Sahrash Masood – Student Highlight

Sahrash Masood enrolled in United’s Medical Assisting program in January of this year. Before enrolling, she was a stay at home mom of two young girls. Sahrash knew that she always wanted to go into the medical field, but wasn’t sure if she wanted to study nursing or medical assisting. After meeting with her admissions advisor, Lynda, Sahrash knew that medical assisting would be a great path that would allow her to explore her interests and learn a little bit of everything. “There is so much to learn about medical coding and the paperwork that is required in the medical offices. Best of all it has more hands-on things, as well as taking vitals on a patient and drawing blood.”

One of Sahrash’s favorite aspects of United Career Institute is the support that she’s received. She said, “I feel like that it’s a nice support system to have and to keep you motivated.” She feels that the instructors are understanding and flexible. Sahrash has gotten the chance to learn from a variety of our instructors at the Irwin campus. She likes that they all have different teaching styles because it keeps things refreshing and helpful. Sahrash said, “They’ve all brought so much to the table. From sharing stories about their lives, which I’ve learned so much from, to their motivation and dedication to helping each and every student succeed regardless of where they came from, or their daily struggle.”

After graduation, Sahrash is thinking of working in a family practice, close to home. “Once I graduate I’ll have so much more knowledge than I have now, so who knows! Maybe once I start my externship I might like a different environment far more. I’m open to different options.” Five years from now, Sahrash would like to be working in a place that she loves. She wants to be independent and financially stable. She hopes that if her kids see her reach her goals that it will motivate them to pursue what they love too!

Jessica Snyder – Student Highlight

Jessica Snyder was one of the first students to enroll at the United Career Institute Irwin campus! She is currently excelling in our Medical Assisting program. She chose medical assisting because she has a passion for helping people and has always wanted to work in the healthcare field. Jessica said, “I feel becoming a medical assistant is a great foundation to start with in the medical field. I feel if I ever want to go further and become a nurse I could do so.”

After graduating from high school in 2009, Jessica enrolled at a large university. She felt like it was too large for her to get the attention she needed in class. She then attended a local community college for business management. After taking a few classes, she realized she wanted to focus on helping people and decided to look at United Career Institute.

Jessica chose United Career Institute because she liked the small class sizes and felt that she would get the one on one attention she did not receive in the past. She felt that she would be supported by her instructors and the staff here. Jessica said her favorite part about attending United Career Institute is that the instructors and employees care and will not let students give up. “They want nothing more than for you to succeed at your goals. They are wonderful in guiding you not only through school but through life too. We’re family at UCI.”

After graduating from United Career Institute, Jessica hopes to be working in a doctor’s office. Possibly working in a pediatrician’s office or in a plastic surgery office. In a few years, she is hoping to be settled, working as a medical assistant, and enjoying what she does. She is hoping to go back to school for nursing in the future!

Medical Assisting Training Teaches Hands-On Skills for Blood Pressure Procedure

Students in the Medical Assisting program at United Career Institute receive hands-on medical assisting training learning the proper procedure to take a patient’s blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the pressure or force of blood pushing on the walls of blood vessels. As your heart beats, it pumps blood through your arteries, and this is how most of the pressure is created.

A patient’s blood pressure is expressed with two numbers, systolic pressure on the top and diastolic pressure on the bottom. The systolic pressure is the amount of pressure in your arteries as your heart muscle contracts, and the diastolic pressure is the pressure between the beats of your heart muscle.

When a patient’s blood pressure is measured, it reveals information about the person’s heart health. If blood pressure readings are high, the patient may be diagnosed with high blood pressure,  or hypertension. This condition can lead to serious health issues, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and healthy eating can help prevent high blood pressure in many patients.

With the potential for such serious medical issues, accurately measuring a patient’s blood pressure is an essential task for medical assistants to learn. While enrolled in the Medical Assisting training program at United, students practice this valuable hands-on skill in the classroom and in real-world application as part of their externship experience.

Medical assisting students also prepare to sit for professional healthcare certifications* that show potential employers you have the skills to get the job done. Gaining valuable healthcare certifications* can make you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.

After learning the blood pressure procedure and many other valuable hands-on skills while in medical assisting career training at United, students are prepared to start exciting new careers in the healthcare field.

Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics are all examples of healthcare facilities that employ qualified and trained medical assistants.

Ready to make the move into a fulfilling healthcare career? Want to care for patients and support their overall health? Learn more about our Medical Assisting program and get on the fast track to an exciting new career. Request information now to get started!

 

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam.

Shauna Davis – Student Highlight

Shauna Davis is one of United Career Institute’s Medical Assisting students. She enrolled at the Irwin campus in January 2020. Before committing to going back to school, Shauna worked at a debt settlement company as a Payment Research Specialist. One of Shauna’s favorite things about United Career Institute is the friends that she has made. Shauna said, “I seriously love the staff and the girls that I started out with in January! We are honestly so close and have become such great friends! It’s so nice to have the support systems of the girls [and] the instructors and the rest of the staff!”

Before coming to United Career Institute, Shauna tried attending a career school for medical assisting elsewhere. She felt like the atmosphere was completely different and that she could not talk to her instructors. She then came in for an interview with United’s Admissions Advisor, Lynda Mayes, and knew this was the place for her. “From the moment I spoke with Lynda, she made me feel welcomed and like this was a school I was going to love and be able to succeed in.” Shauna’s favorite instructor is Kelly Shriver. “She keeps the classes fun, even when it is a class everyone is dreading! She is also always there for anyone that needs help or someone to talk to!”

Shauna’s favorite class so far has been Medical Coding. She enjoys searching for the different codes and diagnoses. She finds learning the different manuals used to code very interesting. In fact, she hopes to continue furthering her education into the coding aspect of the medical field.

After graduation, Shauna is hoping to work in a doctor’s office. She is considering pediatrics, orthopedics, or maybe OBGYN. Five years from now, she would like to be married, hopefully with a kid. She does plan to further her education while working towards her dream job!

To learn more about United’s Medical Assisting program, request information here!

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!

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!

Emily Norman – Student Highlight

Emily Norman is one of United Career Institute’s most recent medical assisting students. She had attended a community college but didn’t have the best experience. She saw the United Career Institute Irwin Facebook page and decided to come in for a tour of the school. Emily Norman-Student HighlightAfter meeting with Lynda, her Admissions Advisor, Emily knew that the Irwin campus was the right place for her! Emily said, “I love the staff. Every last one of them! How welcoming and helpful they are.”

Emily’s favorite instructor is Kelly Shriver. She appreciates that Kelly takes the time to answer her questions in depth. Her favorite class so far has been Intro to Anatomy and Physiology. “Kelly Clark does a great job of explaining it and going over any questions that we have.”

She is currently working full time at a local nursing home, while taking classes! Emily works in the kitchen as a night cook and a front desk concierge. Five years from now, she hopes to be working in a job that she loves. Emily hopes to work in a pediatrics department, possibly even becoming a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh!

Emily says she would definitely recommend United Career Institute Irwin to anyone who wants a small, family type atmosphere for learning and a staff that truly cares!

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

 

Gabriella Sotak – Student Highlight

“We work so well together and she’s such a great support system for me…a genuinely good person with a big heart!” That is how Medical Assisting student Amanda Cluss describes her classmate and friend, Gabriella Sotak. Gabriella Sotak - Student HighlightGabby was enrolled in college at CCAC when she heard about United Career Institute opening in Irwin. She wasn’t getting everything she wanted from her education so she called the school and made an appointment to come in. Immediately after speaking with Lynda in admissions, she knew this was where she was meant to be.  “Lynda was so understanding and encouraging, really made me feel like I belonged here.” There were some aspects of a larger community college Gabby liked, but most of what she saw at UCI was what she needed; smaller classes, personalized attention and tutoring, and a family atmosphere. Gabby decided that although she didn’t have aspirations of being a nurse, she definitely wanted to work in healthcare, and United Career’s Medical Assisting program provided that start. She sees herself working in a private doctor’s office someday, in general practice.

When we asked Gabby what her favorite thing about the school was, she didn’t hesitate a bit. “I love my classmates and the girls are all so helpful. They make you feel like you’re part of the family from day 1. I also love the staff! Kelly, Bianca, and Arnold are wonderful and I talk to them or Lynda about any issues or problems I might be having, educational or personal.” She loves the way Kelly teaches Med Term 1, her favorite class so far, because she explains the subject matter in detail and makes sure you understand how it applies. When asked where she wants to be in 5 years she was quick to answer. “Out of my parent’s house and into my stable career. I love my parents deeply but I’m ready to start the next chapter.”

When asked if she would recommend United to somebody else, Gaby said, “Absolutely! The whole staff there are so helpful in every way, and they truly care about me as a student, but more importantly as a person.“

To learn more about United Career Institute’s family atmosphere and fast track training, click here!

Lynda Mayes – Staff Highlight

“My favorite part of working for United Career is being a part of a group that makes you feel like family. That includes both the staff and the students!” –Lynda Mayes

Lynda Mayes - Staff Highlight

Lynda Mayes is the Admissions Advisor at United Career Institute in Irwin. As an Admissions Advisor, Lynda helps potential students find their right education path. A large part of her job involves guiding students through any life obstacles they may have. It’s not uncommon to walk by her office and see her talking with her current students. Whether its school related or personal, Lynda always makes a large effort to help the student keep their eye on the prize!

Lynda has a Bachelor of Science in Administrative Management from Robert Morris University. After graduating she started working at the Westmoreland County Prison. She worked there for three years as a Records Clerk and then moved on to work at the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC). Lynda worked there for nineteen and a half years, working her way up from a Collections Clerk all the way up to a Field Service Super Intendant. During that time, she was managing over sixty-five employees, and was able to complete her Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at Robert Morris University.

Lynda is motivated by her mother. She says her mother has always encouraged and supported her in her decisions. “Because of her support I want to show the same love and respect towards her by doing the best that I can do.” She is most proud of her family, not only because of their ability to deal with difficult times, but because they always find a way to support each other while doing it.

Lynda’s long term career goals include getting her Ph.D. She would like to get involved in teaching leadership coaching to college students and adults. “It’s important for anyone going into a career to develop leadership and skills to be successful.”

 

Premier Medical Associates – Externship Site Partnership

Founded in 1993, Premier’s leadership team led a transition that made the company independent in 2004. Premier’s independence allowed the company to focus on building a stronger model of patient-centered care and expand operations to include critical services and specialties that provide a continuum of care to PMA’s patients. In December 2011, Premier Medical Associates affiliated with Highmark and today is an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network.
Premier Medical Associates – Externship Site Partnership

Premier Medical Associates is a high performing health organization delivering an advanced care model to the more than 100,000 patients in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Recognized as a national leader in healthcare transformation, Premier is headed by a nationally awarded physician and leadership team, representing over 400 employees. Premier delivers a higher quality of care to its communities and patients through a resolute commitment to prevention, immunization, whole-body health, and patient-centered care.

Premier Medical Associates, an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network, is the largest multi-specialty physician practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area with 100 providers, 24 medical services and specialties delivering care in 10 convenient locations.

Before Premier focuses on delivering the highest quality care to our patients, we focus on the people delivering that care. Their wellbeing is critical to providing better care. We make considerable investments of time, training and other resources to cultivate a thriving employee culture.

As an extern, students will be exposed to a team-based, healthy working environment.  Employees at Premier work efficiently and effectively to deliver care to our patients.  Students will receive the tools and training they need to have a productive and educational learning experience at Premier and will be involved in participating in the day to day operations of the practice.  We are committed to providing a positive and valuable experience to all students.

Premier strongly believes that partnerships are critical to the success of the organization.  We are excited to partner and align goals with United Career Institute.  We believe that we have an excellent opportunity to teach and develop students in the healthcare industry, and we are confident that our efforts will have a positive impact on the success of our recruitment strategies.

Premier gives the following advice to students entering college in 2020-2021; focus on the direction of your education on industries and jobs that bring joy and gratitude to your life.  It is so important to love and be excited about what you do every day.