Victoria Moore – Student Highlight

United Career Institute is thrilled to introduce you to our November Student of the Month, Victoria Moore!

Victoria came to United from high school, where she was involved in many extracurricular activities. “I was involved in a handful of activities such as Marching Band, Medical Interest Club (MICSADD), Interact Club, and my school’s student committee (R.O.A.R.),” Victoria said. Victoria’s love for being hands-on is part of the reason she chose to attend United Career Institute in the first place. She said, “I chose United because of the opportunities it presented me. I am able to receive hands-on learning in an accelerated environment that offers the support I need for success.”

Victoria chose to enroll in United’s Medical Assisting program because she has long term plans for a career in the medical field. In addition to becoming a medical assistant, Victoria hopes to one day become a registered nurse. “I chose the MA program as a stepping stone. I am able to receive extra certifications as a phlebotomist and EKG tech. I felt like this was a good place to start my career journey,” she said. Many United students who choose to enroll in the Medical Assisting program do so for the same reason Victoria did. It is an excellent way to prepare for a more vigorous nursing program. United Career Institute also offers graduates of our Medical Assisting program a Nursing Pathway Grant to help continue their educational journey into nursing.

In addition to the hands-on experience she is gaining, Victoria’s favorite part of attending United is the supportive, family-like atmosphere. “We are all a family who supports one another! We celebrate our differences, strengths, and weaknesses.” While her favorite part of attending United Career Institute is the family-like atmosphere, Victoria’s favorite class is Medical Terminology. She said, “My favorite class so far is Medical Terminology! I am very good at memorization, so I excel in that class.”

Victoria has big dreams of becoming a nurse and she also knows which type of environment she would like to one day work in! “In five years, I want to have, or start, my RN. I would like to have a secure job before I settle down. I would love to work in a pediatric setting, like a doctor’s office,” she said.

Victoria is enjoying her experience at United so much that she would even refer friends here! “I feel like this school has it all. I would say that no other school will make you as prepared to achieve your dreams like United.”

If your story sounds similar to Victoria’s or if you have big dreams of a career in the medical field, request information here!

Lisa Clawson – Faculty Highlight

Lisa Clawson is the phlebotomy instructor at United Career Institute Irwin. She has been at United for almost a year now! She chose to become a phlebotomy instructor because she simply loves phlebotomy and loves to teach. Her favorite parts about working at United Career institute are the students and the staff!

Before joining the United Career Institute team, Lisa had worked doing a few different jobs. She has experience working in a variety of practices including primary care, pediatrics, and ear, nose, and throat (ENT). When asked which characteristics people interested in the medical field should have, Lisa said, “a good work ethic, thoughtful, works well with others, and is helpful.”

Lisa gets a variety of questions from her phlebotomy students. One of the most asked questions is “what kind of job opportunities will I have?” She tells her students, “There are plenty of job opportunities. You can work in many different settings such as dialysis, labs, family practice, blood banks, etc.”

Lisa is motivated by her family. “My children. They are my life. They make me want to be a better person.” She is very proud of them! We are very fortunate to have such a caring instructor!

To learn more about United’s short-term phlebotomy course, request information here!

Kaitlyn Monosky – Graduate Highlight

Kaitlyn Monosky is a medical assisting graduate of United Career Institute Mt. Braddock. She chose United because it came highly recommended, and the small classes were similar to the class sizes she had in high school. “I knew of a few people that went to the school and highly recommended it to me. I come from a small town where my high school classes were extremely small, and I felt like because United was a smaller school, it would be the right fit for me.”

Prior to attending United Career Institute, Kaitlyn had attempted another post-secondary institution, but did not have a good experience. “I was not really a fan of the school, I did not enjoy the environment. I felt rushed every day by teachers and just trying to make it to class on time. I ended up leaving because I felt like college just was not right for me”, she said. After her first attempt at school, Kaitlyn decided to focus on work and being a mom. She worked as a waitress at The Kitchen on Main in Ligonier while also balancing being a full-time mom. “Honestly, I was just trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

After Kaitlyn decided she wanted to go back to school, she had to decide what she wanted to study. She had an interest in the medical field, so she decided to pursue United’s Medical Assisting program. “I chose the Medical Assistant program because I felt like it would be a good start for me and help me get my foot in the door.” United students often choose our Medical Assisting program because it offers a good launching point into the medical field. Students who graduate from our Medical Assisting program often go on to study nursing in United’s Practical Nursing program.

Kaitlyn says that her favorite part of attending United was the education she got and the people she met. “My favorite part of attending United was all the friendships and knowledge I gained while being there.” Some of the people who contributed to her positive experience here include her instructors! “I loved all my teachers. They were always so helpful and kind. All of my instructors just wanted each of their students to do the best they can and to just succeed in life. Each one of them gave me the boost of confidence I needed to push through when I thought I couldn’t. Out of all the classes I had, psychology has got to be my favorite class. I’ve always had an interest in the way the brain worked.”

Kaitlyn has some big plans for herself now that she has graduated from United Career Institute. In the next few years, she hopes to be back in school and studying to be a registered nurse. In her personal life, she hopes to own a home, be married, and have another child.

Kaitlyn really enjoyed her time at United and hopes to see others have the same experience! “I would absolutely refer anyone to United to get their degree. This school has shown me that as long as you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. The staff is extremely amazing. They care for each and every one of the students that go there. I have never been to a school where all they want you to do is succeed and do the best you can. If it was not for the staff of the United Career Institute, I would still be waiting tables and trying to figure out my life still. Thanks to this school, I never have to second guess what my capabilities are.”

If your story sounds similar to Kailyn’s, check out our medical programs here!

 

Meet The Campus Director – Ali Rachel

Meet Ali Rachel, Campus Director at United Career Institute in Fayette County!

In her new role as Campus Director, Ali is driven by the opportunity she has to help people every day when she goes to work. “I really, really believe in what we do. I really believe in career schools. Not everyone fits into one box. I want to be there for students who don’t fit into the four-year university box,” said Ali.

Ali has a great philosophy on helping students achieve their career goals, and that is to treat each student as an individual. She believes it’s extremely important to stop and understand each person’s unique story, how they learn, and how they interact with others. By truly understanding who each person is and where they come from, you can figure out what motivates them and how you can really help them be successful.

This philosophy on helping students is what enables each student at United to be treated as an individual person, with a supportive and caring environment that empowers them to succeed.

Ali loves many things about her role as Campus Director, but her favorite parts of the job are definitely the little things like “when I see a happy student in the hallway and they are really happy to be at school. For me, it’s all about the wins in students’ lives, like one student who was working in fast food and recently got a job at a nursing home.”

As for her own experience with higher education, Ali went to the University of Alabama and studied marketing. She then went on to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and studied merchandise marketing. Ali has always loved fashion and even used to collect Vogue magazines.

While enrolled in college at Alabama, Ali interned in the marketing department at West Virginia Junior College. After she graduated, a marketing position became available, so she started full-time in the marketing department then.

Ali made the decision to accept the position as Campus Director at United because she wanted to be more involved in the day-to-day operations of the school. With Campus Director Pam Hughes getting a promotion, there was an opening that needed to be filled, and Ali jumped on this opportunity to help and empower students every day.

With the continued growth of the medical field and the current COVID-19 pandemic, Ali believes there is a need for well-trained medical professionals in Fayette County. “With our focus on medical programs, we can be truly centered on medical training. Our career-focused programs are quick, so we can get people trained faster and out into the working world.”

Ali has some amazing advice for students who are thinking about attending United Career Institute. “You will be treated as an individual and not just a number. There is so much that goes into going to school, and it can seem very intimidating, but we can work through it together if you ask for help. Don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid to make that first step.”

For high schoolers who are considering United, Ali says, “don’t be afraid to try something different. Many high schools preach to students about going to a four-year college, but that’s not right for everyone. Education can mean many things, not just a four-year institution.”

When asked what gets her up in the morning and motivates her to do her best each day, Ali said that it’s “my students and co-workers that motivate me. My co-workers really care about what they’re doing. They love to be here and that really helps me stay motivated. It can be really hard and exhausting, but it’s worth it to help people create a better future for themselves.”

The accomplishment in Ali’s life that she is most proud of is graduating college. She believes that education is a privilege, and she wants to help facilitate that privilege for as many people as possible. Many people never have the opportunity to go to college, so it’s something she takes very seriously.

When asked about the best advice she has received, Ali shared a quote that really resonates with her: “At all times people are doing one of two things – they are showing love or crying out for it.” Ali believes that when someone is acting a certain way, we should try and peel back the layers and find out why, so that we can truly help them on an individual level.

Outside of work, Ali loves watching college football and says her life is currently consumed by it. In the summer, Ali and her fiancé Zach enjoy going out on the boat and spending time on the lake. Ali and Zach also love to cook. She says she loves anything to do with food and could spend hours reading recipes and cooking. Ali says her favorite food is pasta in any form. That’s what she reaches to for comfort food or if she doesn’t know what to make. If she could have one superpower, Ali says she would choose teleportation because she doesn’t like to drive and it’s frustrating for her.

Are you looking for a school that truly cares about you? Do you want to graduate and start working quickly? Explore our healthcare training programs and request information today to get started!

The Best Time to Start a Career Training Program is Now!

We have all experienced many changes this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people have been laid off from their jobs, some are learning how to homeschool their children, and some are experiencing a variety of other life changes.

For those who have experienced disruptions to their careers this year, deciding what to do next can be a challenge, especially when things are still so uncertain. You may be wondering how to start a more secure career or what is the best way to train for a new career.

Even though it may be a little overwhelming to take the next step in your career journey, doing so now can get you ahead and help you reach your career goals faster. If your goal is to start a new career as an essential healthcare worker, now is the perfect time to start a career training program, and this week, we’re sharing with you the many reasons why!

Train For A New Career

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown which jobs are essential, and healthcare industry workers are one of the most important categories of essential workers. Those who work in healthcare are on the front lines fighting for the health and safety of everyone. Doctors, nurses, medical assistants, medical office professionals, phlebotomy technicians, and many more have dedicated themselves to helping others throughout the pandemic.

Because these healthcare workers are so important and essential, choosing a career path in the medical field can provide you with increased job security now and in the future. Training for a new healthcare career now will prepare you to succeed in the medical field as an essential worker.

In addition to increased job security, enrolling in a healthcare training program and starting a career in the medical field also allows you to help people on a daily basis and truly make a difference in their lives, providing you with a more fulfilling and meaningful career.

Finish Your Degree Sooner

Another top reason for starting a career training program now is that the sooner you begin your degree or diploma program, the sooner you will finish. It may seem like an overwhelming decision to make and you may not feel perfectly ready, but the longer you wait, the longer it will be before you can start your new career.

At United Career Institute, our healthcare career training programs are designed to get you on the fast track to an exciting new career. Our healthcare degree and diploma programs are completed in less than 18 months, preparing you for a career in the medical field much faster than traditional university options.

Stay Closer To Home

With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still happening around us, many people are nervous about going away to college. Being away from family and having to interact with people from many other places are valid concerns during this time.

Even with these concerns, you can still take the next step in your career path by starting a career training program that is closer to home. Choosing a program that allows you to complete your healthcare training courses in a small-school environment and stay closer to home can ease your mind from some of the concerns you have, and also give you an increased support system by staying closer to friends and family.

Staying closer to home and attending a smaller school also gives you the opportunity to network and build positive relationships in your local healthcare community and with potential employers. Here at United, students complete real-world externships and clinicals at local medical facilities, giving you the opportunity to build relationships and get valuable experience.

Start Your Career Training At United

At United Career Institute, we are dedicated to your success while you are enrolled as a student and after graduation. Our family atmosphere provides you with a supportive learning environment to prepare for your exciting new career. With student services like academic advising, career advising, and personal advising, we help you to achieve your full potential and reach your career goals.

Explore our healthcare training programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding now to start your path to a new career. Request information to get started today!

Meghan Murray – Staff Highlight

Meghan Murray is the high school admissions advisor at United Career Institute. She has been with United for almost five years and loves it because it allows her to combine her medical background with her passion for helping people.

Meghan chose to pursue the medical field because, at the time, she was a single mother working in retail and needed more financial stability. A friend recommended looking into healthcare. “I initially wanted to be a nurse, but my friend recommended starting slow so I decided to pursue phlebotomy.” Meghan took a 10-week phlebotomy course and began working part-time as a phlebotomist, while doing other work on the side. After working as a phlebotomist for a while, she decided she wanted to pursue becoming an EMT. She loved her work as an EMT so much that she decided to become a paramedic. Unfortunately, Meghan had an injury that prohibited her ability to get all her truck hours needed to finish her paramedic program.

Meghan decided to continue working as a phlebotomist at The Washington Hospital and Highlands Hospital. It was during this time that she was first approached about teaching phlebotomy. She taught at National Career School, while also continuing to work as an EMT for Fayette EMS. Eventually, Meghan was approached by United Career Institute (Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology at the time) to lead our nighttime Cardio Phlebotomy program. Meghan ran this program for a year before transitioning to teaching day classes in some of United’s other medical programs. “I loved teaching. It was the perfect combination of helping people and utilizing my medical skills.” After teaching in the medical programs for a while, Meghan moved into high school admissions. “The environment is very welcoming and the staff is great. My favorite part of working at United is interacting with the students and helping them achieve their goals and be successful. I truly believe in our school and what it has to offer the people in our community.” Meghan went on to say, “I am motivated by the work that I do. I try really hard to work toward my goals. It makes me happy when students graduate and are successful.”

Meghan certainly has a lot to be proud of in her professional life, but she says she is most proud of her family. “I am proud to have the hard working husband and family that I do. My husband is a United States Marine. My mother is an LPN and my father works for Fayette County Behavioral Health Services. I am also the proud grandmother to the cutest little boy named Collin.”

Long term, Meghan would like to be able to finish her associate degree and officially become a nurse. She would also love to teach again. “I try to use my story to encourage my students to continue with their education and to show them how important it is. I also tell them how a background in the medical field can open many doors for them.”

Something interesting that not many people may not know about Meghan is that she is obsessed with Wonder Woman.  She has a collection of Wonder Woman items in her office and even has a sticker on her car!

To learn more about United’s medical programs and to speak with Meghan yourself, request information here!

5 Steps to Starting an Essential Healthcare Career

Healthcare workers are essential to the health and wellbeing of our society, and now is a great time to start your career in the exciting field of healthcare. The medical industry is projected to have continued growth in the future, so this could be a wonderful career option for you.

Trying to figure out the right path to start your dream career as an essential healthcare worker can be confusing, so we’ve broken it down into five steps for you!

Step 1: Choose a specific healthcare job

Choosing the specific job you want to pursue in the medical field is the first step to starting an essential healthcare career. As the healthcare industry has become more specialized over time, there are a variety of different jobs and career paths available for people who want to work in this exciting field. You could be a medical assistant, medical coding specialist, practical nurse, or even a doctor.

Answering a few important questions about yourself with help steer you in the right direction as you consider the different career options and decide which one is best for you.

  • Which areas of healthcare am I interested in?
  • What are my strengths and what do I excel in?
  • What healthcare experience do I already have?
  • How quickly do I want to complete training and start working?

Your work will be more enjoyable if you choose a career path that you’re interested in and good at. Answering these questions for yourself is important as you make these decisions, because we all want to love our job!

There are different training options for different types of healthcare jobs, so knowing how long you want to attend school and how soon you want to start your career will help you make the right decision for you. For example, if you want to become a medical office specialist, you can get the training you need in less than two years, but if you want to become a doctor, you will have to spend many more years in school.

Step 2: Pick a training program that meets your needs

The next step in starting your essential healthcare career is to choose a career training program that meets your needs and trains you for the specific job you want to do. You will need to do some research on the type of training needed for the job you want, as different career paths require different types of training.

Some healthcare positions also require professional certifications that show you can perform the specific tasks and job duties required. Employers value these certifications because they want to provide high-quality care to their patients. As you explore different options for earning your degree and getting trained, look for one that includes everything you need to be successful in your exciting new essential healthcare career.

At United Career Institute, our healthcare training programs can be completed in less than two years, putting you on the fast track to your dream career as an essential healthcare worker. If you’re ready to begin your healthcare career quickly, without having to spend 4-6 years in school, our career-focused programs may be a great choice for you!

Step 3: Gain the skills and knowledge to succeed

After deciding on the specific healthcare job you want to pursue and the best career training program to get you there, you’re now ready to learn the knowledge and hands-on skills you need to succeed. Reach out to your school of choice and set up a time to meet with an admissions advisor and take a tour of the campus. This will give you the chance to make sure it’s the right school for you and ask any questions you may have about the school, the program, and your classes.

As you complete your chosen career training program, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to excel in your career as an essential worker in healthcare. If the healthcare training program you choose offers preparation for professional certification, you will also prepare to sit for the certification tests.

To help you get on the fast track of your exciting new career as an essential healthcare worker, we offer numerous healthcare career training programs at United. With career-focused programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding, you can gain the skills and experience needed to start your new career in less than two years.

Step 4: Apply for jobs and start your essential healthcare career

Now that you’ve completed the training needed to qualify for your dream job as an essential healthcare worker, it’s time to start applying for jobs. Some of the medical facilities you could work for include hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, labs, long-term care facilities, and blood centers.

Before you begin applying to jobs, update your resume with all the new skills, education, certifications, and experience you have gained while preparing for your new medical career. Add any other relevant education and experience to your resume as well and have someone proofread it for you to ensure it’s free of any errors.

Practice your interview skills with a friend or family member, so you will be confident and ready to rock your future job interviews. Begin building positive relationships with members of your local healthcare community, as this will also help you when applying for jobs.

Step 5: Start now with United

You’re now ready to start your path to becoming an essential healthcare worker! With fast-track career training programs, certification preparation, a supportive environment, hands-on learning, and career services, United is the perfect place to prepare for your exciting new healthcare career.

Explore our career training programs and request information now to get started!

Erin Messer – Faculty Highlight

Erin Messer is an adjunct instructor at United Career Institute Irwin. She has an MBA, a Doctorate in Pharmacy, and is currently earning her Doctorate in Education. She started her career working in research & development for a pharmaceutical company and eventually moved into a medical affairs role. Erin has also worked in long-term care and community pharmacy.

Erin Messer-Faculty Highlight

Erin chose to work at United Career Institute because she likes our take on education. She said, “I loved the idea of a local school that offered programs to students to advance their education and career, in a not so traditional way.” She recommends the medical field to students because of the opportunities available. There are always ways to advance your career in this field. “Take it from me, I started in research, moved to clinical practice, and now I’m teaching!”

One thing that motivates Erin is getting to know her students and seeing them succeed. She gets many questions from her students about how they will use certain medications and treatments in their fields. When teaching, she tries to incorporate examples of how the students will be using the materials in their future. Erin also reminds students of the characteristics that will help them stand out when looking for employment. Showing sympathy and understanding will go a long way in the medical field. Erin said, “Although ‘beside manor’ and listening skills are not traditionally taught in school, these attributes make a big difference to patients.”

When she is not busy teaching classes for three different institutions, Erin spends her time playing music. She can read music and plays four instruments! Not many people may know this, but Erin has been skydiving and can also crochet afghans!

To learn more about United’s medical classes, request information here!

Martina Mullen – Student Highlight

Martina Mullen has been a student at United Career Institute’s Irwin campus since January 2020. She is currently enrolled in the Medical Assisting program. She chose Medical Assisting because she knew she wanted to go into the medical field, but wasn’t sure which direction to start in. On top of nearly perfect attendance since the beginning, Martina has also made the school’s President’s list by holding a 4.0 GPA for the first term of her program.

Martina Mullen - Student Highlight

Martina tried a different post-secondary school before, but it just wasn’t for her. She felt like her professor made the class rushed and that it was just a waste of her own time and money. “My favorite part about attending United would be the class schedule and how each class is set up. I don’t feel rushed or overwhelmed with work,” said Martina.

Just like many of our other students, Martina likes the smaller class sizes. “I chose United because I loved that it was small and that I knew if I needed it, I could get one on one help. I also love how everyone is so welcoming and supportive.” Her favorite instructor so far has been Kelly Shriver. She likes that Kelly pushes her to do her best and tries to make everything positive! Martina said, “I like how she doesn’t look at herself as an instructor. She also talks to us about our personal lives.” Her favorite class so far has been Student Success Strategies. She liked that the class helped the students open up and get to know one another. It also helped her to realize the habits she has, good and bad, for both school and life.

Eventually, Martina wants to go to school for Nursing. After she graduates, she hopes to work at either Children’s Hospital or in a doctor’s office. Down the road she hopes to have her student loans paid off, have her own place, and happy with whatever job she gets. She just really wants to help people!

To learn more about United’s medical classes and student services, request information here!

Kelly Shriver – Medical Program Director Highlight

Meet Kelly Shriver, the medical program director at our United Career Institute Irwin campus! Kelly is in charge of the Medical Assisting, Medical Insurance Billing and Coding, and Phlebotomy programs. Her journey began at the Indiana County Technology Center where, in 2012, she received her diploma in Medical Assisting. After that, she attended Robert Morris University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Service Administration.

Before joining the United Career Institute team, Kelly worked for Excela Health for almost seven years. She started there as a Medical Assistant in the Neurology practice, and then moved to a family practice where she stayed for two years. She then worked as a Quality Coordinator for a year. After that, Kelly held the title of OET Specialist and OET Team Lead while working in the Organization, Education, and Training Team. For two years, she taught courses in the evening for the Medical Assisting program at the Indiana County Technology Center’s New Stanton Campus.

Kelly Shriver-Medical Program Director Highlight

Kelly has been with United Career Institute for almost a year now. When asked why she chose to work at United, Kelly responded, “At Excela I was responsible for training new employees and I got the itch to teach again. When I saw the position I knew I had to apply. After interviewing I got to see the true family nature UCI had and that is when I knew it was the place for me.”

Kelly often gets asked what the classes are like by her students. She tells them that it varies depending on the instructor, but each class is unique. She tries to reassure the students that United will be able to provide them the necessary tools to be successful in their classes. Some will be more difficult than others, but they will be able to get through them!

We asked Kelly why she recommends that students consider going into the medical field. She responded, “The medical field is always going to be there. People will always need healthcare. Choosing to enter the medical field is a great career choice because there are so many options available to you.” To be successful, Kelly suggests learning to be compassionate. You will interact with patients of all different kinds of backgrounds and health statuses. She also recommends showing a willingness to learn. Being flexible and able to adapt are useful characteristics.

Kelly is proudest of achieving her dream of earning a Bachelor’s degree. “I was able to get my degree while working two jobs and having a baby. It wasn’t easy to balance everything, but it never stopped me. I was determined to get it.” Her daughter Harper motivates her. “I want her to see that anything she puts her mind to is possible.”

Something interesting that not many people know about Kelly is that she always wanted to be a special education teacher. She knew in the fourth grade that it was something she really wanted. Although she didn’t choose that career path, she did know that she wanted to help people.

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