Medical Assisting Students At Irwin Begin Externship

Classroom knowledge lays the foundation for the Medical Assisting program at United Career Institute Irwin. Classes like Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology are the building blocks for students to advance in their careers. However, hands-on skill learning and application will always be the key component of our Medical Assisting program. United Career Institute started our first class of medical assisting students in September of 2019. To start the new year, those three students will be the first ever to begin their 12-week externships with local healthcare providers.

“It’s an exciting and fulfilling time,” says Campus President Arnold Thimons. “To think back when we opened this campus with these three students, and now their goals are coming to fruition, could not make me more proud!” Since that inaugural class, the Medical Assisting student population has grown to 35, and that number continues to grow each week. With the incredible feedback from local healthcare providers like Excela Health, Premier Medical, Allegheny Health Network, UPMC, William Penn Care Center, and many others, our students are exposed to such great opportunities to spend 12 weeks, the length of their externship, shadowing and applying the skills they’ve learned on campus in the real world. “I tell my students to look at these 12 weeks as a 12-week job interview,” says Thimons. “Students have input in the area and discipline that their interests lie, and if they perform well during their externship, the goal would be to get hired at that facility immediately upon graduation.”

During this COVID pandemic, it is vitally important to train and make available healthcare workers for local hospitals, doctors’ offices, and countless other primary care facilities. Having a chance for students to spend three months at the end of their program seeing and participating on the front lines of healthcare gives them such a great insight into this career path.

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

Sedona Poliak – Student Highlight

Sedona Poliak is one of United Career Institute’s newest Medical Assisting students. After she graduated high school, Sedona got a job at a local daycare. She took a year off to save some money for her education. Sedona chose United Career Institute because of the positive feedback she heard from other students. She said, “I heard it was a very good school, and the teachers really help to make sure that you succeed.” Sedona chose medical assisting because she knows that it will help her reach her goal of becoming a registered nurse.

Her favorite part about attending United Career Institute are the instructors. She told us that it’s encouraging how much they want their students to succeed. Her favorite instructor is Kelly Clark. Sedona told us, “She makes things easier to understand and is very understanding.” Her favorite class so far has been Effective Communication. She feels that writing and giving speeches in the class has helped her gain confidence that she did not have before.

After Sedona graduates, she hopes to go back to school to become a registered nurse. Five years down the road, she hopes to be settled, working as an RN, and enjoying it!

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

Thankful for Our Students in 2020

At United Career Institute, we strive to help each and every student reach their career goals. By providing continuous student support from the day you first contact us, all the way through graduation, and beyond, we work hard to help you start a fulfilling, successful career.

With healthcare training programs in essential areas like Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Billing and Coding, we can get you on the fast track to an exciting new career.

For us here at United, it’s an honor to train students in these essential healthcare areas, providing the education, skills, experience, and certification preparation to make a real impact in the local community.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re sharing what we are most thankful for at United: our students!

Check out some of our favorite moments from this year!

Hands-On Training

While enrolled in our healthcare training programs, students experience hands-on training to learn real skills they will use on the job in their healthcare careers. Check out these United students as they practice real-life medical skills in their healthcare classes!

Qualified Professionals

Congratulations to all our students who have worked hard to complete their classes, earn professional certifications, pass their nursing boards, and get hired! Check out some of these amazing students featured in our short video!

Student Experience

We love providing students with a supportive and positive learning environment while they train for future healthcare careers! Check out some of the fun our students are having in our short video!

Join Us Today

Are you ready to start a new career as an essential healthcare worker? With fast-track programs, small classes, hands-on training, and student support, United Career Institute may be the perfect choice for you. Explore our programs and request information today to get started!

Campus Security – Irwin Campus

At United Career Institute’s Irwin Campus, security is not just a person or a physical alarm system, it is also the student’s peace of mind. Entering into a post-secondary school can be full of excitement, stress, and lots of overwhelming feelings. Students certainly need to feel that the school they choose can keep them physically protected along with supporting them emotionally. Let’s face it, there’s no room for concerns about safety. That’s why United Career Institute has recently contracted a security firm to install a state of the art surveillance and monitoring system, complete with camera recordings and key fob entry to the only access point. This will allow us to always monitor who is coming into our campus. This new system will give assurance to the students and employees that their physical safety is paramount to campus leadership, but it certainly doesn’t stop at physical safety.

In this day and age of COVID-19, entering a clean, environmentally safe atmosphere can go a long way in relieving the stress and anxiety of this virus, so steps were taken to give all students, guests, and employees the peace of mind that United Career Institute has followed and met the CDC guidelines for safe reopening. First, all individuals entering the school must wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the virus. Next, every person must attest that they are experiencing no Covid symptoms, have not traveled to a hot spot, and are not running a fever. This is verified with a temperature scan, and all people must be below 100.6 temp or they are immediately sent home. While in the building, all people will be reminded constantly by the displayed placards that social distancing, frequent hand washing, and sterilization must take place to keep the campus as virus free as possible. Lastly, we have contracted a cleaning service to do a deep clean and sterilization of the entire campus EVERY day of the week after students leave.

The combination of the physical security additions along with the extensive Covid remediation has given all students, employees, and guests that peace of mind we were after.

“Safety brings first aid to the uninjured.” – F.S. Hughes

Shauna King – Student Highlight

Shauna King is one of United Career Institute’s determined medical assisting students. She enrolled in the May 2020 start at the Irwin campus. After graduating from East Allegheny High School, Shauna decided to take a year off. She had a few ideas in mind as to what career route she wanted to take. She thought of attending a massage therapy school. She was also considering taking classes at a local community college and then transferring to a larger university to become a veterinarian technician.

Shauna knew that she wanted to help people so she decided on the Medical Assisting program. She had taken a few medical courses in high school, so she already had an understanding of what she would be learning. Her favorite class so far has been Medical Terminology. She said that she took a similar course in high school.

Her favorite part about attending United Career Institute are the other students. “My favorite part about being here would be how easy it is to make friends here. Everyone is so nice and helpful.” Erin Messer is Shauna’s favorite instructor. She thinks that Erin makes class fun and is always so helpful!
After she graduates, Shauna hopes to be working as a medical assistant. She isn’t quite sure what setting she wants to work in yet. She is striving to be very successful at her job and hopes to help people as much as she can. We are so excited to have Shauna in our Medical Assisting program!

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

How to Enroll for Fall Training Classes

There’s no better time than now to prepare for an exciting new career in healthcare. At United Career Institute, our career training programs are designed to give you the education, skills, and experience needed to get on the fast track to your dream healthcare career.

We’re enrolling for fall classes now, so read on to find out exactly how to get started on your path to a new career with United!

Explore Our Healthcare Training Programs

With the increasing need for essential healthcare workers, choosing a career in the medical field could be a great opportunity to build a meaningful and fulfilling career. At United Career Institute, we offer healthcare training programs in a variety of career paths, so you can choose the one that best fits your career goals.

Our Practical Nursing program allows students to earn their diploma and prepare for a new career in only 12 months. While enrolled in practical nursing classes, students will learn how to conduct physical assessments, perform IV therapy, care for wounds, perform routine lab tests, and much more. In addition to learning these procedures in the classroom, students will complete clinical rotations at local healthcare facilities. After completing their practical nursing training, students are eligible to sit for the Pennsylvania State Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses°, which qualifies students to work as an LPN in Pennsylvania upon successfully passing the exam.

In our Medical Assisting program, students prepare to work in a variety of medical facilities including hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, long term care facilities, and more. Healthcare training classes in this exciting program train students in a variety of hands-on medical skills, such as assisting with exams, collecting and processing medical specimens, assisting with minor surgeries, practicing phlebotomy, performing EKGs, and more. While completing their fast track medical assisting classes, students are prepared to sit for valuable healthcare industry certifications, including National Certified Clinical Medical Assistant*, Certified EKG Technician**, and Certified Phlebotomy Technician**.

Students who choose our Medical Insurance Billing and Coding program will learn the essential front office responsibilities that are necessary to keep medical facilities running smoothly. Performing basic coding, coordinating billing, processing insurance, maintaining electronic health records, and transcribing medical charts are some of the vital skills students will learn in their medical office courses. This exciting program includes preparation for numerous healthcare certifications including Certified Medical Administrative Assistant*, Certified Billing and Coding Specialist**, and Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist**.

Meet With Our Friendly Admissions Advisors

Now that you’ve explored our exciting healthcare programs, you’re ready to meet with one of our friendly and helpful admissions advisors. In this meeting, you will learn more about United Career Institute and have a chance to ask any questions you may have about the school, our career training programs, your classes, career services, and anything else. You will work with your admissions advisor to plan the best path for you to reach your career goals.

You will also get to take a tour of the United campus, meet some of your future instructors, and see our classrooms and labs. We understand that some students may not be comfortable meeting with an admissions advisor in person, so we have added virtual campus visits as an alternative to touring campus in person.

To set up a time to meet with one of our friendly admissions advisors, request information here.

Connect with a Financial Aid Representative

After meeting with your admissions advisor and creating a personal plan to help you reach your career goals, you will meet with a financial aid representative who will explain the financial aid process and help you apply for financial aid programs that you may qualify for.

Financial resources that are available to those who qualify include scholarships, federal grants, state grants, student loans, and PLUS loans. To determine your eligibility for some of these programs, you will need to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which you will learn more about when you meet with a financial aid representative.

In addition to external scholarships, United Career Institute offers students the opportunity to qualify for a variety of internal grant programs***. You will learn more about the scholarships available and how to apply for them from your financial aid representative.

Register for Classes and Get Started

The last thing you need to do to enroll is to register for your classes and ensure you have everything needed to succeed in your healthcare courses. Allocating time to do homework, ensuring you have all the necessary supplies, and talking to family members about the support you will need are all important to your success in the classroom and beyond.

Now you’re ready to start an exciting healthcare training program that will prepare you for a meaningful, fulfilling new career. Contact us now to get enrolled for fall classes!

°Passing the NCLEX – PN exam is required to become a Practical Nurse.

*Certification is contingent on passing the corresponding certification exam. Required/included in tuition/fees.

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

***For those who qualify. See catalog for detailed eligibility requirements.

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.

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!

Practical Nursing Program – Tracheostomy Suctioning Demonstration

United Career Institute School of Nursing instructors teach practical nursing program students the proper procedures for performing tracheostomy suctioning.

This critical procedure clears the tracheostomy tube and is essential for proper breathing. Sterile techniques should be used to keep the patient free of infection.

Practical nurses are essential members of the healthcare team because they perform important functions like this and others, such as conducting physical assessments, caring for wounds, performing IV therapy, monitoring vital signs, collecting medical specimens, and more.

After completing practical nursing classes and passing the state licensing exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)*, you could work in facilities like hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, and rehabilitation centers.

Completing a practical nursing program could be a great option if you’re looking for a rewarding career that allows you to help people on a daily basis.

With the continued growth of the healthcare industry, becoming a practical nurse has long-term career benefits including increased job security and higher earnings potential.

At United Career Institute, our Practical Nursing program is direct admission, meaning you don’t have to take extra classes you don’t need. You can finish your practical nursing classes in only 12 months, allowing you to get on the fast track to a successful healthcare career.

Students complete clinical rotations at local healthcare employers and are prepared to take the licensing exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)* after graduating from the program.

If you’re ready to jump-start your successful healthcare career by becoming a practical nurse, explore our Practical Nursing program today and request information to get started!

 

*Passing the NCLEX – PN exam is required to become a Practical Nurse.