Gift Yourself a Job for the Holidays – Step Up Job Search

While Others Bake Holiday Cookies, Your Job Hunting Chances Improve

If you buy into the myth that holiday job searching is a waste of time, you are losing one of the better job searching seasons of the year. During this holiday job searching season, you enjoy reduced competition for jobs, easier access to decision makers who are actually in the office, and the opportunity to help people spend their budgets before year end.   Careerbuilder.com has an article up explaining exactly why job seekers should NOT take a few weeks off for holiday merriment.  Click here to read the story.

Can You Describe an Instance Where You Screwed Up at School or Work?

Healthcare Field Job InterviewThis is the very type of loaded question interviewers are increasingly asking of candidates for job positions.  Ah, how quaint seem the days when they used to ask you about your 3 top strengths and weaknesses.  Listen, the job market is more competitive now than it has ever been.  Hiring managers are forced to sort though thousands of candidates before making the best choice and they are getting more pointed in the questions they’re asking.  They just don’t have the time to beat around the bush and with so many in line for the available jobs, they feel emboldened to ask more penetrating questions.  Questions like: “What bugs you about your co-workers or your current boss?”  or “If you’re currently employed, how do you have time to make this interview?”  They’re fishing for answers that shed light on how you’d be as an employee.  Forbes magazine put out a list of ten new and interesting interview questions used by hiring managers, what they’re really asking and how to best answer them.  Click here to read it before you head out to your next job interview.  You’ll be glad you did!

New Healthcare Law Requires Chain Restaurants to Post Calorie Counts

Healthcare Law Requires Fast Food Calorie ListingAccording to a report by the Associated Press:WASHINGTON – A requirement tucked into the massive U.S health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs.  Read the whole article here.It may be a bit onerous for these restaurants to have to do this, but if you’ve ever seen those popular “Eat This, Not That” books and website, you know that often, seemingly “healthy” menu items can be worse than things that have a reputation for being “bad for you”.   In this blogger’s opinion, this step is a positive one because it will help American’s make more informed choices about what they eat.  Dietary choices are behind so many of the leading illnesses in our society from obesity to cancer.  The more info we have as a society, the better off we will be as we choose what to eat.

HHS Dept Commissioned Study Says Regular Mammograms Only Needed After 50

mammogramSweeping new U.S. breast cancer screening guidelines are calling for an end to routine mammograms for women in their 40s and for women 50 to 74 they suggest a mammogram every other year.  This controversial new guideline was handed down by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF),  a group of nongovernmental experts convened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review published literature and develop recommendations for the use of clinical preventive services.   Coming on the heels of the controversial Stupak Amendment limiting coverage for abortions that was inserted into the House healthcare bill in the eleventh hour at the behest of Catholic Cardinals, this new guideline seems to many to be a part of a broader campaign to hack away at hard won womens’ rights. Continue reading…

Front Page News (Again!)

Seems like a day doesn’t go by where I wake up an fail to see a story on the front page of some news outlet hawking the good news about jobs in the medical billing and coding field.  Today, of course, was no exception.  Upon logging on this morning, I saw the story linked here entitled, “Six Careers That Are Built to Last” penned by Christine Trang.  I will give our regular readers here at the Allen School Online Blog one guess as to which career field was sitting atop this list?  If you guessed “medical and health services manager” give yourself a cookie, or whatever your favorite reward is for being so smart.  Yes indeedy, it comes as no surprise that people studying medical billing and coding or medical office assistance are positioned well to enter a field that just continues to grow and that is exceptionally stable in an economic environment that is anything but.  So keep up the studies y’all.  You’re on the right track and it is validated each day in the media.

Medical Office Attire Around the World

Not entirely relevant to the topic of medical billing and coding or medical assistant training, however, I thought it was pretty interesting to see the different sartorial practices of medical office professionals in different countries around the world.  This article in one of my very most favorite geeky blogsites, www.boingboing.net published this image of a comparison between nursing/medical office attire from different lands.  What do you think?  Makes Spongebob themed scrubs seem strange in retrospect.

How to Become Indispensable in your New Medical Office Job

So you’ve gotten your medical billing and coding or medical office certificate from Allen School Online.  You’ve landed an exciting new position in the offices of a local physician or hospital.  Want to know the secrets of how to be the one person in the office they’d never even think of letting go?  Business Insider recently published this great article explaining how to become the indispensable member of the team.   The condensed version is:
  • Never take the shortcut.
  • Be adaptable, not rigid.
  • Be of service to others without expecting anything in return.
  • Be purpose-driven, not goal-driven.
  • Be assertive. Life is a game, so play big or go home.
  • Forgive others quickly.
For the details, read the whole article here.

Don’t Say That!

Foot in MouthOne of the most popular posts ever on the Allen School Online blog was entitled 10 Common Reasons People Get Fired!  You can read it here. No other post has generated anywhere close to the number of reader comments.  Probably because everyone knows a co-worker who does some of these “termination worthy” things (like failing to take a shower before work).Well, I think this post will be similarly popular.  It is based on an article published on Monster.com entitled, “Nine Things Never to Say In a Job Interview” and it contains almost as much cringe-worthy examples of ways people undermine their career prospects as the 10 Reasons People Get Fired piece.  Have a read and remember these things next time you’re interviewing for a job in medical billing and coding or medical office assistant.

Early Spring? Early (Allergy) Suffering

If you live in the Northeastern United States (as many Allen School and AS Online students do), you know we’ve been treated to a very early Spring.  After an exceptionally mild and mostly blizzard-free Winter, the temperatures have been in the mid-60s to 70s for the last 10 days or so.  The forecast is for over 70 degrees for much of the week this week.  In this blogger’s yard, the lilac bushes and forsythias have already begun to sprout early leaves.  While all this is a welcome occurrence, I know that I and many other seasonal allergy sufferers will be in for a bumper crop this pollen season.  While there’s very little you can do to stop the coming onslaught of pollen, there are steps you can take to alleviate the allergens in your home so you don’t suffer twice as much when the trees and flowers bloom.  Here’s a good piece from Men’s Health magazine about ways to minimize allergies in your home.  Enjoy this early Spring, and pass the tissues!

Non-Verbal Cues that Can Torpedo Your Job Interview

You only get one chance to make a first impression.  This is especially true in the interviewing for a job position.  With so many applicants for each available job, you need to put your very best foot forward.  Just try not to be tapping your best foot all through the interview.   Allen School Online students get a highly respected certification when they finish their studies of medical billing and coding.  However, no matter how good your grades are, and no matter how respected your education is, and no matter how articulate you may be in the interview, you can still blow it and not even know it.   The Wisebread.com blog site has a great piece up right now that chronicles some of the non-verbal or “body-language” cues that can distract an interviewer during your meeting.  Things like excessive staring (while trying to maintain good eye contact), bouncing one’s leg up and down (due to nervousness) or nodding too much (trying to indicate high levels of interest) can all be negatively interpreted by the hiring manager.  Click here to read the whole article and its list of “don’ts” for body language during the interview process.