Kristen Ruby – Student Highlight

United Career Institute Mt. Braddock is thrilled to introduce you to our January Student of the Month, Kristen Ruby!

Prior to starting medical assisting classes at United Career Institute, Kristen was taking CNA (certified nursing assistant) classes and working at Cherry Tree Nursing Home, but she had bigger goals for her career in the healthcare industry. She had her sights set on being a nurse!

Kristen chose United Career Institute because of the small class sizes. She knew that having fewer students meant more one on one time with her instructors. United prides itself on keeping its class sizes small so that instructors can be sure to give each student the individualized attention they deserve.

Kristen has dreams of becoming a nurse, but wisely chose to start that journey In United’s Medical Assisting program. She knew that a practical nursing program’s rigor is made much easier when you have the base knowledge of a medical assisting program, so when she heard of United’s Nursing Pathway Program, she knew she found the right fit. This pathway program allows graduates of the United Medical Assisting program, who maintain a certain GPA and attendance percentage, to be exempt from taking the TEAS exam, the entrance exam used for nursing programs.

Kristen’s favorite part of attending United is “learning new things in the medical field and making new friends.” She also loves the instructors at United. “I would have to say that all my teachers that I have had so far are my favorite. I can’t pick a favorite one. My favorite class would have to be between med term and clinicals because they were both fun, and I learned new things,” she said.

After graduation, Kristen hopes to work in a doctor’s office to gain some experience but ultimately has her eyes set on becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse. She also hasn’t written off the idea of continuing on to become a Registered Nurse!

Kristen says she would absolutely refer a friend to United Career Institute because “it’s a small school and has small classroom sizes and a lot of people like that. The staff is very helpful when they are needed.”

If your story sounds similar to Kristen’s or if you are interested in ultimately becoming a nurse, request information here!

4 Tips for Better Time Management

We all have the same amount of time in a day, but it seems some people can get more accomplished than others within the same time frame. How are they doing it? What secrets do these people know that enables them to get more done?

Their secret has been revealed, and it’s better time management! When you proactively manage your time, it allows you to be more effective and get everything done. There are many benefits to having good time management practices, like less stress, more time, and achieving your goals.

Read on as we share with you our top four tips for better time management!

Organize Everything

The first step to great time management is to get organized. You need to know exactly what has to be done to make sure it all gets completed. Whether it’s schoolwork, a project at your job, or something else, create a list of everything you need to do. Writing things down in a simple to-do list is an easy way to get a full picture of all the things you have to complete. You can even organize them by category by labeling each item.

It’s also beneficial to organize the different things you will need to complete your tasks. Organize the items you need to get things done by creating folders and saving things in a system that works for you. For example, everything you need for a specific school project can be saved into one folder on your desktop. When you actually start doing the work, it will go much faster and be much easier if everything is organized and exactly where you need it.

Prioritize Tasks


Now that you have all your tasks organized, it’s time to prioritize them. When you prioritize things, you’re basically deciding which items will get completed first. The best way to do this is to complete the most important and urgent tasks first. For example, if you are working on a class assignment worth half of your final grade and due this week, this should be moved to the top of your list, because it is both important and urgent.

If something is important but not as urgent, you can decide when to get it done, such as a work project that is not due for three weeks. Some things must be completed in a specific order, so you will need to do the first steps before completing later steps. This is common with larger projects that must be broken down into smaller assignments along the way. Be sure to prioritize the steps that must be completed first so that you can stay on track.

Plan Ahead

Now that you’ve organized everything you need to do and decided what order it must be done, it’s time to plan out exactly when you will complete it all. Planning things out in advance sets you up for success because each day when you start working, you know exactly what to do. One great way to do this is by using a calendar to plan your time. To start, take your list of tasks that you created earlier, and start blocking off time on your calendar to get them done. Be sure to add in the most important and urgent items first.

As you plan ahead, be sure you have everything you need to complete the task during the time you blocked off on your calendar. For example, if you are working on a graphic design project, you will need to have things like the correct images and logos ahead of time, so that when you sit down to work, you are ready to get started. Also, be sure to plan breaks in your day between different tasks, especially ones that take longer to complete. Taking breaks will help you stay focused and give you a refreshed mind for your next task.

Create Deadlines

As you plan out your weeks ahead, be sure to give yourself a deadline to get each item finished. If you are working on a large assignment or project, break it down into smaller pieces, and create deadlines for each of those to help you move along and get each step completed. Be sure to give yourself enough time to get everything done and leave a little extra time if something takes longer than you expect.

Creating time limits to get work completed can also be helpful. If you give yourself six hours to do something, it will most likely take six hours, but if you only give yourself four hours, it will only take four hours. For those who are perfectionists, setting time limits can help prevent you from getting stuck in the endless cycle of making changes to make it more perfect.

Join Us In 2021

Time management is important to your future success. At United Career Institute, we work with each of our students on a personal level to help you balance school, work, and family. We are committed to supporting our students from the moment you first contact us to the time you graduate, and beyond.

Learn more about our career-focused healthcare training programs and start your path to a new career in 2021! Request information now to get started!

A Holiday Message From The Mt. Braddock Campus

We know this year has been tough on many people. The stay at home orders, the cancellation of important events, and the general stress of this year has taken a toll on almost everybody. Through all of that, United Career Institute students have persevered and remained on track with their goal of becoming medical professionals. Our students had their educational worlds turned upside down this year as they went from in-person, on-ground classes to learning in a virtual capacity. Although this came with struggles for our students, they never lost track of their goals.

While this holiday season may look different for many, one thing that has not changed is that United Career Institute is proud of its students and are wishing them a happy and healthy holiday!

As 2020 comes to a close, we are excited and hopeful about what 2021 has in store. Most of all, we are hopeful for a successful vaccine, not just for ourselves, but for our friends and families, especially those that are high risk. The hope of returning to a somewhat “normal” way of life is definitely a reason to be thankful!

At United specifically, we have many things to be excited about. We are looking forward to continuing to see our medical assisting, medical billing and coding, and practical nursing students graduate and go on to work as the essential workers that have played such a large role in fighting the COVID pandemic. We are also thrilled to be starting a second nursing class in April of 2021! Having the ability to provide the medical community with qualified nurses is something United really prides itself on.

We also can’t wait for this time next year as it brings the hope of celebrating the holidays United style. Anybody who has graduated from United knows that we celebrate BIG for the holidays around here! In addition to a trick or treat event at Halloween, we also host a large Thanksgiving feast for our students and have multiple Christmas events that include visits with Santa and door decorating. While this year has forced us to celebrate differently, we are hopeful that next year we can celebrate bigger and better than ever!

As the holidays draw nearer, the United faculty and staff want to reiterate that we are here for our students and are hopeful that 2021 will bring many good things for all.

Happy Holidays and a Happy (and healthy) New Year from all of us at United Career Institute Mt. Braddock!

To learn more about United Career Institute, request information here!

Christmas Giving: How To Give Back During the Holidays

The holidays are here, and that means Christmas music, festive cookies, and tasty food. For many, this is truly the most wonderful time of the year. But for some people who are less fortunate or going through hard times, the holidays can be a real challenge.

This presents us with an opportunity to give back to others during this time of year. Keep reading as we share some ways to help people by giving back during the holidays!

Volunteer Your Time

Giving your time by volunteering is a great way to give back to those who are less fortunate. This year has been especially hard on many people, so now is the perfect time to begin your volunteering journey. Making or serving food at your local food pantry or soup kitchen can help those suffering from food insecurity and hunger.

Volunteering to help make care packages for local families is another great way to donate your time. Nonprofit organizations and churches often prepare and send out holiday care packages, so check with those in your local community to see where you can help.

Since many nursing homes have been unable to see family most of this year due to the pandemic, it’s easy for them to feel alone during the holidays. Check with your local nursing homes to see if you are able to remotely visit people via video calls to lift their spirits during this time. For those of you who are blessed with the gift of song, singing Christmas carols can really bring joy to nursing home residents!

Contribute Food

Many people suffer from hunger and food security issues, so giving food around the holidays is a great way to help others. Gather nonperishable food items like canned goods, pasta, and rice, and take these to your local food banks, shelters, and churches that distribute or serve food to those who need it. Feel free to contact these local organizations before you donate food to see any specific items they need.

Additionally, many employers, schools, and other organizations hold food drives during the holidays to help those who cannot provide holiday meals for themselves or their families. Donating nonperishable items to these food drives can go a long way in helping support your community and those in need.

Give Toys

Donating toys to local toy drives is another common way to spread the Christmas spirit and give back during the holidays. Just think of the smile you could put on the face of a child in need by giving them a toy! Check with children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, and children’s shelters to determine if they have children there currently who will not receive anything for Christmas. Be sure to ask the children’s age, so you can get them an age-appropriate gift they will love!

In addition to donating directly, many local organizations do toy drives around the holidays, and there are also national nonprofits that donate toys to underprivileged children.

Donate Money

Another great way to spread holiday cheer is by donating money directly to organizations and nonprofits that help others. These can be local charities in your community or national groups that serve the whole country. For many nonprofits, you can donate money directly on their website. For those that do not have this option, you can call them to ask how to donate. Some national charity organizations you could donate to include:

In addition to money, you can also donate other items that those less fortunate may need, like clothing and blankets.

Be There For Others

The holidays are the perfect time to spread joy and love, showing the true meaning of Christmas to those around you. Due to the pandemic, many people will be spending Christmas alone and away from family this year. You can make a difference just by being there for others during this time. Reach out to someone who may be alone for the holidays to let them know you care.

Remember, when you give back to others, you are not only bringing joy to them but you as well. Happy Holidays from United Career Institute; we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Romona Thompson – Graduate Highlight

United Career Institute Mount Braddock is thrilled to introduce you to one of our graduates, Romona Thompson. Romona graduated from our Practical Nursing program and is now working in a nursing center while she works on becoming a registered nurse.

Romona came to United straight from Albert Gallatin high school. She chose United because it seemed like a great opportunity when she was looking for schools. Romona especially loved the hands-on classes that she had heard so much about. United offers students small classes, which not only gives students plenty of hands-on time, but also allows them one on one time with instructors.

Romona has always wanted to be a nurse, so when she was nearing the end of her high school career, she started to look for short-term, hands-on programs. She found what she was looking for at United Career Institute.

In addition to having short term programs, Romona also liked that United helped her through the financial process*. A part of United’s enrollment process is sitting down with a financial aid advisor so that they can help walk you through the financial side of going to school. This includes filling out your FAFSA and answering any questions you may have.

Romona’s favorite part of attending United Career Institute was the hands-on training she received. She also LOVED the annual holiday celebrations, such as room decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas door decorating!

Romona loved all the instructors she had while attending United’s Practical Nursing program, but two that stood out to her were Amy and Amanda. She said they both had major impacts on her. Her favorite classes while in school were her lab classes because they were a change from normal lecture.

In five years, Romona hopes to be a registered nurse and living in her own house, but for now, is enjoying her time working at Cherry Tree Nursing Center.

When asked if she would refer a friend to United, Romona said she absolutely would because it provides a great experience in the chosen field of study.

If your story sounds like Romona’s and you want to learn more about United Career Institute, request information here!

 

*Financial aid for those who qualify.

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!

Karen Mayle – Student Highlight

Karen Mayle is a medical assisting student at United Career Institute. This is the first post-secondary school she’s attended. Before she decided to come back to school at United, Karen was working at a restaurant and had been laid off due to circumstances of Covid-19.

Karen chose United Career Institute as her school because she has a daughter who also attends school here. While talking to her daughter about going back to school for healthcare, she told her about what United Career Institute has to offer. She gave Karen the contact information for Kathy Coddington, who works in admissions, and Karen started down the enrollment path.

Karen is a student in the Medical Assisting program, and when asked why she chose this field, she said, “I have always found myself falling back into the healthcare field. I considered the skills I already had in the healthcare field and put that together with the fact that I like working with computers and working with people.” So, being an MA was a “no-brainer” for Karen.

When asked who her favorite teacher is, she couldn’t choose just one. She says, “Rachel, and the way she always makes sure everyone is included. Jade, with her teaching techniques and offerings of tutoring all the time. Kelli is ‘straight to the point’ with things and tells you how things are going to happen so you know what to expect.” She also loves how all of the instructors take their time to make sure they talk with their students about everything, not just schoolwork, even if they aren’t that student’s advisor.

Karen’s ideal job is working in a hospital or doctor’s office as a medical assistant. Within the next five years, she wants to be worry free of financial burdens. She doesn’t want to worry about things from pay to pay. “Things like that are difficult for a single mom,” she says. “I think, once I graduate from UCI, I will be able to accomplish that goal.”

Karen’s favorite part about attending United Career Institute is the people. She says, “Everyone there is great. All the instructors and other staff are very helpful with everything.”

When asked about whether or not she would refer United Career Institute to a friend, she said, “Yes I would. People at UCI are great!”

To learn more about United’s healthcare programs, 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!

Medical Assisting Program Students Learn Hands-On Skills for Phlebotomy Blood Draws

United Career Institute Medical Assisting program students learn the proper phlebotomy technique for drawing a patient’s blood.

Phlebotomy is an essential skill for students to learn and practice in their medical assistant classes because drawing blood is a very common procedure in medical facilities. If you’ve ever had blood drawn yourself, you know how important it is to have someone skilled in phlebotomy doing the procedure.

There are a variety of reasons a patient may need to have blood drawn. Getting blood tests to check for diseases and certain conditions is a common reason, along with donating blood to help others who are in need.

Gaining the knowledge and experience for hands-on skills like phlebotomy while attending a medical assisting training program sets students up for career success after graduation. Students who practice hands-on skills can provide a better experience for patients once they are on the job.

Medical assistants are vital members of the healthcare team because of their wide-ranging knowledge and skills. In addition to drawing blood, medical assisting professionals perform many other essential tasks, such as taking vital signs, assisting with physical exams, performing certain lab tests, assisting with simple surgeries, and giving injections.

At United Career Institute, our Medical Assisting program trains students in these critical areas and more, setting them up for success in their healthcare careers.

While completing their medical assisting degree classes at United, students prepare for valuable certifications, making them more marketable to potential employers when applying for jobs.

With hands-on phlebotomy training from qualified instructors like in this video demonstration, students have the opportunity to sit for the Certified Phlebotomy Technician* certification while completing United’s Medical Assisting program.

Are you ready to jump-start your healthcare career by learning valuable hands-on skills? Explore our Medical Assisting program today to get on the fast track to an exciting new career. Request information now to get started!

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

Externship Highlight – Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services

Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services has been established in the Uniontown area since 1969. Its current site coordinator is Mary Jane Miller, Lead Psychiatric Nurse. She says, “Our services operate primarily by providing outpatient mental health services to the community, including adult and children services. We at Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services agree not to discriminate in the provision of services to an individual because of the inability to pay. Payment for these services would be made under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). We currently provide 24/7 crisis services, assertive community team, LTSR, outpatient, peer support services, adult partial hospitalization, and psychiatric rehabilitation services. These services can be obtained at our Uniontown and/or Connellsville locations. Looking forward to the growth of our organization, we are currently implementing our “open access”, which allows patients to be seen for same day services.”

Chestnut Ridge Counseling Services

United Career Institute- Mt. Braddock students get the opportunity to learn in a setting that is “hands-on” and that provides direct care to the public. Students are able to utilize organizational skills and gain knowledge in analytical skills to assist with problem-solving, compliance, documentation in the patient’s electronic health record, scheduling, triaging medication phone calls, and much more. “Our business values United students because it allows our organization to give feedback to the student regarding elements that are needed in an outpatient/medical setting”, Miller says.

Miller further explains, “The field of medicine is ever expanding, growing, and changing. Medical assistants have to be able to adapt to that change. With that said, the greatest advice that I could to anyone aspiring to enter the medical field is that it takes the initiative to succeed beyond their counterparts. Medical Assistants have a lot of responsibility in any medical office. They must be energetic, personable, and eager to learn. The medical staff counts on them for many things.”

United is proud to partner with reputable businesses such as Chestnut Ridge Counselling Services. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a medical assistant, requested information here now!