Perryo Medical Center – Externship Highlight

One of the most exciting and rewarding parts of the medical programs at United Career Institute is the externship that students participate in at the end of their program. Externship takes place during the last twelve weeks of a student’s program and provides invaluable educational opportunities. It allows students to apply what they have learned in their medical classes in a real-world, hands-on environment. United Career Institute Mt. Braddock prides itself on the externship partnerships we have forged over the years and we love seeing our students excel in real life medical offices, clinics, and hospitals.

One of these partnerships is with Perryo Medical Center in Perryopolis. Perryo Medical Center is an internal medicine primary care office that has been in operation since 1998. In their 22 years of doing business, they have touched the lives of numerous patients. Their dedicated medical staff works hard to ensure that their patients spend more time with their service provider than waiting in the waiting room. “We help our patients live a healthier life thorough periodic evaluations, implementation of preventive health guidelines, timely referrals to specialists, health education, and wellness options that fit their lifestyle”, they proudly state on their website. Perryo’s mission is to provide their patients with personal attention, unparalleled dedication, and the highest quality health care that they deserve! The team at Perryo Medical Center is happy to report that business is great! Jillian Clay who is the site coordinator for Perryo says, “We are accepting new patients every day. We are constantly growing.” She continued, “Our five-year outlook is promising with continuous patient and organizational growth.”

 United students love their externships because it not only allows them to practice the skills they learned in their programs in a real-world environment, but it also gives them one on one time with employers in their area. Clay says that externships students will “receive a valuable education and hands-on learning at our organization.” However, the student isn’t the only one who benefits from externship partnerships with United Career Institute! The externship site also has a lot to gain. “The students keep us on our toes, up to date with new information, and we always welcome an extra set of hands,” says Clay.

Jillian left us with some advice for students entering medical programs this year. “Treat every patient as if they were your family.”

To learn more about United’s exciting externship program or if you are a medical site interested in partnering with you United, give us a call at 724-437-4600!

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!

Hannah Matheson – Graduate Highlight

Hannah Matheson is a 2019-2020 graduate from the Medical Assisting program at United Career Institute. Prior to school, she was a full-time student at California Area High School and worked as a cashier at Foodland. Hannah learned about United through our Facebook page and continued her admissions process through our high school admissions advisor, Meghan Murray. Hannah was also awarded a high school grant to help with her financial needs while furthering her education.

Hannah chose United because of the small class sizes, the one on one relationship with instructors, and the amount of time that was offered in the lab. United prides itself on the specialized attention it shows each student who walks through the door.

Hannah decided to pursue medical assisting because she ultimately wants to be a nurse and knew that starting with the Medical Assisting program would help prepare her for the more rigorous Practical Nursing program. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start nursing directly so working my way up and getting my foot in the door of the medical profession seemed like the right thing to do.”

Hannah’s favorite part of attending United was her time in the lab practicing skills, her externship, student Thanksgiving (hosted by the faculty and staff for the students each year), and the lifelong friends that she met along the way. Her favorite class was Anatomy and Physiology. “I really like learning about the human body,” she says. Hannah liked and respected all of her instructors. However, Kelli Workman was her favorite. “Kelli took time to explain things when we didn’t get it and she would stay after class to further explanation whenever we needed her to.”

Currently employed at Centerville Clinics in California, Hannah has utilized all the skills that she has acquired during her time at United. She is the lead medical assistant for her physician and is thriving in her role. When asked where she sees herself in five years, she stated “I want to be a labor and delivery nurse in Pittsburgh and I am currently working towards that goal.” Hannah is currently working through the Practical Nursing admissions process and is set to start in September.

When asked if she would recommend United to a friend Hannah had no hesitation, stating “Yes. You get one on one time with instructors, the environment is very positive, you can go to any staff member at any time and they help you, and if you ever need a pep talk any instructor will be there to lift you up.”

To learn more about United Career Institute’s medical programs, request information here!

Elizabeth Compton – Student Highlight

Before April’s Student of the month, Elizabeth LaRue Compton, decided to join the United Career Institute family, she was a culinary arts student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a kitchen manager for the Ohiopyle House Café.

Elizabeth Compton - Student Highlight

However, her children inspired her to reach for more and to better herself.  Liz was interested in the medical field, with her eye on becoming a surgical assistant.  She felt that the Medical Assisting program at United would help her toward achieving that goal.

Her favorite part of attending United Career Institute is meeting new people, many of whom have turned into lifelong friends.  She also appreciates that the instructors are understanding and do their best to only move on to new material once they are certain a student has mastered current material.

Her favorite teacher is Kelli Workman who does an amazing job at teaching anatomy. “She makes sure that everyone understands it before she moves onto the next part of the chapter.”

After graduation, she hopes to work at J. W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.  Her five-year professional goal is to be a surgical technician at Ruby Memorial.  Her personal goal is to be married and living in Uniontown with her little family.

“I would love to refer a friend to United Career Institute because it is a wonderful place to go to and there is someone always there if you need help or just need someone to talk to. Everyone is very understanding, even when you are going through a rough time.”

To learn more about United’s medical programs, click here!

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.

Mackenzie Furin – Student Highlight

Prior to choosing United Career Institute (at the time PIHT), Mackenzie had considered attending post-secondary schools but none felt “right.” That changed when she walked through United’s doors.

Mackenzie Furin-Student Highlight

At that point in time, Mackenzie worked full time at a video rental store but she wanted more.  She chose United because it felt different than the other schools that she had looked into. The campus was small and didn’t overwhelm her in the way other campuses had. In her words, “It felt like home.”

Mackenzie is enrolled in United Career Institute’s Medical Assisting Program and has a 4.0 GPA. She chose the MA program because she is a very hands-on person and wishes to be in the “center of the action, doing blood draws and giving injections.”

Her favorite part of being a student at UCI is tied between her instructors and the family (her peers) that she has made during her tenure. “Everyone is kind and really cares about your success. I’ve made lifelong friends and met amazing instructors that will impact my life for years to come. I love all of my instructors, but Kelli and Roxanne have really helped me to believe in my potential.”

Mackenzie’s favorite class was Pharmacology because she enjoys learning about medicine and how it works. She is currently doing her externship at an obstetrician’s office which has helped her to realize that she would like to continue in the OBGYN field.

After graduation, she would like to enroll in UCI’s nursing program with the goal of becoming an RN within five years.

“I can wholeheartedly say that I would recommend PIHT to anyone pursuing a career in the medical field.  It’s been great here and I’ll miss it dearly.”

To learn more about United Career Institute’s medical programs, click here!

How to Create SMART Career Goals

For all of us, there are things we want to accomplish in life and in our careers. Maybe your dream is to be the first one in your family to graduate from college. Or maybe you are unhappy in your current job and want to get into a new, more fulfilling career. Maybe you already have a great job and want to advance within your current company.

Whatever it is that you want to achieve in your career, creating goals can help get you there. For goals to be effective, they need to follow a few guidelines. Your SMART career goals should be these five things: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

When you create SMART career goals that meet these criteria, you have a much higher chance of reaching your goals. So how do you create SMART career goals? Read on as we share exactly how!

Specific

The first thing SMART career goals need to be is specific, because with very specific goals, you know exactly what you must do to reach them. Here is an example of a specific career goal that someone may have: I want to graduate from a Medical Assisting program in Fayette County within 18 months in order to start a more fulfilling career. This goal is specific enough to work toward and accomplish because it answers these questions:

  • Who: I want to…
  • What: …graduate from a Medical Assisting program…
  • Where: …in Fayette County
  • When: …within 18 months…
  • Why: …in order to start a more fulfilling career.

By answering the questions above when creating your career goals, you know exactly what you need to do to achieve them.

Measurable

The second thing you need to ensure when creating your SMART career goals, is that they are measurable. Goals need to be measured so that you can track your progress along the way. By doing this, you will know if you’re on track to meet your goals or if there is something that needs to be adjusted in order to meet them.

The best way to do this is to break down your larger goal into smaller chunks. In our Medical Assisting program goal example, we could measure it along the way by listing each class that must be taken as part of the program. In doing this, every time you pass a class, you are one step closer to your goal.

Attainable

When creating SMART career goals, the third thing you need to consider is whether the goals are attainable and achievable. This is an important step because when goals are not attainable, it’s hard to stay motivated to keep working toward them. For example, going to Mars within the next month sounds like an awesome goal, but it’s not attainable, because we don’t currently have the technology to go to Mars. So, while it can seem like a good idea to set your goals super high, doing so can be demotivating because you know they can’t be accomplished anyway.

Using our Medical Assisting program example, a few things to consider to ensure this goal is attainable are the following:

  • Do I have the time to commit to the program?
  • Do I have the support system to succeed in the program?
  • Do I have the prerequisites for the program?
  • Do I have the resources to pay for the program?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you’re well on your way to achieving your goal of completing a Medical Assisting program. If you answered no to any of these questions, don’t worry! The United staff can help you through the process!

Relevant

For your SMART career goals, the next thing you need to ensure is that they are actually relevant to you. Is the goal something that you really want? Do you care enough about it to put in the necessary work to reach the goal? Does this specific goal align with your other goals? Does the goal help you get closer to your long-term goals and dreams?

In our Medical Assisting program goal example, it is relevant because completing the program will help accomplish the dream of starting a more fulfilling career. So, by achieving one goal, you are actually working toward a longer term goal of having a career that provides more meaning and fulfillment.

Timely

The last thing to consider when creating SMART career goals is that they must be timely. This means that each goal should have a time frame in which it will be accomplished. Without a deadline and timeframe for your goal, there will be no sense of urgency to continue working toward it.

When creating your goal, in addition to including a deadline to reach the goal itself, add deadlines for specific events along the way. For our Medical Assisting example, you could create deadlines for when you will take and pass each class, complete your externship, and pass your certification tests.

Achieve Your Career Goals

Now you’re on the way to creating your own SMART career goals! If you’ve ever dreamed of completing a fast track training program, starting a new career, or working in an industry that allows you to help people on a daily basis, we have the programs to help get you there.

Learn more about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration programs and request information today to get started!

How to Enroll for Fall Classes

Start your career in the thriving healthcare industry with fast track medical programs from United Career Institute!

Local medical employers need trained professionals who have the education, skills, and, certifications necessary to get the job done. At United Career Institute, we train students to meet these needs, enabling you to succeed in your healthcare career.

How to Enroll in Fall Classes

We’re now enrolling for fall classes now, so read on to find out exactly how to get started!

How to Enroll for Classes

The first step to enrolling in fall classes is to request information. Call us at 724-515-2440, or come into the United Career Institute campus at 8957 Lincoln Hwy, Irwin, PA 15642.

Then, you will talk with a UCI Admissions Advisor and they will help you complete the enrollment process. You will schedule a time to attend a Career Planning Session to discuss your career goals, take a tour of the UCI campus, and get a chance to meet faculty.

Medical Programs and Professional Certifications

We designed our medical training programs to meet the needs of local healthcare employers, enabling you to gain the skills and experience needed to succeed.

With our Medical Assisting program, you will prepare for an exciting career as a Medical Assistant and can sit for professional certifications from the National Healthcareer Association, including National Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Certified EKG Technician, and Certified Phlebotomy Technician. You will learn valuable skills like checking vital signs, assisting doctors and nurses with exams, performing lab tests, practicing phlebotomy, assisting with minor surgeries, administering injections, and more.

Our Medical Office Administration program trains you in essential areas like performing basic coding, coordinating billing, processing insurance, maintaining electronic health records, transcribing medical charts, and more. You will prepare to sit for professional certifications including Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Billing and Coding Specialist, and Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist.

Why Choose United Career Institute

At United Career Institute, student success is our top priority. With academic advising, externships, short-term programs, career advising, personalized attention, and small class sizes, you will be ready for success in your dream healthcare career.

After completing your medical training program at UCI, you will be prepared to work in healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities, surgical units, and more.

“With the large shortage of entry-level healthcare professionals in Westmoreland Country, there is a huge demand for trained and certified professionals. United programs are training students to meet the needs of these local healthcare employers,” says Arnold Thimons, Campus President.

Get Started Today

Are you ready to start your journey to a great medical career? Fall classes are starting soon, so request information now to get started today!