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!

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.

Martina Mullen – Student Highlight

Martina Mullen has been a student at United Career Institute’s Irwin campus since January 2020. She is currently enrolled in the Medical Assisting program. She chose Medical Assisting because she knew she wanted to go into the medical field, but wasn’t sure which direction to start in. On top of nearly perfect attendance since the beginning, Martina has also made the school’s President’s list by holding a 4.0 GPA for the first term of her program.

Martina Mullen - Student Highlight

Martina tried a different post-secondary school before, but it just wasn’t for her. She felt like her professor made the class rushed and that it was just a waste of her own time and money. “My favorite part about attending United would be the class schedule and how each class is set up. I don’t feel rushed or overwhelmed with work,” said Martina.

Just like many of our other students, Martina likes the smaller class sizes. “I chose United because I loved that it was small and that I knew if I needed it, I could get one on one help. I also love how everyone is so welcoming and supportive.” Her favorite instructor so far has been Kelly Shriver. She likes that Kelly pushes her to do her best and tries to make everything positive! Martina said, “I like how she doesn’t look at herself as an instructor. She also talks to us about our personal lives.” Her favorite class so far has been Student Success Strategies. She liked that the class helped the students open up and get to know one another. It also helped her to realize the habits she has, good and bad, for both school and life.

Eventually, Martina wants to go to school for Nursing. After she graduates, she hopes to work at either Children’s Hospital or in a doctor’s office. Down the road she hopes to have her student loans paid off, have her own place, and happy with whatever job she gets. She just really wants to help people!

To learn more about United’s medical classes and student services, 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!

Lisa Mitchell-Cole – Faculty Highlight

Lisa Mitchell-Cole is an instructor in the Practical Nursing program at United Career Institute Mt. Braddock. She has been an instructor for four years. Before United, Lisa worked on a busy labor and delivery unit for 4.5years and has two years’ experience as a telemetry/step-down nurse. You can now find Lisa teaching theory for Maternity, Anatomy, and Physiology, and Nursing Fundamentals. You will also see her at the clinical sites with students and in the labs teaching nursing skills.Lisa Mitchell-Cole-Student Highlight

Lisa was a non-traditional student, much like many of the students United serves. She worked as a school cafeteria worker for many years before deciding she wanted a career change. She chose to attend Penn State Fayette and major in Nursing. She received her ASN in 2009. In 2017, she decided to go back to Penn State to pursue her BSN. She graduated in May of 2018 and is currently contemplating going back to school for her Master’s degree.

Lisa stated, “When I was working at the hospital, I always loved having students assigned to me because I loved their enthusiasm at witnessing new things. So when I saw that United had an opening for a clinical instructor, I decided to give it a shot and found out that I love it! I love interacting with the students and seeing their excitement when they learn something new. PIHT [now United] has such a great atmosphere of friendliness and closeness between the instructors and the students. I wish that I had the same experience when I was a student nurse!”

When she is not in the classroom or at clinical motivating the students, Lisa is spending time with her grandchildren. Her grandchildren are her pride and joy. Lisa is also a very creative person. You can find her baking and hand designing cookies or making colorful craft items on her days off.

To learn more about United’s Practical Nursing program, click here!

Haley Sance – Student Highlight

Haley Sance chose United Career Institute because she was not interested in going to a large, four-year school. She was interested in the medical field, but wished to start off slowly in order to narrow down her options. She wanted the comfortable, small school environment that United offered.

Haley Sance-Student Highlight

Her favorite part of attending United Career Institute, so far, has been the holiday celebrations.  “They are so much fun and give us time to relax in school.”

Her favorite teacher is Roxanne Seaton.  “She was my first teacher at PIHT so she really helped me get comfortable. She is well educated, so I have a lot of respect for her.”

Haley’s ideal job is to work as a medical assistant in a pediatrician’s office. She feels this career path is the most suitable for her because she enjoys working with children. In five years, she would like to have a new, reliable car and a steady job to begin saving for her dream home.

Haley would refer a friend to United Career Institute because the outcome of the program is worth all of the stress that goes into being a college student. Haley has excelled during her time with United and we are very proud of her.

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

Tillie Lishego – Student Highlight

United Career Institute Irwin would like to introduce one of our medical assisting students, Tillie Lishego! After discussing the different courses with her Admissions Advisor, Lynda Mayes, Tillie knew medical assisting was the program she wanted to pursue. Tillie Lishego-Student HighlightBecause she has never attended a post secondary school before, she was asked why she chose United Career Institute. “It seemed like a school I would like. It is small and personal with a positive environment that seemed like it would support me being able to learn well. I felt it was a place I would be able to thrive in.” Tillie is currently working at a local personal care home while also going to school full time.

Tillie’s favorite class so far has been Anatomy & Physiology 101. To her surprise, she thought it was an interesting course and she enjoyed learning how the body works. When asked who her favorite instructor is, she couldn’t pick one. She said that she never really liked school, but because of United’s instructors and staff, she loves it now! “The fact is, that no matter what the issue is, all of the staff and students are there to help each other. It is like one big family here and you can really just feel at home.”

Tillie is still looking into her post graduation options. She is considering either a doctor’s office or hospital. She wants to research the different positions offered at multiple locations. Later down the road she plans to have a career, not just a job. She hopes to be making more money and wants to get a house of her own. “I want to have a job I am proud of, and United Career is providing me an opportunity to do just that!”

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.

Wendi Rost – Student Highlight

“I wanted to go for Medical Assisting when I was just out of high school. However, I was living with my fiancé at the time and could not afford the class. When I decided to go back and went for coding, I didn’t have faith in my skills or brains to even think I could do the assisting part because of the clinicals. I was and still am terrified of that part. However I thought it’s now or never and if I don’t try, I won’t know.” We would like to introduce Wendi Rost, a medical assisting student attending our Irwin campus.Wendi Rose - Student Highlight

Before enrolling at United in January, Wendi was a stay at home mom. She had previously attended other post secondary schools for Esthetics and Medical Billing and Coding. She had some great experiences, but one thing she did not like about Medical Billing and Coding was that a majority of her classes were online. Wendi chose the United Career Institute because of the Irwin location and its hands-on training. “I’m old school. I like a classroom.”

When asked what her favorite part of going to school at United Career Institute is, Wendi responded by saying, “Oh I absolutely love going to United Career. Currently, we are smaller, but the students are very mature for their ages. I am so happy to be around people who take this seriously and know when to have fun. We are like a family, instructors, and all. We laugh, cry, and learn without pressure.”

Wendi’s favorite class so far has been Medical Terminology. She feels like she is learning to talk professionally in the medical field. When asked who her favorite instructor is, Wendi replied, “Kelly, Erin, and Arnold are all my favorites so far. I can’t say that there is an absolute favorite. They all have different teaching styles. However they are always there to talk to, or ask for help if you’re not understanding or to give you a pep talk if you’re feeling overwhelmed.”

After graduating from the Medical Assisting program, Wendi has a few different directions in medical field that she may want to pursue. “I have three fields that interest me, and that’s because I like helping people with their problems or watching them succeed.  Dermatology, since my field of esthetics has been a passion. Gynecology because ever since I was young, I always wanted to be a female doctor since, at the time there weren’t many, and I personally prefer a female.  Finally, Bariatric. This is one I like to see the results and hopefully get motivation for myself.”

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

Mallory Strauser – Student Highlight

Mallory Strauser is a Medical Insurance Billing and Coding student at United Career Institute in Fayette County. She works at Shop N Save but knew this work wouldn’t be fulfilling long tern and decided to further her education. Mallory knew that she wanted to be part of a healthcare team, but knew that the clinical aspect of the field was not for her or her “weak stomach”. With having no previous post-secondary school experience, she turned to her family for advice. Her family was more than happy to recommend UCI. Her mother and husband are both successful medical assisting graduates and had nothing but positive things to say about the school, its reputation, and its welcoming atmosphere.Mallory Strauser - Student Highlight

Mallory’s favorite part about attending UCI is the family like atmosphere, the staff’s unwavering commitment to its students, and their willingness to help anyone struggling. Mallory’s favorite instructors are Kelli Workman and Roxanne Seaton. When asked why, she said, “they explain things in a way that makes sense.” Her favorite class so far is Medical Terminology. “It was like learning a different language.”

Mallory hopes that in five years she will be gainfully employed at a pediatrician’s office in a career that she loves and settled in her role so that she can focus on starting a family. When asked if she would refer a friend to United Career Institute her response was simple. “Absolutely, the school is welcoming and I have learned a lot.”

To learn more about United’s Medical Insurance Billing and Coding program, request information here!