Nursing Assistant Training and Drug Addiction

OK, so that title may be a little misleading.  No, this post is not about drug addiction among nursing assistant training candidates.  Typically, a person who is working to complete nursing assistant training is a motivated, focused individual with a clear plan for their financial future.  The typical drug addict does not meet the profile.

What it is about then, is providing some very important information for nursing assistants who will very likely encounter people suffering from drug addiction during the course of their careers as nursing assistants.  Substance abuse is a complex and difficult illness both to properly identify and to treat.  It simply doesn’t respond to medicines like anti-biotics for bronchitis for example.  Addiction has a million causes and a million more manifestations.  But if one is prepared to first notice the symptoms and then to take appropriate action, there is a decent chance the patient can be saved.

Since frequently an addict doesn’t admit to his/her addiction, it often falls to their family or friends to help direct their loved one into treatment.  And for these folks, knowing the signs of addiction, and then how to act upon them can make all the difference.  A well-trained nursing assistant should know about these signs and activities so they may properly advise the addict’s loved ones who may not be ready or able to cope with this enormous problem.

Here are fourteen rules you must never break when dealing with an addict.  The list and the advice are produced by Narconon; an organization whose mission is to provide an effective path for rehabilitation from drug abuse and to assist society in preventing the scourge of drugs worldwide.  If you’re presently taking nursing assistant training, you should read this piece and educate yourself on these best practices because substance abuse/addiction is an enormous heath issue in the US.

Nursing Assistant Training to Enter Fascinating Field

Taking nursing assistant training courses not only prepares one to enter a lucrative and stable career, it also prepares one to enter a truly fascinating field.  The advances in medical science have come so fast and furiously for so long over the last century, that we’ve grown somewhat inured to the actual marvel of what is being accomplished.  Cures for diseases that killed billions over the course of history were eradicated in the 20th Century.  Polio, Smallpox, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Dyptheria and many others are now a thing of the past.  Organ transplants including heart, kidney, liver and even lungs have become commonplace.  In the early part of the 21st Century, the medical industry has even delivered face transplants and hand transplants.  It is a truly amazing time to be in this field, moving at the speed of innovation.

Today it was revealed that scientists at Stanford University are claiming to have isolated a cure for one of the diseases still killing thousands every year in a slow, and gruesome manner.  I am talking about Alzheimer’s disease which robs a person of their life’s memories while their brain slowly deteriorates and ultimately ceases to function at all.  This disease is almost more difficult for the families of those afflicted who must witness their loved one devolve daily as they can no longer remember their spouses, children, grandkids and friends.

According to, “Alzheimer’s is America’s sixth leading cause of death. 36 million people have Alzheimer’s worldwide, and only 1-in-4 have been diagnosed. 1-in-9 Americans over 65 have it, and 1-in-3 Americans over 85. 2-in-3 Alzheimer’s patients are women, and the disease is twice as likely in blacks and Hispanics. The human cost is incalculable; the financial cost is pretty staggering too, at over $220 billion annually in the United States alone.”

The Telegraph reports, “Researchers discovered that nerve cells die because cells which are supposed to clear the brain of bacteria, viruses and dangerous deposits, stop working. These cells, called ‘microglia’ function well when people are young, but when they age, a single protein called EP2 stops them operating efficiently. Now scientists have shown that blocking the protein allows the microglia to function normally again so they can hoover up the dangerous sticky amyloid-beta plaques which damage nerve cells in Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that, in mice, blocking EP2 with a drug reversed memory loss and myriad other Alzheimer’s-like features in the animals.”

Aren’t you proud to be studying nursing assistant training so as to become a member of the elite corps of people at the front line of science and healthcare?  If you’re not studying nursing assistant training, you may want to ask yourself if it is something that could be beneficial to you as a career option.

Boosting Memory Naturally for Nursing Assistant Trainees

Nursing assistants by definition must be well-studied on a host of topics critically important to the health and well-being of the patients that they encounter on the job.  There’s a great volume of information to learn while studying for nursing assistant certification and all of it must be retained.  Keeping one’s memory sharp can be challenging.  Whether you’re still studying to earn your nursing assistant certification or you’re already employed in the field, relying on caffeine, sugary energy drinks or other stimulants to boost your memory during test times or busy work times is a mistake.  Watch the video below for a fantastic and stylish way to use natural herbs to help keep your mind sharp.  or click here for step by step instructions.

Happy Labor Day Nursing Assistants Everywhere

Happy Labor Day Nursing AssistantsThere is honor in all work no matter how high minded or menial.  It is an inherently selfless act that produces the value every worker requires to feed his or her family and to provide value to the greater community at large.  Perhaps no labor is more selfless than that of those in the medical field.  Whether you’re a nursing assistant, a medical office assistant or a medical billing and coding specialist, the fruits of your labor involve the healing of the infirm and the comfort of the afflicted.

So today as our nation celebrates the staggering contributions of workers throughout American history, we here at the Allen School Blog tip our Uncle Sam hats (yes, we’re all wearing big stars and stripes top hats today) to you for all that you do.

Happy Labor Day to all!

Summer’s Last Hurrah! Time to Study for Nursing Assistant Certification

Yes people, Labor Day is almost here and with it, the end of another summer.  At the grocer just yesterday I noted that the big pile of watermelons was quickly dwindling and I lamented that soon, there would be no more watermelon for sale (except in small quantities, shipped in from Mexico and at an insane premium).  So I bought the biggest one I could find and intend to enjoy its sweet juiciness but a few more times before the onslaught of the Fall.

With Fall fast approaching and “back to school” on everyone’s mind, now might be a good time to consider taking classes with the Allen School to earn your nursing assistant certification and enter a fantastic new career in the medical industry.  You can ponder the possibilities over a juicy piece of the last of summer’s watermelon, prepared as shown above.

Windows 10 Tips for Online Medical Coding Program Students

Windows 10 tips for Online Medical Coding programIf you’re one of the online medical coding program students who has been following our coverage of the Windows 10 roll out here on the Allen School Blog, we hope you’ve had an easy go of it upgrading your operating system to the new Windows 10.  It is truly a great operating system and will go a long way towards making your online medical coding program experience easier and more efficient.  As such, we’re happy to share these tips and tricks with you for optimizing your use of Microsoft’s latest and greatest.

The following information comes courtesy of Tom McNamara of

The New Start Menu and Cortana
The biggest gripe with Windows 8 (the previous generation of Windows as there was no ‘9’) was that they did away with the very familiar and useful “Start” button in favor of a mobile device-style “tile screen” which made it difficult to get to core features like the control panel and others.  Windows 10 has restored the Start button but the new start menu is a hybrid between the old Start menu and the tiled interface for a best of both worlds arrangement.  It works quite well.

Cortana is the artificial intelligence “assistant” that accepts voice commands.  Thik “Siri” for your Windows machine.  You can ask Cortana questions using your voice (as long as your computer is equipped with microphone) and it will answer.  Pretty nifty.

Virtual Desktops
We know that online medical coding program students are busy people.  Many often maintain full time jobs and families while studying for their new career.  So their computers are frequently doing double duty – some school work and some household or job related work.  The virtual desktop feature in Windows 10 allows the user to build separate desktops.  You could build one for online medical coding course purposes and another completely separate one for other interests and then toggle seamlessly between the two depending on the tasks at hand.

One Drive
Formerly referred to as “SkyDrive”, this is Microsoft’s answer to the Google Drive.  It is essentially a cloud storage system where you can store files, work collaboratively with users in the cloud and basically leverage all the accessibility and convenience of cloud computing.

McNamara’s post available here, has a lot more detail on these features and other exciting functionality from the new Windows 10.  Its never been a better time to study online.

Deadly Heroin Additive Worsening Northeast’s Existing Epidemic

heroin addiction and nursing assistant program trainingHospitals, doctors, nurses and nursing assistants across the US, but particularly in the Northeast have been grappling with a surging epidemic of heroin overdoses in recent months. Health officials report that heroin overdose deaths in the United States nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, driven by heroin’s more affordable cost than prescription opiate painkillers.

According to a Reuters report, “the White House on Monday will announce a plan pairing law enforcement officials with public health workers in an effort to emphasize treatment rather than prosecution of addicts, the Washington Post said.” The ramifications of this new policy, focusing on treatment, will certainly be felt by those currently studying a nursing assistant program when they graduate and make their way into the healthcare workforce.

The White House’s shift in policy from a punitive to a care-driven posture comports with the care-giving ethos inherent in all medical industry jobs. People, like those taking certified nursing assistant programs, who enter into this field to provide comfort and care to the afflicted, should applaud this new, more human approach to a nasty and intractable social problem. Studying to become one such care giver with the Allen School prepares a man or woman to fight the good fight against this deadly scourge.

5 Add-Ons for Online Medical Billing Students Using New Windows 10

free software for online medical billing studentsFor those studying online medical billing with the Allen School, the recent release of Windows 10, the newest operating system out of Redmond, WA represents the opportunity to have the latest and greatest suite of tools for highly effective online study.   We’ve been covering the run up to the release of Windows 10 since having a solid computer workstation is essential to learning online.  Now that Windows 10 has been made publicly available and many of our student/readers have doubtlessly upgraded, we’d like to offer the following five add-on software tools available to those using Windows 10.

1)  LibreOffice
Windows 10 doesn’t come with any decent word processing applications included.  There are several free office suites available out there including mobile versions of Microsoft Office.  But these aren’t well-suited for desktop use.  Luckily, LibreOffice is a free suite of office tools that are almost exactly the same in terms of functionality as MS Office, without the big price tag.  Check it out here.

2)  VLC
Windows 10 doesn’t include the Windows Media Player app that came with earlier operating systems.  But never fear.  You can get a very capable media player software package for free from VLC and get back to watching DVDs in between marathon study sessions.  Download for free at this link.

3)  GIMP
Windows 10 does have a photo editing app included but it is not as robust in its features as GIMP which is a full-featured alternative to Photoshop (which itself costs hundreds of dollars).  Download GIMP for free here.

4)  Chrome
Yes, Windows 10 comes with a long-awaited replacement for the Internet Explorer browser which has been outclassed lately by competing browsers like Firefox and Chrome.  The new Edge browser from Microsoft is included in the Windows 10 download.  But, we’re still partial to Google’s Chrome browser which (according to this blogger’s anecdotal testing) still seems to be a faster page-loading, web-surfing tool.  This is especially important to those studying online medical billing.  To download Chrome, visit here.

5)  Spotify
Who doesn’t fancy a little music to study by?  Windows 10 comes with the Groove music app which works quite well, but it also comes with a $9.99 monthly fee to use.  So if you fancy a bit of music without the monthly billing, try Spotify which you can download for free here.

3 Market Data Points That Mean Zip to a Medical Office Assistant

Up or Down, Markets Don't Impact the Demand for Medical Office Assistants

Up or Down, Markets Don’t Impact the Demand for Medical Office Assistants

People training with the Allen School to start a new career as a medical office assistant have a lot of things to be concerned about when it comes to economic and investment market indicators.  Things like “which US cities see the most robust job growth” and “where housing costs are lowest” when they’re deciding where to begin their new, lucrative careers.

But here are three things the market is telling us today that don’t amount to a hill of beans for a newly minted medical office assistant.

1) US Factory Orders Advance 1.8% in June
The truth of the matter is, that whether or not the manufacturing sector of the US economy is booming or slumping, folks will always need to go to their doctor for everything from their annual physicals to treatments for seasonal afflictions like Flu and the common cold.  In fact, there are literally thousands of ailments and afflictions keeping medical offices humming regardless of factory output.

2) Oil’s Downtrend Seems to be Ending
We all know that the price at the pump has come down significantly.  The price of oil most definitely has a real and noticeable effect on economic output.  But do you know what isn’t effected by low oil prices?  Instances of swimmer’s ear, plantar’s warts, hay fever, acid reflux and countless other ailments which keep medical offices humming regardless of the price of crude.

3) Housing Data Beats Market Expectations
Do renters get sick more or less often than those who own their own home?  Guess what, it doesn’t matter!  Whether more people are pouring money into home ownership or living in frugal rental properties, they will all require medical attention at roughly the same rate statistically speaking.   Ergo, the whims of the housing market do nothing to influence the extent to which medical offices hum with activity.

Perhaps you’re seeing the pattern here.  The field of medicine, including the job of medical office assistant is mostly immune to the ebb and flow of economic changes.  This is why it is such a stable field to work in and why people seek to earn their degree as a medical office assistant with the Allen School.



Legionnaire’s Disease Kills 4, Infects 67 more in NYC

nursing assistant trainingHealth officials investigating the increasing numbers of Legionnaire’s disease in the South Bronx have found more than 5 cooling towers at buildings in the affected area that test positive for the pathogen that causes the disease.  Experts in the NYC metro area are saying that the public should expect the numbers of the infected to climb in the next week or so.  Teams of medical investigators are working furiously to identify the source of the outbreak so that it can be contained.  This kind of information is always of interest to Allen School students working on their nursing assistant certifications.

Legionnaire’s is a type of pneumonia and is spread through breathing of contaminated air and vapor.  According to Wikipedia, “Those with Legionnaires’ disease usually have fever, chills, and a cough, which may be dry or may produce sputum. Almost all with Legionnaires’ experience fever, while approximately half have cough with sputum, and one third cough up blood or bloody sputum. Some patients also have muscle aches, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, loss of coordination (ataxia), or diarrhea and vomiting. Up to half of those with Legionnaires’ have gastrointestinal symptoms, and almost half have neurological symptoms, including confusion and impaired cognition.”

For certified nursing assistants and other medical office staff, being able to recognize the symptoms may play a positive role in helping to contain the spread of this dangerous disease.  It is also important to realize that it can take 10 days for symptoms to appear after being exposed to the pathogen.  So Allen School alums in positions at doctors’ offices and hospitals around the NY Metro area – stay vigilant!