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Medical Assisting Career Basics

Medical assistants provide administrative and clinical support to medical professionals in a variety of health care settings. An individual can become a medical assistant in as little as a year after graduating high school through any number of the hundreds of schools offering medical assisting programs. Once the medical assistant education process is completed, there is an equally wide array of career choices for graduates. This guide will give a background to the medical assisting profession, explain how to become a medical assistant, outline college program options, explore job opportunities and show what graduates can expect once working as a medical assistant.

MEDICAL ASSISTING CAREER BASICS

Becoming a medical assistant calls for a combination of formal education and hands-on training, which can be completed in 7.5 months at Sumner College. Those who want to earn certification must have some level of formal education in order to do so. Though certification is not required in order to work as a medical assistant, many students opt for certification in order to look more attractive to potential employers.

MEDICAL ASSISTING CAREER IN-DEPTH

There are two primary tasks for medical assistants. First, they engage in administrative tasks such as filling out insurance forms, processing medical bills, answering the telephone and handling patient scheduling. Second, they assist other health care providers, such as doctors, nurses and physician assistants, in providing medical care to patients. For example, they often take a patient’s weight, blood pressure and other basic vital sign readings at the beginning of an appointment. They also collect fluid samples and tissue specimens for laboratory testing. Depending on the medical office or health care setting, medical assistants may work exclusively in one of these areas or work in both. Generally, the smaller the office, the more likely a medical assistant will take on both roles.

Taylor’s Story | Working as a Medical Assistant While She Advances Her Education

Written by Jake Uitti from Nurse.org

Taylor Brune is many things. To start, perhaps above all else, she is passionate about healthcare. Brune, who recently survived COVID-19, suffers from chronic autoimmune deficiencies, which began from a bite from a tick. As a result, she has had to learn and research much in the medical world so that she is as well equipped as possible to survive her severe afflictions.

On top of all that, Brune is also a Medical Assistant. In this capacity, she works with healthcare providers as a liaison to patients, in administrative capacities and other roles to ensure the facility operates smoothly. Brune, never one to shy away from a challenge, is also a student continuing her education. She is using her experience as a Medical Assistant to help transition to, one day, becoming a doctor. That is her ultimate aim.

We caught up with Brune to ask her about this long professional journey, her fight with COVID-19, her passion for healthcare and much more.

When and why did you decide you wanted to be a Medical Assistant?

The last ten years, I have dealt with my own health issues and my own health journey of developing chronic disease and autoimmune disease after a bite from a tic. So, when I lost my health, I was engulfed in the medical world and I was a patient 24-7 and having to do research for myself and be my own health advocate. In the process of learning how to heal myself, I grew the passion of wanting to help heal others.

While I was going through treatments, I was like, this is my calling. This is where I’m supposed to be. This is why I’m having my health issues and going through this huge life transition and transformation. When that realization happened, I decided to learn about medicine and how to switch my degree over to pre-med and integrative health.

Going into medical assisting school, was the first step in my path.  And I’m going to be a doctor one day no matter how long it takes! No matter what challenges I face, I know that everything I’m going through in my own health is helping me transform into the best person that I can be so that I can be the best doctor for patients. Since I’ve had the perspective of being a patient for so many years, I know exactly what they’re thinking and feeling.

What was the process like for you to become a Medical Assistant?

First, I prayed a lot about it. I knew I wanted to switch my degree to pre-med but, I also wanted to work in the medical field a lot sooner.  Becoming a doctor takes years in pre-med and medical school.

So, I figured the first step to completely immerse myself in the medical field as soon as possible was to complete a medical assistant program and to actually start working in the field that I love so much. Once I graduated from my medical assistant and phlebotomy program I immediately started working in the field. The experience I’ve gained has just confirmed that this is where I’m supposed to be and I love it!

How long did the process take, what type of schooling did you get?

For medical assisting in California , I needed to go to a medical assisting school. I went to a trade school and enrolled into a medical assisting program. Medical assisting programs are more about gaining hands-on experience in an actual doctor’s office.  This is how the program was set up,

The program style was really beneficial to help me to get on-the-job training and also land a great position right after graduation,

At the same time, though, I’ve been going to Arizona State University Online to finish my Bachelor’s degree, which I’ll be finishing in the fall. This fall, I’ll have my Bachelor’s as well as my medical assisting diploma.

As a medical assistant it’s important to be certified. I took a national certification exam and every two years, I complete the required credits and retake the test to keep my certification up to date.

 

How did you land your first job as a Medical Assistant?

It was actually pretty easy for me because I seem to interview really well with medical places. My first job was working at a naturopathic office. Next, I went to primary care and oncology. So, that’s where I’ve been working the last year.

There’s a lot to know for the job and you have a lot of responsibilities – from first-aid to computer work to patient liaison. Do you like having all these aspects to your workday?

I love it! I have gained so much experience including,

Drawing blood is my absolute favorite because I really enjoy direct patient care. But, overall working with different modalities, systems and technologies has taught me so much about the medical field. Each private practice is completely different and the providers are unique in that they offer different specialties and treatments. It’s been fun learning all these different skills.

Your long-term goal is to be a doctor. How did you choose becoming a medical assistant for that aim and how has it helped?

There are a few reasons why I chose medical assisting as my first step towards my goal of becoming a doctor,

  1. I love chronic disease
  2. Being a medical assistant gives me time to focus on my own health
  3. It allows me to work while advancing my education to become a doctor because pre-med takes a while.
  4. I wanted to give a voice to the chronic illness community –  because of my own health and all the experiences I had with doctors pushing me aside. In my experience I feel that a lot of the chronic illness community is not heard. So, I really just want to make a change in how nurses, medical assistants, and all types of healthcare workers are treated. I want to help change how doctors perceive patients who have chronic illness. There are so many amazing, positive things in the medical field. But there is a lot of darkness, too. I really just want to be that light. I really feel like taking that path via doctor, I’d be able to help the patients, give them a voice that they need to feel confident in the healthcare system again – especially with chronically ill patients.

 

The Pulse | Winter 2020 Edition

Winter Newsletter 2020

 

10 Study Tips That Will Make Nursing School Easier

There’s no question that nursing school is challenging. And when you are trying to manage home and work responsibilities on top of your nursing studies, the amount of studying you need to do could seem insurmountable. How on Earth are you supposed to get all of these chapters read, never mind review notes, prepare for the nursing exam and retain all of the vital information that you absolutely must know for a successful career in nursing?

The first step is to take a deep breath. You can do this. Nursing school just takes a little bit of planning, some time management and a few study tips and strategies to help separate the “need to know” from the “nice to know” and improve your information retention.

1. Follow the nursing exam study guide

One of the best ways to focus your nursing studies is to base your learning around the NCLEX test. Reviewing a study guide not only reveals which subject areas the nursing exam focuses on, but also how the test presents questions. Clearly, not everything you need to know as a nurse is contained in the licensing exam, but if you study towards the nursing exam all along, you’ll feel more confident on testing day.

2. Study a little every day

You cannot cram a week’s worth of study into a few hours on the weekend. Commit to spending a little time on your nursing studies every day, even if you have to break it into several smaller increments in order to get it in. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and retain more information.

3. Focus on the material covered in class

Your instructors are going to assign many chapters to read each week, plus outside resources to review. Instead of carefully reading and outlining every single word, take a cue from your class time. What topics does the instructor spend time reviewing? What are the key points covered in class? Focus your attention on these areas.

4. Think in terms of action, not facts

It’s important for nurses to understand why certain conditions occur and what is happening physiologically in a patient. However, the patient is not interested in hearing those facts – he or she just wants to feel better. When you are studying for the nursing exam, ask yourself, “How will I help my patients with this information?” You’ll be a better nurse as well as a better student.

5. Form a study group

Research shows that students who study with peers retain approximately 90% of what they learn, as opposed to just 60% of what they hear in class alone and just 10% of what they read. Not to mention, studying with others helps provide encouragement and moral support. Get together with a few of your fellow nursing students (research shows that groups of three are the most effective) and put your heads together to share study tips and improve your performance.

6. Skim-read first

Nursing school requires a lot of reading, but if you try to retain everything on your first pass, you are just going to be frustrated. Before you read a chapter, skim the material first. Look at headings, subheadings and highlighted terms and review the summaries and questions at the end of the chapter, to determine which information is most important.

7. Use outside sources

There’s nothing that says you can only learn from your text or instructor. Augment your class resources with others; for example, if you are learning about diabetes, review the Mayo Clinic, WebMD and American Diabetes Association websites to learn more. Do this before you read a chapter, as a type of “preview” to your reading. Remember, though, that your textbook and instructor are to be considered the final, correct authority.

8. Know your learning style

Everyone learns differently: some need to see information, some need to hear it, while others learn kinetically. So in effect, everyone needs to discover which study tips work best for them. Know your own style and use it to your advantage. For example, kinetic learners often do best when they write out their notes, as the motion of writing helps them remember.

9. Use downtime as study time

Nursing studies require a certain level of memorization. Create flashcards or notes that will help you review those facts when you are doing other things. For example, tape cards listing vital sign ranges to your bathroom mirror, so you’ll see them when you’re brushing your teeth. Eventually, without even really trying, those numbers will be second nature.

10. Take breaks

If you spend all of your time studying, you are just going to get overwhelmed and probably not retain as much information as you would hope. Be sure to take regular breaks so you do not lose interest or enthusiasm. Sometimes, just a short change of scenery can help recharge your batteries and improve retention.

Successfully completing nursing school is a major commitment, but one that you can easily handle with a plan, some good study tips and the right approach to studying.

Shared from QSTop Universities

 

Check out more nursing study tips:

New Licensing Requirements for All Nurses Changing in January 2021

The Official publication of the Oregon State Board of Nursing, The Sentinel

Download the publication Sentinel_2020_August.

Happy Thanksgiving from Sumner College

What is the Difference Between an RN and a BSN?

When people hear or see the abbreviations RN and BSN, they often think they are the same things, but there is a difference between an RN and a BSN. In fact, they are two very distinct and different things. An individual with a BSN is going to be an RN, but an RN does not necessarily always have a BSN. Sound confusing? Here is a more in-depth description of the differences between an RN and a BSN.

What is an RN?

The letters RN are used to designate the credential of Registered Nurse. A registered nurse is an individual who provides and coordinates patient care, educates the community about health issues, educates patients on healthcare and provides support to patients and their families. Beside every doctor, you will probably find an RN assisting. To become an RN, an individual must complete a formal training program, which consists of coursework, lab studies and clinical rotations.

Once the training has been completed, the student must pass the NCLEX-RN to obtain licensure, which is required in all states. An individual can become an RN in one of these three ways.

What is a BSN?

The BSN, which stands for Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a degree level program in nursing. Unlike the associate’s degree and diploma nursing programs, which can be completed in two years, the BSN requires four years of study. The student completes the same nursing curriculum but also takes general education courses. A graduate of a BSN typically also has more career opportunities available to them than the individual with the associate’s degree or the diploma.

Career Opportunities for RNs with a BSN

There are many career opportunities for RNs who complete the BSN program. Nurse Journal states that many nursing students choose the diploma or associate degree program so they can begin their careers sooner but choose to pursue the BSN later in their careers. Since they already have nursing degrees, they can typically earn the BSN in two years rather than the usual four years. Having a bachelor’s degree allows RNs the chance to pursue specialized areas of nursing and earn higher wages.

Some of specialized areas of nursing can be obtained after a few years of experience working as RNs, and some require some additional training. Here are some career opportunities for RNs with a BSN.

Career Outlook for RNs

RNs are highly in demand and are expected to see a job growth of 15 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The gaining population continues to be in need of qualified healthcare professionals like RNs. As RNs retire, there will also be a need for more RNs. As of May 2017, RNs earned annual wages that ranged from $48,690 to more than $104,100.

While an individual can become an RN through a couple of different paths, RNs with a BSN typically find the best career opportunities and wage potentials. Knowing the difference between an RN and a BSN can help an aspiring RN choose the right program and degree level.

Shared from Best College Reviews

Become Nurse In Oregon + Requirements & Licensing

Content shared from NurseJournal October 2, 2020 | Staff Writer

Oregon has a significant nursing shortage. As a largely rural state, there are many medically underserved areas where demand for nurses is very high. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that in order to attract more high quality nurses to the state, the salaries are above the national average, standing at $80,440, and rising. This makes it a very interesting state to get to work in as a nurse. So how do you become a nurse in Oregon?

ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
Becoming a nurse in Oregon is a three stage process:

STAGE 1. DECIDE WHETHER TO TAKE THE LPN (LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE) OR RN (REGISTERED NURSE) OPTION.

It takes just one year to complete an LPN program, but job prospects and salaries are much lower. Hence, the common choice is to become an RN by either completing a 2 year associate’s degree (ADN) program, or a four year bachelor’s degree (BSN).

STAGE 2. MEET THE PREREQUISITES TO BE ACCEPTED TO THE SCHOOL OF YOUR CHOICE.

For RN programs in particular, you may be expected to complete a number of undergraduate courses in areas such as statistics and liberal arts. Sumner College does not require prerequisite coursework for admission.

STAGE 3. PASS THE RELEVANT NCLEX EXAM.

The NCLEX examination for LPNs is the NCLEX-PN, while the exam for RNs is the NCLEX-RN.

ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
The Oregon State Board of Nursing has described becoming an APRN (advanced practice registered nurse) as a four stage process.

STAGE 1. EARN A GRADUATE DEGREE AT MASTER’S LEVEL (MSN) AS A MINIMUM.

For Nurse Practitioners (NPs), the program must be accredited either by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Additionally, the program must emphasize a certain population focus, with a choice of :

Adult
Acute Care
Family Practice
Geriatric
Neonatal
Nurse Midwife
Pediatrics
Psychiatric/Mental Health
Women’s Health
Additionally, the curriculum must include core courses in pharmacology, physical assessment, differential diagnosis, pathophysiology and clinical management. Finally, it must include 500 supervised clinical hours in that population focus. It is also possible to choose multiple population focus.

For a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist), the program must be accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Additionally, they must meet one of the following specifications:

Graduation took place no more than two years ago; or
Having taken part in 850 practice hours that included teaching, direct care, supervision, consulting and research in relating to the CRNA scope.
For a CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist), the degree must be at least at MSN level and must be accredited by CCNE or ACEN. Graduation must have taken place in the past five years or you must have taken part in 960 practice hours in a CNS role in that same time period.

Those with an NP or CNS certificate can apply for prescriptive privileges if they meet the at least one of the following requirements:

45 contact hours in the past two years in pharmacology.
30 hour pharmacology course and 15 CE (continuous education) hours in pharmacological management.
CNS or NP program that included 45 hours in pharmacology and a full clinical practicum in managing pharmacological needs.
It is also possible to prescribe controlled substances, but only if you already hold prescriptive privileges. You will automatically become registered with the DEA, unless you explicitly decline this.

STAGE 2. BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED AS AN NP, CNS OR CRNA.

The following national certification agencies are recognized by the Board:

• The AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses), which recognizes the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

• The AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP.

• The American College of Nurse-Midwives, which recognizes the Nurse Midwife Nurse Practitioner.

• The ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

• The NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties), which recognizes the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).

• The PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, which recognizes the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute Care and Primary Care.

• The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), which recognizes the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

• The AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, which recognizes the pediatric critical care CNS, the adult critical care CNS and the neonatal critical care CNS.

STAGE 3. APPLY FOR THE APRN CERTIFICATE AS PER YOUR SPECIALIZATION.

As an NP, you must complete the Nurse Practitioner Application, including the prescriptive authority form if you wish to apply for this. You must include relevant documentation and fees.
As a CNS, you must fully complete the CNS application with relevant documentation and fees. Make sure you also include the prescriptive authority form if you wish to apply for it.
As a CRNA, you must complete the CRNA application packet and include relevant documentation and fees.

STAGE 4. RENEW YOUR LICENSE.

Do this every two years from the year of your birth together with your RN license by midnight before you birthday. The Board offers an online verification system where you can check your current status and your application for renewal.

In terms of continuous education (CE), the Board expects you to meet the requirements as set by your national certification boar. Additionally, an NP or CNS with prescriptive privileges must complete at least 100 contact hours, 15 of which are with pharmacological content. If you are a CNS without prescriptive privileges, you must complete 40 CE hours. 50% of all these hours must be “structured,” meaning that they are at advanced level and relate to your specialty.

Oregon State Board of Nursing
Oregon State Board of Nursing
17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97224-7012
Phone: 971-673-0685
Fax: 971-673-0684

10 Study Tips That Will Make Nursing School Easier

There’s no question that nursing school is challenging. And when you are trying to manage home and work responsibilities on top of your nursing studies, the amount of studying you need to do could seem insurmountable. How on Earth are you supposed to get all of these chapters read, never mind review notes, prepare for the nursing exam and retain all of the vital information that you absolutely must know for a successful career in nursing?

The first step is to take a deep breath. You can do this. Nursing school just takes a little bit of planning, some time management and a few study tips and strategies to help separate the “need to know” from the “nice to know” and improve your information retention.

1. Follow the nursing exam study guide

One of the best ways to focus your nursing studies is to base your learning around the NCLEX test. Reviewing a study guide not only reveals which subject areas the nursing exam focuses on, but also how the test presents questions. Clearly, not everything you need to know as a nurse is contained in the licensing exam, but if you study towards the nursing exam all along, you’ll feel more confident on testing day.

2. Study a little every day

You cannot cram a week’s worth of study into a few hours on the weekend. Commit to spending a little time on your nursing studies every day, even if you have to break it into several smaller increments in order to get it in. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and retain more information.

3. Focus on the material covered in class

Your instructors are going to assign many chapters to read each week, plus outside resources to review. Instead of carefully reading and outlining every single word, take a cue from your class time. What topics does the instructor spend time reviewing? What are the key points covered in class? Focus your attention on these areas.

4. Think in terms of action, not facts

It’s important for nurses to understand why certain conditions occur and what is happening physiologically in a patient. However, the patient is not interested in hearing those facts – he or she just wants to feel better. When you are studying for the nursing exam, ask yourself, “How will I help my patients with this information?” You’ll be a better nurse as well as a better student.

5. Form a study group

Research shows that students who study with peers retain approximately 90% of what they learn, as opposed to just 60% of what they hear in class alone and just 10% of what they read. Not to mention, studying with others helps provide encouragement and moral support. Get together with a few of your fellow nursing students (research shows that groups of three are the most effective) and put your heads together to share study tips and improve your performance.

6. Skim-read first

Nursing school requires a lot of reading, but if you try to retain everything on your first pass, you are just going to be frustrated. Before you read a chapter, skim the material first. Look at headings, subheadings and highlighted terms and review the summaries and questions at the end of the chapter, to determine which information is most important.

7. Use outside sources

There’s nothing that says you can only learn from your text or instructor. Augment your class resources with others; for example, if you are learning about diabetes, review the Mayo Clinic, WebMD and American Diabetes Association websites to learn more. Do this before you read a chapter, as a type of “preview” to your reading. Remember, though, that your textbook and instructor are to be considered the final, correct authority.

8. Know your learning style

Everyone learns differently: some need to see information, some need to hear it, while others learn kinetically. So in effect, everyone needs to discover which study tips work best for them. Know your own style and use it to your advantage. For example, kinetic learners often do best when they write out their notes, as the motion of writing helps them remember.

9. Use downtime as study time

Nursing studies require a certain level of memorization. Create flashcards or notes that will help you review those facts when you are doing other things. For example, tape cards listing vital sign ranges to your bathroom mirror, so you’ll see them when you’re brushing your teeth. Eventually, without even really trying, those numbers will be second nature.

10. Take breaks

If you spend all of your time studying, you are just going to get overwhelmed and probably not retain as much information as you would hope. Be sure to take regular breaks so you do not lose interest or enthusiasm. Sometimes, just a short change of scenery can help recharge your batteries and improve retention.

Successfully completing nursing school is a major commitment, but one that you can easily handle with a plan, some good study tips and the right approach to studying.

Shared from QSTop Universities

5 Reasons Why Every Nurse Should Get a BSN

The Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing report recommends that 80% of nurses will earn a bachelor’s degree by the year 2020. Most healthcare facilities agree that nurses should earn a BSN to pave the way for better preventative and inclusive patient care. It can be daunting to think about going back to school, especially if you already have a job and a family. However, earning your BSN is a crucial key to making the most of your nursing career.

Do I need a BSN to be a travel nurse? We’re breaking down travel nursing with an ADN
1. Expanded Opportunities

Nurses with their bachelor’s degree have an advantage over RN’s in that their studies prepare them to practice in different settings and specialties. With a BSN, you can consider jobs such as a Nurse Manager, Nurse Advocate, Informatics, Oncology, and Perioperative nursing. Plus, a BSN is a requirement for master’s programs like APRN and CRNA. If you are wanting to branch out and have more opportunities in your career, it should be on your radar.

2. Earning Potential

It’s no secret that earning a higher degree can dramatically increase your earning potential. Having a BSN will make you eligible to earn specialized certifications for higher-paying jobs, as well as managerial and administrative jobs, which have higher pay rates. According to nursejournal.org, there is a large salary discrepancy between ADN and BSN nurses. At first, you may not notice, but over time the additional education adds up. The starting salary for a registered nurse with a BSN can be similar to a nurse with an ADN.

According to Payscale, RNs earn an annual salary of $68,000 on average, but this nursing salary study found that the annual salary for BSN nurses will continue to grow because of the growing need for BSN-prepared nurses.

3. Having a BSN may be a Requirement in the Future

Some states, such as New York, are requiring that nurses earn their BSN. Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that requires nurses to earn their degree within 10 years of their initial licensure. The “BSN in 10” legislation only applies to those who are seeking initial licensure, so if you already have a nursing license, you are grandfathered in. However, keep in mind this law and others that may soon follow will certainly increase competition for the best jobs. This legislation will set a precedent nationwide, making now a timely place to get started.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the BSN-prepared nurse isn’t the way of the future, but the nurse of today.

Find these stats, and more, on the AACN Fact Sheets.

4. Better Patient Care

Nurses are known for being caring, sensitive and empathetic caregivers – it’s usually why they enter the nursing profession in the first place. However, the research shows that getting your BSN will make you a better nurse by giving you more critical thinking skills, clinical knowledge, and specialized education. The medical landscape is quickly changing with dual diagnoses, complicated disease processes, advanced procedures, and technology. Earning your BSN will help ensure you provide the best care and treatment to every patient, every day.

5. You can Earn your BSN While Working Your Current Job

Many people in other fields don’t go back to school for advanced education because they would have to quit their current job, and they can’t afford to fit it into their schedule. There are many online RN to BSN programs that can fit your schedule and allow you to continue working.

Top Nursing Trends That Will Shape Healthcare

Trend #1: Self-Care for Nurses

Nurses are trained caregivers, yet they sometimes forget about themselves. Self-care is a deliberate activity that we do to provide for our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Lack of self-care can lead to errors, fatigue, and burnout, which comes at a high cost to patients, nurses and the healthcare organization.

2020 Is the year for nurses to make self-care a top priority. As more and more research and data come out about the physical and mental strain of nursing, healthcare leaders around the world are taking initiative to acknowledge and treat self-care as an actual responsibility.

Self-care can look different for every nurse. A self-care plan should be specific, measurable, achievable, action-oriented, and time-sensitive.

Trend #2: Increased Specialization and Career Path Options

Healthcare needs are becoming increasingly complex. As a result, the scope of specializations that nurses are able to practice is widening. A nurse who specializes is in higher demand than the lower ones. As the world continues to grow, and more research and technological advancements come out, nurse career path options become endless.

Trend #3: Traveling Nurses

As time goes on, more parts of the world become alike and nursing has become an increasingly travel-friendly profession. Nurses who enjoy adapting to different work environments and traveling to new places while taking care of people are on the rise. 2020 will bring a steady increase in travel nursing opportunities.

Trend #4: The rise of Telehealth and Chatbot Services

To aid with nurse task automation and easier access to patient care, new telehealth and chatbot technologies have become increasingly more popular.

Telehealth technology allows patients to access their documents and doctors from home, giving them more control of their own health care. Online portals can be filled with test results, prescription refill requests, and appointments. Doctors or nurses can be accessed via virtual appointments, saving both patients and clinicians valuable time.

Similarly, chatbot services have been introduced to give patients more ownership. Patients can schedule appointments, set reminders for medication administration and search for specialists in their area.

Trend #5: Nurses are retiring later

Good for the nursing shortage, bad for limited opportunities mainly to hospital settings. Older nurses tend to stray away from non-hospital environments.

Trend #6: Online nursing education programs will become more popular

Because of the demand for nursing, there is high job security in the profession and a high need for further education. More colleges and universities are providing online education programs, specifically in nursing. An online education provides a way for nurses to obtain a degree while working full-time and provide a way for nurses to access higher education set at their own schedule.

Trend #7: Increasing need for nursing educators

The nursing faculty $20,000-$30,000 pay gap compared to practicing nurses has led to more nurses practicing rather than teaching. Nurses are opting for career paths that promise higher paying salaries in hospitals, corporations and the military. Education programs will need to implement a strategic plan to incentivize nurses to teach the future generation of nurses.

Trend #8: Increasing need for doctoral education programs

With the physician shortage, there is a need for more direct providers. Nurses are entering the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs to fill some of that void and are expected to continue to grow in 2020.

Trend #9: Salaries and benefits will need to increase

Because of the global shortage of nurses, employers want to learn what nurses value and what keeps them satisfied. Salaries and benefits will continue to increase in order for employers to retain employees and attract potential candidates.

Trend #10: Bilingual nurses will be in more demand

Specifically, in the U.S., bilingualism is becoming increasingly valued. More than 350 languages are spoken across the states. Nurses who speak a second language, especially Spanish, are increasingly in demand in 2020.

Trend #11: Males entering the nurse workforce will rise

In 2011 in the U.S., 1 in 10 nurses were men. This was a 660% increase in the total number of men since 1981. With the global shortage of nurses, health care organizations will continue to focus on recruiting men to the field in 2020 and beyond.

Trend #12: Holistic Care will become more popular

As patients become more educated, they become more in charge of their health. This has resulted in a growing demand for nurses who provide holistic services. Educated nurses who are trained in providing care and managing health procedures are an ideal candidate for providing holistic services to patients.

Trend #13: Nurses will need to be technology savvy

Every day new health care technologies enter the market. Nurses are required to adapt to these technologies in order to improve patient care. Technology is introduced to reduce administration time, increase accuracy all keeping clinician satisfaction and the patient experience in mind.

Nurses are expected to use computer technology to document and obtain patient information, and even look up treatment options when necessary. Intuitive workstation on wheels are becoming increasingly more popular.

Trend #14: the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which will be launched in April 2020

The report will provide an overview of the world’s nursing workforce. The report will come loads of telling information such as the number of nurses, types of nurses, education, practice, leadership, work environment, and gender issues. Challenges will be known, and future reports can prove the progress WHO is hoping for.

Trend #15: Value-based care is the new model

The goal of value-based care is to improve health outcomes at a lower cost. The patient experience and what they value is at the forefront. Because of this, facility resources are allocated to the health outcomes delivered by the system. Quality, safety, and patient experience will greatly be taken into consideration while making decisions.

Trend #16: Patients will become more educated

In 2020, now more than ever are patients more educated about their health.

Patients know the importance of a good diet and exercise. They have the world wide web at their fingertips and day in and day out hear from pharmaceutical companies on which medications could work for them.

Nurses are faced with the challenge of being able to take this information and communicate with more educated patients.

Facts and Figures

In 2020, nursing positions will become more attractive and patient experience will play a big role in decision making

Although rewarding, nursing can be a labor-intensive and stressful job with many challenges. It’s going to take the world to come together to address these issues. Being the Year of the Nurse, more light will be shed on common issues being faced by nurses. Many initiatives are already in place to make nursing professions more attractive to qualified nurses.

Similarly, patient satisfaction will also play a role in 2020 decisions. Payment and delivery models are now based on value and not volume in order to benefit the patient. Health care providers are pressured to make decisions around the patient experience in order to maintain their public patient experience scores.

This decade is going to change the landscape of not only nursing but the healthcare industry as a whole.

Shared from Altus

5 Steps To Becoming A Certified Medical Assistant

If you’re service-oriented, flexible and dedicated to patient care, becoming a certified medical assistant may be a good career path for you. You can choose a variety of different training programs to become a medical assistant, such as on-the-job training, online training, on-campus training, or even a medical assistant program that combines all these elements. If you’re interested in finding a certificate program, here are the steps you can take to become a certified medical assistant.

5 Steps to Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant

1. Complete Appropriate Training

2. Apply and Study for the Certification Exam

3. Pass the CMA Exam

4. Ace Your Job Interview

5. Keep Your Momentum

It’s possible to become a medical assistant with simply a high school diploma or GED, plus appropriate on-the-job training – but most employers prefer to hire medical assistants that have already gone through formal training and been certified through an accredited program. In fact, it’s often difficult to find a physician who is willing to hire an untrained and inexperienced medical assistant. Becoming certified also typically ensures that you can expect a higher pay grade – as much as $12,000 higher than a non-certified medical assistant, by some estimates. Going through the certification process is a good signal to employers that you’ve been tested and shown to display the kind of skills and expertise they want for their patients.

Medical Assistant Job Overview

A medical assistant supports physicians, nurses, patients and other members of a health care team. Medical assistants carry out a wide variety of important tasks, some of which are more administrative in nature, while others involve directly working with patients. Some of those administrative duties may include things like answering telephones and scheduling appointments, updating patients’ medical records, submitting insurance requests, and coordinating hospital intake or laboratory tests. In particular, electronic medical records management is becoming a larger component of medical assistant duties.

More clinical duties may include drawing blood or removing sutures, assisting physicians during exams, taking medical histories and helping patients prepare for the examination. In addition, most medical assistants will know how to take vital signs. Many times, a medical assistant may be the first person a patient interacts with inside a medical office – and some medical assistants may also give injections or medications as permitted by state law under the direction of a physician. A certified medical assistant may also assist with prescription preparation or changes and help with some minor outpatient clinical procedures.

Overall, the outlook is positive for medical assistant jobs, as aging baby boomers continue to drive demand for medical assistance. This strain on the physician population means that more opportunities will grow for medical assistants to perform basic clinical and administrative duties. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 160,000 new jobs are forecast to be available to medical assistants across the nation between 2012 and 2022 – an employment growth rate that’s much faster than average. You’ll typically see most medical assistants working in primary care, which is a steadily growing slice of the medical field.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a successful medical office assistant will display the following characteristics: communication skills, ability to work well under pressure, attention to detail, customer service ability, listening skills, knowledge of medical terminology, clerical skills, knowledge of medical treatment and more. In general, someone starting out as a certified medical assistant can expect to earn around $40,000 at the beginning of their career.

5 Steps to Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant

While being certified isn’t always a requirement for medical assistant jobs, it is certainly recommended and preferred. Here are the steps you can take to obtain medical assistant certification.

1. Complete Appropriate Training

Before you can take your certification exam, you must complete training through an accredited program – and choosing the right program for you can be a daunting task. You’ll want to look for a program that has been accredited through either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Going through the medical assistant certification process typically takes around a year or less.

You should give some thought to how you might like your medical career to develop so that you can choose the right kind of medical assistant training. For example, if you eventually want to move into other healthcare fields, you might want to pursue an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree before taking your exam. This helps lay the foundation for future study. But if you want to move quickly into the workforce, you might prefer going for a different kind of certificate program that’s more streamlined. Certificates can be earned through technical or vocational schools or online. There are even hybrid programs that incorporate both classroom and online study.

Carefully consider the types of courses offered as well – while most medical assistants handle a wide variety of tasks, you do have the option with some programs of specializing in a specific area, like administration or patient care. Administrative specialties will include coursework in medical billing issues, insurance, and general customer service, while a patient care field of study will emphasize skills like medical terminology, EKG, anatomy, and phlebotomy. You also have the option of specializing in a particular field, such as ophthalmology, obstetrics, or podiatry.

Most training programs will include some type of hands-on training or externship in order to build clinical experience. If you can handle the workload, you may also consider finding an entry-level position just to help gather clinical experience along the way as you study. Look for opportunities with doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals.

2. Apply and Study for the Certification Exam

Before you take your exam, you need to apply through the appropriate accrediting body. You’ll need to show that you’ve completed appropriate training and have all the proper documentation. During this process, you’ll likely be able to select the date on which you’d like to take your exam. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to study for your certification exam; even with appropriate training, the test is challenging.

But you do have many options for guided test preparation. You can find several exam preparation programs available from a variety of professional organizations – and if it’s helpful, the American Association of Medical Assistants even offers a CMA practice exam you can take to gauge your readiness. These kinds of programs can supplement your previous work and focus your efforts on what’s most important for acing the exam.

3. Pass the CMA Certification Exam

While most states don’t require that you be certified to be employed as a medical assistant, the credential is preferred by most employers. You have several options to choose from in terms of accrediting bodies and the exams they offer. For example, the National Center for Competency Testing offers the National Certified Medical Assistant exam. The Certified Medical Assistants exam, from the American Association of Medical Assistants, is given in January, June, and October every year. Additionally, the National Health career Association offers a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant credential, and the corresponding Certified Medical Administrative Assistant certification.

Whichever test you take, make sure you’re familiar with the testing center you’ll use – especially its test-taking policies, along with what to bring with you and what to expect the day of your exam. Generally, you’ll receive an initial pass/fail notice as soon as you submit your exam, with your official results following by mail within three to four weeks.

4. Ace Your Job Interview

Once you have your certification, you’re well-positioned to ace an interview with a physician’s office and get to work. Make sure to carefully research the facility and team you’re interviewing with, and practice answers to questions that showcase your skills, what you know about the medical practice, and how well you’ll fit into the team’s culture. Also, make sure to come armed with your own questions that show your interest in both the practice as a whole and the specific position.

5. Keep Your Momentum

Don’t let getting your first medical assistant job be the punctuation mark on your career; once you’ve taken this step, make sure you look for opportunities to take your career even further. For example, you may eventually decide to go back to school in order to enhance your career options. If you earn an associate degree initially, you may decide to go back for a bachelor’s degree. Or you can also choose to expand your options as a medical assistant by becoming additionally certified in a variety of areas, like office programs, medications, phlebotomy or others.

Medical Equipment Needed as a Medical Assistant

Certified medical assistants are called upon to successfully operate a wide variety of medical equipment in the course of their day-to-day duties. For example, a medical assistant in a primary care or other clinical setting may use any of the following:

Thermometer
Exam lights
Electrocardiogram machine
Scale
Hemoglobin machine
Autoclave
Computer
Ultrasound machine
Stethoscope
Sphygmomanometer
Ophthalmoscope
Syringes
Biohazard Sharps Containers
Glucometers
Otoscopes
Penlights
Ear scopes
Surgical instruments like forceps, scalpels, etc.

Ultimately, the types of medical tools a certified medical assistant will need to use will depend on the type of office setting and the office equipment favored by the health care staff. Some pieces of equipment, like EKG machines, computers, X-ray equipment, and scales will be supplied by the employer, while other, more personal pieces of equipment, like a stethoscope, penlights, etc. may need to be purchased independently by the medical assistant. In general, the major medical equipment will be supplied by the medical facility, while the smaller tools of the trade that a medical assistant might carry throughout the day may need to be purchased independently by the specific medical assistant.

In addition, clinical medical assistants will need to be well-versed in infection control – most medical offices use standardized sterilization products like Hibiclens or Cavicide to ensure that their clinical areas remain pathogen-free for the safety of both patients and the medical team. It’s likely that once hired by a particular medical practice, you will receive any appropriate training on that medical team’s specific equipment.

Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant

If you’re interested in becoming a certified medical assistant, your choice is a good one – medical assistant jobs are some of the most appealing in the healthcare industry, and good medical assistants are in high demand. Medical assistants are vital and valued members of the health care community. A position as a certified medical assistant can offer solid pay and benefits, job security and continued employment potential. While not required in most states, certification is strongly recommended within the healthcare industry.

Overall, the process for becoming certified is reasonably attainable, especially when compared with its benefits. If you decide to pursue medical assistant certification, follow the steps listed here, and you’ll be well on your way to success in one of the most rewarding and promising career paths within the medical industry.

Content shared from USA Medical and Surgical Supply

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