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Is a Career in Health Care Right for You?

While it’s true that training for a career in health care will prepare you to enter an in-demand field, the industry is not for everyone. Wondering whether you have what it takes to be a dental or medical assistant? Before you take a step toward a rewarding future as a certified health professional, let’s take a look at a few things to keep in mind that will help you determine if it’s a good fit.

1. Are You Passionate About People?

At its core, health care jobs are about people. Your primary role will involve interaction with people, so strong interpersonal skills are critical to success in this field — whether you work in a hands-on capacity, as a medical or dental assistant, or take on an administrative role, such as in medical billing or as an office medical assistant. You will be working with a multitude of people on a daily basis who may be dealing with pain, stress, anxiety and/or fear, so a compassionate demeanor can help keep patients calm and relaxed.

2. Do You Enjoy Challenges?

Working in the healthcare industry can be quite demanding, and preparing for a job in this field requires study and determination. Once you enter the field, you’ll need a solid work ethic to meet the day-to-day challenges that come along with the profession. Choosing the right school for the field you desire is the first step, and here at Eastern we provide the resources that not only make your learning go smoothly, but we’re here to guide you through the challenging job hunting process as well. In fact, career counseling is available even after graduation.

3. Do You Genuinely Enjoy Learning?

The field of healthcare is constantly evolving. If you’re looking for a static career, a job in healthcare may not be right for you. Advancements in science and technology require medical professionals to learn and expand skill-sets through professional enrichment. If this sounds appealing to you, you’ll reap additional benefits such as the ability to advance your career and increase your earning potential, too!

4. Do You Want to Make a Difference in Your Community?

Though there are certainly demands that are put upon medical professionals, the great pay and benefits, as well as the total satisfaction of knowing that you are helping others, make them all worth it! Training to become a dental or medical assistant can lead to a potentially life-changing career where you can help provide and connect patients with care wherever you choose to live and whatever path you take.

So, what’s next? To start, you can take this quiz to see if Medical or Dental Assisting training is right for you and call our admissions office at either the Little Rock campus at 501-232-0378 or our New Orleans campus at 504-736-0654 to speak with one of our career counselors. They can help you decide if a career in healthcare seems like a good fit. They can also provide insight on financial aid assistance and scholarship opportunities. Already know you’re ready to embark on the journey? Great! Space is limited, so contact us at Eastern College, today. You’ll be on your way to a challenging and rewarding career in health care in a little over a year.

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Going Back to School After Starting a Family

You made the commitment to stay at home with your children until they started school. Or, maybe you put school on hold entirely so that you could start your family. Either way, going back to school at this point in your life can be a great option to help ensure a financially stable environment for your family. In fact, many adults across the country go back to school as their little ones get older. Though balancing family and going back to school can be a challenge, it’s not impossible! Here’s a look at ways to help you succeed.

Explore financial aid options.

Wondering how to get ahead without getting behind financially? Grants, scholarships and even student loans with income based repayment options can help ease the financial burden of going back to school. Find out more information about costs and financial aid options available to you at Eastern College, here.

Create a routine and stick to it.

Sure, you’ll have your class schedule and other non-negotiable timeframes to do certain family related tasks, but be sure to weave in a practical time for homework and studying. One of the best things to do when considering going back to school is to first, envision when and where you plan to do your homework. Maybe it’s early in the morning before the kids head off to school, or maybe it’s after their bed time. You could carve out a specific time on the weekends to tackle the take-home work. Whatever you choose, find a time and a place that meld with your life and stick with them.

Invite your family to join in the routine.

If you have older children in the house, it’s a great idea lock in a time when all the homework is done together. If your children do not have homework on particular days, encourage them to read for pleasure or work on other activities like drawing or writing letters to loved ones who live far away. Carving out a time such as this not only helps bring the family closer together, but also helps instill good study habits.

Ask for help when you need it.

Many parents have a tendency to think they can handle “it all”. While it’s true parents are often excellent multitaskers, you’ll likely encounter times when you just need a break or some extra time to hunker down with your study materials. Make sure you have a support system in place before the time comes and don’t hesitate to call on these friends or family members when you need them. After all, they will recognize the efforts you are putting forth to better your family and want to see your succeed.

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What Makes the Health Care Field a Smart Career Choice?

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An in Demand Career

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of 18% for employment of health care occupations from 2016 to 2026. Countless reports continue to indicate the healthcare industry is growing, which is leading to a demand in careers related to health care. How does this affect you? Well, it means once you obtain a degree or certification in a healthcare related field, you’ll have numerous job opportunities waiting for you.

Attractive Pay

More often than not, the pay in the health care industry is enough to live a comfortable life. Health care related jobs also typically come with multiple benefits. Plus, there’s always room for growth. The higher degree you earn, the higher rate of pay you can expect to see.

Ever-Changing and Exciting

From new patients to new scenarios, techniques and technological innovations, no day is the same in health care. A career in health care can be a break from the ordinary and monotonous. Health care providers can work in office settings, emergency rooms, pharmacies, and even in developing countries or on the battlefield. If you enjoy learning new skills and interacting with a wide array of people, a career in health care could be a great fit.

Flexibility

Since health care is a universal need, a career in this industry can quite literally take you almost anywhere! This is a career that allows you the opportunity to take on roles that include travel, the option to move from one area to another or simply work wherever you want. This flexibility opens the door to meeting new people, including scientists, tech experts, researchers, other medical staff and more! Each new day brings the opportunity to learn new things about the health care industry and even glean insight on different cultures.

Employment Options for All Education and Experience Levels

No Matter your education or experience level, health care job options exist. What’s more, there are often government funded and employer-funded scholarships available to help cover education costs. Many employers encourage continuing education so their staff receives training in the latest technologies and advancements in medical procedures. This gives employees the opportunity to grow and enhance their skills. Employers are then able to offer patients the most up-to-date care available.

Ready to head toward the limitless horizon that is the field of healthcare? Take this quiz to see if Medical or Dental Assisting training is right for you and call our call to our admissions office at either the Little Rock campus at 501-232-0378 or our New Orleans campus at 504-736-0654. At Eastern College, we prepare you for a health care industry career through hands-on training and an education. Our classes incorporate real-world scenarios so you know what to expect when you enter the workforce. In a little over a year, you’ll be on your way to a challenging and rewarding career. Space is limited, so contact us today!

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Dental Assistant Career Options

So you’ve decided to pursue a career as a dental assistant, but you’re wondering what options you’ll have once entering the field. Whether you consider your temperament tame or you have a more adventurous spirit, here’s a look at some of the many paths your dental assistant degree can take you.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

It’s important to note that your dental assistant duties might vary by practice. In most settings, you’ll likely be tackling both administrative and patient prep. Before we get into the various options you’ll have as a dental assistant graduate, let’s take a look at some of the basic duties of a dental assistant.

  • Maintaining patient records
  • Preparing patients for procedures
  • Assisting dentists during exams and procedures by handing instruments
  • Instrument sterilization
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Patient education
  • Ensuring patient comfort

Where Do Dental Assistants Work?

As a dental assistant, many graduates find employment in traditional dental practices, but there are often opportunities to work in specialized dental care practices such as:

Oral and maxillofacial surgery: Teeth removal and correction of facial deformities

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics: Teeth straitening with braces or other measures

Endodontics: Root canal treatment

Periodontics: Treatment of gum problems

Prosthodontics: Replacement of lost teeth

Pediatric dentistry: Treatment of children

Nontraditional Settings

If you are interested in a career that affords out-of-the-ordinary ways to help people, you might be surprised to know that becoming a dental assistant can offer that, too. It is worth noting that nontraditional practice settings are not for everyone. When it is a good fit, these alternative career options can offer dental assistants rewarding and uplifting experiences.

Public Health: As a public health dental assistant, you could help provide services to undeserved populations in various communities, both domestically and abroad. Dental assistants in public health careers often play a critical role in helping educate individuals about proper oral healthcare.

Armed Forces:  You can serve your country and see the world as military dental assistant. Dental assistants in the military provide care to soldiers and their families at U.S. military bases across the globe. This role may also support dental teams that treat remote communities around the world that lack access to modern dental care.

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Dental assisting jobs allow dentists and other dental care providers to focus more on patient health. Every successful practitioner needs great assistants in order to excel. As a dental assistant, your career can help you fulfill your desire to help others. This can mean those in your local community or those in need across the globe. Ready to start working toward your dental assistant degree? Call our Little Rock campus at 501-380-0764 or our New Orleans campus at 504-736-0654 for insight on upcoming classes, financial aid assistance and scholarship opportunities or click HERE.

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Medical Assistant Career Options

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Choose a Specialty

Wherever you choose to begin your career in healthcare, deciding to pursue a specialty can be a smart one! While it’s true some medical specialties require additional training (by hands-on experience and/or additional certification), they often offer better pay and a chance to pursue specific healthcare passions. So what are some specialties to consider?

Dermatology

A dermatological medical assistant aids doctors who deal with concerns and treatment and care of the skin, hair, nails. You could expect to assist with simple treatments for skin improvements or even full-scale surgical procedures for patients who range in age.

Cardiology

As an EKG/Cardiology Technician, you would assist doctors who specialize in  diseases and conditions of the heart and cardiovascular system. You could perform electrocardiography (EKGs) and possibly help conduct stress tests.

Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology medical assistants help with many aspects of eye care. You could perform diagnostic testing, assist the physician with treatments and emergencies, and perform patient education.

Chiropractic Medical Assistant

As a medical assistant in a chiropractic office you could assist the chiropractor with treatments, document health histories and help with patient education.

Obstetrics/Gynecology

A medical assistant in OB /GYN assists doctors and nurses who work with women from young adulthood up through senior years. Help with procedures like Pap testing and breast exams, minor gynecological surgery and care for pregnant women are typical duties you can expect in this specialty.

Pediatric Medical Assistant

If you love children, this one is for you! As a pediatric medical assistant, you would work with pediatricians to provide care for infants, children and teens under the age of 18. You may even help with parent education.

Administrative Specialties

Administrative medical assisting might be more your style if you prefer paperwork over pulses. Our courses provide a solid foundation to build on.  As a medical administrative assistant, your professional duties would likely include taking meeting notes, creating documents and spreadsheets, working on office policies and more. As you gain experience you’ll have additional opportunities to pursue work in other administrative areas, which could require additional classes.

Advancement Opportunities

Upon entering the workforce, it’s a great idea to talk with your employer about your goals for career advancement and ask about such opportunities within your organization. As a medical assistant, with continuing education, you could go on to become any of the following:

  • Clinical team leader
  • Clinical office manager
  • Executive medical office secretary
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Lead medical assistant
  • Medical office manager
  • Medical assistant instructor
  • Medical records manager
  • Transcription supervisor

Becoming a medical assistant opens the door to so many possible career paths, and since the field continues to evolve, opportunities to specialize are expected to grow. With experience and education, your employment options in healthcare become practically limitless! Call Little Rock campus at 501-380-0764 or our New Orleans campus at 504-736-0654 for insight on upcoming classes, financial aid assistance and scholarship opportunities. Ready to commit to starting your promising career in healthcare? Click HERE to take your first step.

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Top Reasons to Become a Medical Assistant

So, you’re looking for a career that makes an impact on your community, has a wealth of career prospects and can offer you and your family greater financial security. A career as a Medical Assistant can offer all of those things and the Eastern College of Health Vocations is the perfect partner to help you along on your journey! Here’s a look at some of the top reasons to become a Medical Assistant.

Great job prospects:

There’s an ocean of opportunities out there when it comes to healthcare related career paths.  Medical assistant jobs are expected to grow 29 percent through 2026 — more than many other career paths. As the baby boomer generation ages, their healthcare service needs increase. Since they make up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population, this means as a medical assistant, you’re in demand! This also means you’ll likely be able to find a job quickly, regardless of where you choose to call home.

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As a medical assistant, your career is centered around helping others. Your primary role is to support physicians and other healthcare professionals, but medical assistants can also make a direct impact on the lives of patients. You’ll get to know people from all walks of life, whether drawing blood, helping a patient navigate medical benefits or even taking vital signs. Your education will prepare you to help answer questions and comfort patients and their loved ones, which truly touches lives.

Gain certification and employment quickly:

Looking to enter the workforce soon? Most students complete their medical assistant certification in less than two years. What’s more, since you’ll receive specialized certification that demonstrates your expertise in medical assisting duties, you’ll have an edge over non-certified MAs when it comes to competing for jobs.

Opportunity for growth:

While some may choose to continue their career as a Medical Assistant for a lifetime, others view the role as an excellent foundation for other healthcare career paths. For example, you could become a lead medical assistant, medical office manager, medical assistant instructor or even go on to earn your  Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other medical certificates.

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HERE to take your first step.

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Top 6 Study Tips

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1. Minimize distractions

Maybe you can rub your belly and pat your head at the same time, but when to comes to checking email and peeking in on social media while you’re trying to study, you’re not really “multitasking”. Your brain is actually doing something called “switchtasking”. This occurs when you attempt multiple attention-requiring tasks at the same time. And as this article states, “each switch in attention incurs switching cost, which includes a loss of time, decrease in performance, and an increase in stress levels.” Talk about counterproductive! So, switch those notifications to silent mode, and focus on the task at hand.

2. Get Organized

There’s a great guede called the Cornell Note Taking Method (PDF guide) that’s clear, concise and proven to be quite effective in helping organize notes. How does it work? Well, instead of keeping page by page notes exclusively on lectures and chapters, divide your page into two columns. You’ll want to dedicate about ¼ of the left side of the page to the left side. This is where you can identify key terms and concepts. Use the right side to document your notes on this content. Research indicates organizing your notes in this fashion can help your brain visualize the information for future recall.

3. Break things down

Be honest. You done the “cram before an exam”, right? How’d that work out? While you’ll get lucky sometimes, research suggests shorter study sessions spread out over multiple days produce better results than those longer sessions. The basic conclusion? Repeated retrieval of information leads to long-term retention of what’s learned. As this article from Psychology Today explains: “This happens because each time we retrieve a memory, it has to be reconsolidated and each such reconsolidation strengthens the memory.”

4. Get flashy

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make your own, you’ll get the additional benefit of working through the material again while you’re writing it all down…which is another way to get those concepts to sync with your long-term memory.

5. Say it aloud

You likely already know reading information you are trying to remember aloud can be helpful. This is due to multiple parts of your brain working simultaneously to process the information as you speak it and hear it. Did you also know the same goes for explaining concepts and material to other people? Grab a (willing) friend or family member and walk them through things you’ve learned.

6. Pratice, pratice and then practice some more!

Practice tests are proven to be one of the most effective ways to retain information. Can’t find a particular practice test for an upcoming exam? Make your own!

Hopefully these tips will help you along the way as you prepare for your exciting new career in healthcare. At Eastern College of Health Vocations, our health care programs are designed to prepare students for their careers as medical assistants and dental assistants. We focus on giving you the right tools at every step, including financial aid assistance and scholarship opportunities; supportive faculty who have practiced in the profession they teach; instruction in resume writing and interviewing; and most importantly job placement assistance. Enroll today or arrange a campus tour by calling our admissions office in Little Rock at 501-568-0211 or New Orleans at 504-736-0654.

 

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What Makes a Great Pediatric Medical Assistant?

As a medical assistant, you have the opportunity to work in a wide array of medical practices. Once you complete your training at Eastern College of Health Vocations, not  only will you have the option of working in a particular medical field, but you can also select to work with particular demographics, like children. Children can be a joy to work with, but caring for them can bring along certain challenges at times. How can you tell if you’ll make a great pediatric medical assistant? Well, we’ve rounded up a few questions to ask yourself before making moves toward your new career.

Are you passionate about caring for children?

A job is just a job if you’re only in it for the paycheck. True passion matters to employers, and when working with children it can be especially important. Though pediatric patients can be some of the most unpredictable patients, many graduates who go on to work in the field share it’s a very rewarding job. Like everything with kids, there will be silly, sad, wild and even exhausting times, but your role as a pediatric medical assistant will allow you the opportunity to witness incredible transformations and build lasting relationships.

Do you have a calm demeanor?

For young children, a visit to the doctor can often be a bit scary. Whether it’s a completely new experience for them or they recall a recent visit that involved a shot, a gifted pediatric medical assistant can help calm kids nerves. Comfort, kindness and humor can go a long way in helping little ones feel safe and at ease.

Can you speak “kid”?

To start, physically getting down to a kid’s level to speak eye to eye with them is a great first step to ensure good communication. By doing so, you’ll show the young ones their feelings and concerns are important. It also helps hold attention. A good pediatric medical assistant is also able have a relatable conversation with kids. The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Frozen? Lightning McQueen? What are their favorite characters, shows or books? When you’re able to speak with children about their interests,  you have better chances of building trust and developing a relationship that will make future visits more enjoyable.

Can you comfort parents?

Let’s face it. From home life, to work life, to lack of sleep and concern for their little one, parents are sometimes worried, angry and even flat out exhausted by the time they’ve stepped foot inside your doctor’s office doors. So, you’ll need to have patience with them too! Keeping both patients and parents calm and relaxed until the pediatrician enters the exam room takes talent. It also takes a level of understanding to realize when a sleep-deprived parent might need to be walked through seemingly simple procedures or have instructions repeated.

Not everyone should pursue a career as a pediatric medical assistant, but if you have the right qualities, it can be rewarding and often fun. With your Medical Assistant training from ECHV, you will quickly be on your way to becoming a vital part of a medical team with excellent opportunities for advancement. If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant or have questions about our program, fill out the form on this page or call our Little Rock campus at 501-568-0211 or our New Orleans campus at 504-736-0654.

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Working with Children as a Dental Assistant

We understand that one of the most important aspects of your role as a dental assistant is the desire and ability to work with patients. Graduates of Eastern College of Health Vocations who work in general dental practices, and especially those who end up as assistants in orthodontic and pediatric dental practices, have the pleasure — and at times, the challenge — of working with younger patients. Many of our grads have told us what a rewarding experience it can be to work with children.

 

In pediatric dentistry, building the trust of the young patients is critical to their overall experience, and often this trust begins with the dental assistant. It can help form a bond with the patient that lasts long after the procedures are finished.

 

February is actually National Children’s Dental Health Month, so it’s a perfect time to mention managing pediatric patients here in our blog. Here are a few pointers for students taking the dental assistant career path on how to manage younger patients, from tots-to-teens.

 

Speak Their Language

 

It’s quite common for kids to feel nervous about visiting the dentist, especially if it is their first time. The sights and sounds may be off-putting at first, and for the very young patients who may not even be able to talk yet, using nonverbal-communication, like smiling and relaxed body language, may help calm them.

 

With 6-12 year old patients, speaking with kid-friendly, less scary language can make all the difference. For instance, instead of referring to x-rays, say “a picture of your teeth” and when mentioning the drill, say special toothbrush or “spin-brush”.

 

Distraction Action

 

As adults, when we feel nervous, we’ll read a book, watch TV or listen to music to help lower our stress level. We use them as distractions. Similarly, for children between the ages of 6 and 12, using visual aids or telling a story in the dental office can be an effective distraction or behavioral-guidance technique. For the younger kids, you could offer a coloring book page featuring their favorite character. A dentist we are quite familiar with has his dental assistant squeeze the hand of the patient firmly, just as he is about to give an injection. The child is distracted by the sensation and hardly realizes they have been given the shot. Distraction is a great tool in the dental assistant’s arsenal.

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Signs You May Be Ready For a Career Change

There are so many paths one can take in life, and your career path is one of the most important. It is important not only for your financial stability, but for your overall sense of well-being. We’d all like to get it right the first time, but that is not always the case.

In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 study indicates that the average length of time in any one job is 4.2 years. That is down from the 2014 study at 4.6 years, so the picture is getting worse. Some of these job changes obviously reflect new titles or employers, but others signify the leap from one profession to another. If you think a career change might be in your own future? These four signs may help you decide.

  1. You Are Constantly Tired.

All jobs can be tiring, but the right job should still leave you feeling energized, not wiped out. If you don’t actually like your job, it is taking more out of you than you’re getting out of it. A job change to a career you love will help reduce stress and the feeling of always being exhausted that go along with it.

  1. Your Job Skills Are Not Being Used.

Perhaps you chose your current job because it was necessary at the time, or maybe you just landed there by default. Either way, if the job calls upon a skill-set you either lack or don’t enjoy using, or does not utilize a skill you have been trained for and enjoy, it is probably time to look for greener pastures.

For example, if your job requires you to make routine presentations but public speaking causes you extreme anxiety, you are probably not going enjoy showing up for work every day. Likewise, if you are an excellent writer, but are never asked to use that talent, you may become bored very quickly.

If you are having doubts about your job, take a few minutes and jot down your strengths and skills, then determine whether those things are being put to optimal use in your current job.

  1. Nothing Excites You About Your Job.

If you’re not excited about your job, do you think you can really perform to the best of your abilities? Of course not. This then becomes a vicious cycle.

But imagine having a job where you were actually excited to go to work every day and to make a real contribution. A career in healthcare may offer that excitement and reward!

Making a good salary may be one of your priorities, and you can certainly do that as a medical or dental assistant, but there’s no substitute for the feeling that comes from being truly committed to what you do. On-the-other-hand, if you go to work every day simply to collect a paycheck, you are missing the opportunity to experience true satisfaction — not just professionally, but also personally.

A change in careers can help you discover the joy that comes from knowing you’re living up to your true potential. You just need to take that first step.

  1. You Feel Underappreciated.

Do you feel overlooked or undervalued in your current job? If so, a change of pace, a new job, or a career change may provide the avenue for the recognition you deserve.  While feeling good about yourself largely comes from within, we all need a little external validation from time to time, especially in the workplace.

Fortunately, these feelings can come from many different sources. For example, if your current job involves solitary or independent work, a change to a career with more opportunities to engage with people — from co-workers to clients — can help you feel valued for the contributions you make.

One of the most popular paths for 21st-century career changers? Health and wellness jobs.

Not only are workers in this field in great demand due to the ongoing shortage of qualified professionals, but the work is also uniquely fulfilling. To learn more about your options for healthcare jobs along with how to position yourself for a terrific new career in healthcare, call to our admissions office at either the Little Rock campus at 501-568-0211 or our New Orleans campus at 504-736-0654.

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