Amber Berdar – Student Highlight

United Career Institute Mt. Braddock is thrilled to introduce you to our July Student of the Month, Practical Nursing student, Amber Berdar.

Amber started her journey with United as a student in our Medical Assisting degree program. She said, “I attended United before for the Medical Assisting program, and I had a very good experience. Everyone was very helpful, and you learned a lot of information that helps in the long run.”

Many United students who have long-term dreams of being nurses choose to start their journey in the Medical Assisting program. This program is slower-paced than the Practical Nursing program so that students can gain a base knowledge of the medical field in a less stressful environment. Students can often work while attending school because the United Medical Assisting program is a smaller time commitment than our Practical Nursing program. This was the case with Amber. “I was working at Mount Macrina Manor nursing home as a CNA and went to school for Medical Assisting at United. After I got my MA certification, I got a job at Adagio and worked there full time until it was time for me to start the PN class,” she said.

Amber discovered United when she was still in high school and trying to determine what to do with the rest of her life. “I was at a job fair in Cal U while still in high school, and the school really caught my eye. I took the brochures home and was deciding which program I wanted to do. When I went for a tour of the school, [it]wasn’t too big or too small, and all the people there seemed very kind and inviting when you came in. I just knew that the school was a place for me, and it was going to be a good experience.”

Amber has many family members who work in the medical field, and that is what initially got her interested in a long-term career in healthcare. “All my family is in the medical field, and they encouraged me to go for nursing. But, most importantly, my mother and boyfriend are my biggest support systems, and they are the ones that pushed me to go further, and I’m glad that I made the decision to become a nurse,” she said.

The hands-on clinical experience she gets is Amber’s favorite part of attending United, and her favorite instructor is Danielle. She also really loved her Med Surg class. She said, “This class was very fast-paced and a lot of information, but I loved learning about all the different diseases and disorders that can happen and how to take care of the patients while they are sick.”

Amber’s ideal job after graduation is no surprise, considering how much she loved her fast-paced Med Surg class. “I would like to work as either a trauma nurse, ER nurse, or on the Med Surg floor. I like a fast-paced environment with a lot of things to do,” she said.

In five years, Amber hopes to be working as a trauma nurse in a hospital, but her educations dreams haven’t ended either! “I also see me furthering my education by becoming an RN or going for NP,” she says.

Amber had this to say about her overall experience at United. “I would refer a friend to United because this school is great for someone who wants to be in the medical field but does not want to go to a large college to become a nurse. You get a lot of great education attending this school, and I would want my friend to get the same experience I got.”

To learn more about United’s Practical Nursing program, request information here!

What’s the Difference Between a CNA and MA?

Many people want to start a career in the healthcare field, and for a good reason. The healthcare industry continues to grow rapidly, and the variety of jobs available is expanding as well. Working in healthcare also gives you the chance to help people and make a difference in their lives when they need it most.

There are so many opportunities to begin a healthcare career that it can be confusing to try and figure it out on your own. With this in mind, we’re going to help by explaining the difference between a certified nursing assistant and a medical assistant.

Career Outlook


The career outlook for medical assistants is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth rate for medical assistants in the United States from 2019-2029 is 19%, well above the 4% average growth rate for all occupations. This means that there will be even more medical assistants needed in the future, and employers will need qualified people to fill these positions.

For certified nursing assistants in the United States, the BLS estimates that the growth rate will be 8% between 2019 and 2029. This is still more than the average rate of 4% but not anywhere near as high as the growth rate for medical assistants.

Skills Required

Medical assistants perform various duties while on the job, including both clinical and administrative tasks that focus on assessing patients and helping doctors with patient care and treatment. Skills a medical assistant needs to learn include taking vital signs, helping with examinations, giving injections, preparing lab tests, and handling patient information.

At United, medical assisting students have the opportunity to practice their hands-on skills in a real healthcare setting as part of an externship. This real-world experience sets students up for success as they begin applying for jobs and start their careers.

Certified nursing assistants focus more on direct patient care and help with daily living activities. Performing baths and cleaning patients, helping patients get dressed and use the bathroom, moving patients between beds and wheelchairs, feeding patients, and changing linens are all common necessary skills of certified nursing assistants.

Training Needed

To start a career in medical assisting, you will need specialized training that prepares you for this specific job. Most medical assisting degree programs can be completed in under two years and include classroom instruction and hands-on skills. It’s also a good idea to choose a medical assistant program that includes preparation for professional certifications, as many employers prefer candidates who have these credentials.

For example, in our Medical Assisting program here at United, students learn valuable knowledge and practice their hands-on skills in their medical assisting classes, labs, and externship. Students also prepare for healthcare certifications specific to being a medical assistant, including the National Certified Clinical Medical Assistant*, Certified EKG Technician**, and Certified Phlebotomy Technician** certifications.

To become a certified nursing assistant, specialized training is required for this career path, and it is usually completed in under six months. The training must be state-approved and typically teaches direct patient care, patient safety, and documentation. CNAs must also pass a competency exam and complete a number of hours of hands-on clinical training, which varies by state.

Work Environment

According to BLS data, medical assistants are most likely to work in physician’s offices, with 57% employed there in 2019. Another 15% is working in hospitals, and the rest in outpatient care centers and at chiropractors. Most medical assistants are full-time employees with 40-hour workweeks. Medical assisting professionals who work in medical facilities that are always open, like hospitals, may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

According to the BLS, certified nursing assistants are more likely to work in nursing care facilities, with 37% working there, and hospitals, with 27% working there. The remainder of nursing assistants work in retirement and assisted living facilities, home healthcare services, and government. The job duties are more physically demanding and strenuous, as CNAs are on their feet a lot of the time and expected to lift over 50 pounds. Most certified nursing assistants work full time, but some work part-time. They may work longer shifts and more on nights, weekends, and holidays.

Get Started

Now you know the difference between medical assistants and certified nursing assistants! If you’ve decided to go with medical assisting for your career, we may have the perfect Medical Assisting program for you. With hands-on training, academic support, and career services, we can help you reach your career goals. Request information today to get started!

 

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam. Required/included in tuition/fees.

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam. Optional at own expense.

How To Start Your Journey
To Become a Medical Assistant

You have chosen the best career path for you and decided to become a medical assistant. Congratulations on making this important decision for a new medical assisting career!

After deciding on your dream job, you’re now ready to create a plan to get you there. In today’s modern healthcare industry, many medical employers require candidates to have specific education, skills, experience, and certifications to qualify for medical assistant positions.

Healthcare employers need well-trained and qualified medical assisting professionals because they are important members of the medical team, providing hands-on patient care.

At United Career Institute, we know the steps you must take to start your journey to become a medical assistant. Keep reading as we share them with you!

Enroll in a Medical Assisting Degree Program

Each member of the healthcare team must be trained in the specific tasks they will be performing while on the job, as healthcare jobs are more specialized now than in the past. When medical professionals are well-trained and knowledgeable in their specialized area, it ensures patients will have a positive experience and receive high-quality care.

As healthcare employers need candidates who have completed specialized training, those who attend a healthcare training program designed for their specific position have an advantage over others. Since you have decided to become a medical assistant, enrolling in a medical assisting degree program that provides you with the knowledge and skills needed is the best option to start your journey to your exciting new career.

At United Career Institute, our Medical Assisting program prepares students to succeed in this exciting career path. After completing their medical assisting classes, students can qualify for jobs in healthcare facilities like hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, long-term care facilities, and more.

Learn Hands-On Skills and Gain Experience

As students complete their medical assisting degree program, they also need to learn and practice the hands-on skills that medical assistants perform while on the job. At some point in our lives, we have probably all interacted with a medical assistant at a healthcare facility, so you know how important it is that these valuable professionals are well trained. You would not want someone performing a phlebotomy procedure on you who had never done it before. It’s essential for medical assistants to learn and practice hands-on skills in their medical assisting courses.

For students attending United’s Medical Assisting degree program, they learn a variety of hands-on skills including assisting with exams, collecting and processing medical specimens, performing lab tests, practicing phlebotomy, performing EKGs, and many more.

While enrolled in their medical assisting classes at United, students also have the opportunity to complete an externship and gain experience in real-world healthcare situations. This valuable medical externship provides hands-on experience, setting you up for success as you begin your new career. Adding this real-world experience to your resume can give you an advantage over other candidates as you apply for medical assisting positions.

Prepare for Industry Certifications

In addition to needing the relevant knowledge, skills, and experience, many healthcare employers also prefer medical assisting professionals who are certified. When you earn professional certifications, employers know you have the skills to perform your specific job.

Healthcare industry organizations create certifications to set specific standards for the knowledge and skills that someone must have to complete specific job tasks. Employers know that job candidates who have earned professional healthcare certifications have met these high-quality standards. For this reason, candidates who hold industry certifications stand out among the crowd, because they have the qualifications to get the job done.

Students enrolled in our Medical Assisting program will prepare to sit for multiple certifications from the National Healthcareer Association, including National Certified Clinical Medical Assistant*, Certified EKG Technician**, and Certified Phlebotomy Technician**. These valuable healthcare certifications show that you have the knowledge and skills to excel in your medical assisting career.

Start Your Journey Today With United

You’re now ready to get started on your journey to become a medical assistant. Deciding on a medical assisting training program that offers the right combination of education, skills, experience, and certifications can be a tough decision. If you have questions or need help taking that next step, let our friendly admissions advisors at United help you create a customized plan just for you.

With a WE CARE approach to education, small class sizes, student support, and career services, United may be the perfect place to start your journey to become a medical assistant.

Request information to chat with one of our helpful admissions advisors today!

 

*Certification is contingent on passing the corresponding certification exam. Required/included in tuition/fees.

**Certification is contingent on passing the corresponding certification exam. Optional at own expense.