Medical Assisting Education and Career Preparation Options

Working inside the healthcare field as a medical assistant has professionals performing a wide range of office and clinical duties. In order to be qualified for positions students need to successfully complete the required level of training. Students that have a desire to enter the medical assisting field can enter several training opportunities.Students that complete programs offered by various vocational colleges have the best professional opportunities. Programs are available at the certificate and associate’s degree level of training. Through these career preparation programs students develop a wide range of skills that are used constantly inside the workplace. When pursuing an education and career students need to be aware of the difference between medical and physician assistants. The reason for this important distinction is that medical assisting is a different profession than physician assisting.*Medical AssistingIn a standard office professionals update and maintain patient files. Administrative duties also include answering phones, scheduling appointments, and filling out insurance forms. Clinical duties include performing laboratory tests such as collecting specimens and sterilizing medical instruments. Professionals also explain procedures to patients, record vital signs, and remove stitches.*Physician AssistingThe main responsibilities of a physician assistant is to work with doctors on examining, diagnosing, and treating patients. Under supervision they record medical histories, perform laboratory tests, and prescribe certain medications.Students that want to step inside career positions as medical assistants need to research programs to ensure they enter the correct training. Certificate programs are a great starting point for students that want to enter the industry quickly. Programs last one year and focus on just the material needed to become a successful assistant. Programs will explore different subjects that teach students how to conduct laboratory tasks, run computer applications, and maintain clerical duties. Courses give an equal amount of time to both clerical and clinical duties. Medical terminology, medical documentation, insurance billing, laboratory procedure, and anatomy are some courses completed. Further education can be completed inside other certification programs, which prepare students to work in specific areas such as optometry and radiology.Academic studies in biology, English, and other general coursework compliments the medical training needed to be successful inside associate degree programs. Students will study all the practices that make up today’s industry. Aseptic techniques, examination procedures, and transcription practices are all explored through coursework. Students typically work through clinical courses, which may take the form of internships. Inside these types of courses students work inside medical offices practicing the skills they obtained inside schooling. Health care law, medical coding, office administration software, and physiology are all course topics explored in depth when completing a training program. Once coursework is completed students are prepared to gain certification.Being certified, although not required, is extremely beneficial inside the professional workplace. It distinguishes students and gives them the opportunity to advance and obtain higher salaries.Students can work towards entering careers by enrolling in accredited medial assistant colleges that offer programs that match their schooling needs. Full accreditation is provided to quality programs by agencies like the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ( http://www.acics.org/ ). Begin training and become a professional in two years or less.DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised on our website.Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP, LLC.

We Need a Global Consortium For Brain Fitness and Training Innovation

The World Economic Forum asked me to write “an 800 words summary of your most compelling actionable idea on the challenges of aging and gerontology”, in preparation for the Inaugural Summit of the Global Agenda taking place November 7 to 9th in Dubai.Here you have my proposal to create a Global Consortium for Brain Fitness and Training Innovation and help ensure that “No Brain is Left Behind”:I. The Context- Growing Demands on Our Brains: Picture 6.7 billion Primitive Brains inhabiting a Knowledge Society where lifelong learning and mastering constant change in complex environments are critical for productive work, health and personal fulfillment.Welcome to Planet Earth, 2008.- Further stretched by increased longevity: Now picture close to 1 billion of those brains over the age of 60 – and please remember that, less than 100 years ago, life expectancy was between 30 to 40 years. The rapidly evolving Knowledge Society is placing new and enormous demands on our “primitive” human brains. And the longer our lifespans, the more obvious the “cognitive gap”. Hence, from a health point of view, the growing prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease and its precursor Mild Cognitive Impairment. And, from a workplace point of view, the perception that older workers can’t learn new tricks, and are to be substituted by younger employees as soon as practical.- Significance of lifelong neuroplasticity: The good news is that substantive brain research is showing how our brains retain lifelong neuroplasticity (the ability of our brains to rewire themselves responding to experience), how they can physically be strengthened -via the Cognitive/ Brain Reserve- and its functions enhanced, opening the way to slow-down if not reverse the cognitive decline that often comes with age. Use it and Improve It may be more accurate than Use It or Lose It, and help close the growing cognitive gap. Humans can become the gardeners of our own brains by focusing on four pillars: a balanced diet, cardiovascular physical exercise, stress management and brain exercise that incorporates well-directed novelty, variety and challenge.- Cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology are ready to step up: a growing number of research-based frameworks and applications present clear mainstream opportunities, yet they are often misunderstood, since they are presented in fragmentary and confusing ways. Think about the potential for having an annual “mental check-up” that helps set up a baseline and identify appropriate interventions. Think about being able to pinpoint specific needs and enhance, in non-invasive ways, specific neurocognitive functions, such as visual and auditory processing speed, working memory, executive functions, emotional self-regulation, attention.II. The Problem- We need bridges: There seems to be multiple areas of disconnect between gerontology, preventive healthcare overall, cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology. Innovative and collaborative partnerships will be required to transform the growing amount of mainstream interest and research findings into a rational, interdisciplinary, and sustainable approach to neurocognitive fitness.- Growing confusion among consumers and professionals: there are no “magic pills” or “general solutions”, but very useful tools when used appropriately. Better assessments, taxonomies and integrated research efforts are required for the field to mature. Some brain functions tend to improve as we age, whereas some tend to decline. For example, as executives tackle many difficult situations over time, we grow an “intuition” (or crystallized pattern-recognition) for best approaches. As long as the environment does not change too rapidly, we can continue to accumulate wisdom. But some areas of mental functioning typically decline. We usually see this in areas that test our capacity to learn and adapt to new environments, such as effortful problem-solving in novel situations, processing speed, working memory, and attention. Research has shown that all these areas can be enhanced in older brains. But the priorities are not the same for all individuals, or for all objectives (safer driving, preventing Alzheimer’s symptoms, improving memory…) In summary, the field holds much promise, but the picture is complicated.III. The Opportunity- A Global Consortium for Brain Fitness and Training Innovation composed of 100 leading universities, policy-makers, healthcare/ insurance providers and developers of technology-based neurocognitive assessments and training tools can provide the taxonomy, guidance and structure required to guide applications of cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology in gerontology and geriatrics -and healthcare overall.- A transparent online presence could facilitate the engagement of professionals and the public at large. Especially, yes, of brains over 60.- Outcomes:1) Best practices: to share best practices in preventive brain health education, seniors housing, hospital-based programs, insurance-led initiatives, public policy efforts.2) Standards: to define standards for neurocognitive assessments and training tools,3) Taxonomy: to establish a common taxonomy and language,4) Education: to engage professionals and the public at large in well-informed “brain maintenance”,5) Policy readiness: to anticipate policy implications and improve readiness,6) Research path: to propose a research and applications path.Copyright (c) 2008 SharpBrains

Driver’s Education and Mirrors

Most driving schools spend very little time on teaching proper mirror adjustment as part of their driver’s ed program. And yes, it’s important enough to understand a concept like mirror adjustment that its worth reading a short article like this on the topic.First off, lets talk about “rear view mirror history”. A little known fact is that the use of rear view mirrors in the automobile was ushered in via auto racing in the early 20th century. The rear view mirror was invented by Ray Harroun, who also won the first race at the Indianapolis Speedway in 1911. The real driving force, so to speak, behind the rear view mirror was to eliminate a second person who acted as an observer and the resulting weight reduction became a large benefit in a race.Over history, driver’s education has at best given lip service to mirror adjustment and proper use. Modern driving schools will actually instruct their students how to properly adjust their mirrors. And then once they are properly setup, part of the driver training process is to continually drill students on proper mirror use in conjunction with turning, lane changes, etc.For those experienced drivers, how many of us have started to make a lane change and then realized that there was indeed another car in a blind spot? I know I have – at least prior to being trained to correctly use mirrors at SWERVE Driving School. It is interesting that most drivers were never taught, as part of their driver’s education, that blind spots are not necessary. As a matter of fact, with a small amount of driving lesson instruction, these blind spots can be virtually “tuned-out”.Ok, so here’s the secret to “blind spot free” driving that is taught by some driving schools in 3 simple steps:Get in the driver’s seat, adjust position, etc.
Tilt your head to the left as far as you can and adjust your left mirror to just see a small “sliver” of the side of your car
Tilt your head to the right as far as you can and adjust your right mirror to just see a small “sliver” of the right side of the carThen move your head to the normal, center position and you notice that you cannot see either side of your car anymore. Don’t worry – your mirror wasn’t stolen nor did it decide to run off into the sunset. You will now be able to see cars as they enter and exit around your vehicle leaving virtually no blind spot.As mentioned, modern high quality driving schools teach this as well as many other techniques that have been developed as tools for novice drivers. The sad part is that driver training, in general, has not evolved over time and it is a rare school that actually teaches their students to be great drivers.