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!

The Value of Externships

The Value of Externships

A key component of all United Career Institute medical programs is an externship with local employers. It provides a real world aspect to the program and gives students valuable hands-on experience that enhances the skills they learn in the classroom. Externships also provide students a great opportunity to network with other healthcare professionals in their chosen field and get a good idea of the culture of a given employer. Whether it is a 2 week externship in the Phlebotomy program, or a 12 week externship in the Medical Assisting program, we encourage our students to look at their time during externships at a job interview of sorts. Often times, employers use this time as an opportunity to evaluate both clinical and soft skills and how a potential employee may fit in with the company long term.

While UCI students are on their externship, they obtain career-focused experience such as checking vital signs, point of care testing, specimen collection, phlebotomy, and sterilization procedures.

These valuable externships would not be possible without the support of local employers. United Career Institute Irwin is so thankful that our local employers like Excela Health, Allegheny Health Network, UPMC, and Premier Medical Associates have provided the opportunities for our students to complete this on the job training.

Meet the Campus President – Arnold Thimons

Meet Arnold Thimons, Campus President here at United Career Institute!

Arnold Thimons

As the Campus President at UCI, Arnold is committed to student success. “Everything at a school leads to one thing and that’s student success, both in the classroom and outside the classroom,” he says.

Arnold has a great philosophy on helping students to achieve their career goals, and that is to encourage and empower them. He believes in encouraging students to reach their full potential and empowering them with the skills they need to succeed in their careers. This includes the hard skills needed to get the job done and also the soft skills that give students the confidence to graduate and succeed.

Before starting as Campus President at UCI, Arnold worked in the building materials industry and then began his career in higher education in 2008. He started at South University as an Admissions Representative and worked his way up to Campus Director. In 2014, he became the Campus Director at WyoTech, a technical school for the automotive industry.

Arnold decided to accept the position as Campus President at UCI for a few reasons. First, in Westmoreland County, where he has lived for 25 years, there is no entry-level healthcare training school like United Career Institute. He sees his role as the chance to make a positive impact in his hometown, enabling students to fast-track their careers. “That fact that I can start this campus from the ground up is awesome,” says Arnold.

The second reason is that after meeting with Chad Callen, CEO, and the Callen family, Arnold knew this was the right choice for him because they do things the right way, from managing employees to how they operate their schools.

In Westmoreland County, there is a shortage of entry-level healthcare professionals. United Career Institute programs are training students to meet the exact needs of healthcare employers in the area for trained and certified healthcare professionals. With UCI, students can fast-track their great healthcare careers.

“Career training gets you into your career quicker, gives you the opportunity to succeed and get a great job,” says Arnold. His favorite thing is to watch students grow and believe in themselves.

When asked what drives him to give his best each day, Arnold’s answer was an easy one: helping others. “Helping students cross the finish line, but not just students, also helping employees achieve their maximum potential to go above and beyond.”

Outside of work, Arnold loves going to Denver to visit his son. He also enjoys camping and fishing in local campgrounds, lakes, and streams. He loves to eat all kinds of seafood but says there’s nothing better than a good steak.

Are you ready to get on the fast-track to a great healthcare career? Request information now to get started today!