Staying Healthy in Colder Weather

December is here and temperatures are dropping, many places are already seeing rain, sleet, and even snow. It’s the season that often brings on colds and other illnesses that can keep you from work, school, and just feeling 100%. So what can you do to stay happy and healthy as the skies start to turn grey? 
  1. Drink Plenty of Water – It can be tempting to grab a nice hot coffee or tea when you’re feeling thirsty in winter to help warm you up, but it’s important to stay hydrated. You need just as much water in winter as any other season, and beverages that contain caffeine like coffee or tea can actually dehydrate you.
  2. Exercise Regularly – Don’t let the cold weather keep you on the couch. Even 15 minutes of exercise a day can help keep you healthy all winter long. A lot of gyms will offer deeply discounted memberships at this time of year, or just get out and take a short walk. No matter what you choose to do the important thing is to keep moving throughout the whole year.
  3. Get Plenty of Sleep – It’s more important than ever to recharge your batteries in the winter. You should try to get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night. Your immune system can become weaker if you don’t get enough sleep every night.
  4. Wash Your Hands – This will help keep bacteria and viruses off your hands and therefore away from your mouth and nose. It’s also a good idea to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you for when you aren’t able to use soap and water. Prevention is the best way to keep from getting sick.
  5. Dress for the Weather – It’s important to keep warm and dry in cooler weather. Dressing in layers is always a good idea so you can adjust to the temps as they change during the day. And remember a lot of heat can escape from your head, so be sure to wear a hat. Also keep track of those fingers and toes in extreme weather and make sure they stay toasty and dry as well.
  6. Get Your Flu Shot – It’s definitely not anyone’s favorite thing to do, but a flu vaccine can help keep you healthy and going strong all winter long. Many pharmacies and clinics offer them for little or no cost. It’s a small investment for a winter of being flu free.
 Here at the Allen School of Health Sciences we know that prevention is one of the most important pieces of living a long and healthy life. We hope you enjoyed our winter tips and use them to have a healthy and fun cold weather season. If you are ready to help other stay healthy and strong please give us a call today at 877-591-8753 or visit our website at www.allenschool.edu. Our first classes of 2017 are enrolling now and we can’t wait to speak to you about becoming a member of the Allen School family.

Should you Earn a Certificate or a Degree?

It can be challenging to decide what path to take when planning your educational future. It is important to consider the time you will be investing in your education, what type of credentials you would like to earn, how soon you would like to begin working and many other factors. Your professional goals can help you determine what type of education will be most beneficial to you as well.Time – Many certificate programs last less than a year and can often be completed in roughly nine months. If your ultimate goal is to complete your education as quickly as possible this may be a better choice for you. A degree program can take anywhere from 18 months to several years depending on the degree type you pursue.Cost – A certificate program is often a more economical choice over a degree program. Due to the shorter duration of classes, the tuition is often far less than a degree program. It is important to consider potential career income to school cost ratio when choosing your education path as well. In both cases a properly accredited certificate or degree program will likely be able to offer you tuition assistance and financial aid options to help you afford school.Internship Opportunity – Certificate programs tend to be more career-focused.  Many cut out the general education courses that can be seen as unrelated to the field of study.  These general education classes are sometimes added to Degree programs in order to achieve the minimum required credits/hours for a Degree.. Degree programs are often more theory based and focus more on content and information rather than real-world practice.Certifications and Earning Potential – Whenever you consider your education it is important to keep your ultimate career goals in mind. It is important to research what certifications you can sit for based on your education. Medical and Nursing Assistants are generally able to earn the same licensure or certification regardless of what type of educational path they pursue, which in turn often qualifies them  similar employment opportunities. Medical Insurance Billers and Coders may choose to expand on their initial certificate and earn a degree to allow them to sit for more advanced certifications that may expand their career opportunities.Regardless of the type of education you choose remember that the first step to a brighter future is to get started! The Allen School of Health Sciences has provided thousands of students just like you with the education you need to get ahead for over 55 years. If you are ready to give yourself the gift of education this holiday season please contact us today. Classes are enrolling now for the New Year.Call us today to get started. Call 877-591-8753 or visit our website at www.allenschool.edu.

Some Suggestions for YOUR Holiday WishList

What’s On YOUR Wish List? The holidays are here and it’s time to think about your holiday Wish List. Here are our top 5 gifts you need to give to yourself this holiday season!# 5 – Time: Earn your certificate now and have the potential to graduate prior to many other students, so you can beat the competition to potential job openings. Many schools do not have accelerated programs and they take 1-2 years to complete. This can delay your ability to gain the necessary skills to become employable as soon as possible!# 4 – Opportunity: Healthcare is STRONGER than EVER! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the Medical Assistant expected to grow 23% from 2014 to 2024. If you start  your training now and complete your certificate, you will gain both the skills and experience necessary to be a valuable asset to many types of employers.# 3 – Satisfaction: New Year-New Career! Starting your program means your expected graduation date COULD BE September 2017. Don’t push off your new career any longer, and be ready for job interviews before you know it.# 2 – A New Beginning: If we wait for the ‘perfect’ time, a better time, later, we will be waiting forever. The truth is; if you keep waiting you are going to run out of time. Take a close look at what it is you are waiting for and find a way around it. Act now or risk missing your chance. You need to ask yourself the real reason you keep putting off change????# 1- A Bright Future: Thinking about a new job or making better income can make you feel good at the time, but without action the knowledge itself is useless and it will never lead you to a better way of life. You can “think about it” and “talk it over with everyone you know,” but without actually helping yourself you are always going to be in the same place. It may take some tough decisions, but your situation will continue to be exactly the same unless you act to change it. Let’s start that change today!!!!So what are you waiting for? Our Healthcare classes are enrolling now at all locations! Our classes are kept small and taught by highly qualified professionals to help give you the skills you need to be successful as a healthcare professional. The Allen School of Health Sciences has over 55 years of experience in helping students just like YOU reach their personal and professional goals.Please visit our website at https://www.allenschool.edu/or give us a call 877-591-8753.

How to Balance School During the Holidays

The holiday season is just around the corner and it can be easy to let school slip to the back burner if you are not careful. Between family get-togethers, shopping for that perfect gift, and putting up decorations, you may find your homework and study time slipping away. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you balance your holiday cheer with your future career. 
  1. Check Your School Schedule – The Allen School knows the value of family and spending quality time with your loved ones and we strive to give you plenty of time to spend the holidays with your friends and family. Be sure to know your days off and plan family events accordingly. This may mean you need to wait an extra day to join the festivities or come back home a little early, but it is a small price to pay knowing that you can be in a great new career at this time next year.
  2. 2. Check Your Budget – The children in your life probably have a wish list that is a mile long and it can be tempting to pick up extra shifts or even a second job to give them everything they want. Before you do though, write out a daily schedule of how work, home, and school are fitting into your life now. If you have to give up study time or a good night’s sleep to pick up extra income you should think again. Remember school will be over before you know it and you will likely be in a whole new position at this time next year.
  3. Be a Guest, Not a Host – Even if holidays are traditionally celebrated at your house, now is a great time to start a new tradition of sharing the host responsibilities. You can still help on the day of the event and bring a dish or two to pass. If you do have the family over do not be shy about asking for help. You will be surprised who is willing to help you clean house and join in the prep duties in the kitchen.
  4. Keep in Touch – If you simply must miss a day of school let your instructor know well ahead of time. They can help you plan what material will be covered while you are gone and also if you are going to miss any assignments, quizzes, or skill evaluations. You can also speak to the Student Services department and create a plan for making up your time when you get back. Remember the first step to being successful is being in class.
  5. Don’t Forget to Study – Use your holiday travel time to do some reading and take a few quiet moments at the end of a busy day of cheer to review your materials for when you go back to class. You can even put your material on flashcards and turn it into a game so your family can help you and see how far you have come in your studies. Who knows, you may even inspire someone to better their lives just like you are.
From the Allen School Family to you we hope you have a very enjoyable holiday season. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and treasure the gift of education you are giving yourself. If any of your family and friends are ready to change their lives and start classes at the Allen School please have them visit our website at www.allenschool.edu or give us a call at 877-591-8753.

Why is Volunteering Important to YOUR New Career?

Volunteering may be the key to your successful job search.
  1. Resume Building – Volunteer positions can play a vital role in building your resume as you begin your new career. Not only will it help build your experience in the field, it will also show potential employers that you are dedicated to being truly successful as you start looking for a new position. If you have never had any job in the field of healthcare, volunteering is a great way to pick up some experience.
  2. Create Connections – Volunteering will help you meet other people already working in the field of healthcare. They may know of open positions you can apply for or have sound advice that will help you get an advantage over other potential job candidates. They can also be a valuable resource for work references as you start to fill out job applications.
  3. Find Your Passion – Volunteering in many different settings and patient populations will help you determine what type of work you may want to do in the future. Who knows you may have always felt drawn to pediatrics, but after volunteering in a geriatric unit you may realize that your true calling is working with the elderly.
  4. Push Your Limits – While we strive to create as life-like a setting as possible in the classroom, nothing beats real-life experiences. When you volunteer with real patients who truly need your help you will realize that some things can only be learned by doing. You will build your skills and also build your character as a person and a healthcare provider.
  5. Volunteering is Rewarding – No matter what setting you choose to volunteer in you can be proud of yourself and your work. Not only will you be a better person, but you will be making life better for those around you as well. Even a simple act of kindness on your part can be enough to change someone’s whole day.
 So what are you waiting for? There are a variety of settings looking for volunteers just like you. Many hospitals are looking for help with things like patient transport, child enrichment activities, and patient support. Retirement communities often need volunteers to help with resident activities that can include a wide variety of ways for you to help. If you prefer something more flexible look at events like walks or runs, fund raisers, and community fairs. For more ideas on places you can volunteer please contact your student services advisor.

How To Stand Out as a Medical Assistant

5 Ways You Can Stand Apart From the Medical Assistant Crowd Everyone knows that an employer is looking for the very best candidates for their open positions. You have already taken the first step to becoming that candidate by choosing to take classes with the Allen School of Health Sciences, but what else can you do to stand out and land your dream job? 
  1. Grades and Attendance – This is an easy one. By getting good grades you show that you have the knowledge needed to be a successful Medical Assistant. Getting perfect attendance demonstrates to your employer that you are dedicated and will mostly likely continue this trend as you begin your new career. Perfect attendance while you attend your internship will be even more impressive to your potential new employer.
  2. Get A Healthcare-Related Job – There are many positions available in the healthcare setting that you can secure during school to help you get a leg-up on the competition. You can work in the nutrition department, as a receptionist or unit secretary, or even in patient transport. Check your local hospitals and healthcare facilities to see what is available to you. This will not only get you started in healthcare, but may also offer you the opportunity to make professional connections with other healthcare providers that you can use to help secure your first position as a Medical Assistant.
  3. Volunteer – Many healthcare facilities have multiple opportunities available for volunteers. In some cases you can even choose to volunteer in a specific unit like pediatrics or oncology. Volunteering will not only give you the chance to gain experience in a healthcare setting, but it will also show your dedication to your future employer, while building your resume at the same time.
  4. Get Certified – Nothing shows your understanding of your chosen field more than obtaining your certification. Not only will this set you above the crowd, but it will also show a potential employer that you are dedicated to the field and will make a good long term prospect for their position.
  5. Always say “Yes” – Whether it’s during your time in class or out on your internship site take every opportunity you can to add to your skillset. If you are ever asked to step beyond what you have learned in class and try something new be sure to seize the opportunity and make yourself a stronger future candidate for any positions that come along. Even the smallest bit of experience could be all it takes to get you a job offer over another candidate.
The Allen School is dedicated to helping our students live their dreams of a career in the field of healthcare. Whether you choose a hands-on career as a Medical Assistant, or enjoy the analytical structure of Medical Insurance Billing and Coding we can help you get started on the path to your dream career. Our final classes of 2016 are enrolling now for all programs. Please visit www.AllenSchool.edu or give us a call at 877-591-8753 to get started today.

What Does A Medical Insurance Biller and Coder Do?

A Day In The Life of a Medical Insurance Billing and Coding SpecialistIf you have decided to pursue a career as a Medical Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist you will have many opportunities available to you. You may decide to work in a small practice with a small group of providers. You could also work in a specialty practice and play a part in making a difference for someone battling diseases like cancer or chronic illnesses like asthma or diabetes. You may even choose to work in a large setting like a hospital. Whether you choose to specialize in one specific thing or multi task across a variety of patient types, your day is sure to be rewarding and fast paced.Some of the responsibilities you may encounter during your work day include: posting insurance payments, working denials, working AR reports, collections, coding and auditing physicians charts, entering daily charges, posting payments received, transmitting electronic claims to a clearinghouse, answering patients questions regarding bills, verifying insurance coverage, entering patient demographics, obtaining referrals and pre-certification, answering phones, submitting the claims, internal auditing, and many other tasks.You could also specialize in one specific area such as Medicare, Medicaid, or a private insurance company and do the coding and submitting of claims.  You can work for the third party payer directly processing the claims.If you are a highly organized individual who enjoys attention to detail, this is the career for you. The Allen School of Health Sciences is ready to help you achieve you career goals. Give us a call today at  877-591-8753 or visit our website at www.allenschool.edu

November is American Diabetes Month

Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans today has diabetes? Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease. It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day. That’s why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many of us.This is exactly why the American Diabetes Association marks each November as American Diabetes Month: to bring extra attention to the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it.This November, the organization will showcase real-life stories of friends, families and neighbors managing the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of diabetes. The 2016 campaign, sponsored by Colgate Total® (National Oral Care Strategic Partner) and Medtronic Diabetes®, invites us to use #ThisIsDiabetes to share our personal stories and to start a dialogue about what it really means to live with diabetes.Diabetes is more than the medications and devices used to manage it. For many, diabetes dictates how they organize their day, what they eat at every meal, how they choose to be physically active and how they spend their money. People with diabetes can have health care costs that are 2.3 times higher than someone without diabetes, as type 1 and type 2 require very specific forms of treatment.Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and there is no known way to prevent it. Approximately 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, which means their body does not produce any insulin. Insulin is critical in order for the body to transport glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into cells for energy. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to live.Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of cases in the United States, and is caused when the body does not produce or use insulin properly. Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes). Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose (sugar) with healthy eating and being active; other may require oral medications or insulin, especially as the disease progresses. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as older adults.Some women develop gestational diabetes, high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy, which requires treatment to protect the health of the mother and the baby. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 9.2 percent of pregnant women.There’s a way for everybody to participate during American Diabetes Month in November. Share your story, or encourage a friend or family member to share theirs using #ThisIsDiabetes. Be sure to also follow the American Diabetes Association on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.You can also update your Facebook profile picture to help raise awareness, sign up to become an advocate and donate to help the American Diabetes Association continue their critical work. To learn more and view #ThisIsDiabetes stories from around the country, check out diabetes.org/adm.

Social Media and Your Career

It is  rare to find anyone out there today who is not active on some sort of social media. We post, share, tweet, and comment on everything from what was for dinner last night to major events going on in the world. It can be easy to forget sometimes that what gets posted on the internet can play a big part in your future career in the healthcare field. Pictures – This is an easy one. It may be tempting to post that great selfie in your new bikini. Or snapchat the epic tower of cans from your last party with the guys, but think before you post. While your friends may give you a hundred thumbs up, your future employer may give you a great big thumbs down.  As a general rule if you wouldn’t show the picture to your mother, or better yet your grandmother, it is probably best left off your social media.Jokes and Memes – Most employers are going to overlook the occasional off color joke, but take a look at your posts as a whole. Is there a theme or trend that may make them take a closer look? If you’re trying to get a job as a Medical Assistant and all of your memes are about how doctors treat their co-workers for example, this could be enough to get you over looked for a position.Language and Drama – Obviously crude language is going to throw up a red flag to a potential employer, as is major drama that is shared in such a public setting, but employers also look at how well you write in general. If you cannot spell or use proper grammar, you may not be the candidate they want notating their patient records or working their billing and coding accounts.LinkedIn – Do you have one? Do you use it properly? Your account should be completely filled out and have an appropriate picture. Also consider joining groups on LinkedIn that interest you, they aren’t all business related. An active user on LinkedIn who contributes posts to groups presents a more professional appearance to employers.Security Settings – They are there to be used. It is usually wise to not share every single bit of your account with the entire world. Create friend groups for more personal posts (like the pictures mentioned above) and only post publically if there’s absolutely no question in your mind that the post won’t raise any questions to an employer. Wishing grandma a happy birthday makes a great public post, that bikini selfie mentioned above…. Not so much.Make Sure Your Story Matches – If you claim on LinkedIn that you’re employed full time at a great company and work really hard, don’t post on Facebook at 10am that you have just gotten a high score in Candy Crush. Either you are not employed where you say you are, or you are playing Candy Crush at work. An employer is going to give both these possibilities serious consideration as they are looking for job candidates.Have Social Media Accounts – Strange as it sounds your social media presence now makes up a big part of employers researching potential candidates. If you don’t exist at all on Social Media it can raise just as many questions as it does when you overshare. If social media just isn’t your thing, at the minimum make sure to establish a LinkedIn account that you update a few times a year.For better or worse social media is a major part of our society, and it does have an impact on both securing and keeping a job. The Career Services department at the Allen School of Health Sciences is here to help you gain every advantage you can as you start on the path to your new career in healthcare. If you are ready to be part of the Allen School Family give us a call today at 877-591-8753 or visit our website at www.allenschool.edu. #allenschoolsuccess

Balancing School and Family

Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of going to school if you have small children. The thought of adding school to your already busy life schedule can be overwhelming, but with a bit of organization and planning you can go back to school and still enjoy time with your children. 
  1. Make a Schedule – At the beginning of each new class review your syllabus and determine which weeks are going to be more challenging and will require extra study time. Don’t make any extra appointments during this time (i.e. doctor, dentist, etc.). Also avoid taking on extra responsibilities like school trips or parties if at all possible during these weeks. Most importantly, stick to the schedule you create. It is perfectly fine to be a little selfish with your time while you are in school
  2. Find ways to free up time – Prepare all of the week’s meals on the weekend so all you have to do is re-heat things during the week. Prepackage snacks for your kids so they can serve themselves without you having to help. Let your children do simple tasks like get their own pajamas on and brush their own teeth instead of relying on you. Take your notes with you to study while waiting to pick your children up at school, or while waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
  3. Study with your Children – If they are in school do your homework together at the table. If you have younger kids they can do activity books or color quietly while you study. Not only will you encourage each other, but it will help your children understand all of the work that you are putting into your education.
  4. Ask for Help – School will not last forever, don’t be afraid to ask for help tending your children while you study. Even if it’s just a family member or friend coming over to entertain them for an hour or two while you study. Ask your fellow classmates if they have children and you may be able to exchange babysitting services with each other a few nights a week, so everyone has a chance to get some extra quiet homework time.
  5. Take a Day for You – Don’t be afraid to take some you time. Everyone needs a break from studying and homework. As you plan your schedule, be sure to schedule in some you time. Go see a movie, grab lunch with friends, take the kids somewhere fun, go on a date with your significant other, or do whatever helps you to relax.
 Balancing school, children, life, and work can be challenging, but in just a few short months you can be on your way to a rewarding new career that will make it all worthwhile. If you are ready to make a change in your life contact us today to get started. Call 877-591-8753 or visit our website at www.allenschool.edu