Spotlight on a Graduate: Erika Brown

Erika Brown began her educational journey after high school at Cameron University as a Graphic Design/Business major, but being a single mother with 2 kids to support on her own, Brown needed “something steady”. She wanted a career she could be proud of. “I want to set a good example for my kids and be able to provide for them since it’s just me.” Brown appreciated the opportunities that a medical assisting program like the one at Platt College could offer.  Additionally she had the go ahead from her mother who attended the pharmacy tech program at Platt many years ago and said that Brown would “love it because the staff is awesome and the instructors really care.”

We interviewed Erika about her time at Platt and the experiences she had in this Spotlight on a Graduate:

What makes Platt College special?Erika-Brown---MA-edit

EB: The instructors make it special.  The instructors and staff care and take extra time to help you succeed. Ms. Angie Gibbs and Miss Nadine Balser-Ayers are my favorite instructors because they pushed me even when I didn’t think I could do it.

What have you learned that made a difference to you?

EB: I learned a better understanding of how an office works and how to treat patients.  I learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  You never know what someone might be going through so you need to have compassion.

Tell us about a great experience you had at Platt?

EB: Miss Angie took a group of us to Willow Rehab Center to do injections and there was this patient, she was an older lady. She couldn’t speak and was scared because she wasn’t used to having a lot of people around her.  I was the one who had to calm her down, so that she could get her injection. I was able to do that and she was even happy afterwards. It was a great moment because I was able to talk to her and make her feel less scared.

What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

EB: My greatest challenge was overcoming the fear of failing.  I had to learn to believe in myself and when I did, I shocked myself with A’s and B’s instead of failing!

What do you plan to do after graduation?

EB: I had planned to go right into the LPN program, but I decided to go to work in an office first and get some more experience and then go into the LPN program at Platt next year.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

EB: I see myself graduated from the Practical Nursing program at Platt College, working at an OB/GYN office or Family Practice. I would also like to work as a floater nurse and try different specialties.

What advice would you give incoming students?

EB: Don’t Quit! We all have our struggles and doubts, but just keep going. The first 3 months is the hardest, but when you get to the end, you will be so proud and there are people there to help you along the way.  There are so many opportunities I have now! I am so glad that I made the choice to come to Platt and become a Medical Assistant.

Since completing the Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy program, Brown has gone on to take her certification tests and is now a Registered Medical Assistant and Registered Phlebotomist. She was offered a position at East Lawton Neighborhood Family Clinic, where she did her clinicals. “I am extremely blessed to have a job and work at a place I love and be able to support my family as well.”

If you’re interested in becoming a Medical Assistant or getting started on your career training in any of the programs we offer at Platt College click here to fill out the contact us form and request information.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – Platt College

Tips for a Healthy and Happy Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year and rightfully so.  We’re celebrating the birth of, not only our nation, but the birth of democracy itself.  And how do we choose to celebrate? With fireworks, family, sunshine and barbecues, of course!

But the holiday can also come with a few potential hazards if you’re not careful. Not to worry; we’ve got some helpful tips to make this Fourth a happy and healthy one!

Bring some earplugs

And no, they’re not to tune out your annoying cousin Larry.  Fireworks can produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range. The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure and for children, the recommendation is 120 decibels. Ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85.  So be sure to grab a pair of earplugs before you head out to enjoy the fireworks.

Apply Sunscreen

To keep your skin from matching the red, in the red, white, and blue of the American flag, you’ll want to apply sunscreen.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology it takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. So you’ll want to put it on before you’re out in the sun. You’ll want to use something with an SPF of 30 or higher, that is water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage. Reapply every couple of hours to prevent sunburn. Follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s tips on How to apply sunscreen and you should be covered.

Stay Hydrated

Being outside in the sun for a picnic or barbeque cookout can make you more susceptible to dehydration and other health risks. Keeping a bottle of water nearby will help to keep you cool and hydrated throughout the day’s festivities. Plus alternating each alcoholic beverage (if you are of age) with a bottle of water, will help to stave off alcohol-induced dehydration.

Practice Safe Barbecuing

So you’re the one who’s manning or woman-ing the grill; then it’s up to you to make sure that you’re practicing safe barbecuing. This means that you’re designating different plates for the raw and cooked meat, you’re marinating food in the refrigerator and not out on the counter, you’re cooking the food thoroughly, you’re not leaving the food out in the sun for more than 2 hours (one if temperatures are really extreme), and you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating your grill.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a happy and healthy Fourth of July!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – Platt College

The Importance of Reading Food Labels

Have you ever noticed the “cage-free” label on a carton of eggs and wondered about the meaning behind such a label? Students in the nursing nutrition class at Platt College OKC North were asked this question by nutrition expert, Jessica Cox at Natural Grocers and the answers may not have been exactly what you think.

While most people are taught to look at calories and fat on food labels, Jessica introduced them to some more important items to look for on the food label. “Most nutrition classes focus too much on numbers and not enough on quality,” said Ms. Cox. Jessica mentioned important information about clever marketing terms that really don’t mean much about the food, but make you believe it must be better.

The first one Jessica mentioned was, “All Natural”.  It’s a clever marketing term that has nothing to do with how the animal was raised. Natural on a food package means minimally processed, which is a loose definition in itself.

Why should you care how an animal was raised? Because you don’t just eat the animal product, you also eat what the animal ate. For example, consider the class of food additives known as growth promoters. There are four common growth promoters used to fatten animals up.   This gets them to market faster and allows more production of meat and milk. The four common growth promoters our students learned about are:

  • Antibiotics
  • Asthma Medication
  • Growth Hormones
  • Arsenic based growth promoters

Antibiotics are put into the animal feed and water in order to make the animal grow faster. 70% of all antibiotics sold in the USA go to agriculture.  This practice has created an abundance of antibiotic resistant bacteria. There is currently research going on around the country linking bacteria from meat in the grocery store to antibiotic resistant bacteria found in infections of patients in hospitals. Cox recommended getting clean sources of meat, raised without growth promoters like antibiotics, for better immunity and overall health.

If you are looking to improve your health by reading food labels, I recommend beginning with the ingredients part of the label and focusing less on the numbers. Here are some key bullet points to help you choose wisely according to the list of ingredients:

  • It should be short – the fewer ingredients the better
  • Sugar should be at the bottom of the list, if there at all
  • If you can’t pronounce it or if it looks like some weird chemical, it probably is, skip it.
  • Purchase USDA organic and Non-GMO verified whenever possible
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners

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Dr. April Morford has been an adjunct instructor at Platt OKC North for the past six years. She loves educating the students on “real nutrition”, so that they can enhance their lives, their family’s lives and their patient’s lives through healthy eating.

Natural Grocers can be found all across the country and are a great resource for nutritional information. They have learning kitchens in every store because they believe that knowledge is power. They staff nutritional health coaches for you to have free health sessions and classes to learn more. They take pride in purchasing the cleanest products possible, which makes finding healthy products much easier. Find a store near you at www.naturalgrocers.com.

Our students were talking about this class trip for weeks. Natural Grocers and Jessica Cox gave them a gift of a free Vitamin Bible and delicious Grass-Fed yogurt. It was truly a wonderful, eye-opening experience for everyone.

Written by: Dr. April Morford, Instructor – Platt College OKC North

Study Techniques That Compliment Your Learning Style

shutterstock_217035208_renderedStudy, study, study. Do you find yourself studying excessively, but your grades aren’t reflecting all the effort you’re putting in? Then maybe you aren’t studying in ways that compliment your learning style. Contrary to popular opinion, textbooks and lectures might not be the only way to prepare yourself for an exam.

What is a learning style and how does it effect me?

Learning style has to do with the different ways that people bring in and absorb new information. Knowing your learning style can help you use your strengths when studying.

Ever wondered why you do well in some classes and not in others? This may depend on your learning style. Whether taking a regular class or studying for a major exam you can greatly increase your productivity by tailoring your study habits to compliment your particular learning style.

You might be a Visual Learner if…

If you never forget a face, but have trouble remembering people’s names then you might be a Visual Learner. If you’d rather watch the movie than read the book, you might be a visual learner. Visual learners process information best when it’s presented to them visually.

Study tips for Visual Learners:shutterstock_280433198_rendered

Take detailed notes

Whether you are sitting in class or reading a text book, make sure to take lots of notes. By taking copious amounts of detailed notes you give yourself the ability to review what was covered later at your own pace, and the act of note-taking itself contributes to your absorption of the material.

Watch a video on the topic

Like I said before, if you’d rather watch the movie, then maybe you should. Now this doesn’t mean go watch the new Star Wars movie instead of studying. It means finding videos online that cover what you are studying. Whether you Google a short clip to answer a particular question or you use an online learning resource like Khan Academy, you will find videos to be strong study aids. Note: Make sure your videos come from reputable sources.

Use Flashcards

Flash cards will help you learn the subject using repetition to ensure you retain the knowledge. There are many apps available if you don’t feel like making your own flash cards. Apps such as Chegg Flashcards and Studyblue allow you to keep score and track your stats so that you know what areas you need to focus on.

 You might be an Auditory Learner if…

If you find you enjoy humming aloud or talking to yourself, you might be an Auditory Learner. If you remember words to songs and notice sound effects in movies, then you might be an Auditory learner. This just means that you study best by listening. Auditory Learners tend to perform the best in classes that emphasize lectures and class discussions.

Study tips for Auditory Learners:

Record your lecturesshutterstock_272450690_rendered

Recording your lectures allows you to listen to them again when trying to study. There are many apps available.

Verbalize what you’ve learned.

In the same way that visual learners learn from writing notes, auditory learners can solidify their learning by verbalizing what they’ve learned. Put it into your own words, this helps you to truly grasp the subject and remember it longer.

Read aloud

Read aloud whenever possible. After reading a chapter, summarize it out loud.

Use Mnemonic Devices

A mnemonic device is a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something. Using a mnemonic device can make remembering dull or difficult to learn material such as numbers, formulas, dates, terminology, or concepts easier and maybe even a little fun.

Work in Groups

When working in a group you can discuss the subject and better absorb the material. You can also quiz each other.

You might be a Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner if…

If you hate using an owner’s manual when you buy a new gadget or reading the instructions to put together IKEA furniture, then you might be a kinesthetic learner. If you tap your feet to music and can’t sit still in lectures, you might be a kinesthetic learner. This means you comprehend information best through hands-on learning. Kinesthetic learners tend to do better in labs than in lectures.

Study Tips for Kinesthetic Learners:girl typing on laptop with socks

Apply what you’ve learned

If you’re studying from a textbook, you can get frustrated pretty quickly. To combat this frustration and better understand the material you covered, look for practical applications for what you’ve just learned.

Take short study breaks

Rather than forcing yourself to sit and study for long periods, break up your study sessions into 30 minute increments with 5 minute breaks in between to stand up and move around. This can be beneficial to all students, but especially for kinesthetic learners.

Keep your hands busy while studying

Believe it or not, kinesthetic learners study and comprehend information better when their hands are involved. It can be as simple as holding an object, like a stress ball, while studying or typing out your notes.

What to keep in mind

 No matter what your predominant learning style may be, it’s important that you keep in mind that it’s just your predominant, not your only learning style. Most of us are a mix of all three.  Don’t be afraid to try methods from other learning styles as well. The goal is to find what methods work best for you.

 Find Out Your Learning Style

You can find out what your preferred learning style is by taking the assessment found here.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – Ancora Education