accounting, and bookkeeping – for healthcare providers to complete. Performing the administrative tasks required to run a healthcare facility is a necessity that places a high value on trained medical assistants.

Medical Assisting offers you a stable career and an exciting opportunity for growth. Enroll in an accredited medical assistant training programs and earn the education you need to pass the CMA training programs exam and begin working in the exciting healthcare field! Call the The Allen School of Health Sciences for more information now.

How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters can come in all forms from hurricanes, blizzards, and earthquakes just to name a few. Being PREPARED is essential! Preparedness happens on many levels: 

Be Informed

Review your local evacuation process to include alternative routes if necessary.

Gather Important Contacts

Be sure to have phone numbers of emergency management offices, local hospitals, American Red Cross, and utility companies. Many people have numbers of family and friends programmed into their phones, so be sure to write them down in case you are without power for several days.

Communicate with Friends and Family

Determine how you and your family members will communicate.

Get a Supply Kit

Non-perishable food, water, flashlight (extra batteries), First Aid kits, prescription medicines, garbage bags, and personal hygiene supplies are a few “must have” items to consider.

Get a Radio

Battery-powered radio to stay informed.

Gather Important Documents

Create an inventory of your home and bring your insurance policies with you. Remember that leaving a normal routine is hard on pets and kids. Having activities as well as security blankets can be helpful during the stressful times. Although natural disasters are inevitable, how we prepare for them can make the world of difference.

Tips to Avoid The Flu

As we head into the fall and weather starts to get cooler, we unfortunately also head into cold and flu season. You have enough going on in your life with work, home, and school, you definitely do not want to get sick as well if you can help it. So please read on for 7 great tips to help keep you and your family from catching the flu this season.
  1. Get Your Flu Vaccine – Doctors agree this is your best preventative measure against the flu.
  2. Be Obsessed with Hand Washing – Wash often, and then wash again.
  3. Take Symptoms Seriously – Especially if you fall into a high risk category like being pregnant
  4. Teach your Kids to Wash Well – Kids love to teach everything and everyone! Wash those little hands often and use hand sanitizer
  5. Stop Nibbling your Nails – Your nails are a great hiding place for the flu bug and you touch more than you’ll ever know in a day.
  6. Keep Things Clean and Sanitized – the cleaner the better especially if someone in your home is already showing signs of being sick
  7. Be your Healthiest Self – Get plenty of rest. Keep exercising even as the weather gets cold, and eat healthy.
Now we certainly can’t promise these tips will keep you from getting sick, but they are good guidelines to help you lessen the possibility. Always remember that it is the duty of every healthcare provider to maintain an active and healthy life style to set a good example for their patients. Not to mention your fellow classmates will not appreciate you getting them ill.

How Critical Thinking Skills Apply to Healthcare

Firstwhat is critical thinking?

Critical Thinking Includes

  • The skill to draw conclusions.
  • The skill to troubleshoot and problem-solve.
  • The capability to use skills or knowledge in a variety of situations.

Examples of Everyday Critical Thinking

  • Driving
    • Thinking about what steps should to be taken to avoid an accident.
  • Everyday Tasks
    •  Creating a list that gives ability to accomplish every task efficiently and effectively.
  • Cooking or Cleaning
    • Thinking through the process and dealing with issues that might arise. (missing an ingredient needed for a dish or finding out that the vacuum cleaner is broken)

Examples of Work-Related Critical Thinking

  • Customer service
    • Deciding how to deal with a customer who is upset over service or bill to ensure a happy customer.
  • Coworkers
    • Handling a disagreement with another coworker.
  • Supervisor
    • Presenting an issue or proposal to the supervisor.

Examples of Work-Related Critical Thinking Situations

  • If you have worked in customer service then the same critical thinking skills that are used to deal with customers will be used to deal with patients in the medical field.
  • If you have worked in a fast-paced environment requiring prioritizing then you will carry that skill over to the medical field.
The examples listed above are just a few of the items that come to mind where we use critical thinking. We often use critical thinking and do not recognize that we have actually applied this skill. As you work in your career field, you will have so many opportunities to draw conclusions, troubleshoot, or use skills or knowledge in different situations.

Are You The Ultimate Allen School Fan??

You know how awesome it is to be a student here. You have great instructors, a support team to help you every step of the way. You are going to go out into the world and be the king or queen of all healthcare interns ever…. But do you know all the other ways you can show that you are the ultimate Allen School fan? 
  1. Social Media!! – We are everywhere. We have Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Google+, Linked-In, Pinterest, and more. If you want to know what we are up to and support your fellow students be sure to like us, follow us, tweet us, snap us, and show off your own moments of triumph during class, intern, and beyond. You can even show off your Allen School pride with our great Facebook Frames.
  1. Testify – You’ve seen the posters on the wall and on the website. Want to share your own story? Send us your testimonial and picture to theallenschool@gmail.com and we will share it with everyone. You never know who else you may inspire to change their life through education just like you did.
  1. Hash It Out – #AllenSchool, #AllenSchoolStrong, #GreatestMedicalAssistantEver. The sky is the limit when it comes to tagging. We want to see your best hashtag so we can share your Allen School success with everyone.
  1. Buy the DVD?? – Just kidding, there is no DVD. We would love to see your success though and invite all of our students to take part in our “I Got Hired” video series. You can either visit the student services department or make your own video and send it to us at theallenschool@gmail.com it’s very easy. Just hit record and tell us who you are, where you got hired, and how much you love the Allen School.
  1. Tell Us All About It – No one is better at telling potential students what it’s like to be part of the Allen School family than YOU are! Fire up your video recorder and give us a short blurb on what life is like at the Allen School and we’ll feature you in our “Day In The Life” series on YouTube.
 Our students mean everything to us and we want to share your success at every step of the way. So please check us out on Social Media, share your greatest moments, and become the ultimate Allen School fan!!