Sakya Baker – Student Highlight

Practical Nursing student, Sakya Baker, began her journey with United Career Institute in April 2021. United is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, an important advantage in Sakya’s search for schools. Another reason Sakya chose United was the location. The campus is located on Lincoln Highway in Irwin and is easily accessible from the turnpike and surrounding areas in Westmoreland County.

Before attending United, Sakya was a CNA for 15 years. She always wanted to further her education but did not feel she had the support system. Now she’s got her amazing support system and an 11-year-old daughter cheering her on! Sakya says, “a big part of her support system is the staff members at United Career Institute, who really want to see you succeed.”

United Career Institute prides itself on having supportive instructors with experience working in their respective fields. One of those staff members is nursing instructor Tina Fenyus, who teaches Sakya’s favorite classes. When asked why she said it is because “she is passionate about nursing and genuinely wants you to succeed.”

After graduating, Sakya hopes to work in a long-term care facility as an LPN where she will get to use the knowledge and skills United taught her. When asked where Sakya would like her life to be in five years, she said she would like to follow in the footsteps of her favorite instructor, Tina! Sakya said, “I plan to further my education and eventually become a nursing instructor.” Having a caring and encouraging instructor is a major reason Sakya would recommend United Career Institute to a friend or family member.

If you are interested in learning more about United, request information here!

Excela Health – Externship Highlight

One of the core values of United Career Institute is relationships; “we build meaningful and trusted relationships at the foundation of our culture.” Through these relationships, we provide our students with a well-rounded educational experience that will give them hands-on experience in their field of study.

United accomplishes this through an externship component of the Medical Assisting and Medical Billing/Administration programs. The students’ externship allows them to go into a real-world setting and apply the knowledge and skills they have learned at the campus.

For externships to work, you have great employer partners willing to accept students to apply these skills, and we do not have a shortage of partners at the Irwin campus. One of our partners is Excela Health, and many students have performed their externship at one of the many facilities that they operate. Excela Health brought together three hospitals and other healthcare affiliates to meet the health care needs of those in Westmoreland, northern Fayette, and southern Indiana counties. We are honored to work with; Frick Hospital in Mount PleasantLatrobe Hospital in Latrobe, and Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg. 

Students completing their externship with Excela achieve various clinical experiences, and Excela has been incredibly accommodating when it comes to United Career Institute students. We asked their representatives some key questions to explore why Excela likes to participate in these externship experiences, and they were indeed quick to answer.

When asked, “what value does a United student receive completing an externship with your organization?” Office Manager Nicole Zerone was quick to respond, saying, “We believe hands-on is so important, and we like to provide students support learning hands-on. We have all been there before and love to help students out.” When we asked the question, “What value does your organization receive having a United student complete their externship at your business?” she responded just as quickly, explaining, “It gives us an opportunity to mold someone into a good employee and give them the tools they need to succeed should they be employed by Excela.” United Career Institute could not value the relationship with Excela enough.

When it comes to giving students insight into their futures, we had to conclude with this perspective. “What advice would you give a student entering school in 2021/2022?” Zerone replied, “Take it one day at a time and learn as much as you can. Be attentive to your experiences and take constructive criticism, as all of these things can help you to become a good employee.”

To learn more about United’s externship program or if you are interested in getting the training you need to work at a place like Excela Health, request information here!

4 Tips for Better Time Management

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

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

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

Organize Everything

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

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

Prioritize Tasks


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

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

Plan Ahead

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

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

Create Deadlines

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

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

Join Us In 2021

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

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

A Holiday Message From The Irwin Campus

The holidays are all about appreciating what you have and giving to those who have less. United Career Institute Irwin is encouraging our students and staff to give a little more this year this holiday season. 2020 has been an unpredictable year that has caused us to restructure our personal lives, businesses, and communities. As a United Career Institute family, let’s give back to our communities!

Here are some ways that you can give back to your community.

  • Organize a Food Drive – Pass out fliers with a list of recommended donation items, an “on-your-porch” pick up time, so the donators know when to drop it off, and list the local food bank/shelter where you will be delivering the donations. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to participate with you!
  • Reconnect with an Old Friend – Sometimes, all it takes is a simple “How have you been doing?” to really brighten someone’s day.
  • Show the Fur Babies Love – Donate blankets and towels to a local animal shelter. Or even volunteer to work a shift there! They are always looking for more volunteers.
  • Donate Books – Donate your gently used books to a local library or nursing home. If they are allowing storytime, you could even stay to read one to a group!

Our Irwin campus chose to participate in a “Giving Tree” for the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau. Students and staff are able to choose a card with a child’s requested gift, purchase the necessary items, and drop them off in the donation box. This was brought to us by one of our Medical Assisting students, Wendi Rost. Thank you, Wendi!

Here’s wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!

Irwin Holiday Message

Growth of United’s Practical Nursing Program in Westmoreland County

At United Career Institute, we are committed to providing our local healthcare community with qualified and well-trained medical professionals.

In Westmoreland County, the need for practical nurses has been growing and is expected to continue to grow in the future. Excela Health has dominated the local area but over the last year, there have been multiple additions from other providers in Westmoreland County, which is a huge area for care centers.

Many nurses are retiring and there are not enough new nursing professionals entering the job market to fill the openings, which is also contributing to the growing need for practical nurses locally.

To meet this increasing need for practical nurses in the local healthcare community, we designed our Practical Nursing program to prepare students to excel in the healthcare field. With no other program like ours in Westmoreland County, United is here to make a difference by training qualified practical nursing professionals.

On June 29 of this year, we started our first cohort in our fast-track Practical Nursing program. Our program is direct admission, which means if you meet entrance requirements, you are immediately in the Practical Nursing program and taking nursing classes. Since this program is direct admission, students don’t waste countless years and financial resources taking general education classes.

Our unique practical nursing training program allows students to complete their nursing courses, prepare for the NCLEX-PN* exam, and graduate in only 12 months.

Practical nursing classes at United are designed to give progressive NCLEX-PN* preparation, including lecture, classroom, and clinical aspects. Students get more and more preparation for the NCLEX-PN* exam as the program progresses.

“Clinical rotations and what students focus on in the curriculum really helps them understand what they will be doing once they graduate,” says Arnold Thimons, Campus President at United Career Institute – Irwin. Practical nursing students may complete clinical rotations at local healthcare facilities like Excela Health, Allegheny Health Network, and Hempfield Manor.

For those who want to want to enroll in United’s Practical Nursing program, now is a great time! First, potential students need to request information and meet with one of our admissions advisors. Based on that interview, if it looks like the program is a good fit for the student and the school, they fill out the application and schedule a time to take the TEAS exam. Once a potential student passes the TEAS exam, they are then scheduled for an interview with the nursing director to complete the final steps in the nursing admissions process.

“Our next practical nursing start is projected to be June of 2021, however, there is such a demand for our school, that we are considering adding an additional start at the beginning of the year,” says Arnold. “With no other Practical Nursing program like ours here in Westmoreland County, students are choosing our fast-track, 12-month option, instead of taking two years of general education courses before even starting nursing classes.”

At United, we are working hard to meet the need for additional practical nursing professionals in Westmoreland County. “We will meet a good portion of the need with the classes that we have at one per year, however, if we can provide a second class, we can help fill the void of the nursing shortage in Westmoreland county,” says Arnold.

Practical nurses who graduate from United Career Institute have the opportunity to make a real difference in the local community by having a positive impact on patient care and providing an exceptional patient experience. Students take with them the knowledge, skills, and experience to be a successful practical nurse, but also soft skills like professionalism, employability, and communication.

To anyone who is thinking about enrolling in United’s Practical Nursing program, Arnold says to “just do it. We truly are a small family here with an environment that is very supportive and conducive to learning. There is a lot of instructor-to-student interaction, hands-on training, and student support.”

Do you dream of becoming a nurse? Are you looking for a career that allows you to help people on a daily basis? Do you want to truly make a difference in the lives of others? Then United Career Institute’s Practical Nursing program may be the perfect choice for you!

Learn more about our fast-track, 12-month Practical Nursing program, and request information now to get started today!

 

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

Anna Mascara – Student Highlight

Anna Mascara is one of United Career Institute’s ambitious, young, medical assisting students. She started attending classes at the Irwin campus in May of 2020. She tried taking classes at a local community college before enrolling at United, but said she had a horrible experience when she was there and it just was not a good fit. She became certified in Pharmacy, starting working, and then found United Career Institute.

We asked Anna why she chose to study medical assisting and she told us, “There are so many opportunities for medical assistants out in the health field. I definitely want to progress with my education after the Medical Assisting program, but it’s a great start to a happy future.”

Anna chose United Career Institute because she felt comfortable after meeting all of our staff. She told us, “The staff is wonderful and always so helpful. They genuinely enjoy helping you succeed in your classes. Also, the program moves fast!” She truly loves coming to school every day. Her favorite part about attending United is how friendly everyone is. “Everyone is so nice in the morning. I love coming in and being happy from the start! Makes my day better.”

Anna finds her health-related courses interesting. Her favorites so far have been Medical Terminology and Anatomy and Physiology. She said that all of the instructors she has had so far have been very helpful. Anna appreciates how flexible and understanding they have all been with her.

After Anna graduates from United, she is hoping to work as a medical assistant at Excela Health or possibly continuing her education. She has been considering looking into becoming an X-ray technician. Later down the road, she hopes to be successful at her job and financially stable.

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

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!

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.

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!