Meet the Practical Nursing Director – Pam Hughes

Meet Pam Hughes, Practical Nursing Director at United Career Institute!

Pam Hughes Practical Nursing Director

As the Practical Nursing Director at United, Pam loves her role and enabling students to thrive. “I love the United faculty and staff, but more so, I love watching the students succeed and grow.”

Pam has an amazing philosophy on helping students achieve their career goals, and it is showing a passion for teaching and helping students, a goal that’s instilled in all faculty members at United. She works to teach students to believe in themselves and accept themselves for who they are, while embracing everyone and their differences.

“United Career Institute is a family atmosphere and you are not a number, but an individual. Students are safe within our walls and we’re all here to help them, whether it is with their schoolwork or if they just need someone to talk to,” said Pam.

As a 2004 graduate of United Career Institute (formally PIHT), Pam knows first-hand how wonderful the family atmosphere is here. After graduating, Pam was given an opportunity to substitute at United when a medical instructor needed some time off. “I loved attending United as a student and I love teaching,” said Pam.

Pam earned an Associate in Specialized Science from Penn State in 2009 and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in December 2011. She went on to complete a Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner and graduated in July 2019.

In January 2006, Pam was offered a teaching position at United and happily accepted. She worked her way up from an instructor to the Medical Assistant Program Director, and then to the Practical Nursing Director. When asked what drives her to work in education, Pam happily responded, “the students.”

When asked what drives her to get up and give her best each day, Pam’s response was an inspiring one: life. “I love life and when I come to work, I want the students, faculty, and staff to see me energized and smiling. In turn, they will also be happy and smiling.”

The accomplishment Pam is most proud of in her life is her education, because it allowed her to achieve her career goals. “Prior to becoming a student at United, I was working as an administrative assistant. While that was fine, there was no room for advancement.”

The thing Pam loves the most about her role as Practical Nursing Director is the family atmosphere.

Outside of work, Pam enjoys spending quality time with her husband. Her favorite food is pizza, and if she could have one superpower, it would be to cure diseases of all kinds.

Are you ready to jump-start your great healthcare career with a school that truly wants their students to succeed? Request information now to get started today!

Lynda Mayes – Staff Highlight

“My favorite part of working for United Career is being a part of a group that makes you feel like family. That includes both the staff and the students!” –Lynda Mayes

Lynda Mayes - Staff Highlight

Lynda Mayes is the Admissions Advisor at United Career Institute in Irwin. As an Admissions Advisor, Lynda helps potential students find their right education path. A large part of her job involves guiding students through any life obstacles they may have. It’s not uncommon to walk by her office and see her talking with her current students. Whether its school related or personal, Lynda always makes a large effort to help the student keep their eye on the prize!

Lynda has a Bachelor of Science in Administrative Management from Robert Morris University. After graduating she started working at the Westmoreland County Prison. She worked there for three years as a Records Clerk and then moved on to work at the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC). Lynda worked there for nineteen and a half years, working her way up from a Collections Clerk all the way up to a Field Service Super Intendant. During that time, she was managing over sixty-five employees, and was able to complete her Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at Robert Morris University.

Lynda is motivated by her mother. She says her mother has always encouraged and supported her in her decisions. “Because of her support I want to show the same love and respect towards her by doing the best that I can do.” She is most proud of her family, not only because of their ability to deal with difficult times, but because they always find a way to support each other while doing it.

Lynda’s long term career goals include getting her Ph.D. She would like to get involved in teaching leadership coaching to college students and adults. “It’s important for anyone going into a career to develop leadership and skills to be successful.”

 

Premier Medical Associates – Externship Site Partnership

Founded in 1993, Premier’s leadership team led a transition that made the company independent in 2004. Premier’s independence allowed the company to focus on building a stronger model of patient-centered care and expand operations to include critical services and specialties that provide a continuum of care to PMA’s patients. In December 2011, Premier Medical Associates affiliated with Highmark and today is an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network.
Premier Medical Associates – Externship Site Partnership

Premier Medical Associates is a high performing health organization delivering an advanced care model to the more than 100,000 patients in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Recognized as a national leader in healthcare transformation, Premier is headed by a nationally awarded physician and leadership team, representing over 400 employees. Premier delivers a higher quality of care to its communities and patients through a resolute commitment to prevention, immunization, whole-body health, and patient-centered care.

Premier Medical Associates, an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network, is the largest multi-specialty physician practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area with 100 providers, 24 medical services and specialties delivering care in 10 convenient locations.

Before Premier focuses on delivering the highest quality care to our patients, we focus on the people delivering that care. Their wellbeing is critical to providing better care. We make considerable investments of time, training and other resources to cultivate a thriving employee culture.

As an extern, students will be exposed to a team-based, healthy working environment.  Employees at Premier work efficiently and effectively to deliver care to our patients.  Students will receive the tools and training they need to have a productive and educational learning experience at Premier and will be involved in participating in the day to day operations of the practice.  We are committed to providing a positive and valuable experience to all students.

Premier strongly believes that partnerships are critical to the success of the organization.  We are excited to partner and align goals with United Career Institute.  We believe that we have an excellent opportunity to teach and develop students in the healthcare industry, and we are confident that our efforts will have a positive impact on the success of our recruitment strategies.

Premier gives the following advice to students entering college in 2020-2021; focus on the direction of your education on industries and jobs that bring joy and gratitude to your life.  It is so important to love and be excited about what you do every day.

Kelly Clark – Faculty Highlight

We’d like for you to take a minute and meet one of our great employees at United Career Institute Irwin campus. Kelly Clark is a Financial Aid Advisor for United Career Institute. She has her associate degree in clinical administration/medical assisting. She started off working at a urology clinic in Philadelphia and then moved back to the Pittsburgh area and worked in an OB-GYN office. Seven years later she went to California University of Pennsylvania and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary English Education. After a few years of substitute teaching, Kelly moved into the banking field. She worked in banking for 14 years and then started her career with United Career Institute in 2019.

Kelly Clark-Faculty Highlight

Kelly knew after interviewing with Arnold, the Campus President, that she wanted to be a part of the United Career Institute team. Kelly said, “He was easy to talk to and very funny. I felt comfortable and knew that we would work well together.”

Kelly says one of her favorite things about working for United Career Institute is seeing the smiles on students faces after their financial aid appointment. Kelly likes the feeling of helping students get one step closer to reaching their educational goals. “Helping others motivates me because I want to see changes in the student’s lives so they can reach their goals.”

Kelly is most proud of her five children! She is excited to see her children develop positive morals and values. They all focus on their academics first and they love the activities they choose to participate in. She is enjoying watching them grow into caring and respectable young adults.

Kelly’s long term career goals are to get her master’s degree. “I would like to pursue a master’s degree in higher education and continue working in a career at United that best fits that education.”

Something interesting that most people don’t know about Kelly is that she has always wanted to be a wedding planner. She has been in eleven weddings!

Outside of work, you can catch her at her oldest daughter’s many twirling competitions, her second daughter’s gymnastic meets, watching her third daughter cheer at football and basketball games, her son’s wrestling matches, and her youngest son’s travel baseball games. Go Vipers! She also loves going to Penguin hockey games with her husband Todd.

Leah Judge – Student Highlight

United Career Institute Medical Assisting student, Leah Judge, has always had dreams of working in the medical field. “I enjoy my job waitressing at a great restaurant in Greensburg, but my passion for the medical field kept picking at my brain. It just so happened that I was talking with a customer who ran a local school and he invited me and my mother down to see it, and it was exactly what I was looking for.” United Career Institute gave Leah the opportunity to pursue her dream. Leah loves helping people, and United’s Medical Assisting program gives her the opportunity to do just that. She is an awesome addition to our student body!

Leah Judge-Student Highlight

Leah tried the traditional route of attending the local community college, but that was not her idea of learning. The campus was too large, the classes made her feel like just another number, and individual help was never available. She also disliked the idea of having to take a lot of general education courses to reach her goal.

Leah’s favorite class so far has been Medical Terminology I because she likes learning all the new concepts. Her favorite instructor, Kelly Shriver, breaks down the learning material so it’s easier to understand. After graduation, Leah sees herself working in a specialty office, possibly specializing in dermatology. Five years from now, Leah wants to be well into her career and maybe even have her boyfriend become her husband.

Leah says she wouldn’t hesitate for a second recommending United Career Institute to anyone else because it provided her everything she hoped and dreamed of in a school. Leah has the distinction of being the very first student to enroll at UCI Irwin, and we can’t wait to see all that she accomplishes on her journey toward a medical career!

New Year, New Career – Irwin

With the start of a new year, it’s the perfect time to evaluate and plan your next career move. Maybe you’re just starting out in your career and are unsure of what steps to take to get your dream job. Or maybe you feel stuck in your current job, but don’t know what to do to advance your career.

We’re here to help you get from where you are to where you want to be! As you set your New Year’s resolutions and goals, you can plan steps for yourself that will get you into a new, fulfilling career.

Check out the steps below to get started on your new career today!

Get Motivated

Before you can make a change or accomplish something great for yourself, you have to get motivated! Motivation is the reason that someone behaves in a particular way. It’s what gets you up in the morning and what encourages you to keep going when things get challenging. Getting motivated is essential for launching yourself into a new career.

In order to get yourself motivated, you need to know what it is that inspires and motivates you. Different people are motivated by different things, so ask yourself what exactly it is for you. For example, you may be motivated to create a better life for your family. After you figure out what drives you forward, keep this in mind as you set your goals, and let it inspire you in your daily life.

Learn New Skills

Now you’re motivated and ready to jump start your new career, but how do you do it? What specifically can you do today that will set you up for success? The answer to this question is to learn new skills! The professional world is constantly changing and if you’re not learning new skills, you can become stagnant in your career. That’s why gaining new skills, knowledge, and experiences are the best way to get you into a better career.

To help you achieve your career goals, we designed our healthcare training programs to give you the exact skills and knowledge employers need in job candidates. At United Career Institute, you will learn in a hands-on environment and have opportunities for real-world application with externships and clinicals.

Update Your Resume

Next, you need to update your resume to ensure you’re giving potential employers the most current information about your education, skills, and previous experiences. When crafting your resume, make sure it’s modern and professional, so you stand out from the crowd of candidates. Check out this previous blog post sharing our Top 5 Resume Tips to Get Noticed!

If you’ve already decided you want to learn new skills, feel free to add your current school and program to your resume. This shows potential employers you are serious about your career and working to achieve more. Just be sure to make it clear that you are still currently enrolled in a training program.

Start Your Job Search

You may think it’s too early to start your job search while still in school or attending a training program, but that’s exactly when you need to start! Begin by making a list of your ideal employers and researching their current job openings, hiring processes, and hiring managers. Follow these companies on social media and review their websites as well.

Once you have done this, you’ll have a much better idea of what it takes to get hired by each specific employer. Feel free to reach out to your top companies with questions you may have, as this will help you get to know the hiring process and company culture. Then, when you’re ready to apply for your new dream job, you will be one step closer!

Put Your Career on the Fast Track with United

Ready to launch yourself into a great new career now? Gain hands-on skills, knowledge, and real-world experience at United Career Institute. Learn more about our programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Phlebotomy today. Request information now to get started!

Haley Tinsley – Student Highlight

“Every day I learn something new, and every day when I leave the school, I remember and retain what I’ve learned that day. That’s never happened to me before.”

Haley Tinsley-Student Highlight

Those are the words of United Career Institute Irwin’s medical assisting student Haley Tinsley. Haley tried a few different avenues to higher education, including a few semesters at Bradford Business School and most recently at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She quickly found that those routes were not going to work for her. “It’s not what I wanted out of an education; way too many classes that had no relation to what I was interested in. Also, they just made you feel like another number.” When Haley left school, she tried a series of jobs from restaurant work to house cleaning, but couldn’t get school out of her mind and didn’t want to give up on her dream of working in the medical field. “From the time I was little and my mom would take me for my check-ups, I couldn’t wait to see the nice red-headed lady with beautiful nails, because she always treated me so nice and was always in a good mood. That’s how I see myself as a medical assistant. I would love to be the reason people want to come to the doctor’s office, and put a smile on their faces!”

Haley reached out to United Career Institute Irwin and quickly realized this was the place for her. “My Admissions Advisor, Lynda, was incredible and made me feel so at home. She listened to my whole story and made me feel so comfortable. It was like I was part of their family, and that only continued when she took me on a campus tour. Within 5 minutes I got to meet the Campus President, Arnold, who was in a meeting, and he stopped what he was doing to talk with us.”

Haley began at United in November and is liking it more each day, but her favorite class so far has been Anatomy & Physiology. She loved the subject matter of that class and felt that not one single day was boring. Haley sees herself working in a doctor’s office after graduation or in a family practice because she wants to be the one putting smiles on patients’ faces. However, she doesn’t want to end her education at that point. Over the next few years, she sees herself going back to school for a practical nursing or registered nursing program. Knowing Haley’s determination and focus, we have no doubt she can achieve anything she puts her mind to!

When asked if she would refer a friend to United Career Institute, Haley was quick to respond, “Absolutely! They make you feel like family and want you to succeed. There’s no way I feel I can fail with the support of the Irwin Campus!”

If you are interested in learning more about our short term training programs and WE CARE classroom experience, request information here!

What Should High School Seniors Be Doing Now?

With school dances, holiday breaks, and classes with your best friends, being a senior in high school can be an awesome experience. You’ve made it so far and can see the finish line!

For some, it can also be overwhelming and a little frightening. As you finish one journey and prepare for the next, the most important question to ask yourself is, what am I going to do after high school?

Making the decision to continue your education by attending college or a training program is a great investment in your future. People who continue their education beyond high school earn higher salaries and have better job security. With so many options, how do you choose the path that’s right for you? And what can you do to set yourself up for success once you graduate high school? Keep reading as we share exactly what high school seniors should be doing right now!

Research Schools and Programs

The first thing high school seniors need to do is research the various schools and programs you’re interested in. Meet with school representatives that visit your school, read through each school’s website, visit their social media pages, and read online reviews. Doing this will help guide you to a school that is the right fit for you.

Choosing the right school for you is extremely important, but equally important is choosing the right program. When deciding on the program you want to pursue, you need to ask yourself some important career questions, like what field do you want to work in, how quickly do you want to start your career, and what style of learning do you excel at? The answers to these questions will help guide you toward the program best for you.

What Should High School Seniors Be Doing Now

For example, if you want to work in the healthcare field, don’t want to spend 4+ years in school, and prefer a hands-on learning environment, a career training program would be best for you. At United Career Institute, we offer fast track career training programs for in-demand jobs like Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration. With short-term programs, you can start your career in months, not years.

Other things to consider are whether the school offers job placement assistance, will you have the chance to earn valuable certifications, and is the program direct admission, meaning you don’t have to take unnecessary classes.

After completing your research and choosing a program, contact the school you’re interested in to get more information and ask any questions you may have. You can set up a campus visit and complete a tour to really get a feel for the school you’re considering. Be sure to note the deadline for admission, so you can get a head start on the application process.

Choosing a school is a big decision, so talk it over with family, friends, and your guidance counselor, as they may have insight and advice that you have not considered.

Complete the Application Process

Now that you’ve chosen the school you want to attend and the program you will complete, it’s time to complete the application process! Schedule a time to meet with an Admissions Advisor to complete your application and make a list of next steps. Your Admissions Advisor will work with you one-on-one to help guide you through the process. Feel free to bring a parent or family member to your admission interview to support you along the way.

After applying and being accepted into your chosen program, you will meet with a Financial Aid Representative who will help guide you through financing your education. Questions about the FAFSA, scholarships, student loans, payment plans, and more can be answered during this meeting. You should bring a parent or guardian to this meeting to ensure all their questions are answered as well.

Next, you need to complete your FAFSA, apply for scholarships, and pay any necessary fees. Additionally, some schools and programs require an entrance exam and letters of recommendation, so you will need to complete these as well, if necessary.

Prepare for Success

Congratulations! You have chosen a school, decided on a program, and completed the admissions process! As you finish your senior year of high school, continue to focus on your grades, extracurricular activities, work, and any other responsibilities.

Be sure to respond to all communications from your school promptly, as they may need additional information or have questions for you. Before you begin your chosen program, purchase any necessary supplies that are not provided and ensure you have the proper support from family and friends.

Apply to United Career Institute

If you’re looking for a school that offers fast track career training programs, hands-on learning, personalized attention, small class sizes, student support, and a WE CARE approach to education, then you’ve come to the right place! Request information today to start your path to a great career with United Career Institute!

Top 5 Resume Tips to Get Noticed

With only one chance to make a great first impression on hiring managers and recruiters, you always want to have a top-notch resume that shows why you’re best for the job.

The way you present your education, skills, certifications, and experience in your resume can give you an advantage over the competition, so ensuring your resume is professional and easy to understand is essential. Keep reading to find out our top five resume tips to get you noticed!

Utilize a Resume Template

Using a template to create your resume is the secret to an attractive, professional looking resume. With templates, your resume will stand out from the crowd because your career information is presented in a visually appealing way.

Whether you want to go with a free or paid resume template, there are many different options out there. Just remember that the template needs to be professional and easy to navigate. For example, a template with headlines that clearly mark each section will make it easy for recruiters to find the exact information they need.

You also need to use a template that aligns with your industry, such as a resume that has a healthcare look for the medical field. Check out these resume templates to help you get started:

Use Keywords

Today, many companies use something called an applicant tracking system to store all their resumes. This allows recruiters and hiring managers to search through thousands of resumes for the exact education, experience, skills, and certifications they are looking for in order to fill a specific position.

Top 5 Resume Tips to Get Noticed

When you apply for a job, your resume is entered into the company’s applicant tracking system, so it’s essential to use the same keywords in your resume that are also being used in the job description. Review the job posting and think about what keywords a recruiter would use when searching for resumes, and then use those same keywords when writing your resume. Doing this will make your resume easier to find and increase your chances of getting noticed.

Include Essential Information

As you design your resume, there’s a specific list of relevant information that must be included for hiring managers to evaluate your qualifications for the specific position. Here is a list of information to include:

  • Name and Contact Information – Include your name, email address, and phone number at the top of your resume.
  • Education – Include the degree, school, and year graduated for all education.
  • Experience – Add the company, job title, dates employed, and a description of your experience.
  • Certifications – Add your valid certifications and the dates you earned them.
  • Skills – List all your relevant skills.
  • LinkedIn – Add a link to your up-to-date profile in your resume, so you can showcase your recommendations and endorsements.

In addition to the information above, you may also want to add software you’re proficient in, volunteer experience, and professional achievements.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Hiring managers and recruiters are busy people who oftentimes have many open positions to fill, with different qualifications for each. This means that if your resume is too long, they may not have the time to read through the entire thing.

When writing the content for your resume, keep it as short and sweet as possible. This can be challenging, especially when everything seems important, but you should try to keep your resume to two pages or less. A great way to do this is to use bullet points instead of long paragraphs.

Also, include action verbs in your resume to show that you get things done! Some examples of action verbs to use are lead, manage, create, produce, analyze, and develop.

Double Check Spelling and Grammar

There’s nothing worse than having spelling or grammar mistakes in your resume, as this can make you look careless and unprofessional. To ensure this doesn’t happen, be sure to double check everything!

As you write your resume, use the spelling and grammar checker in Microsoft Word to check for errors. Ask family, friends, or teachers to proofread your resume as well, because it can sometimes be hard to catch your own mistakes.

Time to Shine

Now you have a resume that will stand out and get you noticed, so you’re ready to shine! When applying for jobs, be sure to submit your resume in PDF format to ensure your design and formatting are kept in place. Craft an awesome cover letter explaining why you’re best for the job and submit it with your resume. Don’t forget to follow up!

For students and graduates of United Career Institute, our career services can answer any additional resume questions you may have.

Learn more about our Medical Assisting,   Medical Office Administration, and Practical Nursing career training programs and request information today to get started on your dream career today!