Being an Essential Healthcare Worker in a Post-COVID World

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things in our daily lives. Those who are healthcare workers have experienced an even more significant number of changes that have affected their professional lives.

The growth of telemedicine, the increased focus on sanitation and cleanliness, and the shortage of healthcare professionals are changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has partly caused. Read on as we share more information on each of these shifts!

Growth of Telemedicine

If you are unfamiliar with the concept, you may be wondering, what is telemedicine? Telemedicine is defined as the use of telecommunications and technology to assess, diagnose, and treat patients remotely.

For example, if you wake up with a weird rash and decide to schedule a virtual visit with your healthcare provider, you will likely have a video call to complete the visit. Your healthcare professional will go through the same set of questions that they would at an in-person appointment. They will want to know things like how long the rash has been there, if anything specific caused it, and may even ask you to show it to them on camera. Then, they will provide the appropriate treatment, such as calling in a prescription for a rash cream to your local pharmacy.

This type of patient assessment and treatment has become much more common due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine allows healthcare providers to treat patients from the comfort of their homes, which can stop the spread of illness for those who are contagious since they do not have to leave their homes to receive care. It also allows healthcare providers to reach patients in more rural areas who may not be able to travel to appointments.

According to a report from McKinsey & Company, telehealth usage has increased 38 times from what its usage levels were before the pandemic. This means there are more opportunities now than ever before to work in telemedicine.

If you are considering a career as a healthcare worker in a position like practical nursing or medical assisting, you may one day treat patients in a telemedicine environment.

Focus on Sanitation

As the COVID-19 pandemic began, an increased focus on sanitation and cleanliness quickly started as well. There are sanitation and cleanliness standards for essential healthcare workers that must be practiced while on the job for infection control.

Even at home or in public spaces, healthcare professionals and everyone else have experienced this increased focus on sanitation. For example, it’s recommended to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soapy water many times per day to stop the spread of germs.

For buildings in community settings, the CDC recommends cleaning high-touch services at least once per day. Some examples of these surfaces include countertops, light switches, desks, keyboards, shopping carts, and phones.

For those who work in healthcare, you will need to consistently practice sanitation and cleanliness standards to avoid the spread of germs while on the job and in your personal life.

Shortage of Professionals

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, there was a growing shortage of healthcare professionals. With the aging baby boomer generation needing more care and the increased access to healthcare created by legislative changes within the past decade, the need for qualified healthcare professionals has been growing for some time.

One example of this growth is for practical nursing professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the projected growth rate for practical nurses from 2020 to 2030 will be 9%, and there will be an average of 60,700 job openings for LPNs each year in the United States.

When COVID-19 hit the US, it increased the need for healthcare professionals even more. With hospitals and other healthcare facilities providing care to a larger number of patients, many are experiencing a critical shortage of healthcare professionals.

Due to these shortages, some healthcare facilities have increased the salary for qualified professionals and even started offering sign-on bonuses. With this continuously growing need for healthcare professionals, now is the perfect time to start a career in the medical field.

If you’re ready to get started in this growing industry, we’re here to help! Learn more about our healthcare training programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Billing/Administration today.

Request information now to get started on your path to a healthcare career!

Stay Healthy During Back To School Time


Back to school time is here, and like many of us, you may be a little nervous about you or your child going back. With COVID-19, the flu, and other viruses, staying healthy is a priority for many during this time of year.

While you can’t fully shield yourself from most germs and bacteria, there are many things you and your children can do to try and stay healthy as you return to school. This week, we’re sharing our top tips with you for staying healthy during the back-to-school time!

Practice Good Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene is essential to staying healthy during back-to-school time and the rest of the year. The CDC recommends washing your hands frequently, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and after being around someone else who is sick. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially if you have not washed your hands or have been around a sick individual. Always cover your mouth when you cough, and if you have to sneeze, do it into your elbow.

If you or your children are sick, stay home and get some much-needed rest so that you can feel better. Don’t send your kids to school if they are sick because they could infect others.

Eat Nutritious Foods

Eating nutritious foods is a critical component to staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong. There are various vitamins and minerals that your body needs that come from the food you eat.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, some of the vitamins and minerals your immune system needs to perform include zinc, selenium, iron, folate, and vitamins A, C, D, and E. These substances can help prevent, fight off, and shorten infections, while supporting your immune system, so it functions properly.

Some foods rich in these vitamins and minerals are spinach, kale, strawberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, salmon, avocado, beans, turkey, and chickpeas. Many other fruits and vegetables include these essential vitamins and minerals, so it’s always a good idea to include many of them in your diet.

One way to easily add a number of these healthy foods to your diet is to make a smoothie. Mix your favorite fruits, such as strawberries, pineapple, and mango, and then add spinach and kale. Add some water, blend until creamy, and enjoy. This smoothie is delicious and nutritious!

Try to eat less sugar and processed foods that fill you up but do not include the nutrients your body needs to stay strong and healthy. One easy way to do this is by cooking more at home and eating out less. When you make your food at home, you can choose healthy foods and work to keep your body functioning properly.

Create Healthy Habits

Creating healthy habits and sticking to them daily can help you and your family stay healthy during back-to-school time. One essential healthy habit is to stay hydrated by drinking enough water. Your body is made up of a large percentage of water, and it serves many purposes at keeping you healthy.

Exercise is another healthy habit that is important to feeling your best. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s estimated that healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Examples of moderate physical activity include taking a brisk walk, swimming, and riding a bike. Some examples of vigorous activity are jogging, jumping rope, or playing basketball.

Getting enough sleep is another important aspect of staying healthy. The amount of sleep you need depends on your age. For example, the Mayo Clinic recommends 9 to 12 hours of sleep per day for kids ages 6 to 12 and at least 7 hours of sleep per day for adults.

Reducing stress can keep you healthy because too much stress is not good for your mind and body. There are many ways to try and reduce stress, such as scheduling time for relaxation, meditation and mindfulness techniques, and learning ways to cope with stress better.

We hope these recommendations will help you stay healthy during the back-to-school time and all year round!

To learn more about our programs at United Career Institute, request information here!

Campus Security – Irwin Campus

At United Career Institute’s Irwin Campus, security is not just a person or a physical alarm system, it is also the student’s peace of mind. Entering into a post-secondary school can be full of excitement, stress, and lots of overwhelming feelings. Students certainly need to feel that the school they choose can keep them physically protected along with supporting them emotionally. Let’s face it, there’s no room for concerns about safety. That’s why United Career Institute has recently contracted a security firm to install a state of the art surveillance and monitoring system, complete with camera recordings and key fob entry to the only access point. This will allow us to always monitor who is coming into our campus. This new system will give assurance to the students and employees that their physical safety is paramount to campus leadership, but it certainly doesn’t stop at physical safety.

In this day and age of COVID-19, entering a clean, environmentally safe atmosphere can go a long way in relieving the stress and anxiety of this virus, so steps were taken to give all students, guests, and employees the peace of mind that United Career Institute has followed and met the CDC guidelines for safe reopening. First, all individuals entering the school must wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the virus. Next, every person must attest that they are experiencing no Covid symptoms, have not traveled to a hot spot, and are not running a fever. This is verified with a temperature scan, and all people must be below 100.6 temp or they are immediately sent home. While in the building, all people will be reminded constantly by the displayed placards that social distancing, frequent hand washing, and sterilization must take place to keep the campus as virus free as possible. Lastly, we have contracted a cleaning service to do a deep clean and sterilization of the entire campus EVERY day of the week after students leave.

The combination of the physical security additions along with the extensive Covid remediation has given all students, employees, and guests that peace of mind we were after.

“Safety brings first aid to the uninjured.” – F.S. Hughes

Karen Mayle – Student Highlight

Karen Mayle is a medical assisting student at United Career Institute. This is the first post-secondary school she’s attended. Before she decided to come back to school at United, Karen was working at a restaurant and had been laid off due to circumstances of Covid-19.

Karen chose United Career Institute as her school because she has a daughter who also attends school here. While talking to her daughter about going back to school for healthcare, she told her about what United Career Institute has to offer. She gave Karen the contact information for Kathy Coddington, who works in admissions, and Karen started down the enrollment path.

Karen is a student in the Medical Assisting program, and when asked why she chose this field, she said, “I have always found myself falling back into the healthcare field. I considered the skills I already had in the healthcare field and put that together with the fact that I like working with computers and working with people.” So, being an MA was a “no-brainer” for Karen.

When asked who her favorite teacher is, she couldn’t choose just one. She says, “Rachel, and the way she always makes sure everyone is included. Jade, with her teaching techniques and offerings of tutoring all the time. Kelli is ‘straight to the point’ with things and tells you how things are going to happen so you know what to expect.” She also loves how all of the instructors take their time to make sure they talk with their students about everything, not just schoolwork, even if they aren’t that student’s advisor.

Karen’s ideal job is working in a hospital or doctor’s office as a medical assistant. Within the next five years, she wants to be worry free of financial burdens. She doesn’t want to worry about things from pay to pay. “Things like that are difficult for a single mom,” she says. “I think, once I graduate from UCI, I will be able to accomplish that goal.”

Karen’s favorite part about attending United Career Institute is the people. She says, “Everyone there is great. All the instructors and other staff are very helpful with everything.”

When asked about whether or not she would refer United Career Institute to a friend, she said, “Yes I would. People at UCI are great!”

To learn more about United’s healthcare programs, request information here!

Campus Safety – Mt. Braddock


At United Career Institute Mt. Braddock, we take pride in making our students feel at home. Part of making our students feel at home is making their health and safety our top priority. Campus safety can mean many different things. It could be protecting their psychological health by offering a safe place to talk and share. Other times, it could be protecting their professional health by ensuring they know the proper way to use protective gear while performing medical procedures. It also means protecting their physical health by providing a clean and healthy school environment. In the days of COVID-19, ensuring our student’s health and safety has never been so important. Read on to find out how we are making United Career Institute a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors.

The first step we take in protecting anybody who enters our school is taking temperatures. Everybody who enters the building must have their temperature taken, no exceptions. Anybody who does not meet the temperature requirements cannot come back to the building until they produce a negative COVID test or until their temperature returns to normal. All students, staff, and visitors must sign a waiver ensuring that they have not traveled to any hot spots, experienced COVID symptoms, or been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive.

The next step we are taking in ensuring the safety of our campus, is wearing masks. Anybody who enters our building is required to wear a mask, with the only exception being those who have a medical reason prohibiting them from wearing one. Since we offer in-demand medical programs at United, many of our students view this as an opportunity to prepare for their future careers!

In addition to the actions we are taking listed above, we have posted CDC guidelines around the building to remind students, employees, and visitors to frequently wash their hands (for 20 seconds at least), avoid touching their nose and mouth, and go home if they begin feeling sick. We also provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes in high traffic areas of the building. This includes the front desk, bathrooms, classrooms, and offices. As many of these precautionary measures are important to practice when working in the medical field, we are using COVID as an opportunity to teach our students what it is really like to work day to day in a hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic.

At United Career Institute, our students are considered a part of the United family. One of our core values is “Caring” and one way we demonstrate that is by ensuring our campus is safe for everybody who walks through our doors.

To learn more about the caring environment you will experience at United Career Institute Mt. Braddock, request information here!

United’s Live Classroom Experience

This year has brought many changes to our daily lives, which can make it hard to plan for the future. The uncertainty of when kids will return to school, not feeling secure in their job, and not knowing if it’s completely safe to go out in public are just a few of the issues that many people are dealing with when thinking about their future.

As you deal with the many unknowns of this difficult time, we want all current and future United students to know that we are with you. Our top priority is to give you the education and training you need to start a fulfilling and successful career. This has been our priority from the beginning and will continue to be throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

At United Career Institute, our commitment to your success will always remain the same, even though things are a little different right now.

We know that education plays an important role for our students in achieving their career goals and creating a better future, so we have adjusted to the current uncertain times by offering students a live classroom experience, which enables you to attend classes from the safety of your home.

Some students may not yet feel comfortable coming to campus or may have children at home and be unable to attend in-person classes. We designed our live classroom experience so these students can continue their career training and stay on the path to a better future.

Our live classes at United provide students the ability to interact with their teachers and classmates, just like in a traditional classroom. Students learn the same material and gain the same knowledge, preparing for an exciting, new career in a way that’s just a little different, for now.

Just like any other time at United, our instructors are available for one-on-one help outside of the classroom, so that all students get the support they need to succeed in their classes. While students learn in a live classroom setting, instructors are still available to work with students outside of the classroom, to ensure each and every student gets the help they need.

Our purpose will remain the same, even during these difficult times, and that is to empower change by creating opportunity. Every student who attends classes at United Career Institute will continue to receive the education and training needed to start a new career with benefits such as small class sizes, our WE CARE atmosphere, and personalized attention.

We are still here to prepare you for a fulfilling, successful career, even though things are a little different for now. Learn more about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding programs to start your journey to an exciting, new career.

Request information now to get started!

We’re Here for You Through COVID-19

As we all try to adjust to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that life has changed dramatically over the last few weeks. From homeschooling our children, to having our movements restricted, to the heroes who are on the front lines fighting this virus, we have all been affected.

At United Career Institute, we want our students, our community, and our future students to know, we are here for you and will support you in any way we can. We are all in this fight together, and we will get through it together.

Supporting United Students

We think of ourselves more as a family, and not just a school. Even through this difficult time, we are still fully committed to our purpose, which is to empower change by creating opportunity.

We are committed to serving and supporting our family of students through the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue educating and training our students for rewarding, successful careers, we are now providing online remote instruction for all students.

Via distance learning, students can continue to develop their skills and gain valuable knowledge that will set them up for success in their future careers. While students cannot physically attend classes or be on-campus, all instructors are fully available to assist and support students in any way possible.

For active students, in good academic standing, who are unable to begin or complete an externship due to COVID-19, United has created an Interim Leave of Absence Policy. In addition, we have revised the current Incomplete Policy to further support students who are unable to sit for their certification exams during this time. Please visit the COVID-19 Information page for more information and guidance on these policies.

Supporting the Community

In addition to supporting our students through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are highly invested in the local healthcare community, and are dedicated to serving it as best we can by providing the workforce with trained medical professionals.

With healthcare programs including Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration, United – Fayette County graduates are on the front lines battling the virus by caring for sick patients and providing essential support to hospitals and doctor’s offices.

We pledge to support our local healthcare teams and community members by continuing to educate and train essential healthcare workers who are desperately needed during this time.

Supporting Future Students

We know that many people and families have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the mandatory restrictions on non-essential businesses. Due to these restrictions, many people have lost their jobs or been laid off, with millions of people around the country who have already applied for unemployment benefits.

As a school with the purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity, we know that we have a responsibility to help people get retrained and back to work. With this in mind, we have added virtual campus visits as an alternative to touring the campus in person. We hope this will allow those who have been affected to start their path to a more secure career, by training for valuable healthcare jobs.

In addition, high schoolers who are uncertain about what to do next due to COVID-19, are encouraged to explore our career training programs, which can lead to successful healthcare careers.

To learn more about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration programs, contact us today to schedule a remote admissions meeting.