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!

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!

 

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!

The Value of Externships

The Value of Externships

A key component of all United Career Institute medical programs is an externship with local employers. It provides a real world aspect to the program and gives students valuable hands-on experience that enhances the skills they learn in the classroom. Externships also provide students a great opportunity to network with other healthcare professionals in their chosen field and get a good idea of the culture of a given employer. Whether it is a 2 week externship in the Phlebotomy program, or a 12 week externship in the Medical Assisting program, we encourage our students to look at their time during externships at a job interview of sorts. Often times, employers use this time as an opportunity to evaluate both clinical and soft skills and how a potential employee may fit in with the company long term.

While UCI students are on their externship, they obtain career-focused experience such as checking vital signs, point of care testing, specimen collection, phlebotomy, and sterilization procedures.

These valuable externships would not be possible without the support of local employers. United Career Institute Irwin is so thankful that our local employers like Excela Health, Allegheny Health Network, UPMC, and Premier Medical Associates have provided the opportunities for our students to complete this on the job training.