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! 


Medical Insurance Billing and Coding

Allen School of Health Sciences is aware that work and family schedules can be hectic, which is why we offer both day and night class. Medical Insurance Billing and coding training is just one of the many areas you will cover in our Medical Assisting program. These skills will prepare students for a career in processing patient specific health records within:
  • Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Doctor’s Offices
  • Nursing Homes
  • Outpatient Care Facilities
 Medical Billing and Coding could be split into two separate jobs as they each have different tasks. Medical Coders convert the patient’s services from their visit into specific codes. The codes are a universal language among hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, clearing houses and other healthcare organizations. Whereas, the Medical Biller takes the information from the medical coder to create a bill for the patient’s insurance provider otherwise known as a claim. Do you want a career change or do you often find yourself thinking about advancing your healthcare career? If so, then contact us today at 1-888-620-6745.  

Dedication is Key to Success

Perseverance is probably the most important ingredient to success.  More than innate ability, more than luck, more than well-placed connections, sticking to it is the most common attribute of the world’s most accomplished people.  Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. 

For students at the Allen School, determination and dedication are among the most important elements of success. With such busy lives, it can be hard to ensure there is enough time and energy to properly devote to studies; but it can be done which has become evident by the high number of graduates that Allen School produces each and every year. 

If you’re having trouble keeping focused on the prize, consider the effort put forth by young Ciara Cetraro of Hawaii who, at age 17, has a perfect attendance record at school.  Since kindergarten, Ciara has never missed a day of learning.  Can we imagine that some of the days among the 17 year academic career were tough?  Absolutely!  But, to her credit, Ciara never stopped plugging away and her record is a testament to the grit and determination that will surely serve her well as she enters post-secondary education and eventually enters the job force. 

Take a page from her play book and stick to your goals and dreams.  Pep-talk over! Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.


CNA Exam and Certification: New York

Certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, play an essential part in the medical industry, impacting the lives of patients daily. In hospitals, nursing homes, and many other medical facilities, CNAs support both patients and doctors in a myriad of ways. For those considering a possible career at a certified nursing assistant, an exciting and fulfilling future lies ahead.Before a CNA can earn their state-issued certification, they are required to undergo specific training. After training, a potential CNA candidate will need to successfully pass an exam designed to test both their knowledge and practical skills. With the health and safety of patients at stake, being able to demonstrate a satisfactory level of professional expertise is critical for a CNA’s success. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a certified nursing assistant, it can be beneficial to understand the requirements of the CNA exam.  

The New York State Nurse Aide Registry

In the state of New York, every nursing aid has a record in the NYS Certified Nurse Aid Registry. It is the responsibility of the registry to maintain accurate records of all CNAs in the state, allowing potential employers to confirm their official certification during the hiring process. To be considered for employment as a CNA, you must have a certificate issued by the NYS Nurse Aide Registry. To obtain your certificate, you will first need to qualify for and successfully pass the state CNA exam. 

Qualifying for the CNA Exam in New York

For those preparing to take the CNA exam, NY outlines a specific set of qualifying conditions that must be met first. These mandatory guidelines are designed to ensure that every candidate is properly prepared for the exam and a career as a certified nursing assistant. Before you can take the CNA test, NY state requires that you complete training from an accredited CNA educational program, such as the Allen School of Health Sciences. The school you select must be approved by both the NY Department of Health and the NY State Education Department, so you must choose carefully. The state guidelines for a CNA program include a significant focus on curriculum, establishing the following expectations:
  • A program must deliver at least 100 hours of training, comprised of a minimum of:
    • 70 hours of classroom curriculum
    • 30 hours of clinical experience
  • The curriculum must address a wide range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, patient observation, communication with patients, infection control, personal care, nutritional needs, and more.
Depending on if you’re located in NY State (or want to work as a CNA in NY State), depends on the exact requirements you’ll need to follow. However, most schools and educational programs will expect the following of prospective students:
  • Students must be at least 18 years old
  • Students are not required to have a high school diploma, but it is encouraged due to improved career prospects and increased earning potential
  • Students must be able to pass a drug test and TB skin screening
  • Students must submit to a fingerprint background check and provide immunization records
If you aren’t sure if you meet the enrollment requirements for your CNA training program, an enrollment advisor can help

New York CNA State Exam: What to Expect

Once you’ve graduated from your New York state-approved CNA training program, you’ll be able to move forward in the testing process. According to NY CNA requirements, you must schedule your test within 24 months of completing your training program. Depending on your specific program, you may be eligible to test on-site at your school. Or you may need to schedule testing at one of the test’s regional CNA testing centers. The New York CNA testing process addresses two separate components, both of which are critical in your ability to deliver quality patient care: knowledge and skills. During the 60-question written exam, you will answer multiple-choice questions designed to test your expertise. An option for an oral test is offered, but there is a reading comprehension section that is required of all test-takers. The clinical evaluation gives you the opportunity to demonstrate five, randomly-selected skills that you would be expected to complete regularly as a CNA. You can expect to receive both spoken and written directions for each selected skill. Your indirect care behaviors will be directly assessed as you complete each task.CNA candidates are allowed three attempts at passing both the knowledge and skills portions, at which point retraining is required. Once you have completed the test, you can typically get your NY CNA exam results online within 48 hours. If you successfully pass, your certificate and wallet card will arrive about ten to fourteen days after the test. 

Tips for Passing the NY CNA Exam

For prospective CNAs, the state exam is one of the most important tests they will ever encounter in their career. Here are a few tips that can help you approach this potentially life-changing exam with confidence:
  • Select a reputable New York CNA program that has an established track record of providing high-quality education and training. It’s critical that you choose a school that is accredited by the state of New York to ensure you qualify for the exam. If you are unsure if the program you are considering is included in state-approved schools, ask the enrollment advisor for details.
  • Find a studying method that works well for you. Every CNA student is different, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different study styles to find what suits you best. Some exam candidates prefer studying in a group, while others achieve better results from solo study sessions.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions – this is a valuable tip for your CNA training, exam, and entire professional career. If you feel uncertain about a specific training topic, skill, or any other part of your professional journey, meet with a trusted educational mentor or contact a reputable source for more information. 

Prepare for CNA Exam Success at the Allen School of Health Sciences

If you’re interested in working towards a career as a New York State nurse aide, your very first step is to choose the right training program. At the Allen School of Health Sciences, you can enroll in one of New York’s best CNA training programs and build the skills and knowledge you need for your professional future. Our comprehensive program combines in-classroom training with hands-on experiences, led by knowledgeable instructors who are passionate about making a difference. After graduating from the Allen School, you’ll be ready to take the New York CNA exam with confidence and achieve your career dreams. Learn more about the CNA training program at the Allen School by requesting more details or contacting our enrollment team today.Image Credit: Shutterstock/ARLOU_ANDREI

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.


Interview Question: What is your biggest weakness?

If there’s one question most people dread in an interview it’s “describe your biggest weakness”  No one wants to admit they have faults, and you certainly don’t want to jeopardize a chance at a job by appearing inept. So keep these five factors in mind when answering this tricky interview question.

Make Sure Your Answers are Credible

A medical assistant who hates needles or a nursing assistant who says they don’t like working with people will not be a great candidate. If either of these statements were actually true you wouldn’t be in the healthcare field.

Convey That you are Coach-able

Ideally, you can present an example that you’ve already overcome. Perhaps you initially found it intimidating to work in an electronic health record, but you sought extra help from your instructors while in school and this is no longer true.

Let Them Know You Don’t Mind being Corrected

This is a weakness you haven’t corrected yet, but with some help could be easily resolved. Perhaps it’s difficult for you to multi-task, but if you take the time to write yourself reminders and create task lists you are able to address multiple things at once.

This is not the Time for a Deep Confession

This is not the time to spill your deepest, darkest secrets. Keep your answers strictly professional and relatable to the position you are seeking.

Don’t be Overly Critical of Your Shortcomings

Your answer should never raise a giant red flag. Saying something like “I can never find a vein on the first few tries” is probably going to end an interview pretty quickly. The bottom line is, no one is perfect and employers know this. They want to determine how you are going to fit into their organization and existing structure. Keep your answers clear, simple, and truthful and you should have no problem answering this one.

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.