Mackenzie Stefanini – Graduate Highlight

United Career Institute Mt. Braddock is thrilled to introduce one of our newest graduates, Mackenzie Stefanini. Mackenzie graduated from United’s Medical Assisting program this month and is already working in the field!

Mackenzie began her journey at United right after high school! She attended a presentation in one of her classes that sparked her interest, and went for an interview afterward and loved it!

Mackenzie has always known she wanted to be in the medical field. However, she knew she needed a school where she could get her foot in the door of the medical field that also provided one on one time with instructors in a small school atmosphere. She said, “I chose the MA program so that I could get my foot in the door and be sure that this was the career I wanted and because I have always wanted to do something in the medical field.” Mackenzie continued,  “I chose United because it was hands-on experience and was a small building with not a lot of people at one time, allowing more one-on-one time with teachers for any questions you might have had.” United’s small class sizes allow plenty of time for one on one help if students need it!

The familial atmosphere was Mackenzie’s favorite part of attending United. “My favorite part was how friendly and family-oriented the building was. They made you feel at home while you were there,” she said. While the family-like atmosphere was Mackenzie’s favorite part of attending United, Kelli, United’s Allied Health Program Coordinator, was her favorite instructor. She said, “I would say my favorite teacher was Kelli. She was the teacher for my clinical classes, and I loved my clinical classes. She always told stories to help remember things.”

One of the most exciting parts of a student’s experience at United Career Institute is the externship they get to participate in their last 12 weeks of the program. This externship allows students to get real-world experience in medical settings. This experience can sometimes lead to job opportunities, and that is the case with Mackenzie! She said, “I am currently working from my extern because they hired me at Conn Family Medicine.”

Mackenzie has big plans for her life in the next five years, both professionally and personally! “I would like to be living in my own house, and starting a family, possibly even go back to United for their LPN program.” Many United students who graduate from the Medical Assisting program go on to the Practical Nursing program because the MA program offers an excellent base to build on.

Mackenzie says she would absolutely refer a friend to United because of the friendly environment and staff! “I would definitely refer somebody to United because of how friendly the environment is. Also, because of how great the teachers are, and they love what they do. I loved the hands-on experience that I also got being at the school.”

If your story sounds similar to Mackenzie’s, request information here!

Flores and Flores Medical Associates – Externship Highlight

At United Career Institute Mt. Braddock, we pride ourselves on offering our students hands-on, real world experience prior to graduation. An integral component of that is our externship program, which occurs in the last 12 weeks of a student’s program. This exciting part of our curriculum would not be possible without the help of our wonderful industry partners. Read on to learn more about one of these companies!

Flores and Flores Medical Associates is a primary care physician’s office located in Uniontown, PA. They have been in business for over 20 years and specialize in emergency medicine, family medicine, and internal medicine.

United Career Institute students can expect a well-rounded training experiencing if they extern at Flores and Flores. Melissa Stevenson, the site coordinator, said, “We allow United students to get hands-on training on almost every single aspect of working in a doctor’s office – both front and back staff positions.” She continued, “Our staff enjoys teaching and sharing their knowledge with our externs. They also appreciate the help that students provide in return, making our employees’ days go easier.”

United students love the externship portion of their program for many reasons. For starters, the hands-on experience they receive solidifies the skills they have been taught throughout their program and gives them the confidence they need to apply those skills in a real word environment. Another reason the externship is such an exciting experience is the potential for a job offering at the end of it. While not all of our industry partners are in a position to hire after externship, some can be, and who better to hire than somebody you just trained for 12 weeks? Regardless of whether or not an externship ends with a job opportunity, it still serves as a wonderful experience and a resume booster.

 United Career Institute looks forward to continuing our partnership with Flores and Flores as they hope to grow their practice in the next five. Melissa says, “We are looking to add more mid-level providers and staff to support them.”

Melissa’s advice to anybody entering a new educational journey is this: “Learn as much as you can in your classes and definitely take advantage of your time as an extern. Externships are a great way to bridge using what you learn in the class with how to apply it in the real world setting. Ask the staff at your externship questions, so you can learn tips that you can possibly apply in your future job.”

To learn more about United Career Institute’s externship program, request information here!

Sonya Over – Staff Highlight

United Career Institute Mt. Braddock is excited to introduce Sonya Over, our very own Financial Aid Advisor!

Sonya’s professional journey began back in 1993 when she graduated Summa Cum Laude from California University of Pennsylvania. She worked hard also to pass the CPA exam in May of 1993.

Before landing at United Career Institute, Sonya held a few different positions. She worked as a finance director with public housing for 10 years, a business manager with the local school district for five years. She was an executive director for a drug and alcohol recovery center for five years. Sonya says that her wide variety of professional experiences has nurtured her desire to see people succeed and achieve their dreams. “I spent decades working in public housing, public education, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. This all gave me the firm belief that anybody can change their lives and, more importantly, anybody can succeed with the right attitude and a strong support system,” she said.

Sonya has been with United for a number of years in a part-time capacity. “I had worked at PIHT (now United Career Institute) as needed for several years, and I really liked the family like atmosphere and the ‘student first’ attitude during my time. There is a common and collective goal among all staff to do whatever it takes to help the students. When the full-time position opened, I realized it would be a great fit to take me into retirement.” Sonya also loves the familial atmosphere amongst staff. “Having a united front with co-workers that have quickly become family makes going to work enjoyable.” She also notes that the school’s small size gives each employee the ability to get to know each student and provide support when needed. Sonya hopes to be able to continue to work in an environment that allows her to make an impact on many people.

Sonya loves her family, and one of her proudest accomplishments is being able to say that she and her siblings are the first generation of college graduates on both sides of her family. “The work ethic instilled in all of us by our mother has allowed us to achieve success in our individual paths.” In fact, Sonya cites her mother as her motivation in life. “Although my mom is no longer with us, she was always and always will be my greatest motivation to do well and make her proud.”

In Sonya’s spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her cat. “Most people don’t know that, although I really love animals, cats were never my favorite. I was a dog lover. However, when my neighbor convinced me to adopt a rescue named Patti Cat, I fell in love, and she is now my special cat. I can’t imagine life without her.”

To learn more about the financial aid process or to speak to Sonya yourself, request information here!

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!

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!

 

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!

How to Choose the Right Career Training Program for You

We’re all better at something when we enjoy doing it, so choosing a career you love and excel at will set you up for lasting success and fulfillment. However, with so many different career paths and training options available, it can be overwhelming as you try to choose what’s best for you.

These are important decisions that will affect your future, so taking time to set your career goals, determine your needs, and find a career training program that fits your needs, are essential steps to get you into your new career. This week, we will explore the best ways to make these important decisions and the things you should consider as you go.

Set Your Career Goals

The first thing to consider as you plan your path toward a career you will love, is what are your career goals? You may already have a set goal in mind, such as becoming a doctor, or you may need help figuring this out for yourself. For those who are still undecided on exactly what their career goals should be, there are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you create your own personal career goals.

  • Why do you want to start a new career? Starting with the reasons you want to begin a new career is helpful because it will guide and motivate you as you begin this new journey. Are you trying to create a better life for your family? Are you just very self-motivated and driven? Or is there something else pushing you?
  • What are you looking for in a new career? To set career goals that fit you, it’s important to know exactly what you want from your new career path. Do you want an increased salary, better job security, more flexibility, the opportunity to help people, the ability to work from home, or something else?
  • What areas are you interested in? Figuring out what you’re already good at and what you are interested in will help guide you toward the right career path for you. For example, maybe you enjoy working with computers, or maybe you prefer to work with people instead. Whatever it may be, choose a career path you will enjoy and be good at.
  • Do you plan to continue advancing your career? Deciding now if you want to get your dream job and stay in it for a while, or continue advancing and climbing the ladder to a leadership role, will help you decide on goals that fit your now and your future.
  • Where do you want to be in five years? You know where you are now, and this question helps you visualize where you’re going. What exactly do you want once you meet your career goals? Do you want to be able to afford nice vacations? Is your goal to eventually buy a house? Or pay for your children’s education? Whatever is it that you want for yourself, creating a specific vision will help keep you motivated and inspired along the way.

After answering these questions, you should be ready to set career goals that will help create the future you want for yourself. Remember, any goals you set for yourself should always be SMART goals, which means they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Here is a great example of a SMART career goal: I want to start a career as a practical nurse in Fayette County in one year.

Determine Your Needs

Now that you’ve created career goals for yourself, it’s time to determine exactly what you need to get there. Each career field has different degrees and training requirements, and you have specific needs that will help you reach your goals.

First, look at some of the job descriptions for the career you want to pursue. If you want to become a practical nurse, look at some of the local places hiring for this role. What education or training do they require? Will you need a license to practice? Do they want you to have completed clinical hours? Do you need experience? What skills will you have to perform while on the job? After you have looked at some job descriptions, make a list of the most common things you noticed. This list of education, skills, experience, and credentials is exactly what you need to gain in order to qualify for the job you want.

It’s important to know exactly what you need to get your dream job, but you also need to know which path will work best for you. Answering the following questions will help direct you toward the path that fits your specific needs.

  • What is your learning style? We all have different learning styles. Some people learn better by reading about a topic, some by hearing others explain it, and some by getting hands-on and doing it themselves. Figuring out your learning style will help you choose a career training program that teaches to the way you learn.
  • What is your personality type? In addition to different learning styles, we all have different personality types. Consider taking a personality test, such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, to find out your personality type, as this can help you throughout the process of planning the path to reach your career goals.

You’re now equipped with exactly what you need to qualify for your dream job and what you need from a career training program to perform your best.

Research Career Training Options

You have set your career goals and know exactly what you need to get there, so now you’re ready to explore the different career training options available and choose the one that works best for you. To do this, you will need to evaluate different programs based on how they help you achieve your career goals and how well they meet your specific needs.

  • Does the program train you for the specific job you want? It’s time to use the list you made in the last step of exactly what employers require for your specific job. Compare the career training programs you are considering to this list. Does it provide you with the knowledge and skills needed? Do you prepare for certifications? Is the program length aligned with when you want to start your new career?
  • Is the school aligned with your needs? Next, you need to determine if the school will work for you. Here are some questions to ask about each school. Do you have a dedicated admissions advisor to help you as you apply? Does the school offer resources like financial aid and grants/scholarships? Does the teaching style work with your learning style? Do students get personalized instruction?
  • What support is offered to students? Finally, you need to know what support is offered to students as they complete their career training and beyond. Here are a few things to ask. Is there a supportive environment for students? Do students receive additional help when needed? Are career services offered to help students get from the program to a job? Are there any resources that students will continue to have even after graduation?

As you evaluate the different alternatives for career training, feel free to make a pros and cons list for each to help you compare them. Once you have evaluated your career training options, you can confidently choose the one that will set you up for career success, because you know it’s training you in the exact areas you need, in the way that you learn best.

Get Started Today

Now that you’ve set your career goals, determined your needs, and decided on a career training program, you’re ready to get started! If you’re looking to start a career in the exciting field of healthcare, United Career Institute may be the perfect choice for you. We offer fast-track healthcare training programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding.

Request information or contact us at (724) 437-4600 today, and one of our friendly admissions advisors will work with you to create a career plan customized for you!

Campus Safety – Mt. Braddock


At United Career Institute Mt. Braddock, we take pride in making our students feel at home. Part of making our students feel at home is making their health and safety our top priority. Campus safety can mean many different things. It could be protecting their psychological health by offering a safe place to talk and share. Other times, it could be protecting their professional health by ensuring they know the proper way to use protective gear while performing medical procedures. It also means protecting their physical health by providing a clean and healthy school environment. In the days of COVID-19, ensuring our student’s health and safety has never been so important. Read on to find out how we are making United Career Institute a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors.

The first step we take in protecting anybody who enters our school is taking temperatures. Everybody who enters the building must have their temperature taken, no exceptions. Anybody who does not meet the temperature requirements cannot come back to the building until they produce a negative COVID test or until their temperature returns to normal. All students, staff, and visitors must sign a waiver ensuring that they have not traveled to any hot spots, experienced COVID symptoms, or been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive.

The next step we are taking in ensuring the safety of our campus, is wearing masks. Anybody who enters our building is required to wear a mask, with the only exception being those who have a medical reason prohibiting them from wearing one. Since we offer in-demand medical programs at United, many of our students view this as an opportunity to prepare for their future careers!

In addition to the actions we are taking listed above, we have posted CDC guidelines around the building to remind students, employees, and visitors to frequently wash their hands (for 20 seconds at least), avoid touching their nose and mouth, and go home if they begin feeling sick. We also provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes in high traffic areas of the building. This includes the front desk, bathrooms, classrooms, and offices. As many of these precautionary measures are important to practice when working in the medical field, we are using COVID as an opportunity to teach our students what it is really like to work day to day in a hospital, doctor’s office, or clinic.

At United Career Institute, our students are considered a part of the United family. One of our core values is “Caring” and one way we demonstrate that is by ensuring our campus is safe for everybody who walks through our doors.

To learn more about the caring environment you will experience at United Career Institute Mt. Braddock, request information here!

United’s Live Classroom Experience

This year has brought many changes to our daily lives, which can make it hard to plan for the future. The uncertainty of when kids will return to school, not feeling secure in their job, and not knowing if it’s completely safe to go out in public are just a few of the issues that many people are dealing with when thinking about their future.

As you deal with the many unknowns of this difficult time, we want all current and future United students to know that we are with you. Our top priority is to give you the education and training you need to start a fulfilling and successful career. This has been our priority from the beginning and will continue to be throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

At United Career Institute, our commitment to your success will always remain the same, even though things are a little different right now.

We know that education plays an important role for our students in achieving their career goals and creating a better future, so we have adjusted to the current uncertain times by offering students a live classroom experience, which enables you to attend classes from the safety of your home.

Some students may not yet feel comfortable coming to campus or may have children at home and be unable to attend in-person classes. We designed our live classroom experience so these students can continue their career training and stay on the path to a better future.

Our live classes at United provide students the ability to interact with their teachers and classmates, just like in a traditional classroom. Students learn the same material and gain the same knowledge, preparing for an exciting, new career in a way that’s just a little different, for now.

Just like any other time at United, our instructors are available for one-on-one help outside of the classroom, so that all students get the support they need to succeed in their classes. While students learn in a live classroom setting, instructors are still available to work with students outside of the classroom, to ensure each and every student gets the help they need.

Our purpose will remain the same, even during these difficult times, and that is to empower change by creating opportunity. Every student who attends classes at United Career Institute will continue to receive the education and training needed to start a new career with benefits such as small class sizes, our WE CARE atmosphere, and personalized attention.

We are still here to prepare you for a fulfilling, successful career, even though things are a little different for now. Learn more about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding programs to start your journey to an exciting, new career.

Request information now to get started!

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.