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Unitek College Welcomes Veterans Back to School

There were many reasons why Lannel De Los Reyes chose to pursue a nursing career. The most compelling reason was watching her dad suffer through rheumatoid arthritis and gout. She decided to dedicate her life to helping others.

“It just motivated me to become a nurse and take care of people, especially my loved ones,” Reyes said.

Reyes served six years active duty with the Air Force and decided to use her GI Bill to attend Unitek College’s Vocational Nursing program in Fremont, CA. Her ultimate goal is to graduate with a Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) and return to the military.

In the same nursing classroom sits another fellow Air Force veteran, Grecia Benitez. One of Benitez’s motivations to enlist into the Air Force directly out of high school was the educational benefits. After completing 5 years of service, Benitez was ready to start on her career path. During an open house tour at Unitek College, she found the start of her nursing career with the Vocational Nursing program.

Benitez’s plan after college is slightly different from Reyes’s.  While Benitez does not shy away from the idea of returning to the military, she is currently focused on completing the Vocational Nursing program and continuing on to become a Registered Nurse through Unitek College’s LVN to RN bridge program. After finishing school, Benitez plans to either pursue a nursing career in a hospital or rejoin the Air Force.

Benitez and Reyes share both a dedication to their country and a desire to achieve higher learning. The Post 9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI bill, amongst other Veterans Assistance (VA) benefits, reward veterans for their service and allow them to pursue higher education.  Although many institutions have yet to accept VA benefits, Unitek College made accepting VA benefits a top priority to make quality education available to America’s returning vets.

The majority of healthcare training programs offered by Unitek College are VA approved. “Unitek College is 100% committed to assisting our dedicated service men and women in making a successful transition into civilian life. Our main priority is to help them obtain the necessary education and training that can be parlayed into a lasting and rewarding career. Serving our veterans is a privilege we don’t take lightly.” Navraj Bawa, COO and Executive Vice President, Unitek College stated in a press release.

“If nursing is what you want to do…I would definitely recommend this school”, Benitez said.

Unitek College anticipates growth in enrollments from veterans who are looking to achieve their goals of higher education. This is particularly true with the recent deep budgetary cuts at public schools. Reyes, in advising other veterans said, “Definitely take advantage of your GI bill. That is part of why I joined the military.”

Are you a VA looking to get into the field of nursing?  Unitek College offers Training in Vocational NursingRegistered Nursing (LVN to RN), Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelors of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN).  Contact us today at 888-735-4355 to see how you can get started on a very rewarding career as a nurse.

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New Website Helps MAs Find Jobs

Finding a job can be one of the most stressful parts of getting training for a new career. Not only are you focused on your current classes, but it’s always in the back of your mind whether or not you will be able to find a job when you have your certification. Fear not students getting medical assistant training! There is a new website made just for you!

A press release was just published on PR.com announcing a new website that is up and running for medical assistants to find available positions. “The website – www.medical-assistant-jobs.biz – helps match medical assistant job seekers to new career opportunities, while also offering ample online resources to aid job hunters in securing a new job in the healthcare industry.”

While you may be focusing on balancing school, family, work and a sliver of a social life right now, it’s great to store in the back of your mind resources that may become valuable once you finish your education. Not only does this site list job openings, but it also provides advice on creating a successful resume, writing a professional cover letter and sharpening your interview skills. Who couldn’t use a refresher course on these topics when entering the job market?!?

“The website also contains links to numerous government licensing organizations and blog listings of leading job search thought-leaders so job seekers can stay on top of training requirements and industry hiring trends. Furthermore, the job site also features links to numerous formal and informal professional organizations and groups so that job seekers can increase their networking possibilities,” explains the press release.

On a side note, one of my favorite places to go when I’m searching for a job (or furniture or wanting to sell a bigger ticket item) is Craigslist. This site doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it takes local job listings and connects you directly to the employer. Another site I love for job seeking advice is ScrubsMag.com and NurseZone.com. These sites have great advice for those in the medical field.

There are a ton of great resources out there for those in a medical assistant college. Talk to your teachers, friends and search the internet so you can plan for a successful future. Going to school is the first step; knowing where to look for the best jobs is the second.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

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Making New Year’s Resolutions that You’ll Keep

Every year most people continue with a frivolous tradition that either becomes meaningless or discouraging. From diet and exercise to reading a book a week, we all seem to create New Year’s resolutions that set the standard too high or we give up before we even start. As a student getting medical assisting training, you may decide that your resolutions include studying more, getting to class on time or forming study groups to ensure the information you are learning sticks. Here are some ways to ensure success for those lofty goals.

Patricia Quigley, U.S. News contributor, has some great tips from the experts for following through on your goals for 2012.
“’If [a resolution] is merely an exercise designed to satisfy an external pressure, the importance diminishes and the issue can become moot,’ wrote Jacqueline Keller, founding director of NutriFit LLC, Los Angeles, and a licensed professional wellness coach, in an email.”

Michael Pantalon, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine explains that, “people fail due to three main reasons: They promote goals that are too big. They proclaim their goal to the wrong people, those who will pressure them too much or chastise them instead of those who will actually help them realize their goal. They often focus on how to accomplish goals versus why they want to accomplish them, ignoring the ‘reason behind the reason’ which could provide more powerful and lasting motivation.”

Srinivasan Pillay, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., says that biology plays a role in resolutions. Getting excited about what you want to achieve and forming a detailed plan in a quiet place helps to solidify your resolve. Simon A. Rego, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of psychology training at the Montefiore Medical Center also suggests that goals be “’smart,’ meaning specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding, and time-limited.”

I think these are great tips not just for New Year’s resolutions, but for any goals that you have in your life. Don’t just say that you’re going to go to medical assisting school, but determine when, where and how you will financially plan for this investment in your future. It’s also important to share this information with a confidant for accountability. Just think what we could accomplish if we focused on our goals!

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

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Should Patients Be Required to Show Picture IDs?

Whenever I use my credit card, I always keep my driver’s license close at hand because I know I’m going to have to prove that it’s my bill I’m racking up. When stores required their cashiers to check IDs about five years ago, I also remember other customers complaining about this new process. I thought it was a great idea because I knew it was protecting my accounts. Now several hospitals are adopting this same procedure and medical assistants may be required to ask for patient identification.

Cynthia Mccormick of the Cape Cod Times writes about a controversy that has arisen because of this new procedure. When registering for an appointment at her doctor’s office, patient Dianna Morton had her picture taken by a medical assistant without her permission. The camera was linked to her medical record to ensure the patient’s identity and to reduce insurance fraud. “Morton is changing doctors, citing a violation of her privacy rights. She says she was never asked to present a driver’s license and was not given a choice about whether she wanted her photo taken.”

“People’s privacy is really being violated and people are going along with the program without questioning it,” states Morton.

Okay, so I can see both sides of the story here. I would want to give permission for my picture to be taken and I would expect an explanation of why it was being done. I would also be wary of security concerning who has access to these records and how code embedded are they so they won’t be hacked into or stolen. (However, the DMV has our pictures and contact information and I’ve never really given it a second thought.) On the flip side, I totally understand the need for doctors and insurance companies to protect their funds from fraud. It also protects the patient just as if someone stole a credit card.

Mccormick writes that a “Kaiser report says medical identity theft accounts for 1.3 percent to 3 percent of all stolen identity crimes.” However, Pamela Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Foundation in San Francisco comments that medical identity theft is usually an inside job, and the attachment of photos to medical records could make identify theft that much easier to commit.

So should patients show picture IDs and do those getting medical assisting training have a new task at hand? I think that this will be a trend in the future. I don’t know if having a picture attached to medical records is the right answer, but I do think flashing a driver’s license is a good idea.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

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Technology Continues to Make Health Care More Efficient

I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I spend more time with my laptop than any friend and I’ve donated shelves of books in favor or my Kindle. However, the cost and training time it takes to invest into a new phone or iPad is beyond what I’m willing to give.

Just as technology is overtaking our personal lives, it continues to become a source to reckon with in many doctors’ offices. Although training and working all of the bugs out is never a fun process for Medical Assistants, this will certainly aid in improving patient care.

On news-bulletin.com, Julia M. Dendinger writes that, “A recent federal mandate [has] come down, notifying health care providers that if they want to bill their patient’s Medicare, and get paid, it needs to be done electronically. Providers have until 2014 to switch over to a fully-electronic billing and records system.”

This morning I had a doctor’s appointment and I love how everything is technologically interconnected. I went into the exam room (after a 45 minute wait, but that’s another story), the MA logged into the computer, took my blood pressure, asked how tall I was and that was that. I didn’t have any lengthy forms to fill out and I didn’t have to answer to same questions multiple times.

When my appointment was over, the MA at the front desk had already printed out the forms for my blood work and was ready to make my next appointment. No files to sort through, no waiting time, no hassle. It was great!

Valencia Family Medicine in Los Lunas, CA also has a synced in system like my doctor’s office. Co-owners and certified family nurse practitioners Kathy R. Fresquez-Chavez and Leona Herrell mention how effective and efficient their computer system has made their practice. “If someone goes to the express care and is a patient here for primary care, they can access their records,” Fresquez-Chavez said. “And if they aren’t a patient and need to come here for follow-up care, the information is already there. We don’t have to wait to get if from someone else.”

My husband, who works for a county medical facility, also told me that they are adopting a new program to technologically sync all of their cases. While many of his patients are also county hospital clients and inmates, having a unified records system can keep all medical staff in the know.

It seems like students in a medical assisting school need to be armed with both medical skills and computer skills for a successful future.

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Spotlight on Medical Assistants

I blew it. I need to do a shout out apology to all you students getting medical assisting training. Last week was Medical Assistants Recognition Week and I was negligent in mentioning it. Well, here is my tribute to you.

Medical assistants are on the frontlines everyday as the guardians of the doctors’ offices. They make appointments, take care of co-pay transactions, take patients’ vitals, interpret chicken scratch notes written by distracted doctors and brave sniffling, sneezing bacteria carriers every winter. Not only do they have to be adept at fax machines and complex computer programs, but they have to act with grace while wearing pajamas and ugly shoes. Bravo!

In the Tahlequah Daily Press, staff writer Teddye Snell highlights the importance of medical assistants to the health care industry. “’Medical assistants are essential for an office medical practice in today’s world,’ said Dr. Paul Hobbs, M.D., for Tahlequah Medical Group. ‘They are specially trained to make our jobs easier.’”

Not only do medical assistants regulate doctors’ offices, but they are also vital in many specialty fields. Snell explains, “medical assistants are also used in specialty fields, including orthopedics, podiatry and ophthalmology.

“’Several specialties specifically train staff to perform various tasks and procedures,’ said Valerie Rogers, chief nurse executive at Cherokee Nation Hastings Hospitals. ‘To become a certified medical assistant, formal training is required, although many medical assistants undergo on-the-job training from the physician, and work for many years and function extremely well. In the hospital setting, we have a few certified medical assistants, although they function in the role of a nursing assistant.’”

Snell also interviewed a current MA, Amber Camp, who works for the Tahlequah Medical Group. Camp gives this advice: “It’s important you have good people skills… More often than not, the people you deal with aren’t feeling well, and may not be on their best behavior. You have to be pleasant, and do your best to put them at ease. You can’t be squeamish, either. This isn’t a job for you if bodily fluids bug you.” Camp further adds that it’s important to get a good education. “There is so much you have to learn, including testing, lab results, etc., and it’s important you have a working knowledge of these things. I’m a quick study, but it’s best to stay in school.”

So thank you all you current MA’s and those in a medical assisting college. Without you our medical costs would go up, our doctor’s appointments would take longer and we’d be even more nervous when our kids get sick or hurt.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit