High Tech Toys For Pediatric Patients

From simple doctor’s visits to extended hospital stays pediatric patients can present their own unique set of needs and challenges. Often times they don’t understand what is going on and this can cause them to have major fears of medical procedures and testing.  Unlike their adult counterparts they may have trouble expressing their feelings, and let’s face it, when it comes to long hospital stays they can get really bored.

So today we look at some new high-tech toys that help children have a more positive experience in the healthcare setting.

Vaccines Are No Fun

So a Brazil based company developed a virtual reality game called VR Vaccine that makes the kids a hero in a game battling a villain. The kids wear armor and get to fight bad guys while the person giving the vaccine follows the story and coordinate motions like swabbing the skin and administering the injection to the story line.

It’s Hard to Say How You Feel

So US based Company Sproutel has created a robot duck companion for children undergoing cancer treatment with an emotion chip that allows the children to have the duck show how they are feeling. Children are also able to administer “chemotherapy” to their ducks through a special port. Insurance company Aflec is providing these ducks to pediatric cancer patients at no cost at this time.

Understanding What will Happen can be Challenging

So Canadian company RxRobots has created a robot called MEDi that helps kids understand a procedure and helps them learn how to relax and cope with procedures that may be uncomfortable or painful. Children can also perform procedures on the robot and it assures them they are doing a good job and reinforces that healthcare professionals are always trying to help their patient even when it seems like they are not in a child’s eyes.

These are just a few of the awesome high tech gadgets being developed to help children have a more positive experience in a healthcare setting to read more about these toys and others please click here and read the entire article recently published on BBC Health.


3 Benefits of Working in Healthcare for the Elderly

The healthcare industry offers a variety of highly rewarding career paths, each one specializing in a unique set of intellectual and physical skills. However, the one skill set spanning all healthcare professions is emotional in nature.  The ability to show empathy and kindness to the patients and families for whom you are caring. While everyone in need of medical aid can benefit from a compassionate caregiver, it is particularly beneficial to your geriatric patient.

Continue reading for three reasons why working with the elderly is an emotionally gratifying and professionally wise focus for your healthcare career.

1. Job Satisfaction

Geriatric patients are men and women blessed with long lives but have seen their physical primes come and go. The need for medical assistance can highlight that fact, and a patient’s response to your aid can understandably fall anywhere on a wide spectrum. While one patient might be grateful and helpful, another could be irritable and uncooperative. It is your job as the medical professional to handle each scenario with poise and skill, and your privilege as a human being to do so with a gentle, non-judgmental touch to preserve both their dignity and health. 

There is great emotional reward to be found in the process of caring for elderly patients. The National Center for Biotechnology reports that the emotional attachment healthcare workers have with their elderly patients is often considered the greatest reward of their jobs  and, one of the many reasons they stay.

This concept suggests the rewards of specializing in geriatric patient care often transcend mere job satisfaction; A sense of fulfillment that is not easy to top!

2. Personal and Professional Growth

Specializing in geriatric care is a natural intersection for personal and professional growths. Elderly adults, by nature, are not shallow people – their life experiences run deep, likely having taught them many lessons in the process. They have seen war, economic rises and falls, the lifecycle of a career, love, and loss. While assisting in their medical care, the relationships that can form create opportunities to learn from their stories and encourage personal growth. 

That maturity easily bleeds into professional growth, as caring for an elderly mind and body can drive you to be more gentle than you thought possible, increase your efficiency and skill conducting procedures, inspire greater patience, and create a more profound sense of gratitude for your own life and loved ones. It is this mutually beneficial dynamic that makes working with elderly adults so gratifying, and the Allen School of Health Sciences offers multiple programs to help you break into this respected healthcare professions, among many others.

3. High Job Demand and Security

With the changing demographics in the US, the demand for geriatric healthcare professionals is increasing. According to the National Council on Aging in Washington, D.C., as baby boomers approach retirement age, the number of Americans over age 55 will rise from 60 million (21 percent of the population) to more than 107 million (31 percent) by 2030.

Additionally, there are many healthcare environments to choose from when determining what is right for you. If you do your best work in high-energy settings, you might decide to work in a hospital or rehabilitation facility; if you prefer calm surroundings, consider working in nursing homes or retirement communities; and if you desire the privacy to create those personal relationships, you can do so in the homes of your patients.

Start Working Today

Working with the elderly is a unique, important healthcare path – encouraging personal and professional growth and security. To learn more about our career services and start your journey in healthcare, contact the Allen School of Health Sciences today!


Things to Bring to an Interview

Imagine you are at the end of your internship, having just finished your classwork and you are ready to start looking for your new career in healthcare. You’ve got a great resume, and you’ve been practicing your interview skills and you finally get that call you’ve been waiting for to go into a clinic and interview for a job. Below is a list of a few things you should be sure to take with you when you go.
  1. Directions and Contact Info – Be sure you know how to get to the location the interview is at. In fact it’s a good idea to do a drive by beforehand so you can be on time for your interview. Also try to find out who you need to look for when you arrive
  2. Resume – You probably already submitted a copy, but it’s always a good idea to bring a few extra copies along.
  3. Identification – You will probably have this with you anyway, but it’s always good to have this available.
  4. Note Pad and Pen – You can take notes and write down questions as they come up. This will help you cover all your bases as you interview without interrupting the flow of the interview.
  5. Questions – Your interview will likely end with the asking you any questions. Prepare a list beforehand so you know what you want to ask. Even if something was already covered it’s OK to ask for further clarification at the end of the interview.
Follow these simple tips and you will feel more prepared and organized as you head into your interview. And as always if you have any career related questions reach out to your career services department at your campus. They can help you polish the skills you need that may help you start your new career in healthcare.

Feeling SAD: Dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Fall and the Winter seasons are on their way.  The days start to become shorter and shorter.  Some people feel a little sad and tired because of this.  This can be due to the fact that we are adjusting our activity schedule and the after work activities we were engaging in may not be possible anymore.  In others, they be experiencing SAD.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is related to the decreased amount of light we are exposed to during the day. People with SAD can experience full depressive symptoms like fatigue, loss of concentration,  and changes in weight/eating/sleep.

This disorder has treatments including medications (that help to increase the “feel good” chemicals in the brain, light therapy (to supplement the missing hours of sunlight), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) a type of psychotherapy.

As with all symptoms, when you’re not feeling well check with your doctor.  There are therapies to help people improve their health and quality of life.


5 Reasons Why Horror Movies Are Healthy

October is here and with it comes Halloween and television marathons of horror movies and slasher films that can make the season a little frightening and a little fun. While some of us like these films and some of us really don’t as healthcare students it’s our job to find the healthy benefits in any activity. So without further ado…. A few healthy reasons to watch that scary film this month.

  1. You Can Skip the Gym

Because watching a 90 minute horror flick may burn as many as 113 calories without leaving you seat. That’s about the same as eating a chocolate bar.

  1. You May Feel Less Anxious

Well in the real world anyway. See you get so anxious watching the scary movie that your body will produce things like adrenaline, glucose, and cortisol that may actually help you feel more calm and in control when you get back to the real world.

  1. Brain Activity will Increase

Your brain will release neurotransmitters during the film which will increase your brain activity. This may leave you feeling sharper and more aware after the film is over.

  1. Immune System…. Activate!!

That adrenaline rush we mentioned earlier? It will also mobilize your body’s immune system. So if you feel some sniffles coming on, just watch a scary movie

  1. You May Stress Less

The movie itself may raise your stress levels, however afterwards you may feel like your life isn’t as stressful. Unless of course you have a maniac wielding an axe chasing you or something like that…. But that’s a whole other issue. 

So watching a scary film may actually help you feel better overall, no promises though that you won’t have nightmares. One thing though that is scarier than any horror film? The Allen School is enrolling it’s final class of 2018!! If you don’t act soon and secure your seat you won’t be able to start working on your new career today. So use that adrenaline rush and visit our website today to get started www.allenschool.edu.


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.

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.

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.

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.

#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.

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.

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.


The Importance of Patient-Centered Care: A Story

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 Care Provider

What do we address? The patient’s chief complaint or severely decayed posterior teeth and periodontal issues?

How should the situation be addressed with the patient?

In this situation, two of the eight principles of patient-centered care were applied:

Respect for patients’ values, preferences and expressed needs

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. 

Information and education

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. 

Why Patient-Centered Care Was Necessary

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.


5 Tips to Find Success in Medical or Nurse Assisting

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.

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.

Work Together

Forming study groups is a great way to learn new material and make new friends along the way

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.

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.

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.

Applying the Tips For Success

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!