Medical Assistants Recognition Week Comes to a Close

Medical Assistants are the heart of healthcare. They are there to provide a comforting presence to their patients, and assist the medical team.  Being a medical assistant is a challenging and rewarding career, but before one can become a Certified Medical Assistant, they must learn the skills necessary to provide their patients with the best care. 

At Platt College we get the opportunity to teach and guide some of the most amazing students. Being that this past week was Medical Assistant Recognition Week, we took the time to talk to some of our Medical Assisting students about their choice of career path.

When asked, Platt students had many different reasons why they chose the Medical Assisting program.  Reasons like Mikayla Rosado, Medical Assisting student at our Lawton campus. “I chose medical assisting because I wanted to help people,” says Rosado. She was a little intimidated by nursing, so she chose to get started as a Medical Assistant, with the option to go back and become a nurse once she feels more comfortable in the field.  Medical Assisting student at our Central Oklahoma City campus, Caroline Villanueva, chose Medical Assisting because it was a desire for her. “I have been in the medical field for 15+ years and I love it,” says Villanueva. “I wanted to expand my career.” MA student David Ortega at our North Oklahoma City campus, chose Medical Assisting because he wanted to “feel proud of [his] job and help people.”

Training to be a medical assistant can be a demanding, but fulfilling endeavor. While there are many reasons that would make someone a great medical assistant. We asked some of our MA students what they would say to someone who’s thinking about a career in the field. Candice Selfridge from our Tulsa campus said that a career in Medical Assisting is “worth it”.  “This program will change your life,” says Selfridge. “It did mine.” MA student, Teresa Reyes, from our Lawton campus feels that if someone really likes the healthcare field, then they should “just do it.” In addition, Reyes boasts, “Platt College is a good college to do it at. It’s a good program, but people need to set up priorities if they really want to succeed.”

The Medical Assistants Recognition Week celebrations may have come to an end, but we continue to be extremely proud of all of our students in the Medical Assisting program at each of our Platt College campuses. They’re on-going success will always remain our top priority, as it is for every one of our Platt College students.

Are you interested in becoming a medical assistant? Fill out the form below to request info about the Medical Assisting program at the campus closest to you.

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

Top 5 Reasons You’ll Make a Great Medical Assistant

Careers in healthcare are on the rise, and medical assisting continues to be projected as one of the fastest growing occupations. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career outlook for medical assistants is quite impressive. In fact, it’s projected to have a much faster than average job growth all the way through to the year 2024. From 2014 to 2024, it is expected that medical assistant employment will grow by 23%. As a result of this, you may be asking yourself – would I make a good medical assistant?

There are many traits that contribute to a person being successful as a medical assistant. Take a look at the top five reasons you’ll make a great medical assistant.

You are a Good Listener.

Listening is essential in the healthcare field. During the course of your day, you will need to listen to the needs and concerns of your patients and extract vital information to relay to the medical team. Not only will you be expected to listen to your patients, but you will also need to listen to doctors and nurses. You must be able to take instructions from them for multiple patients at a time and execute those directions properly. This is another vital skill that requires you to be able to listen carefully.

You are Compassionate. 

As a medical assistant, you are going to have patients that are experiencing many different emotions and it is an essential part of your job to be there to comfort and support them.  In some cases, your patients may be in pain or have terminal conditions that require a high level of compassion and empathy.

You Love Helping People.

 There is hardly a greater field, than healthcare for a caring person who loves to help people. As a medical assistant, you have the opportunity to have a positive impact on people every day.  Whether you are taking a patient’s history, performing a blood draw or helping a patient understand their condition, what you do really matters and has an ultimate effect on the patient’s well-being.

You Work Well Under Pressure.

Dealing with patients that have a serious illnesses, or life threatening injuries, is not easy. Being able to maintain your professional demeanor while you are under intense pressure is essential to good patient care.  In addition, working in a busy medical office can get quite hectic.  Being a medical assistant requires someone who is patient, tolerant, and in-control even when under pressure.

You are a Team Player.

 Working in healthcare means being a part of a team that includes doctors, specialists, nurses, administrators, and more. The ability to work well as a team is an integral part of being a medical assistant.  You will need to be able to work with different personalities and different skill levels in an effort to provide your patients with the most comprehensive care. Providers rely heavily upon a strong team of professionals to help everything run smoothly.

Does this sound like you? While you may not possess all of these traits yet, you can get there. If you’re ready to start your healthcare career training, we’re here to help. Check out the Medical Assisting program at Platt College today to find the campus closest to you.

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

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

To Be Your Student

Graduating from a traditional, four-year college, I didn’t have the privilege or experience of learning from the skilled professionals at Arizona Automotive Institute, Platt College, and South Texas Vocational Technical Institute. While I was able to learn many of the same important life lessons you instill upon our students – professionalism, sacrifice, service, leadership, respect and discipline. I cannot help but wonder how great it would have been to be one of your students.

  • To work side-by-side with a master welder bending molten metal
  • To learn medical ethics and patient care from nurses who have experienced the joy of life and sadness of death throughout their career as part of their calling, credo & DNA
  • To sweat under the hood of a tractor trailer or automobile with someone who could tear an engine apart and rebuild it in their sleep
  • To trace the veins of a patient with a Medical Assisting Instructor on route to a perfect stick
  • To replicate a sterile operating environment ensuring the field and formation exceeded the expectation of a seasoned Surgical Technologist
  • To roll egg whites delicately, flip a crepe perfectly, or flambé a dessert elegantly as my chef instructor stood watching with admiration, pride and nervousness
  • To properly learn dosage calculations, effectively administer air management techniques and recite recent revisions to medical record coding
  • To be on the roof of a commercial building identifying faults in an air conditioning unit with an instructor who knew the problem before we took our first step up the ladder
  • To take impressions and fabricate crowns, as a Dental Assisting Instructor stood by as a mentor & cheerleader
  • To mimic the graceful motions of a Professional Massage Therapist as they outlined a flawless Swedish technique
  • To sit completely awestruck in a class where a general education or CAS instructor was able to effectively connect theory to reality, and reality to my career aspirations

While my list of missed educational opportunities is long, as the President & CEO of Ancora Education, I have had made up for it through my many interactions with each of you – our esteemed faculty.

As we close out National Teacher Appreciation Week, I know I am a better person for working with, and learning from, each of you. As a company, we stand in complete admiration of your contribution and commitment to student success. You are the reason our educational model works. You are the reason our students work. Their experience, in your presence, creates life-long opportunity, tangible change, and a better future.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Zawisky

President & CEO

5 Reasons to Celebrate Your Instructors during Teacher Appreciation Week

When you really add up all the time we spend in school, from kindergarten to high school graduation and even on to higher education for a lot of us, it’s evident how important a role teachers really play in our lives. Without teachers, we would have no doctors, nurses, or presidents. We would have no mechanics, engineers, or welders. We wouldn’t even know how to read this very article.

With all things considered, we should show our appreciation for our teachers every day, but since this week happens to be when, we as a nation, observe Teacher Appreciation Week, here are five reasons to celebrate your instructors:

  1. Their Inspiration –

Your instructors possess an immeasurable amount of knowledge and understanding of their field, and they have chosen to share their passion and knowledge with you, as their students.

  1. Their Dedication –

As instructors they have chosen to dedicate their lives to helping their students have a successful future. They give of themselves, day-in and day-out to help you along your educational journey.

  1. Their Support –

When you’re having a hard time understanding a concept or struggling with preparing for a test, your instructors are there to offer you their support. They want to see you succeed and will go out of their way to make sure you have the support you need.

  1. Their Willingness to Challenge You –

Your instructors are there when you’re struggling, but in the same way that they will support you, they are also willing to challenge you.  It is through these challenges that you learn to grow, both as a student and as a person.

  1. For Believing in You –

Even when you might not have believed in yourself, your instructors believed in you.  Because they believed that you could succeed, you believed that you would succeed.

Share your reasons to celebrate your instructors in the comments!

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

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