What does a Certified Nursing Assistant do?

As the baby-boom population ages, nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed to assist and care for elderly patients. Overall employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At AIHT Education students can received hands-on training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. The course provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become certified as a Nurse Aide in the State of Connecticut.

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) fill the gap between patients and nurses – providing quality-of-life care to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care and hospice facilities, and in residential settings. They also gather vital information about patients’ conditions, which they relay to their supervisors, so their patients can get the care they need.

Below are some examples of daily actives of a CNA:
– Cleaning and bathing patients
– Help patient use the toilet and to get dressed
– Take care of combing hair, shaving caring for nails and brushing  teeth
– Turn, transfer and reposition your patients between the wheelchair and bed
– Help to take patients to eat and to participate in various activities
– Serve the patients meals and in some cases, to help them eat if they cannot do it for themselves

One of your key roles is to assist your Register Nurse (RN) supervisor in doing his or her job. You will need to listen to patient’s health concerns and record them in notes, either on paper or in an electronic system. After that, you will need to report this new health information to the RN. You will be dealing with a person with a number of health problems, which will vary depending upon the patient. You are going to need to speed much of your time as a CNA working to manage those problems.

For example, you will in some cases need to tend to patient wounds. You will need to clean them, dress them, and ensure that they are healing properly. Also, you will need to work to prevent bed sores in your patients. You will need to reposition your patient often and turn them regularly.

By focusing your efforts as a CNA on these essential tasks, you can really make a strong difference in the lives of your patients.

Are you interested in become a CNA?

The first step to getting your career started is visiting AIHT’S Admission Department. Our friendly and knowledgeable counselors will help you get acquainted with AIHT and our professors, discuss our training programs and answer any and all questions you may have.

4 Amazing Apps to Make Every Healthcare Student’s Life Easier

Majority of healthcare students spend at least 1-2 hours a night reviewing material covered in class. With classes in full swing, now is a great time to look at some of the best study apps for healthcare students. There are many great apps you can use on your phone or tablet that can help you study effectively and efficiently. Check out the list below:

#1 Google Docs
The best thing about Google Docs is the ability to sync-up your notes across all of your devices. If you’re in class taking notes on your tablet and get home and would like to work on your notes on your laptop, simply signing into your Google account and you will have access to all of your notes!

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#2 StudyBlue App
With all those notes you’ve been taking, you will need to find a productive way of using them to study. StudyBlue is an app that helps organizes your notes. The best part about the app is that you can turn your notes into flashcards and take personalized quizzes!

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#3 Test Anxiety App
Have you ever suffered from test anxiety? If you find yourself in anxiety mode before exams, you should check out the AnxietyBC App. Even though this app is geared towards all sorts of anxiety situations, it has a helpful test anxiety component. You can use this app to gain control of your breathing and learn to shift your mind to more positive thoughts so you can focus on mastering the academic material. 
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#4 Self-Control App
Is Facebook, Twitter or Instagram calling your name every time you sit down to do some studying? (YES!) Self-Control app blocks distracting websites so you cannot access them. You create a “blacklist” of sites you find distracting, set a timer on the app and you will be blocked from accessing your blacklisted sites for the time you’ve allotted. It’s amazing how much more work you can get done when you know you cannot visit your go-to procrastination sites!! If for some reason you really must check something on Facebook, you can restart your computer to reset the app, but try to stay focused!!

 

These are just a few apps that can help make your studying a little easier. If you work on eliminating distractions and creating a positive environment for yourself, you will improve your study time!

 

Ready to enroll in healthcare training classes at AIHT Education? Contact the Admissions Department today to learn more about the career training we offer. Schedule a tour!

 

5 Reasons You Should Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

1.It’s a remarkable career helping patients

In this career, you will analyze diagnostic information to provide a summary of findings for the physician. You will be able to recognize the difference between normal and abnormal images. Sonography is safe, accurate and helps to diagnose medical problems that the doctor cannot see without surgery. You will be working with people and helping them every day. Your job may help to eliminate unnecessary surgery or help facilitate more accurate surgery, thus helping people live healthier and more productive lives.

2. It’s a stable career with a growing demand

The U. S Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the demand for ultrasound technicians to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024. Many Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are employed in hospitals, ambulatory centers, and radiology centers. The Medical Sonographers not only scan parts of the body but are also responsible for maintaining equipment and orders supplies when needed.

3. You are always learning something new

The program comprises of modules like Medical Terminology, Anatomy & Physiology, Ultrasound Physics, scanning modules like Abdomen, Vascular and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Throughout the program you will be asking questions and continuing to further your knowledge in the field. The exciting thing about any medical profession is that innovative discoveries are constantly being made, therefore you will be a continuous learner throughout your career.

4. You wouldn’t be stuck behind a desk all day

Sonographers are always moving, and that aspect of the work appeals to energetic people. You may need to help patients move or you may need to move equipment. You may be on your feet a lot, which some people see as a good thing. This is definitely not a desk job except for brief periods of filling out required forms or talking to patients. Sonographers enjoy a fast-paced work shift that combines a variety of duties with plenty of action.

5. Earn Professional Credentials

After completion of the graduation requirements, students may appear for American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) registry exam. The first part of the exam would be to take the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination which tests basic physical principles and instrumentation knowledge essential to sonography professionals and students. Most student take this exam once they pass the Ultrasound Physic class. To earn a Register Diagnostic Medical Sonography (RDMS) credential, students must pass the SPI examination and a corresponding specialty examination within five years. ARDMS certification shows fellow healthcare professionals, employers and the medical facilities you work with that you work towards achieving excellence in the field of Sonography. To learn more details about the exams you can go to the ARDMS website: http://www.ardms.org/get-certified/Pages/default.aspx

AIHT Education in Stratford, CT is now enrolling for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. If you are interested in learning more information you can e-mail contact@aihtedu.com or call 203-870-8400.

4 Tips for Pharmacy Technicians to Mitigate Challenges and Succeed

Change is inevitable if growth is to be realized. Every profession evolves over time and only the professionals who can keep up with the changing practices manage to build successful careers.

Over the last few decades, allied healthcare services have seen a sharp increase in employment opportunities. The field of medicine is constantly evolving. New medicines are invented and marketed for improving healthcare services. Technology has made its way into the healthcare industry, providing refined systems and procedures to manage administrative tasks and medical procedures.

Employers are keen on employing professionals that come with the ability to quickly update themselves and adapt to new working methods that foster increased productivity.

Pharmacy technician programs and certifications impart skills and knowledge required by technicians to perform their duties, understand the overall system, and become proficient in broadening their capabilities.

Here are a few tips to help pharmacy technicians bridge the gap between old practices and new technological advancements, and meet work-place challenges:

1. Stay Updated

It is important for pharmacy technicians to keep abreast of the new inventions in the field of medicine and stock up/refill the inventory accordingly.

The challenge is to stay updated of the developments concerning existing drugs. With certain drugs, new discoveries and in-depth research lead to the identification of harmful effects which went unidentified earlier. Soon after such discoveries, the drugs are required to be withdrawn/banned from the market. Technicians must respond to such developments and work collaboratively with pharmacists to make immediate changes in the medicine stock.

Pharmacy technicians must also be aware of the developments in the laws governing their practice and make adjustments to comply with them.

Periodical supervision of the drug inventory helps identify expired and obsolete drugs, which must be discarded safely by the technicians.

Extreme care must be taken in dispensing such medicines as the smallest error can have lethal consequences on patients.

2. Maintain Accurate Patient Records

Updating the database with patients’ records is one of the key responsibilities of pharmacy technicians. All information needs to be updated and accurately saved.

It can be challenging for pharmacy technicians, especially the newbies, to communicate with edgy patients politely and ask for information without sounding rude or offensive.

A thorough review of patient records is crucial in ensuring accuracy and security of confidential information, the leakage of which can lead to legal trouble for the pharmacy/hospital.

3. Gear up to Expand Your Job Profile

Advanced pharmacies have progressed towards designing bigger roles for pharmacy technicians. They are being entrusted with responsibilities that go beyond filling prescriptions. In fact, the tasks that were once carried out exclusively by pharmacists are now being delegated to pharmacy technicians.

Upon excellent response from pharmacy technicians towards such transitions, their duties will be transferred to pharmacy associates, as technicians take up crucial roles. Technicians can serve as value-adding assets by providing medication therapy management and several other comprehensive patient assessments. Such developments enable pharmacists to better attend to patients and increase the overall productivity of the healthcare establishments.

Technicians are also foreseen to take up leadership positions in the future and communicate directly with patients.

4. Be Professional and Kind to All Patients

Patients and customers could come to the drug store with various ailments. While patients may be unable to present their best self, technicians must respond to them with care and exhibit empathy, concern, and a heart-felt desire to help.

It is important for healthcare professionals to provide moral support to patients during trying times. Technicians must get accustomed to not always being responded to with equal courtesy as patients could be impatient owing to chronic diseases and medication.

Conclusion

The booming allied healthcare industry offers rewarding careers with profound job satisfaction and growth opportunities. Aspiring students can serve the lucrative pharmaceutical industry by becoming a pharmacy technician. After acquiring certification and new skills post training, students can aim to pursue a meaningful career that promises new challenges and opportunities to those who showcase dedication and the will to serve with passion.

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4 Tips for Efficient Delivery of Duty by Medical Assistants

As you spend a significant number of hours of your day at work, it is important that you’re happy and at peace when delivering your duties. A healthy and happy mind enables one to work efficiently and increases productivity. That being said, not every day at work can be an ideal one as we may be exposed to elements beyond our control.

To become an effective medical assistant, one needs to not only obtain proper training and medical assistant certification, but also develop a positive outlook and characteristics that complement this profession and enhance your performance.

Medical assistants can perform well at work by using the simple, but important tips mentioned below:

1. Respond Instead Of Reacting to Stress

Patient care, administrative work, assistance to doctor(s), laboratory tests, and report preparation can, at times, make certain days long and hectic. Since medical practice largely concerns with patients’ well-being and life, medical practitioners have no scope for making errors that can potentially damage patients’ health. Hence, practitioners are required to maintain a stable temperament and work in the best interest of the patients, irrespective of their personal shortcomings or stressful situations.

Responding to stress rather than reacting to it aids practitioners in maintaining a sense of calm and patience. Certain situations may be well out of your control. In such cases, it is advisable to accept the conditions and let go of what cannot be changed. You can recognize the source of the stress and try to keep yourself away from it as much as possible.

Do get enough sleep and exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. Physical exercise makes the brain release certain feel-good chemicals. Identify what you enjoy doing – walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, etc., and indulge. Change your outlook and be more positive to help yourself respond better to stressful conditions.

Do things that you enjoy. Keep yourself occupied by participating in activities other than professional endeavors during free time, and relax your mind by keeping worrisome thoughts away. Connect with family and friends to make space for other thoughts and moods, which will help release the pent up frustration and, perhaps, help you gain different perspectives of situations.

Most importantly, do not vent your frustration on patients. Read a book or listen to music during breaks to find peace. Approach every patient with a smile. Knowing that you have helped someone feel better will eventually make you happy and bring you a sense of achievement.

2. Be Compassionate and Friendly

Patients visit doctors for a cure to their physical or mental discomfort. As a medical assistant, you may be the first point-of-contact for them. You must, therefore, be able to handle ailing patients and make them feel comfortable and safe.

It is essential for practitioners to win the trust of their patients and create a healthy working rapport with them. This enables patients to open up and talk freely about their symptoms and health issues.

Be a good listener and allow patients to share their concerns without any fear of being judged. For example, you should handle the victim of an accident and the driver of the car that caused the accident with the same amount of professional care.

Be proactive in taking instructions from doctors and deliver efficiently on the tasks you are entrusted with.

Be compassionate and strike a chord with children and elderly individuals by engaging in pleasant conversations with them. Make them feel relaxed and help them undergo the treatment without prolonged stress.

Communicate gently with patients and help them understand the treatment and the medication procedures by translating medical terms into layman’s words. Maintain healthy working relationships for smooth transactions of information, products, and services.

3. Get Certified to Assist Better

Certification programs expose medical students to industry best practices. It is advisable for aspiring medical assistants to prepare for certifications and equip themselves with the knowledge and skills that add value to the employers’ medical practices.

Specializations such as administrative medical assistant and clinical medical assistant are good options to pursue for better and well-paying career opportunities. Hands-on training will make it easier for you to adapt to a new job and you can provide effective assistance to the doctor by using your knowledge and skills that have been validated and certified.

4. Critical Thinking

To stay competent, medical assistants must go beyond merely following instructions given by the doctors. Practitioners can contribute substantially towards medical practice by using logic and rational reasoning to identify alternate solutions and approaches for patient care and administrative issues.

Develop skills to recognize issues and find feasible solutions that can be applied. Showing deeper involvement in the tasks assigned to you will show the doctors that you are ready for bigger responsibilities. Participate in problem-solving and decision-making and provide rational data to support your suggestions. Achieving higher responsibilities from your manager is a great sign of growth and you can train for critical thinking to sharpen your rational thinking ability.

Conclusion

To stay ahead of the competition imposed by huge chunk of professionals, one must be willing to perennially learn and develop new skills that bring value to employers, thereby enhancing personal and professional growth opportunities. Self-imposed discipline and the need to learn and keep up with the market trends can help one to swiftly rise and explore new horizons. Build your career with knowledge and experience gained from credible sources.

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6 Important Lessons for Medical Billing & Coding Specialists

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 15% growth in the demand for medical billing and coding specialists between 2014 and 2024, making it one of the lucrative professions in the allied healthcare sector. The demand for billing and coding specialists has risen with the digitization of health records.

Students who aspire to build their career in the allied healthcare industry can choose to get trained in courses offered by recognized institutions. The medical billing and coding course provides theoretical and hands-on training to students on the areas mentioned below, to acquaint students with best practices that help them in the successful delivery of their professional duties.

1. Computer Proficiency

Operating a computer with ease is one of the prerequisites for becoming a medical billing and coding specialist. Medical coders are required to read notes and make computer entries. Thus, familiarity with computer technology helps them to work efficiently at the required pace.

Computer literacy, along with the knowledge of specific software programs, is delivered to the students during the training. Records of patients' history are saved in computers and the information is converted using the codes and shared with respective stakeholders online. Billing and coding specialists must be able to save, access, and process all information on the computer system by ensuring safety of all the confidential data.

2. Medical Insurance Policies

Medical insurance is a significant part of the medical billing and coding process. The medical billing and coding specialist uses patient's medical information to process the bill for the services provided. The bill is sent to the patient's medical insurance provider to claim the payment. Upon receiving the payment, the balance amount, if any, is calculated by the billing specialist and sent to the patient for payment to the healthcare service provider.

Medical billing specialists are required to communicate with insurance companies on a regular basis to ensure timely payment, and solve and respond to queries that may arise during the process. During the course, students are trained on collection and submission of insurance claims. Detailed training on several health care policies and programs, in addition to personal injury claims, group health coverage, and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid is given to students.

3. Medical Terminology

Knowledge of medical terminologies is crucial for billing and coding specialists to grasp the information about the patient's medical treatment and create medical records and bills. The study of medical terminologies helps specialists understand and identify the treatments and medical procedures. This information is of crucial importance in preparing the patient's medical report and the bill for claiming payment from insurance companies.

During our Medical Billing & Coding Specialist Training in Connecticut, the students are prepared to study and comprehend the medical terminologies and their respective codes.

4. Medical Billing and Coding

Students are trained on managing office affairs and verifying insurance cards along with calculating payments and deductibles. They are taught to develop efficiency in calculating bills or claims, and ensure timely and accurate payments for the services rendered.

An important part of the billing and coding job is understanding the medical terminologies and the corresponding medical codes. The standard classification system of codes established by the WHO called the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) developed by the American Medical Association are used to describe the diagnosis, treatment, and medical procedure used by the healthcare service provider to treat the patient. Students preparing to become coding specialists are required to gain proficiency in the codes that aid in streamlining the reporting procedure.

5. Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Digital records of the patient's health information are maintained to make information available to the authorized stakeholders across multiple healthcare organizations in a secure manner, so that no information is lost or abused. Students are educated to create and maintain the patient's electronic health record that includes the patient's medical history, medication and treatment plans, dates of hospital visits, allergies, and a list of laboratory tests and results. Additionally, students are also taught to enter the physician's workflow related to patient care and treatment into the electronic health record system.

6. Medical Laws and Ethics

It becomes imperative for every medical practitioner to know and understand his/her responsibilities and duties towards the profession, the patient, and the practice at large.

Medical laws have been established to provide legal and moral guidelines to practitioners for them to operate within by providing the best of their expertise to ailing patients. Laws also establish rules to safeguard patients' health-related information and establish procedures for safe and secure transfer of data to authorized personnel.

Medical billing and coding course offers education and training on medical laws and ethics to help students perform to the best of their ability and knowledge.

Conclusion

The rising demand for healthcare professionals is good news for individuals who wish to pursue jobs that are credible and come with a high degree of job security. Effective planning about choosing a good institution to get trained with and getting certified creates several opportunities of employment with highly-established healthcare organizations. Well trained and certified professionals carry an edge over others as their skills are easily gauged through the credentials achieved.

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Introduction to Best Practices for Phlebotomy Technicians (Part I)

When signs and symptoms fail to provide concrete evidence, doctors often prescribe blood tests to determine causes and nature of diseases. Blood tests are common in the current day and age as they are a part of the routine health checkup procedures.

While venipuncture or the procedure of drawing blood from the vein appears to be simple, phlebotomists have to take several precautions to ensure the safety of the patients as this is one of the most invasive procedures in healthcare.

Procedures and guidelines have been created for phlebotomists to adhere to, in order to prevent injuries and the transmission of perilous diseases during blood sample collection. Phlebotomy technician programs are conducted with the goal to standardize the practice and educate prospective phlebotomists on health and safety practices.

Best Practices for Phlebotomists to Follow

1. Planning Ahead

Planning in advance for any procedure is the most important activity and should be performed diligently at the start of a phlebotomy session. Technicians are required to check for the availability of all necessary equipment, tools, and medicines needed during the procedure.

2. Using the Right Location

The area used for the procedure must be clean, devoid of noise, and well-lit. Whether working with in-patients or out-patients, optimal level of cleanliness must be maintained to avoid transmission of any infection during venipuncture.

3. Ensuring Quality Control

Quality control and application of safety measures is most vital in ensuring the prevention of the spreading of the infection.

Quality control in phlebotomy is realized through implementation of the following elements:

3.1 Education and Training

Students training to become phlebotomists are trained to understand anatomy, and the risks arising from blood exposure, and absence of infection prevention and control measures.

3.2 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

SOPs are necessary to be followed at every step of blood sampling. The procedures are well-defined and made easily available to phlebotomists and other health workers at all times.

3.3 Sample Condition

The samples collected are to be stored in hygienic conditions to ensure accurate results of the laboratory tests.

3.4 Accurate Identification of Patients

Samples must be labeled precisely to produce accurate results for patients. The results of laboratory tests need to be rightly identified with the patients whose samples were tested. A flawless system of identification and tracking is crucial in the delivery of correct test results.

3.5 Safe Transportation

Blood samples must be safely transported for tests, as contamination of samples will not produce accurate results. Inaccurate results lead to wrong diagnosis, eventually resulting in the prescription of wrong treatment.

3.6 Incident Reporting System

All adverse events and cases of wrong test results, with precise details and identified cause(s) must be recorded as soon as the mishap is identified or noticed.

4. Quality Care for Health Workers and Patients

Phlebotomists are expected to maintain high levels of hygiene to negate the vulnerability of patients and themselves towards infection and potential diseases. Hygiene materials like soap, water and alcohol rub, and well-fitting and non-sterile gloves must be used before, during, and post blood collection, and labeling procedures should be in accordance with the established safety measures.

For optimal level of infection prevention among patients, phlebotomists must use single-use disposable sterile needles and syringes.

5. Practices for Infection Prevention

The WHO recommends guidelines for phlebotomists for establishing infection control and prevention practices that include the implementation of the following measures:

  • WHO’s “My 5 moments for hand hygiene” approach can be used by phlebotomy experts to clean and disinfect their hands before every blood collection and storage procedure.
  • Phlebotomists are recommended to use one pair of non-sterile gloves per patient.
  • A single-use device or needle must be used per patient for blood sampling and drawing. For every extra procedure on the same patient, a new syringe is required to be used by the technicians.
  • Patient’s skin must be disinfected without fail using 70% alcohol swabs, right before and after venipuncture is performed.
  • Immediately post the collection and transmission of blood into blood-collecting tubes, phlebotomists must discard the used needle and syringe (treated as a single device).
  • The sample tubes are to be placed in a study rack.
  • Phlebotomists are to refrain from washing and reusing gloves and needles.
  • The disinfected punctured site must not be touched with bare hands by phlebotomy technicians.
  • Any accident that occurs must be immediately reported by the technicians, and they must at once seek assistance to start the post-exposure prophylaxis in order to prevent contamination.
  • Phlebotomy technicians are advised to ensure high levels of hygiene and disinfection not just for patients, but also for themselves.

Use of Needles and Syringes

Efficient judgment of the correct gauge of the needle by a phlebotomist is crucial in blood collection procedures, and more importantly in preventing injuries to the patients.

The technicians are trained to be skilled at controlling the amount of vacuum applied when drawing blood and doing so without causing the veins to collapse.

Training programs that impart theoretical and practical knowledge are important as they make the students proficient in intricacies that make a huge difference when procedures are performed on patients.

Conclusion

The allied healthcare industry is booming with high career prospects. Students aspiring to join the industry can source education and training from recognized organizations and become skilled healthcare professionals. With the rising need for healthcare, medical establishments will need to be served by skilled phlebotomy technicians who can bring in hands-on experience and exhibit job-ready skills.

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Expand Your Career Prospects with Medical Assistant Training

Widespread and expanding, the fields of medical science and healthcare provide prodigious employment opportunities to aspiring individuals. Off the total healthcare workforce in the US, 60% of medical professionals work for the allied healthcare sector. More often than not, the healthcare streams are inter-woven and offer knowledge on several subjects and concepts when pursuing education in a specific medical field.

Medical assistant training programs are designed to prepare students for medical assistant certification. They also disseminate knowledge on several medical concepts/streams as mentioned below:

1. Medical Laws and Ethics

Medical laws have been established to help healthcare professionals understand their responsibilities towards the patients and the society at large. Laws and ethics govern the medical procedures and practices carried out for diagnosing and treating diseases. They also provide guidelines to practitioners, helping them understand their rights and duties at work. Medical ethics enforce values and ensure complete adherence to professionalism by medical practitioners.

Laws cultivate a culture of adherence to standardized practices, which is essential in upholding perpetual discipline. Students pursuing medical assistant training will be given an in-depth understanding of medical laws and ethics to ensure their definite cohesion with the established laws.

2. Phlebotomy

While undergoing the medical assistant training course, students will be trained in the process of drawing blood from the veins of the patients, otherwise known as venipuncture, for testing, donation, or research purposes. While phlebotomists have expertise in this practice, medical assistants trained in phlebotomy can also perform venipuncture to assist doctors in treating patients and collecting specimens.

Every new skill acquired helps to expand the employment horizons for the allied healthcare professionals and gives them an edge over their peers.

3. Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology

For effective and accurate communication with doctors and patients, medical assistants must be equipped with extensive knowledge about the medical terminologies. Medical assistant training imparts knowledge of the basic science of medicine – human anatomy and physiology. The training enables them understand the functioning and interrelationships of the intricate functions and the systems of the body.

The study of related disciplines of anatomy and physiology is essential for students to learn numerous terminologies and perform daily tasks of patient care, and assist doctors in providing treatment through knowledge of the human body and its systems.

4. Pharmacology

This branch of medicine educates students on medication and the effect of drugs on the biological systems of the body. While prescribing medicines is a job for the doctors, medical assistants are expected to be aware of the common forms of medication. Since medical assistants administer drugs, knowledge of the drug brands and names of generic medicines makes their job easy. It also eases the efforts of the doctors in prescribing the dosage.

To administer medication efficiently, medical assistants must be able to clearly comprehend written prescriptions and medication orders. Several doctors specify the knowledge of pharmacology as a prerequisite when they seek to hire medical assistants.

5. Medical Billing

Medical billing is the process of recording the patients’ information and updating their medical history using a specialized coding system. Information about diagnosis and treatment is converted into universally-accepted codes and saved in the repository for numerous purposes. The information can be retrieved and used as and when needed. One of the primary purposes of recording the details is to use the data to claim payment from insurance companies, and patients for the medical services rendered by the service providers (doctors, medical establishments).

Few establishments require medical assistants to be skilled at billing and coding, and take charge of recording and updating patients’ medical history. Additional knowledge about medical procedures and administrative practices increases the employability of qualified medical assistants.

6. Clinical and Diagnostic Procedures

Medical assistants can strengthen their job profile by specializing in various skills that add value to their job, and also to their employer’s routine operations and services.

Diagnostic procedures are often performed at hospitals, clinics, and laboratories to identify medical conditions and causes of diseases. Medical assistants can be engaged by hospitals to perform diagnostic readings and explain results of the tests to the patients. Hands-on knowledge about diagnostic procedures helps to widen the scope of work for the assistants, as they can efficiently deliver on conducting basic laboratory tests, sterilizing medical equipments, preparing patients and operation rooms for x-rays and other procedures respectively.

Conclusion

With a diverse range of specialized skills and an increasing demand for healthcare , medical assistants have encouraging career prospects. While good career opportunities await, prospective professionals can acquire the necessary education and certification to fill in the demand for healthcare services. Medical assistants can gain rapid career growth by continuing to learn more about their field.

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Pursue One of the Fastest Growing Allied Healthcare Professions in America

The allied healthcare sector has become a lucrative employment option as the demand for healthcare professionals is on the rise. The projected growth of employment in the healthcare sector, as observed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to rise by 19% from 2014 to 2024.

For individuals who intend to pursue careers in healthcare and finish their studies within short span of time and at low education costs, allied healthcare proffers good career prospects in more than 80 different professions. Technological advances and aging population in the country have created space for more professionals that provide healthcare services.

If you are interested in knowing about employment prospects in the industry, continue reading for a list of a few fast-growing allied healthcare professions. One can choose a profession based on their interest, eligibility criteria, cost of education, and job outlook.

1. Pharmacy Technician

9% growth, which is faster than the average, is foreseen for pharmacy technicians between 2014 and 2024, indicating a good period for a career in pharmacy.

Pharmacy technicians primarily assist pharmacists in dispensing medicines to the customers and the patients. They are also responsible for attending to queries from patients and fulfilling administrative duties. Qualified technicians can take up employment at establishments like hospitals, retail drug stores, department stores, nursing homes, and private clinics.

Post the completion of high school diploma or a degree of equivalent value, prospective technicians can enroll for the pharmacy technician program and avail the training and the education required to become a certified pharmacy technician.

While certification is not mandatory, it does add value and provide validation of knowledge, which is preferred by many employers. Pharmacy technician certification can be obtained from Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or from the National Healthcareer Association by satisfying their respective eligibility criteria.

2. Cardiovascular Technologist

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the country, thus demanding technological improvements, and cardiovascular specialists and technicians to cater to heart-related ailments.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 24% rise in the demand for Cardiovascular Technologists in the present decade. The average annual pay in this field as recorded in the year 2014 was $62,540. With rising demand, the pay packages are expected to only rise from the current scale. For greater career opportunities, technologists can obtain certification from the The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

The key duties of a cardiovascular technologist include assisting physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac and peripheral vascular (blood vessels) ailments. Students are given theoretical and practical training to impart hands-on experience and sound technical skills, making them job-ready. The technologists are employed at hospitals, clinics, and at medical and diagnostic laboratories.

3. Medical Assistant

Patient care, administrative tasks, stakeholder engagement and communication, medicine administration, conduction of diagnosis, and patient health record maintenance are the tasks of a medical assistant.

The demand for medical assistants is on the rise with the average growth expected to increase by 23% in the next ten years. Medical facilities like surgical and non-surgical hospitals, private clinics, out-patient care facilities, and nursing homes employ medical assistants.

The median annual salary of a medical assistant was recorded to be $29,960 in the year 2014. For better career opportunities, medical assistants can become certified by opting for certification from any one of the certifying organizations. American Association of Medical Assistants, American Medical Technologists, National Healthcareer Association, and the National Center for Competency Testing are the bodies that certify medical assistants.

4. Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

These professionals perform the vital task of recording all health-related information of the patients. They use universally established ICD and CPT codes to record and use information for claiming payments for the medical services provided.

Medical billing and coding specialists earn an average pay of $35,900 and are employed by medical service providers like hospitals, clinics, medical facilities, and physicians. Engaging with insurance companies and the patients is one of their important tasks, in order to facilitate inflow of payment for the services rendered.

22% increase in the demand for these specialists has been reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics by the year 2022. To get employed by credible and well-established healthcare facilities, billing and coding specialists can obtain certification from either one of the three certifying bodies namely American Academy of Professional Coders, National HealthCareer Association, and the American Health Information Management Association.

Conclusion

Aspiring professionals can choose from the many allied healthcare professions by evaluating and comparing the demand, the pay scale and the career prospects related with each profession. Education from recognized institutions followed by certification can help students achieve good professional growth in a short span of time.

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Join the Growing Healthcare Industry: Become a Phlebotomist

Blood, the word synonymous with heart and life; the importance of this element in healthcare is indispensable, and so is the relevance of a skilled phlebotomist. The thriving healthcare industry is projected to launch itself into a bright future, carrying alongside all the allied healthcare services.

As estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of Phlebotomists will grow by 25% between 2014 and 2024.

Certified phlebotomy technicians can anticipate better job prospects as a steady rise in the number of people opting for health insurance is being noticed. This will certainly have an obvious positive impact on blood-work-related services.

Role of a Phlebotomy Technician

A phlebotomy technician performs venipuncture, the process of drawing blood from a patient’s vein to collect blood specimens for laboratory testing or merely collecting blood from donors. Phlebotomists are important members of clinical laboratories and are employed at a number of healthcare units like nursing homes, research organizations, hospitals, independent laboratories and clinics, and physicians’ offices.

Regular operations performed by a phlebotomy technician are as listed below:

  • Perform venipuncture on patients and blood donors
  • Verify patient’s identity
  • Ensure accurate labeling of blood samples
  • Take and record blood pressure, pulse, and respiration readings
  • Sterilize and clean equipments needed during venipuncture
  • Update patient records
  • Send collected blood sample for lab testing

Education and Training

Recognized institutions provide courses on phlebotomy to educate candidates on the following subjects, procedures, and practices:

  • Phlebotomy laboratory skills
  • First aid
  • Phlebotomy department management
  • Phlebotomy equipments
  • Health law procedures
  • Legal issues pertaining to medicine
  • Blood and cell composition
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Blood sampling procedures

In addition to the above, practical training on the below-mentioned blood-drawing procedures is also rendered to the trainees:

  • Butterfly technique used for children and aged patients with small veins
  • Healstick technique used for newborns
  • Fingerstick technique used for individuals with damaged veins

The time taken to complete phlebotomy training is usually less than a year, facilitating aspirants to quickly progress towards certification and consequent employment opportunities. Phlebotomy training is a good start for individuals aspiring for a career in laboratory technology. Several phlebotomists go on to eventually become laboratory specialists and technologists.

Phlebotomy Certification

Certification allows for easy validation of knowledge and skills and is highly preferred by employers, reducing their effort on verifying the qualifications of prospective employees.

Phlebotomy Technician Certification can be availed from the following certifying bodies:

American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) – Candidates who have no past experience are considered eligible for phlebotomy certification by ASCP if they meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of high school graduation or an equivalent degree
  • Completion of 40-hour classroom and 120-hour hands-on phlebotomy training
  • Successful unaided collection of 100 blood samples

ASCP necessitates the training to include laboratory operations, specimen collection, processing and handling, physiology, and anatomy lessons.

The American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT) – Phlebotomy technicians with either one full year of part-time employment or six months of full-time employment as phlebotomists are considered eligible for phlebotomy certification by the ASPT.

Candidates with no experience must satisfy the following mandatory requirements for certification:

  • Completion of phlebotomy training from an accredited institute
  • Completion of 100 documented venipunctures
  • Completion of 5 successful skin punctures
  • Current membership with the ASPT

National Phlebotomy Association (NPA) – Unless a candidate has at least one year of work experience as a phlebotomist, he/she must attend phlebotomy training to qualify for certification granted by the NPA.

The training program attended must include:

  • Venipuncture techniques
  • Clinical internship
  • 160-hour classroom training, apart from the clinical internship

Choosing the Right Certification

Candidates can choose from among the aforementioned certifications by considering the following:

  • Different states approve different certifications. Candidates must check with the state board for an updated list of respective approved certifications.
  • Certain employers prefer one certification over another. Should a candidate already have a list of preferred employers or be keen on working with any specific employer, then it would be advisable to check for specific certification(s) approved by that particular employer.
  • It is best to opt for a certification provided by nationally-recognized institutions.
Conclusion

Getting a vein punctured for collecting blood samples can be a stressful process for patients and donors. A phlebotomist has to be adept at the job and be able perform venipuncture without causing much discomfort to them. Venipuncture is performed not just for diagnosing diseases, but also for processes catering to preventive healthcare and treatment of lifestyle diseases.

Owing to federal health insurance reforms, applications for health insurance are expected to be on the rise. Applying for health insurance necessitates individuals to undergo blood tests for submission of required reports. The aforementioned developments are certain to increase the demand for healthcare professionals including qualified and skilled phlebotomists.

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