What qualifications do you need to be a nurse

Some Fantastic Blogs to Follow

What qualifications do you need to be a nurse

For most professions, networking can be an important step in career advancement. It might also provide you with lifelong connections and relationships. Whether you’re currently in training or you’re a healthcare professional looking to connect with others, blogs are one potential route you can take to find healthcare workers outside of your community. They can also keep you up-to-date on the latest news and topics in your field.

Today, we’re going to delve into some great blogs to read and follow. Most of their content is written by nurses and Medical Assistants who have extensive experience in their respective fields. Check out these fantastic blogs with us!

Recommended Nursing Blogs

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  1. Nurse Code: Nurse Beth is the founder and writer for nursecode.com. The recipient of several nurse blogging awards, Nurse Code offers excellent tips and tools for nurses to advance their careers. Whether you’re experienced or new to the field, this blog will likely have some very useful information for you. Some of its many topics include tips for honing time management skills, how to succeed in the workplace, how to land your first nursing job, etc.
  2. Nurse Turned Writer: With decades of nursing experience under her belt, Registered Nurse (RN) Marijke has worked in many areas of nursing. According to her website, these include rehab and ICU, with “palliative care, pediatrics, and a lot in between.” Marijke shares some of her personal nursing stories with an insightful and poignant touch. Her posts have also featured medical news and trending topics, not to mention reviews for various medical journals. Marijke’s blog can help keep you informed while covering both humorous and serious subjects.
  3. Emerging Nurse Leader: Have you ever wondered, “What qualifications do you need to be a nurse?” or “What do I major in to become a nurse?” Dr. Rose Sherman runs a blog that explores these questions as well as leadership roles, coaching strategies, and the future of healthcare. Along with numerous career tips, Dr. Sherman identifies the key strengths of nurse leaders and how they can succeed.
  4. International Nurse Support: The website says it best: “Support that uplifts and inspires nurses to thrive.” International Nurse Support offers a wealth of information and resources for nurses all over the world. Nurse Joyce runs a well-balanced site that seems to be regularly updated. You’ll find articles on resume writing, interviews, work culture, nurse-leadership strategies, career tips, wellness, and more. Ultimately, Nurse Joyce seeks to empower nurses in their professions.

Recommended Medical Assisting Blogs

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  1. Legal Eye on Medical Assisting: This particular blog is an excellent resource for the ethics and legal practices of Medical Assistants. Additionally, Legal Eye on Medical Assisting looks at the differing responsibilities of various Medical Assistant jobs. Have you wondered, just what kind of jobs can you get with a Medical Assistant degree? This blog is very informative and can likely help you answer that question. It’s managed by Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). He keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession and shares it with his readers!
  2. Medical Assistant Resources: If you’re a Medical Assisting student, this website could be a fantastic resource for you! Some of its biggest topics include how to become a Medical Assistant, state by state requirements, salary, and jobs. It also helps students prepare for interviews, and provides insight into the differences between Medical Assisting and other healthcare careers.
  3. National Healthcareer Association: The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) promotes growth in the Medical Assisting field. It primarily covers the certification process and provides resources for finding the right MA school, employer, and career track. Plus, the NHA usually highlights some of the latest Medical Assisting news, which will help keep you current and aware.
  4. American Medical Technologists: This one is more of a website than a blog, but American Medical Technologists (AMT) has abundant information about several healthcare occupations, including Medical Assisting! Here you’ll find various helpful articles, such as “The Fearless Registered Medical Assistant (RMA): Multi-skilled Care,” “How to Talk to Patients—So They’ll Listen,” and “Do You Have What it Takes to Become a Medical Assistant?”

Of course, there are many other great blogs out there. If you’d like to find more nursing content, Nurse.org has put together a detailed list of their recommendations. Or you could start with Medical Assisting resources like the AAMA. We’d also recommend checking out our Unitek College blog for diverse content, FAQ guides, and even some student-centric recipes!

Thanks to the Internet Age, connecting with other healthcare professionals has never been easier. Gain some insight, support, and information by reading a variety of blogs. You might also develop more connections if you reach out to your fellow healthcare professionals!

About the Healthcare Programs at Unitek College

Founded in 2002, Unitek College is an accredited, private institution that combines unique academic and technical specialties to provide excellent training programs in healthcare and nursing. With seven campuses in California, Unitek offers educational programs in the cities of Fremont, San Jose, Hayward, Concord, South San Francisco, Sacramento, and Bakersfield.

Aspiring nurses can train for a new career path in as little as 12 months with Unitek’s Vocational Nursing program. Those who would like to advance their nursing careers can also obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree through one of three pathways. Whether you have a high school diploma or years of nursing experience, the BSN program can create a foundation for career advancement, management positions, and higher salaries.

In addition, those searching for Medical Assistant schools will find a dynamic program at Unitek. Medical Assistant program lengths often vary, but Unitek’s MA program can be completed in as little as 9 months. Aspiring Dental Assistants, Medical Office Administrators, and Information Technology professionals can also find accelerated training at Unitek College. For more information, please visit our contact page and reach out to a school representative.

Change your future, today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Office Administration

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Office Administration

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Office Administration

Welcome back to our FAQ Series! Today, we’re going to look at frequently asked questions for Medical Office Administrators. If you have an eye for details, you’re well organized, and you’re good with numbers as well as people, then you might have what it takes to succeed in Medical Office Administration!

Check out these FAQs to learn more about the professionals that keep medical offices running smoothly.

FAQs for Medical Office Administrators

1. Q: What does Medical Office Administration do or entail? 

A: Medical Office Administrators are multi-competent professionals who are fundamental members of the healthcare team, and play a vital role in office management. Their duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Perform opening and closing office procedures
  • Manage medical records
  • Create electronic health records
  • Assign insurance codes for medical diagnoses and procedures
  • Process insurance claims
  • Perform entry-level bookkeeping and accounting procedures
2. Q: What can you do with a Medical Office Administration degree or certificate? 

A: With this professional training, you can work in a variety of medical settings. Below are just some of the places Medical Office Administrators find employment:

  • Physician offices
  • Private health care facilities
  • Industrial firms requiring health care personnel
  • Hospitals
  • Hospital clinics
  • Laboratories
  • Health industry providers
  • Independent clinics private duty
3. Q: What is Medical Office Administration salary?  

A: A healthcare professional’s salary usually depends on many factors, such as location, employer, or experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for medical records and health information technicians was $40,350 in May 2018. The BLS states that the “median annual wages for medical records and health information technicians in the top industries in which they worked” were as follows:

  • Hospitals; state, local, and private—$43,470
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services—$41,890
  • Administrative and support services—$41,800
  • Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)—$37,630
  • Offices of physicians—$35,520
4. Q: How long does it take to become a Medical Office Administrator?

A: It often depends on the school, location, and the type of program/training. Typically, though, they take about one year to complete. Some colleges offer 2-year programs for those seeking an associate’s degree.

5. Q: What is the job outlook for Medical Office Administration?

A: According to the BLS, employment of Medical Office Administrators is projected to grow 13 percent by 2026. As the baby-boom population ages, demand for “preventive medical services will increase. In response, doctors will hire more Medical Office Administrators to perform administrative duties, allowing the doctors to see more patients.”

About the MOA Program at Unitek College

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Founded in 2002, Unitek College is an accredited, private institution that combines unique academic and technical specialties to provide excellent training programs in healthcare and nursing. With seven campuses in California, Unitek offers educational programs in the cities of Fremont, San Jose, Hayward, Concord, South San Francisco, Sacramento, and Bakersfield.

Some of these locations offer a Medical Office Administration program that can be completed in as little as 9 months. The program provides a solid foundation for learning the skills and gaining the experience needed to excel as a Medical Office Administrator. Throughout this seven-course experience, students will learn the fundamentals of healthcare, medical terminology, office computer applications, medical office procedures and business practices, patient interaction, the laws and regulations regarding patient medical records, insurance plans and forms, and coding procedures.

Graduates of the program may be eligible to take various certification exams, including the Electronic Health Records Specialist exam, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam, and Medical Billing and Coding Specialist exam. Such credentials are not required to graduate but can be of value depending on the student’s particular career goals. Of course, Unitek faculty members are available to advise students seeking professional certification.

For more information, please visit our contact page and reach out to a school representative. Change your career path with Unitek!

More Bay Area Hospitals for Bay Area Nurses

More Bay Area Hospitals for Bay Area Nurses

More Bay Area Hospitals for Bay Area Nurses

More Bay Area Hospitals for Bay Area Nurses

Last week, we highlighted three Bay Area hospitals—or more accurately, three opportunities for Bay Area nurses and nursing students who are deciding where to send their applications. But if none of the three struck you as “the one”, don’t worry! The Bay Area is full of respected and well-known hospitals and clinics who are always looking for hard-working, well-trained nurses.

This week, we’re highlighting three more hospitals in the Bay Area—including where they are, what they’re known for, and (most importantly) where to go to send in your application.

 

  1. Kindred Hospital, San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Who They Are: Kindred Hospital is a transitional care hospital—meaning they offer the same care as most hospitals, but they cater specifically to patients who have an extended recovery period ahead of them.

Bragging Points: Offering 99 patient beds plus a 10-bed ICU and two negative pressure rooms, Kindred is well-equipped to provide specialized care during those longer recovery periods. This includes programs that focus specifically on those recovering from a recent organ transplant, stroke recovery, post-intensive care syndrome, wound care, and IV antibiotic therapy.

How To Apply: Click here to search available jobs at Kindred Hospital (or their “at home” and hospice care units).

 

  1. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital – Palo Alto, CA

Who They Are: A branch of Stanford Children’s Health, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is part of the only health care system in the Bay Area that exclusively focuses on pediatrics and obstetrics. With a total of 60 locations across the Bay Area, Stanford Children’s Health offers everything from treatments for rare and complex conditions to well-child care.

Bragging Points: Not only have they been ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties by US News and World Reports, but the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital just recently expanded, adding an additional 521,000 square feet to their hospital building.

How To Apply: Search open jobs and apply by clicking here. You can also test the waters as a volunteer by clicking here.

 

  1. Eden Medical Center – Castro Valley, CA

Who They Are: A member of the Sutter Health family, Eden Medical Center “is the regional trauma center for Southern Alameda County and features many centers of excellence, including neurosciences, orthopedics, rehabilitation, birthing center, imaging, stroke and cancer care.”

Bragging Points: Eden Medical Center boasts 130 beds (all private rooms), but even more impressive is the Sutter Health not-for-profit mission. Sutter Health is known for reinvesting funds back into their communities, and claim to care for more low-income Northern California patients than any other health system.

How To Apply: You can find a list of open nursing jobs by clicking here.

 

As we continue to dig into the plethora of health systems and hospitals in the Bay Area, one thing continues to be clear: for a nurse or nursing student in the Bay Area, lack of opportunity should never be a problem.

 

Ready to get started on your nursing or medical assisting career? Contact Unitek College today for more information on programs, classes, and opportunities.

Nurse Saves His Own Life From Heart Attack

Nurse Saves His Own Life From Heart Attack

Nurse Saves His Own Life From Heart Attack

Nurse Saves His Own Life From Heart Attack

When we hear stories of nurses saving lives, we naturally assume that the life belongs to another person. Just this past week, a nurse stepped in to save the life of a man whose heart stopped beating at a high school volleyball game.

“I don`t believe I was a hero. I think anybody could have done what I did,” nurse Kelly Fogelman recounted. “Always be willing to jump in and help.”

Her response is another thing we’ve come to expect in these inspirational stories—a nurse for whom saving lives is simply the natural thing to do.

But in the case of this nurse in Perth, Australia, the life he saved was his own.

The nurse, who has remained nameless, was stationed in a remote area of Australia’s west coast—over 100 miles from the nearest medical facility, and over 600 miles from the nearest major city—when he began feeling “dizziness and chest pain”. While many might initially write these symptoms off as something less severe, the nurse’s training and experience told him to pay attention.

He began by diagnosing himself using the medical equipment on hand. He quickly gave himself an electrocardiogram (ECG) and emailed the results to an emergency room doctor.

Miles away, doctors closely examined the scan, eventually spotting the culprit—a blockage in his right coronary artery.

Meanwhile, the nurse has noticed a new symptom—a series of rapid-fire heartbeats (sinus tachycardia), a sign that the partial blockage may have become a complete blockage. He takes a second ECG and emails the results. The doctors concur, agreeing that if the nurse doesn’t get medical attention soon, his chances of survival drop precipitously.

But despite his remote location, the Australian nurse refuses to give up. With no doctor nearby to treat him, he quickly begins to treat himself—relying on his years of experience and observation.

He begins by inserting an IV into his own arm, and according to the LA Times, “chews a full-strength aspirin, and puts himself on a trio of first-line medications for heart attack: a tablet of the anti-platelet drug clopidogrel (known commercially as Plavix), a dose of nitroglycerine under the tongue, and an IV bag of the blood thinner heparin.”

And he didn’t stop there. Preparing for the worst, the nurse attached defibrillator pads to his own chest, just in case the situation continued to worsen.

Fortunately, the medicine did the trick, breaking up the blockage enough for the nurse to avoid more serious steps. This buys him enough time for a helicopter to arrive and shuttle him to the nearest operating room, where further medication and a stent were applied. He was home 48 hours later.

In the end, he survived, and only because of his will to fight and his training as a nurse.

If you’d like to learn more about the career possibilities open to you as a nurse or medical assistant, contact Unitek College today for more information.

Is Your Nursing Shift Keeping You From Regular Exercise? Try Irregular

Is Your Nursing Shift Keeping You From Regular Exercise? Try Irregular.

Is Your Nursing Shift Keeping You From Regular Exercise? Try Irregular

Is Your Nursing Shift Keeping You From Regular Exercise? Try Irregular

The definition of “work” has changed a lot in just the last century. Not too long ago, working meant laboring—moving, sweating, lifting, plowing, and a host of other progressive verbs. But over the past several decades, much of our work has shifted indoors and behind desks… and this doesn’t bode well for our health.

“Most of us spend about 75 percent of our day sitting or being sedentary,” warns Dr. Meredith Peddie, “and this behavior has been linked to increased rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and overall mortality.”

Nurses and medical assistants aren’t exempt either. One recent study noted that employees who work shifts (specifically nurses) have a much more difficult time scheduling physical activity.

But none of this is new. We’ve known for a while that anything sedentary is bad for us. Nurses and Nurse Practitioners are constantly on the lookout for hypertension and lower back pain in patients that too much sitting can often cause. But fixing the issue can sometimes feel like an out-of-reach goal.

Look up any article on healthy living and the word that always precedes “exercise” is the word “regular”, and that can be disheartening. As the earlier study mentioned, shift work has an unpredictability that makes regular exercise difficult. And when you look at the prescribed amount of regular exercise (at least two and half hours per week), it’s easy to come to the conclusion “why bother?” After all, if you can’t do the minimum suggested amount, anything less is a waste of time, right?

Wrong. And that’s excellent news.

As researchers continue to study the impact of exercise on the human body, one thing keeps coming up—when it comes to physical activity, something is always better than nothing.

When it comes to prolonged sitting, for example, Dr. Peddie’s research concluded with clear results: even short interruptions to sitting (once every half hour) had distinctly positive impacts on health. And amazingly, neither the intensity level nor the age/weight of those monitored seemed to matter. You simply need to get up and move more often.

“We should all be finding ways to avoid sitting for long periods, and to increase the amount of movement we do throughout the entire day,” Dr. Peddie suggests.

Of course, getting to the gym or the trail has even greater benefits, but can also be difficult to find time to do regularly. Fortunately, even just a single workout has proven positive results for your body.

Mere minutes of exercise can begin to alter your muscles’ DNA, turning on certain genes for strength and metabolism. You’ll also get the mental boost that comes from endorphins and serotonin, both of which are released within one exercise session. Even the way your body metabolizes fats improves with just one good session of sweat—and because of this, just that one workout can improve your resistance to diabetes.

Not only does your body improve with a single exercise session, your mind and spirits do as well. That means improved focus and a decrease in stress, even if you just work out for ten minutes!

Obviously, regular exercise is still the healthiest option, but intermittent exercise certainly has its benefits as well. So the next time you finish your shift, toss your dirty scrubs, and are deciding between your workout clothes or your comfy sweatpants, remember that even a quick workout is better than none at all.

If you are interested in studying to be a nurse or medical assistant in the Bay Area, contact Unitek College today for more information on classes, current schedules, and opportunities.

Drawing Blood With Robots

Drawing Blood With Robots

Drawing Blood With Robots

Drawing Blood With Robots

Blood tests are one of the most common diagnostic procedures in the world. Checking cholesterol levels for a routine physical? Blood test. Checking blood cell count for a suspected infection? Blood test. Diagnose a disease, check organ function, determine blood type—blood test, blood test, blood test.

But for a procedure that’s so common and repetitive, the time cost of drawing and analyzing a blood sample can sometimes be subpar. Many times, doctors are unable to draw the blood samples themselves and must rely on phlebotomists, who then themselves have to rely on labs to analyze the results. The findings are valuable, of course, but the multi-step process can sometimes eat valuable time.

And let’s not forget the many styles and techniques necessary to successfully “stick” a patient without mess, drama, or contaminating the sample. We covered the topic in this recent post.

Enter the Rutgers University Blood Testing Robot.

Robots, by design, exist to take over repetitive tasks. Most commonly, those tasks exist within the manufacturing realm, but more and more, tasks within the world of medicine are falling to the machines (we also explored a few of those machines in this post).

But the Rutgers University Blood Testing Robot takes automation to a new level. Not only does it take over the task of drawing a blood sample, but it analyses the sample as well—saving doctors and nurses valuable time.

“This device represents the holy grail in blood testing technology,” says Martin L. Yarmush, the study’s senior author. “Integrating miniaturized robotic and microfluidic (lab-on-a-chip) systems, this technology combines the breadth and accuracy of traditional blood drawing and laboratory testing with the speed and convenience of point-of-care testing.”

The robot itself consists of three parts. The first part (the venipuncture arm) draws the blood sample by scanning the patient’s arm and creating a 3D model of the arm veins. After the needle is inserted, the second part of the machine obtains and protects the blood sample, delivering it to the third part—a built in centrifuge that analyzes the blood.

“In the U.S., for example, blood tests are performed 2 billion times each year and influence 80 percent of medical decisions made in hospital and primary care settings. However, blood draw success rates depend heavily on practitioner skill and patient physiology,” explains Dr Max Balter, one of the lead researchers. “By reducing turnaround times, the device has the capacity to expedite hospital workflow, allowing practitioners to devote more time to treating patients.”

So far, the machine has performed with 100% accuracy—a very impressive performance. And even the size is convenient. The prototype easily fits on a table, resembling the automatic blood pressure machines you see at local pharmacies.

Currently, the machine performs a “three-part white blood cell differential and hemoglobin measurement”, but developers hope to expand the available tests in the near future.

As far as nurses are concerned, however, there’s no fear of a robot replacing them any time soon. But a robot making a nurse’s job easier? That’s looking more and more likely by the day.

For more information on beginning a career in the exciting and rapidly changing world of nursing, contact Unitek College today.