Happy Constitution Day! On this day, September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed. Each year, CAHE holds a special event to commemorate and celebrate this special day, also known as Citizenship Day.
Redefining Comprehensive Potential of the Medical Assistant Profession
This month we spoke with Telcida Dolcine-Sinclair as part of our CAHE Q&A series. Here are some insights into this rewarding career path as offered in the CAHE Medical Assistant Program.
What type of students enroll in the Medical Assistant Program?
Many students come into the Medical Assistant Program right out of high school. These students know that they want a career in healthcare, but they’re not yet sure about the discipline in which they want to specialize. The Medical Assistant Program is perfect for these students. Continue reading “CAHE Q&A Series: Q&A with Telcida Dolcine-Sinclair, Director of the Medical Assistant Program”
An In-depth Look into a Career in Radiography
To kick off our CAHE Q&A series, we spoke with Isaak Miroshenko, Director of the Radiography Program, who provided his insight into the field of radiography from multiple perspectives: a CAHE graduate, professional radiographer and currently as the Program Director of CAHE’s Radiography Program. Continue reading “CAHE Q&A Series: Talking with Isaak Miroshenko, MA, RT(R)(CT), Director of the Radiography Program”
Opportunities acquired from a Surgical Technology Program
In this article, Edward Sanchez, the Program Director of CAHE’s Surgical Technology Program, provides his insight into the field of surgical technology and career opportunities that professionals in this field can pursue.
Why is Surgical Technology such a great medical career choice?
An important reason is the scope of practice: surgical technologists are responsible for a wide range of competences. The Association of Surgical Technologists recently published this scope of practice care:
- Preparing the operating room for surgical procedures by ensuring that surgical equipment is functioning properly and safely;
- preparing the operating room and the sterile field for surgical procedures by preparing sterile supplies, instruments, and equipment using sterile technique;
- anticipating the needs of the surgical team based on knowledge of human anatomy and pathophysiology and how they relate to the surgical patient and the patient’s surgical procedure; and
- as directed, performing tasks at the sterile field including:
- passing supplies, equipment or instruments;
- sponging or suctioning an operative site;
- preparing and cutting suture material;
- transferring and irrigating with fluids;
- transferring and administering drugs within the sterile field, according to applicable law;
- handling specimens;
- holding retractors and other instruments;
- applying electrocautery to clamps on bleeders;
- connecting drains to suction apparatus;
- applying dressings to closed wounds; and
- performing sponge, needle, supply and instrument counts with the registered nurse circulator.
Prospective students can see that this role has broad responsibilities. It’s very hands-on when it comes to technical standards. Our students graduate from the Program fully prepared to enter the healthcare industry as professionals in their field. They benefit from having such wide range of competencies, as it opens a gateway to working alongside renowned physicians and surgeons and build life-long professional relationships in the field.
Our faculty and staff are fully committed to the success of our students, and continue to challenge conventional approaches to education by integrating didactic and hands-on clinical training throughout the program of study. It is important to mention that since 2017, all three of our Surgical Technology cohorts have had a 100% first-attempt pass rate on the CST pre-certification and credentialing examination.
What “soft skills” or characteristics are necessary to succeed as a Surgical Technologist?
Innovation plays an important role in this field, so students must to be critical thinkers who think outside the box. For example, surgical technologists may be the first to learn how to use a newly-invented prosthetic and how to use robotics in a surgical procedure.
Surgical technologists need to have a strong mind with a positive attitude as they are involved with many intense processes. On the other hand, they are rewarded with the impact they have on improving patients’ quality of life.
For more information on a rewarding career in surgical technology, including program requirements and financial aid options, visit our program overview.
In September of 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. CAHE celebrates Constitution Day each September!
Congratulations! You got the interview. This accomplishment means you’re a viable candidate for the position you are seeking. However, you’re still far from getting an offer. It’s time to hone your sales skills and you prepare to sell an invaluable product…yourself! Here are five areas to focus on before your interview appointment.
1. Research the hiring company
You will see that each of these five tips focus on preparation. One of the most important is to learn about the company you’re about to speak to. Nothing better shows a hiring manager that you are detail oriented and diligent.
Read through the company’s website, and while you’re doing so make notes of areas you’d like to bring up during your interview conversation. Depending on the site content, you should be able to find product offerings that relate to your skills, and you may even find clients of the company with whom you’re familiar. This exercise also gives you an opportunity to learn about the company’s culture.
It’s important to look at the news and blog sections, as this is where you’ll find the most recent updated material. Google the company to get more objective information. You can impress your interviewer with a congratulations on a recent award or a question about the success of a new product launch.
2. Have questions ready
At the end of your interview, it’s almost certain that you will be asked, “do you have any questions for me?” The worst response you can give to this question is NO, even when is followed by an explanation, such as “No, I think I have all the information I need,” or “No, you covered everything.” Have two or three questions prepared that relate to the position, the company, or even the hiring manager and his or her responsibilities. Avoid questions about salary and benefits; especially on the first interview and never with anyone except for the human resources manager.
Here are a few examples of good questions you can have prepared:
• Is this a new position or am I replacing an employee? (this lets you know if a person left the company or was promoted)
• What kind of the training / on-boarding process do you provide?
• What EMR system (or other technology) do you use?
3. Prepare answers for common questions asked of applicants
You have some great questions ready, now it’s time for the even tougher part. You will inevitably be asked some, if not all, of these questions. Have your responses ready.
• What made you choose a career in healthcare? Or more specifically, why did you choose [your specific healthcare profession]?
• Why did you leave your last position?
• Why do you feel you’re a good fit for this job? Or, why should we select you over the other candidates?
Job websites provide a full list of potential “trick questions” hiring managers ask.
4. Quantify your experiences or studies
When you are asked about your achievements, put them in terms that will show direct benefits for the hiring company. For example:
Instead of “I set up a new inventory tracking system,”
Say “The new inventory tracking system I set up saved hundreds of dollars per month in misplaced supplies.”
Instead of “I passed the program assessment at school to qualify for this position,”
Say “I excelled at program assessment skills that have prepared me to work well as a team member, such as punctual attendance, class participation and project completion, cooperation with faculty.”
Instead of “In my last position I was required to handle the needs of patients,”
Say “I’ve received cards and letters from family members thanking me for my caring attitude towards their loved one.”
5. Follow up with all interviewers
It’s surprising how many applicants don’t follow-up. It’s a great way to set yourself apart.
Send a separate message (email or snail mail) to each person you spoke with. You should send it within 24 hours of your interview. Reiterate important aspects of the job and how you can directly meet their needs. You can also use this opportunity to add in anything important that you feel wasn’t covered during your interview(s). If you discussed any materials you created, you can attach them or mail them with your message.
The effort you put in before going on an interview will increase your chances of landing your dream job. Good luck!
In our blogs, we often speak of the soft skills that are key to a student’s successful healthcare career. Aptitudes that are important include written and oral communication, attention to detail, responsibility, and professionalism. These characteristics will also be helpful during the job search process.
Here are some tactics for combining your academic knowledge with your soft skills strengths that will help land the job you’ve been working towards.
1. Write a Winning Resume
Hiring managers scan each applicant’s resume for an average of six seconds. With that in mind, put the most important information first, and be sure to format the body of your resume so that key words and phrases will catch their attention. Here are some tips for arranging resume content.
- Begin with a focused objective statement and follow it with core strengths that are significant for success in the desired position.
- Follow with education and certification(s) so that they are on the upper part of the page. List key courses and their takeaways that relate to the job for which you’re applying.
- Either within the education section or directly after it, list relevant student experience that was gained in clinical training.
- List your work experience next. If you don’t have a history of medical experience, describe how your successes at prior jobs can translate to the new position; such as customer service, sales, inventory tracking, and project management.
- Include any volunteer experience and community organization work.
2. Create a Professional Social Profile
Linked-In is the primary social site for professionals. Your profile is critical; spend time creating a strong one. Include a copy of your resume and a professional-looking photo (avoid pets and avatars). To further strengthen your presence, ask former teachers and employers for recommendations.
Send invitations to fellow students, instructors, and other professionals you know to build a strong network. You can also join groups and follow companies and organizations of interest. LinkedIn has great job search resource.
It should go without saying that most hiring managers will Google your name and look at all of your online profiles and content. Be mindful of what you post and share!
3. Prepare for the Interview
Do your homework. Before your interview, read the company’s website. Make note of any news and press releases, such as corporate merges, management hires, or new product launches. This might provide you with the opportunity for smart questions or comments during the interview. Be sure to have some questions prepared. You’ll inevitably be asked, “Do you have any questions?” The worst response to this is “No!”
If you’re asked to tell the hiring manager about yourself, talk about successes, both professional and academic. Even if you don’t have a long list of job accolades, you can talk of experiences from your education that directly relate to the position. Even personal stories might be appropriate, such as volunteer experience or hobbies that positively reflect your personality. Have some examples mentally prepared, so you won’t be caught off guard.
All your preparation could be for naught if you don’t make a good first impression. Dress appropriately for the position you’re applying to and don’t overlook the cleanliness of hair, nails, shoes, and clothes.
Are you ready to present yourself as the perfectly qualified, well-rounded candidate? Prepare for your interview with a solid resume and professional readiness, and you should be at the top of the hiring manager’s list.
Last month’s blog, The Top 7 Reasons to Join the Healthcare Field, provided an outlook of the healthcare field. It discussed the reasons why healthcare is a good professional choice for students entering the workforce as well as for people looking to make a career change. This article is a shift from the pragmatic reasons to a discussion of the personal characteristics and soft skills that will drive success and happiness as a healthcare professional.
Many healthcare professionals witness pain and suffering on a daily basis. In these situations, they must treat patients and their families with compassion and respect. A kind word or action can make all the difference to a patient; whether in a doctor’s office, hospital, or treatment room.
Those who work in a patient-centered job must understand how important their disposition is to the people they will be assisting. And even if you’re having a bad day or you’re just not in a good mood – for whatever reason –personal feelings must be put aside on the job.
There are many areas where communication skills play an important role in a healthcare worker’s success. As it relates to empathy, employees dealing with patients must be a good listener to understand their medical and emotional needs. It’s also necessary to know how to find the right comforting words when the situation requires difficult conversations with patients and their families. Nonverbal communications, such as facial expressions and body language, are also important skills.
All members of a medical team must be able to understand and follow instructions and clearly articulate directions. Listening skills are essential. Clear communications give the entire team the information they need to respond quickly and accurately to every situation, including emergencies.
Medical professionals learn how to follow protocol that protects patient confidentiality. Be sure to understand HIPAA privacy rules, which have very stringent guidelines regarding verbal and written communications.
Accuracy is important in all professions, but in the medical field, the smallest error could have extreme repercussions. Missing a step or making an error is not an option. Medical facilities provide many technology tools that help with organization. There will also be department procedures in place that maintain orderliness and ensure thorough patient care. Ultimately, it’s up to the employee to use the tools at their disposal to do their job with precision.
Working with sick and injured people day in and day out can take its toll, even for the most steadfast personality. If you’re considering a patient facing career, it’s important to understand that you need to be able to deal responsibly with traumatic situations. Your coworkers and patients will depend on your ability to deal with stress.
Consider a time when you needed medical treatment. What was it about the nurse, lab technician, or office receptionist that made the experience easier for you? The person or persons who come to mind probably have many of these characteristics, giving them a great “bedside manner.” If your personality is a fit for your career choice, you will have the same impact on people you meet and work with throughout your career.
What do you plan to do for a living? This is a major decision that can’t be taken lightly. That’s not to say that a career choice is a lifetime commitment. There’s always the opportunity to make adjustments or even a bold move as your circumstances change. At CAHE, some students are at the beginning of their career, while others have worked outside of the healthcare industry and are now getting an education to change the path they’re on.
Ask yourself: Which industry and occupation will allow me to reach my definition of success? Determine what’s most important to you. Think about salary, job security, growth opportunities, geography circumstances, and anything else that would impact your achievement potential. Here are reasons why healthcare may be the right decision.
#1 Phenomenal Growth
The healthcare field is exploding. Baby boomers are now seniors, and people are living longer. There are a record-breaking 50 million people age 65 and older in the United States. This aging population requires more medical care and sophisticated treatments. The medical field is working nonstop to keep up with these demands. New advancements require specialized workers, which provide opportunities that span the industry. The goal of healthcare providers is to keep longevity worthwhile by providing seniors with a comfortable quality of life.
#2 Impressive Salaries
Salaries vary greatly based on specialization, education, and experience. Look at salary estimates and other data for healthcare occupations at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Healthcare workers can oftentimes expect a gratifying paycheck for rewarding work.
Benefits are an important part of any job compensation package. Whether employed by a hospital, medical practice, or in another healthcare environment, one can generally expect to find excellent working conditions with numerous perks. Benefit package can include healthcare, paid time off and leave, savings plans, life insurance, short- and long-term disability, and pension plans. Some healthcare employers will also contribute to continuing education to help maintain their employees’ skill set and improve their knowledge.
#4 Opportunity for advancement
The huge growth in the healthcare field provides advancement opportunities for its workers. As employees gain experience, master the requirements of their job, or add to their knowledgebase, employers may welcome the chance to give them additional responsibilities – which could result in a promotion. Many healthcare positions will offer better opportunities for employees who receive advanced certifications and degrees.
#5 Professional Flexibility
There are so many choices for individuals working in healthcare. Some people prefer to work with patients; others are more comfortable behind the scenes. Skill sets vary, and there are healthcare jobs for those who work well with numbers, technology, or people. Consider various work environments. Healthcare employees may work in a large, busy facility such as a hospital, or a calm, quiet setting such as a doctor’s office or a lab. There are various medical fields and doctor specializations for qualified workers, such as geriatric, pediatrics, dentistry, internal medicine, orthopedics, and the list goes on.
#6 Personal Flexibility
In healthcare, workers aren’t forced into a 9 to 5 work week. In fact, in many cases that isn’t a viable option! Hospital work requires night shifts, weekends, and even holiday coverage. But employees are compensated well for these “inconveniences.” A doctor’s office would offer a more customary work schedule for people who want a more predictable work week. Many healthcare occupations offer part-time work. This might be important to consider based on lifestyle goals.
#7 Make a Difference
Regardless of the job title, skill set, or work environment, or whether it’s a patient-facing role or work behind the scenes; healthcare workers know that their professional contributions have a positive impact on patients’ quality of life. Many contribute to saving lives. Feel free to move this up to the #1 reason to join the healthcare field.
Later this month we will follow up with an article that will look at the unique characteristics and personality traits that will help students determine what type of healthcare career is the best fit.