Hands-on clinical skills and training are such a vital component of United Career Institute’s healthcare programs. Watch the video to witness one of our practical nursing students demonstrate one of the many skills our students learn during their time in the Practical Nursing program. Practical Nursing instructor Stacey Mantich guides student Lindsey Harris through the proper sterilization technique for surgical gloving. Our students’ other skills include conducting physical assessments, administering medications, caring for wounds, performing IV therapy, performing phlebotomy and giving injections, and many others.
Kudos to you for deciding to continue your education and earn a degree! It’s now time to decide what school and program will be the best option for you and your goals.
One of the aspects you may want to think about is whether there’s an externship opportunity that you can do while you earn your degree. An externship allows you to work in real-world environments while still in school and is beneficial for you and your career path. Continue reading to discover the top benefits of completing an externship!
Gain Valuable Experience
One of the main benefits of doing an externship while in school is that you can get hands-on, real-life experience in your selected career path. Learning the critical knowledge required to start your career is great; however, gaining hands-on experience allows you to take it to the next level and gives you an advantage as you apply for jobs. If an employer is considering two candidates, and one has real-world experience, and the other does not, they will most likely select the person who has experience.
Choosing a program that includes an externship and getting real-life experience are great resume builders. Add your externship experience, any tasks you performed, and other skills you developed while completing your externship to your resume.
During the time you are attending school and completing your externship, you can start to consider what types of organizations you want to work for after you graduate. Perhaps you wanted to work in a hospital setting, but then you realized that you would prefer a doctor’s office. Or maybe you thought you wanted to work for a public firm, but now you realize a nonprofit would be better for you. Having on-the-job experience at your externship helps you better understand the work environment, so you can decide which type of company suits your needs.
Develop Your Skills
Practicing the hands-on skills you learned in classroom and lab settings is another great benefit of completing an externship. Employing the knowledge you’ve gained in a real-life work environment can set you up for continued career success. The more work experience you get, the better you will be at your job, as the additional practice helps to upgrade your skills.
During your externship, you will have the opportunity to improve your soft skills, including your communication skills, ability to work with a team, time management skills, and much more. Soft skills are equally as important as the hard skills you acquire for your job. Many employers review candidates for soft skills while completing interviews. Additionally, soft skills can help make you more confident in yourself and your abilities, helping you perform better in your career.
Make Professional Connections
Another benefit of choosing a degree program with an externship is that you can begin creating your professional network while you’re in school. Creating positive relationships with people at your externship and with prospective employers can help you build a network that will be of great value when the time comes to submit job applications.
Once you complete an externship and create a professional network, you will have a head start with local organizations and prospective employers. If you have a great experience with your externship and you would like to work for that company, make them aware and be on the lookout for any job opportunities that come along.
An externship provides you with the opportunity to locate a mentor that could assist you on your career path. Perhaps there is someone that could help by offering you guidance and advice along the way that would be a great mentor. Furthermore, you can receive feedback from professionals in the field to help improve your skillset. You can also ask people you worked with during your externship to provide you with references and recommendations when the time comes for you to submit job applications.
Get Started With United
Are you ready to get on the fast-track to a great healthcare career? At United, we have exciting programs that work for you with externships, caring instructors, career services, and student support. Discover our healthcare degree programs and contact us now to get started today!
At United Career Institute, we take pride in providing quality education, training, and preparation for students starting new careers. It’s an honor to ensure that each and every student is empowered to achieve their career goals.
We have created and established a proven process that helps us cater to each student’s journey in their career. Our proven process helps guide students through these six steps: Plan, Equip, Learn, Enhance, Apply, and Succeed.
Continue reading to learn more about each step and request information to begin your path to a new and exciting career!
Step 1: Plan
We understand that everyone is different. We all have our unique circumstances, requirements, and goals. At United, we believe in identifying each student’s needs to create an individual educational plan that works specifically for you.
Once you request more information, you will be introduced to one of our supportive and friendly career advisors. They will work with you to develop a plan that gets you on your way to achieving your financial goals. You can ask any questions you have to learn all about the student experience at United. After your meeting, you will be provided with an opportunity to tour the campus, see classrooms and labs, and chat with your future instructors.
Step 2: Equip
After you’ve met with an admissions advisor, our dedicated enrollment team will ensure you are equipped with everything you need to get started with your classes, including creating a financial plan that helps you accomplish your career goals.
You will have a meeting with a financial aid advisor, who will explain and guide you through the financial aid process. You will get the opportunity to learn about the different financial aid programs you could qualify for, for example, grants** or loans.
We will assist you in completing your enrollment by getting you registered for your classes and helping you plan for other support you may need, like childcare or transportation.
Step 3: Learn
You are now officially enrolled, and it’s time to start your classes! You will gain important career training, learn practical skills, and practice them while in the classroom and with our interactive labs.
Each of our career-focused degree programs offered here at United includes hands-on training. For instance, students in our Medical Assisting program will learn essential skills, such as measuring vital signs, giving injections, conducting lab tests, drawing a patient’s blood.
While you train for a new healthcare career, you will be in a supportive and helpful environment that caters to all students through our WE CARE educational approach. Academic advising, tutoring, and other services are provided to empower you to succeed in your classes.
Step 4: Enhance
As you learn the important practical skills taught in our healthcare training programs, you will also improve your marketability to employers and prepare for professional certification or license exams. The certifications and licenses will differ depending on the career field you choose, as employers have different criteria for different jobs.
For instance, students who complete our Medical Billing and Coding program are prepared for the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist* certification exam, while students who are enrolled in the Practical Nursing program will prepare for the NCLEX-PN° exam.
Improving your skillset with professional certifications shows your value and can give you an edge over those who may not be certified as you apply for healthcare jobs.
Step 5: Apply
Outside of learning in a classroom or lab setting, you will be given the opportunity to apply what you have learned through an externship or a clinical experience. This provides you with real-life experiences, which is a great asset for potential employment. You will practice the new skills you have gained to be successful on the job and after graduation.
While you apply your skills in the real world, you will be presented with opportunities to create positive relationships with potential employers and others in your local healthcare community. This networking will be of great value when you start your job search. For students enrolled in our Practical Nursing program, you will have clinical rotations at local healthcare facilities.
Step 6: Succeed
Once you finish your classes, complete your externship or clinicals, and pass your certification exams, it’s time for you to graduate. You are now equipped to begin your new healthcare career!
At United, we provide career services that help students kick-start their new careers. You can take advantage of many benefits, including resume development, professional interview training, and access to our network of employers.
After graduation, you will receive continued support with brush-up courses and career services to enable your success now and in the future.
If you are looking for a school with a proven process for success in training students to succeed in healthcare careers, then United may be the right place for you! Discover our career-focused degree programs and request information to start your path to a new career today!
**For those who qualify. See catalog for detailed eligibility requirements.
*Certification is contingent upon passing this industry certification exam.
°Passing the NCLEX – PN exam is required to become a Practical Nurse.
You’ve made the important decision to pursue a new career, so now your ready to make that dream a reality. For most professions, you will need some type of career training to qualify for jobs in the field you want to work in.
There are many different options when deciding where to attend school and train for your new career. You could go to a large university, an online college, or a small school. Each one of these options offers a different experience for students.
For many people, choosing to attend a small school can make a huge difference in their success as they complete a career training program and after they graduate. Read on as we share the top benefits of choosing a small school to get the training you need to prepare for an exciting new career.
Small Class Sizes
One of the main benefits of attending a small school for a career training program is the small class sizes. Typically, smaller schools have fewer students in each class, so you won’t be sitting in a 300-person lecture hall just listening to someone talk the whole time.
With smaller classes, you have the opportunity to interact more with instructors and classmates, ask more questions, and participate more in class discussions. In a smaller school, you are a name and not just a number.
If you choose a training program that prepares you to work in a specific career field, such as the healthcare training programs here at United Career Institute, you will have more opportunities to practice hands-on skills in the classroom and in labs. The more you practice the hands-on skills you will use while on the job, the better you will get at them.
Students who choose United to prepare for a new career will also complete an externship, allowing you to apply the skills you have learned in the real world.
In addition to small class sizes, another benefit of attending a small school is that you will receive more personalized attention that will help you excel as you complete your program.
At larger universities, when you are just one person in a class of hundreds of people, you don’t get a lot of interaction with instructors, because they simply don’t have the time to connect with every student. For those who choose a small school, one-on-one interaction with your instructors is much more common because they have more time to devote to each student.
Instructors are also more available outside of classroom hours at a small school, giving you even more chances to ask questions and get additional help when needed.
At United Career Institute, we offer a small-school environment with a family atmosphere, ensuring that you receive the personalized attention and instruction necessary to excel in your program and in your career. With our WE CARE approach to education, your instructors truly care and are dedicated to your success.
Another great benefit of choosing a small school is that you will receive more help and support as a student while attending your career training classes. At United, we offer academic support like study skills and tutoring services to help you succeed in your healthcare classes.
In addition to academic support, career services are also an advantage of attending a small school. Career prep class, resume and cover letter development, mock interviews, and helping facilitate job interviews are some of the valuable career services offered at United.
For students who choose a small school, there is more of an opportunity to build lasting relationships with instructors and other students, providing you with a strong support system as you complete your program and prepare for a new career. Small schools also give students the opportunity to stay closer to home and have the support of family and friends, which is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Join the United Family
If you’re looking for a small school to set you up for success in your new healthcare career, then United Career Institute may be the perfect choice for you. We offer a supportive, family environment that provides you with the knowledge, skills, and certifications you need to succeed in your new career.
Blood pressure is the pressure or force of blood pushing on the walls of blood vessels. As your heart beats, it pumps blood through your arteries, and this is how most of the pressure is created.
A patient’s blood pressure is expressed with two numbers, systolic pressure on the top and diastolic pressure on the bottom. The systolic pressure is the amount of pressure in your arteries as your heart muscle contracts, and the diastolic pressure is the pressure between the beats of your heart muscle.
When a patient’s blood pressure is measured, it reveals information about the person’s heart health. If blood pressure readings are high, the patient may be diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension. This condition can lead to serious health issues, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and healthy eating can help prevent high blood pressure in many patients.
With the potential for such serious medical issues, accurately measuring a patient’s blood pressure is an essential task for medical assistants to learn. While enrolled in the Medical Assisting training program at United, students practice this valuable hands-on skill in the classroom and in real-world application as part of their externship experience.
Medical assisting students also prepare to sit for professional healthcare certifications* that show potential employers you have the skills to get the job done. Gaining valuable healthcare certifications* can make you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.
After learning the blood pressure procedure and many other valuable hands-on skills while in medical assisting career training at United, students are prepared to start exciting new careers in the healthcare field.
Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics are all examples of healthcare facilities that employ qualified and trained medical assistants.
Ready to make the move into a fulfilling healthcare career? Want to care for patients and support their overall health? Learn more about our Medical Assisting program and get on the fast track to an exciting new career. Request information now to get started!
*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam.
United Career Institute School of Nursing instructors teach practical nursing program students the proper procedures for performing tracheostomy suctioning.
This critical procedure clears the tracheostomy tube and is essential for proper breathing. Sterile techniques should be used to keep the patient free of infection.
Practical nurses are essential members of the healthcare team because they perform important functions like this and others, such as conducting physical assessments, caring for wounds, performing IV therapy, monitoring vital signs, collecting medical specimens, and more.
After completing practical nursing classes and passing the state licensing exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)*, you could work in facilities like hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, and rehabilitation centers.
Completing a practical nursing program could be a great option if you’re looking for a rewarding career that allows you to help people on a daily basis.
With the continued growth of the healthcare industry, becoming a practical nurse has long-term career benefits including increased job security and higher earnings potential.
At United Career Institute, our Practical Nursing program is direct admission, meaning you don’t have to take extra classes you don’t need. You can finish your practical nursing classes in only 12 months, allowing you to get on the fast track to a successful healthcare career.
Students complete clinical rotations at local healthcare employers and are prepared to take the licensing exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)* after graduating from the program.
If you’re ready to jump-start your successful healthcare career by becoming a practical nurse, explore our Practical Nursing program today and request information to get started!
*Passing the NCLEX – PN exam is required to become a Practical Nurse.
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.
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!
The holidays are here and with them comes office parties, family events, and tasty cookies! Spending extra time with loved ones and finding amazing gifts you know your family will love is part of the holiday fun, but it can be hard to balance these extra activities when you have a school, work, and family life.
How can you get everything done without becoming overwhelmed during this special time of year? Keep reading for our top tips to balance school, work, and life during the holiday season!
Tip #1 – Stay Organized
Our first tip for getting everything on your list completed during the holidays is to stay organized, because it will make you much more efficient. To do this, use your calendar to plan and organize everything that needs to get done during this time. With an app like Google Calendar, you can even set alerts to remind you when it’s time to complete a specific activity.
For school, add your class schedule, due dates, exam dates, and any other important tasks to your calendar. For example, if you have an exam coming up, block off time on your calendar to study. Next, add your work schedule, holiday events, and family activities to your calendar.
After adding everything to your calendar, you’ll know exactly when and how you’re going to get everything completed. You may need to reduce or change your commitments if you are overbooked.
Tip #2 – Use Time Management
Our second secret to balancing school, work, and family life during the holidays is to have good time management. When blocking off time on your calendar for specific things, make sure you’re realistic about the amount of time each activity will take to complete, and be sure to give yourself enough time.
As you plan your activities, ensure you have not overbooked yourself and committed to too many things, because this can leave you feeling stressed and exhausted.
Prioritize the most important things that need to get done for school, work, and family. After doing this, if you are short on time and something must be removed from your schedule, you can eliminate something with a lower priority and still complete the important stuff.
Tip #3 – Get Ahead
Try to get ahead as much as possible during this busy time of year, so you will have more time for fun holiday activities. Working ahead at your job and completing schoolwork before the deadline is great ways to get ahead.
For example, if you’re working on a project that’s due around Christmas, try to complete it early so you’re not overwhelmed while trying to finish it by the due date. Procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to complete something is a bad idea because it can lower the quality of your work and you may easily become stressed and irritated.
Tip #4 – Practice Self-Care
You’re organized, using good time management, and getting ahead for the holidays, so now it’s time for some self-care! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during this time of year, but remember the holiday season is meant to be a cheerful time with friends and family.
Two of the most important ways to practice self-care during the holiday season is to get enough sleep and eat healthily. With so many scientific studies showing the negative effects of not sleeping enough, don’t give in to the temptation to sleep less just to get things done. We all know it can be challenging to eat healthily during the holidays when surrounded by so many delicious foods and desserts, but try to eat healthily to keep your energy levels high.
The holiday season is a busy time, but don’t forget to take time for yourself to rest and recharge. If you need to, add your self-care time to your calendar to ensure you actually relax. Doing nothing may sound counterproductive but recharging your energy will make you feel much better. Don’t forget that it’s okay to say “no” if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Balance School, Work, and Life with United
We designed our career training programs to align with your busy schedule, so you can balance school, work, and family life. At United Career Institute, we offer fast track career training, hands-on learning, personalized attention, and small class sizes to help you begin a rewarding career in healthcare.