Medical Assistant’s guide to working on the holidays

Medical Assistant’s guide to working on the holidays

If you’re a Medical Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant, Nurse, or other healthcare professional, there’s a good chance you’ll have to work on a holiday at some point. If you do, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out on a major family or social event. It can be hard, but it’s essential. When you have to work on a holiday, this is how you can get through it.

Remember that you’re invaluable

If you work in healthcare, you work in an industry that people need every day, every hour, no matter what. The fact is, people need healthcare regardless of what the calendar says. Sickness doesn’t take a holiday. Heart attacks don’t care whether it’s Thanksgiving or a random Thursday. Cancer needs treating even on Christmas. Babies are born on New Year’s Eve, Halloween, and the Fourth of July.

Healthcare deals with life, death, birth, healing, and things that are often bigger than us. Nurses and Medical Assistants deal with all of it. The families who need to be in the hospital on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve will remember it for the rest of their lives. They’ll talk about the Halloween when they had a broken arm or the Easter when their child was born. You’ll be there not just on a holiday, but on a holiday that was impactful on them. One they’ll always remember.

There are benefits to working holidays

There are some very good things about working in healthcare on a holiday. It’s very possible things will be a little quieter than they normally would be. Patients who can will probably elect to stay at home with their families. What’s more, if your workplace first asks staff to volunteer to work on holidays before assigning days, then saying yes to a holiday shift could be a good way to increase your standing with your co-workers. Other healthcare professionals on staff will be glad you’re working and allowing them to stay home, and supervisors will be glad just to have that time covered. Your boss will also recognize you as a team player which will go a long way. Working on a holiday can also provide a chance for staff to bond. You’ll feel a sense of togetherness with other employees who are putting in time. 

Lastly, there’s also the chance to make some overtime, and when you do clock out, there’s always the chance to celebrate later. You might have missed the calendar day, but the holidays are what we make them. If you have to celebrate with loved ones a day later, that’s just as real as doing it the day of.

Are you ready to start your medical assisting career no matter what the calendar says? Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our winter classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School of Health Sciences family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.


Reasons why Medical Assistant training is a great profession for ALL ages

Attending the Allen School for Medical Assisting is a good strategy for young people who wish to embark on a lifelong career in the healthcare industry.  However, individuals fifty years and older, taking a Medical Assistant program is a great option. A recent USA Today article (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/03/29/how-older-job-seekers-find-work/70548328/) reporting on an AARP survey illustrates why folks in the middle of a lifetime can benefit from a significant career change, leaving behind work in unrelated fields, in favor of Medical Assistant training and other healthcare related jobs. 

It is not a secret that the employment market has lately favored the younger worker for his/her willingness to work for less, leaving many middle aged workers unemployed for long stretches of time thanks to the economic downturn.  The AARP survey of 2,492 people, ages 45 to 70, which had been unemployed at some time during the past five years, showed that people who were unemployed for a longer period were more likely to take a job in a different occupation than those who were unemployed for a shorter time.  Careers in Medical Assisting are a good choice for more seasoned workers looking to transition into a new field and here are three reasons – based on the AARP survey data – why this makes sense.

 1) Better Pay – 51% of respondents to the AARP survey said they earn more in their new jobs than their old.

2) Better Work Environment – About half (49%) of re-employed workers say their working conditions at their new jobs are better than the jobs that left them behind

3) High Job Availability – 71% of the respondents said the biggest barrier to landing a new job is that there are none available; 60% reported the need to stay in the area where they currently live; 57% said that employers think they’re too old.  The medical field is one of the most robust sectors of the economy and will remain so for at least a decade according to US Dept. of Labor statistics and there is a need for healthcare in all 50 states.  Older workers beginning new careers in this exciting field can easily find work wherever they live and there are always positions in solid supply.

If you’re an older worker considering a new career path to get back into the workforce, Medical Assistant training could be the option for you. Call us today! 


What to wear to a Medical Assistant interview

You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, and at job interviews, first impressions are vitally important. In just an hour, employers will get an idea of who you are, what your work ethic is, and whether you’ll fit their team, and it all comes down to how you carry yourself, and how you look.

One of the most important aspects of job interviews is looking the part, and dressing in a manner that makes you look like the competent, professional person you are, and someone your potential employer would be proud to have in their workforce. Remember to dress for the job you want.

Here are some tips on how:

Appearance

First off, it’s important to be clean and fresh overall. Make sure there are no visible stains or tears on your clothing, and that you’ve showered before the interview. Make sure your hair is well-brushed and in place. For an interview at a health facility, one of the best strategies is to go for business or business casual. For men, this can mean a full three-piece suit, or at the very least, a crisp button-up and tie. For women, this can mean a pant or skirt suit, or a dress with a conservative neck and hemline. Your hem should be no shorter than knee-length. Go for neutral colors like black, grey or navy. Avoid flashy colors or patterns. For jewelry, go for studs or small hoops with a small, non-distracting gem, or a tasteful chain and small pendant.

What to Avoid

Stay away from heavy colognes or perfumes. You want to smell clean, but avoid smelling like a department store! For ladies, a bit of makeup will make you appear fresh and well-groomed, however, stay away from the outrageous lip and eye colors that are more suited for a night out. Neutral shades like peach and tan will give you the perk you need. If you have removable facial jewelry, it might be best to take it out for the interview process. Make sure to cover any outlandish tattoos, if possible. Avoid jeans, sneakers, flip-flops, overly high heels and t-shirts at all costs, for these are all overly casual and will not give your interviewer a good impression.

Interviewing properly is the first step to a promising career in the healthcare field, and the first step to a successful interview is looking the part. When you look your best, you’ll feel your best, and be able to answer all questions with confidence and ease, and prove that you’ll be a valuable member of any facility you interview with!


Expectations during a Medical Assistant Externship

Expectations during a Medical Assistant Externship

You can learn a lot in the classroom, but you can’t learn everything, especially if you are studying to be a medical assistant. It’s a job that requires extensive medical knowledge as well as skills and professional attributes that can only be gained through hands-on experience. At the Allen School of Health Sciences, as in most medical assistant programs, that comes in the form of an externship that is made up of 275 hours in a health care facility. We want to prepare our students for all aspects of the work.  As such, we have developed an outline of what to expect from your Medical Assistant externship.

Working under Supervision

Probably the greatest benefit of a medical assistant externship is the opportunity it provides to practice skills and duties while being supervised. In your classes, you’ll learn what and why medical assistants do what they do.  However, the moment you apply that knowledge in the real world with real patients, even the simplest tasks like taking blood pressure can be daunting. The good news is that you are not alone.

Your supervisor will work with you closely, especially at the beginning, to ensure you remember everything you’ve learned in class.  This will enable you to feel comfortable administering your duties. In addition to acting as a guide, of sorts, your supervisor may also serve as your safety net to ensure you don’t miss anything. This aspect of supervision can and should relieve a lot of pressure. It is common to feel nervous before you’ve gained your skill, practice, and habits, but a supervisor’s presence should assuage your fears.

You will also be able to observe her as well as others perform procedures that you will eventually do yourself. It’s one thing to read about medical assisting in a textbook and quite another to witness it in a working environment. The example your supervisor and others set will give you more opportunities to learn before you perform a task yourself.

Asking a Thousand Questions

Your medical assistant externship should be a time to unleash your curiosity. These 275 hours may be training hours, but they are also an opportunity to learn all aspects of a job from the professionals who are doing the job. In class, you will learn about best practices and may have already asked why different medical procedures are done a certain way. In your externship, you can ask the less technical questions such as “How do you help nervous patients calm down?” and “Why do we put away the files like this?”

Asking questions that interest you will make all aspects of the work more personalized and will help the answers stick.

Learning the Role

A major part of the job is all about communication. The authority with which you carry yourself and the empathy you bring to patient interactions can’t be taught in a lecture. They are skills, critical to the position, that you can only learn in your medical assistant externship and you will learn them. As you practice and watch the professionals around you, you’ll understand the interpersonal aspects of the work and you will excel at them. When you begin your externship, you may feel like a student. Ideally, by the time you leave, you can expect to feel like you fit the role of medical assistant.

Gaining Confidence

At the end of your externship you can expect to feel confident in your abilities to be a medical assistant. Self-confidence is a huge part of any healthcare job.  This can be challenging for educators as it cannot be learned in a textbook or seminar. Gaining confidence in your ability to perform administrative and clinical duties requires practice, real life experience, and supportive supervision. It requires, in other words, an externship.  You won’t just learn how to be a medical assistant: You will become one.

At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we are committed to preparing our medical assistant students for employment as soon as they graduate.  This is the reason why externships are such a critical component of our curriculum. If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, you can earn your certificate in less than a year. We are enrolling now for our summer classes.  As always, we would love to hear from you! Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more about an exciting career as a medical assistant.

-Allen School


Medical Assistant: What are your options?

Medical Assistant: What are your options?

Becoming a Medical Assistant is one of the quickest ways to enter the world of healthcare. If you’re looking to get a good job in a growing field fast, becoming an MA is the way to go. But after you’ve completed your program and working in the position, what then? What are the career advancement options for a Medical Assistant?

Medical Assistants can choose from several specializations

Healthcare is a field of almost unlimited specializations, and Medical Assistants are no exception. Finding an MA specialization is one of the best ways to make yourself more in-demand. It also means finding a field that truly interests you and that you enjoy working in. Medical Assistants specialize in everything from internal medicine to transplant surgery and oncology. It would be impossible to name all their options, but every branch and level of medicine has to have specialized experts carrying out daily administrative and clinical tasks. Your choices for a specialization are as vast as healthcare itself!

You’ll have a leg up on further medical education

If you want to become a nurse, the education and experience you’ll get as a Medical Assistant will make a difference in your training. You’ll probably find clinicals and coursework more manageable than other students who go in without experience. Much (though not all) of the material you’ll encounter will look familiar. As a veteran of the medical world, you’ll probably be much more at ease with the technical and professional aspects of the material, as well as building upon your existing knowledge base. While other students are learning the ropes of the world of healthcare, you’ll be climbing them. After all, you’ve been here before.

Medical Assistants get valuable real-world experience

No matter what you choose to do after your first Medical Assistant job, you’ll always have experience that makes you more dynamic and interesting as both an employee and a person. If you want to become a nurse, your MA experience will serve you well. If you want to enter another field, potential employers will almost certainly think highly of your MA experience.

And, of course, there’s always the option of being an MA for the long haul. After all, medical assistants are in demand and an integral part of our healthcare system. Are you thinking about a new career as a medical assistant? If so, contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our fall classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.

-ALLEN SCHOOL


Traits of a successful Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant: Traits of a Successful Medical Assistant

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is one of the biggest industries in America. What might not be as obvious is the fact that you can have a prosperous career in the field without becoming a doctor or nurse. One occupation students might want to consider is that of a Medical Assistant.

A Medical Assistant, or MA, is someone who aids doctors, typically in offices and healthcare clinics, with administrative and clinical tasks, according to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). An MA can check blood pressure, direct patients through the office, and perform a myriad of administrative tasks. Other common responsibilities of an MA include maintaining patient records, scheduling appointments, sanitizing medical equipment and helping physicians with examinations. Let’s examine a few traits that successful MAs embody in their job:

Medical Assistants need good communication skills

Communicating is a fairly significant part of an MA’s job. Medical Assistants communicate with doctors, patients and each other to keep the office or clinic functioning effectively. Medical assistants who work more on the administrative side may serve as intermediaries between the doctor and patients or the doctor and health insurance companies.

Medical Assistants are team players

Medical Assistants are, in many ways, the glue that holds physicians’ offices and healthcare clinics together. With this in mind, it is important that they are team players and willing to do the work that is necessary to efficiently provide patients with the proper care. Feeding off the prior point about communication, part of being a team player is communicating with those with whom you work with. Being a team player can increase synergy among you and your co-workers, in addition to the obvious advantage of completing the work required to run the office or clinic.

Medical Assistants have strong attention to detail

Paying attention to detail is another quality that successful MAs exemplify in their work. This is not limited to cases in which an MA is permitted to administer drugs to patients and need to accurately measure the dosage. It is also crucial in the maintenance of patient records, scheduling and taking vitals; to name a few other examples.

Medical Assistants have a lot of compassion

Compassion is another trait that successful MAs embody. Medical Assistants are often responsible for ensuring that patients are comfortable during their visit to the office or clinic. As mentioned earlier, Medical Assistants serve as a point of communication between patients and doctors. Offering compassion and understanding of a patient’s concerns can go a long way towards their overall satisfaction with medical care. Medical Assistants can take comfort, pride and satisfaction in knowing that they helped change a patient’s life for the better.

Medical Assistants always have a willingness to learn

Medical Assistants are responsible for performing a multitude of different tasks throughout doctors’ offices and healthcare clinics. They are skilled in both clinical and administrative aspects of running an office or clinic. With this in mind, it is important for an MA to show the willingness to learn new skills as required by the doctors under whom they work. Changes such as new technology used in offices and clinics necessitate an MA to adapt to such updates. Being a “jack of all trades” can provide Medical Assistants with a degree of variety in the everyday happenings of their jobs. In many cases there are things within an office or clinic that an MA can help with, even though they might not be in the job description.  Armed with an array of skills, Medical Assistants can work in many different realms of medicine, exploring different disciplines and discovering what they are passionate about. Medical Assistants have the opportunity to specialize in a certain type of medicine, teach students who also want to be Medical Assistants or even become the office manager. Many also go back to school to expand on what they learned as an MA and land an even better job.

Launch your Medical Assistant career at the Allen School of Health Sciences.

Perhaps you feel that the traits in this post describe you and you are now thinking of studying to start your career as a medical assistant. For prospective medical assistants there is one clear choice for an accelerated training program: Allen School of Health Sciences. The Allen School of Health Sciences medical assistant program thoroughly prepares you to enter the healthcare field as a Medical Assistant. The program can be completed in less than a year.

 To learn more about our health care programs and externships, contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our fall classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.


How to manage stress as a Medical Assistant!

How to manage stress as a Medical Assistant!

Stress at any job is inevitable. In healthcare, you could come across all sorts of stressful situations. For instance, you may encounter a person who has a severe disease, or disability. You may deal with patients coming from diverse cultures or work with new technology; have a demanding workload, or even combat the continuing need for creative problem solving.

Medical Assistants’ tasks are obviously coupled with uneasy challenges and that is the reason why they are also prone to stress. We all know that stress can cause symptoms to arise both physical and emotional. To cope with stress at work, here are some excellent tips:

Arrive early

  • Review the patient charts for the day; notice any special problems or needs.
  • Be sure that each exam room is well-equipped and ready for patients.

Personal care

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Exercise and eat balanced meals.
  • Dress appropriately. Clothing or shoes that are too tight cause stress.

Laugh

  • Learn to laugh at life’s little problems.
  • Laugh at yourself.
  • Establish an appropriate level of humor with other members of the staff.

Music/Color/Light

  • Soft background music has been proven to soothe and promote relaxation.
  • Use color and light to create a calm atmosphere

Breaks

  • Build morning and afternoon breaks into the schedule, even if only five or ten minutes.
  • Close the office during the lunch hour, and if possible, leave the facility.

Work smarter, not harder

  • Prioritize tasks
  • Do not procrastinate
  • Be motivated
  • Be a team player but also learn to work independently
  • Plan your work, then work your plan
  • Positive thoughts plus positive action is equal to positive results.
  • Never panic. Take every situation as an opportunity for you to show that you can handle challenges and make things happen in a positive way.

Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our fall classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.


Medical Assistant: Is it a Good Career Choice for you?

Medical Assistant: Is it a Good Career Choice for you?

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If you are considering a career in healthcare, you might want to ask, is Medical Assistant a good career choice for me? Here are some of the topics you might want to think about.

What qualities make a good Medical Assistant?

This career field is all about working with patients and serving as a link between them, nurses, and doctors. Compassion, patience, and the desire to help others are all good personality traits if you are considering this career. It is also important to have good communications skills, pay close attention to detail, and have up-to-date computer skills.

Is being an MA a good career choice for today’s job market?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm) employment of Medical Assistants is projected to grow 23 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. The average for other occupations listed in the handbook is 11%. The handbook attributes this projected growth to a few trends:

  • The growth of the aging baby-boomer population will increase the demand for more medical services.
  • Primary care is a steadily growing sector of the healthcare industry, and primary care is where most medical assistants work.

What do Medical Assistants do?

If you are going to picture yourself in a new career, it helps to know what kinds of tasks you would be expected to do. Medical Assistants typically help with both administrative tasks and clinical tasks within doctor’s offices and other healthcare facilities. The duties vary, depending on the job, but some of the tasks might include: taking a patient’s history; measuring vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, and weight; giving injections; preparing specimens for laboratory testing; and schedule appointments.

What are working conditions like for Medical Assistants?

Most people in this field work in medical offices or other healthcare settings. The work environment is typically professional, well-lit, and clean. Most Medical Assistants wear scrubs to work, and have constant patient interaction. The hours can vary and most positions are full-time; hours can sometimes include evening and weekends. Some Medical Assistant work in medical facilities that are open 24 hours a day, such as hospitals.

What kind of training or education is necessary?

Training requirements vary, depending on the employer. Many Medical Assistants have completed programs at a postsecondary institution such as the Allen School of Health Sciences.

At the Allen School, our accelerated training program to become a Medical Assistant can be accomplished in less than one year. Some people go on to study for a certification exam to help improve their credentials. All programs emphasize anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and the clinical procedures that you will need to know for the job.

If you’re ready to pursue a successful career in the healthcare field and are interested in learning more about developing the skills and attributes of a Medical Assistant, contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our fall classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.


Improving patient care as a Medical Assistant

Improving patient care as a Medical Assistant

The modern healthcare team is a busy group of men and women who bring their passion and expertise to patient care. Included among those dedicated professionals are Medical Assistants. An MA is among the top five professionals necessary to run today’s patient-centered medical home team. They’re important members of the healthcare team in and out of clinical settings who help to improve overall patient care. Here’s how:

  • Medical Assistants serve as liaisons between patients and the rest of the healthcare team. They often have more direct patient interaction than other members of the healthcare team and can act as vital communicators between patients, their families, physicians and other medical staff.
  • Properly trained Medical Assistants take on many tasks which were once performed by nurses; this will free up a nurses’ time and allow them to give more direct patient care. An MA listens to patient history, takes vital signs, and even performs routine tests and lab work. An MA who works in the front office streamlines patient care and help physician offices run at peak efficiency. They schedule and send appointment reminders, collect insurance data and help with electronic medical records, among other tasks.
  • By translating medical terminology into language patients can understand, an MA helps ensure that patients follow doctors’ orders so they’ll be more likely to face a speedy recovery. They instruct patients on treatment and care and they follow-up with those patients to relay any concerns to the rest of the medical team.
  • An MA is a compassionate presence for patients who may feel stressed or scared. They never forget that the best patient care starts with the patient! They are committed professionals who place the patient first. They help optimize the workflow of the modern healthcare team and provide great patient care that helps others while also helping themselves.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for the profession will be much faster than average through 2028.  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm Think you might have what it takes, but are afraid to ask? Take part in one of our career planning sessions and discover the many healthcare paths available to you.

Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our Fall Classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.

-Allen School


Medical Assisting: A fun and rewarding career

Medical Assisting: A fun and rewarding career

You’re going to spend at least eight hours a day, 40 hours a week working. That’s a big chunk of time to be miserable if you hate your job. If you’re considering a new career, Medical Assisting offers a challenging, exciting, and fun opportunity for adults seeking something more than just a job.

Medical Assistants provide many services to hospitals and doctors’ offices, including administrative and marketing work, as well as medical tasks that include taking patients’ vital signs. The Allen School of Health Sciences can assist you in getting certified and into the job market in less than a year.

Here are a few reasons why Medical Assisting may be the right healthcare career for you:

Location – Medical Assistants are in high demand and you can take a certification exam that is recognized across the country. For individuals who want to travel or maximize their earnings by moving to a part of the country with higher wages, Medical Assisting is an excellent career choice.

Work with a team – Medical Assisting is a highly social job. You’ll work with doctors, nurses, administrative staff, patients, and vendors. If working with others energizes you, being an MA is the career choice for you.

Job security – The healthcare industry is booming with an aging population. Its growing range of services offered by physicians is driving increased demand for medical workers. The healthcare industry is predicted to expand employment opportunities by 2.3 million jobs over the next decade. Experts predict MA jobs will grow 23% in this period. The growth in employment means that finding work and higher wages will be easy for health care workers. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm

Upward mobility – Getting your training as an MA can be the first run on a very rewarding career path. An MA can obtain further training to become an Office Manager or Administrator, or even follow a path into nursing.

Personal satisfaction – Very few careers allow people to see the difference that they’ve made in individuals’ lives. Medical Assisting does. An MA gets to help patients dealing with illness and adverse conditions and see the results of their work as patients recover.

Think you might have what it takes, but are afraid to ask? Take part in one of our career planning sessions and discover the many healthcare paths available to you. Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our Fall Classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.

-Allen School