Healthcare Career Spotlight: Orthopedic Technicians

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So, what exactly is an orthopedic technician? An orthopedic technician, also known as a certified orthopedic technologist, is an allied healthcare professional who assists physicians and orthopedic surgeons with a variety of tasks in a number of clinical settings. Orthopedic technicians may assist with a wide array of tasks such as rooming patients, helping doctors with minor procedures, and applying and removing casts, splints, sutures, surgical staples and incision dressings.

Orthopedic technicians might also provide assistance to doctors and physicians in the adjustment of patients’ joints and bones. Depending on the workplace setting, they may also be entrusted with providing aftercare education and helping patients learn to properly use specialized braces and orthopedic devices. Meanwhile, the orthopedic technician charts patients’ responses to the devices as well as the education provided.

Employment opportunities for orthopedic technicians can be found in an impressive assortment of workplaces that provide healthcare services. Orthopedic technicians can secure employment in places such as clinics, doctors offices, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care centers, freestanding emergency rooms, multi specialty orthopedic practices, medical supply laboratories, hospitals and post acute physical rehabilitation centers.

Ideally, an orthopedic technician should be able to perform under pressure due to the different demands that come from patients, bosses, doctors, vendors and others on a daily basis. In addition, orthopedic technicians should have some empathy for the painful conditions that their patients might be experiencing. Orthopedic technicians should also be patient, extremely organized, calm and caring.

Individuals who are interested in becoming orthopedic technicians need to have earned a high school diploma or GED. The next step is to complete a certified orthopedic technology training program. Many employers also prefer that candidates complete a medical assistant (MA) training program or nursing assistant (CNA) training program in order to learn additional patient care skills that might not be fully covered during the course of orthopedic technology schooling.

REFERENCES

The Doctors Clinic. (2008, October). Orthopedic Technican Sample Job Description. Retrieved May 20, 2019, from http://www.thedoctorsclinic.com/pdfs/jobdescriptions/Orthopedic%20Technician.pdf

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Healthcare Workplace Spotlight: the Importance of Personal Hygiene

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For starters, personal hygiene is defined as the various ways in which an individual provides care to his or her body. Personal hygiene is of the utmost importance for everyone in society, but this rings especially true for those who work in the medical field and healthcare industry. In fact, personal hygiene is so important in the healthcare field that it can mean the difference between life and death.

Why is personal hygiene so important? The human body can be an ideal place for many disease-causing microbes and germs to flourish and multiply. These microbes can result in illness for a person who does not practice good personal hygiene habits. In addition, the microbes can make the other people in the life of the unclean person extremely sick due to the fact that germs that cause disease are spread by way of direct contact.

What are some examples of poor personal hygiene habits for healthcare workers and others? Examples include wearing unwashed clothing and uniforms, not showering or bathing regularly, not brushing one’s own teeth twice per day, not routinely washing one’s hands, and failing to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing. Unclean clothes, bodies, mouths and hands are all able to spread germs and make others ill.

For those who provide direct care to clients and patients, personal hygiene is so crucial that adherence to good cleanliness habits can mean the difference between life and death. For instance, unclean clothing contains dead skin cells and germs. A nurse aide who wears unclean scrubs to her workplace can spread germs to an elderly patient with a compromised immune system. The patient may develop an infection and die.

Certain types of patients and clients are more prone to contracting illness than others. These patients include the elderly, the very young, the unvaccinated, and those with reduced immunity due to acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) or taking medications that suppress the body’s immune response. People with autoimmune diseases and those who have had organ transplantation often take drugs that lower the body’s immunity.

So, what are some examples of good personal hygiene habits that healthcare workers and others should practice? Some examples include taking daily showers or baths, brushing the teeth twice a day, washing the hands after using the toilet and before giving care or handling food items, wearing clothing that has been washed, ensuring one’s hair is clean, and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing.

Good personal hygiene habits reduce microbial counts on a person’s skin and in the oral cavity, thereby minimizing chances of spreading germs that cause disease. Clean clothing does not harbor the germs that are found on unwashed clothes. Also, covering the mouth during a cough or sneeze keeps airborne and droplet germs from getting into the air, thereby preventing others in the immediate area from breathing them in.

Personal hygiene starts with at the individual level. It is up to the individual to do what he possibly can to protect himself, his family, the community, and the public as a whole. Good personal hygiene habits protect individuals, families, communities and the general public by reducing the number of disease-causing germs on peoples’ bodies. Personal hygiene is a health and safety issue. Remember that.

RESOURCES

Australian Government Department of Health. (November 2010). Good Personal Hygiene. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/ publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l~ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l-ch3~ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l-ch3.7

Healthcare Career Spotlight: the Chiropractic Assistant

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A chiropractic assistant, also known as a chiropractic medical assistant, is a multi skilled allied healthcare worker who performs a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to facilitate the routine day to day operations of chiropractic clinics and practices. Chiropractic assistants review patients’ customized treatment plans in order to render care and deliver specific healthcare services.

The primary function of the chiropractic assistant is to assist chiropractors in the provision of care to patients in outpatient healthcare settings such as specialty clinics, pain management practices, and chiropractic doctors’ offices. A chiropractic assistant provides hands-on patient care. In addition, chiropractic assistants complete a number of clerical tasks to ensure smooth functioning of chiropractic practices.

Chiropractic assistants perform clinical duties such as checking patients into the clinic or practice setting, rooming patients, measuring and charting body weight and height, obtaining health histories, and helping patients complete questionnaires and other forms as needed by the chiropractor. They observe patients and promptly report any unusual reactions to treatments and/or changes in patient status to the chiropractor.

In addition to the previously mentioned duties, chiropractic assistants obtain subjective health data including vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate) for the chiropractor’s use in physical examinations and treatment plans. Chiropractic assistants also assist in other hands-on patient care tasks such as physiotherapy treatments, exercises and hot and cold therapies.

Moreover, chiropractic assistants carry out administrative front office tasks such as greeting people at the reception desk, confirming payer sources and medical insurance coverage, scheduling appointments, billing, filing paperwork, answering telephones, checking emails, navigating computer software systems, communicating with supply vendors, and maintaining the cleanly appearance of the waiting area.

The overwhelming majority of chiropractic assistants can be found working in places of employment such as multi specialty practices, chiropractor offices, pain management clinics, and personal injury chiropractic clinics. Chiropractic assistants work alongside chiropractors, x-ray technicians (radiographers), and other types of healthcare providers and allied health professionals.

Ideally, the chiropractic assistant needs to have superb communication skills and the ability to relate to patients from a variety of different backgrounds. They should possess a cordial personality and be knowledgeable about the ethical aspects of their role, including the principles of veracity (truthfulness) and confidentiality (the obligation to keep protected health information private).

In addition, a chiropractic assistant should know how to utilize appropriate body mechanics and have some physical strength due to the continual bending, frequent lifting, occasional twisting, and lengthy periods of time they may spend on their feet during a typical day at the workplace. They are expected to work under minimal supervision, make many decisions independently and be problem solvers.

Safety is fundamental in the role of a chiropractic assistant. They must handle patients with extreme care to prevent and avert avoidable injuries to themselves and the patients to whom they render direct care. Furthermore, chiropractic assistants always need to comply with standard precautions and infection preventative principles to ensure their patients remain safe.

To become a chiropractic assistant, an individual should be a high school graduate or GED recipient. Earning a diploma, certificate or associate degree in medical assisting can add legitimacy to a career as a chiropractic assistant and make the job search much easier. After attaining a diploma or degree in medical assisting, a person should take the extra step of obtaining national certification as a certified medical assistant.

Job market demand for chiropractic assistants is expected to be robust well into the future. Per the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which places chiropractic assistants into the Medical Assistants employment category, the projected job growth rate for this allied healthcare professional role is an estimated 29 percent through the year 2026. This projected growth rate greatly exceeds the average of all other kinds of jobs.

The massive increase in population of the aging Baby Boomer population will continue to fuel the high demand for preventive and holistic healthcare services, which are often provided by chiropractors. Because of these reasons, chiropractors are expected to hire a larger number of chiropractic assistants to complete routinized administrative and clinical duties, enabling chiropractors to attend to more patients.

Legacy Healthcare Careers delivers affordable, quality, judgment-free healthcare job training to students in the Dallas /Fort Worth Metroplex area of Texas. Please call Legacy Healthcare Careers at (682)626-5266 or (682)313-6404 to enroll in one of our healthcare occupational training programs. Call today. Classes start very soon.

Scholastic Spotlight: The Clinical Externship Defined

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So, what exactly is an externship? Well, a clinical externship is an unpaid learning opportunity for students in schools of nursing, nurse aide (CNA) training programs, medical assisting training programs and other types of allied healthcare courses to facilitate full immersion in acquisition of hands-on practical skills in a particular sphere of interest.

Essentially, the clinical externship is the educational phase of most health science training programs that enables pupils to shadow more experienced allied healthcare workers in the specific career pathway that is being pursued. For instance, a nurse aide training program clinical externship would entail students shadowing more experienced nursing assistants as they provide basic patient care duties at a healthcare center.

During the clinical externship, the allied healthcare student works alongside more experienced healthcare workers in a workplace setting in the field or discipline of study. The student provides hands-on care to real clients under the supervision of a clinical instructor and is being evaluated for their performance the entire time. The student jumps in and assists clients with their patient care needs in a hands-on manner.

What can allied healthcare students look forward to during the clinical externship phase of their training? It can really differ depending on the specific type of training program. Each externship has its similarities and differences; however, a few commonalities do exist. The following list contains some potentially useful pearls of wisdom regarding clinical externships to assist in easing the student’s fears of the unknown.

  • The student’s clinical externship site or setting will depend on the training program he or she is enrolled in. For example, a medical assisting trainee might be assigned to a clinic or doctors office, whereas a nurse aide student will most likely be sent to a skilled nursing facility.
  • To make the most of the externship phase and maximize the learning experience, students should ask questions, be as helpful as humanly possible, and offer to provide assistance to the allied healthcare professionals at the clinical site. This is the student’s chance to shine and build a solid reputation in his or her future profession.
  • Students should always be ready to adhere to the predetermined rules of the clinical site. These rules might include standard workplace fare such as dress codes, hours of operation, social media usage policies, meal breaks, standards for professional conduct, proper chains of command, and so forth.
  • The clinical externship provides an amazing chance to learn new skills, as well as the opportunity to blossom both professionally and personally. It would be wise if the student adopts the stance that constructive criticism can pave the way for streamlined opportunities for improvement.
  • Keep in mind that the clinical instructor who supervises students at the clinical externship most likely has a vast amount of enriching experiences from school and work as a foundation to teach. Do not forget to utilize the clinical instructor as an educational resource. After all, they are there to help students acquire practical skills under supervision.
  • Clinical externships usually last anywhere from few days to several weeks depending on the requirements of the training program. In addition, the school’s administrative staff selects the clinical site location due to pre-existing contracts with healthcare facilities in the community where the school is located.
  • Students are usually graded and/or evaluated on their overall performance during their time at the clinical externship. In essence, the clinical externship is the student’s opportunity to thrive, bring positive attention toward oneself, and absorb mountains of new information in a practical manner. In other words, the clinical externship is full of awesome opportunities that should not go to waste.
  • As a general rule of thumb, allied healthcare students who are attending a clinical externship will not be paid for their time because it is a requirement for completion of the school’s training program. Time spent at the clinical externship site should be seen as schooling, not employment.

A clinical externship is a very important aspect of healthcare occupational training programs that students undergo in order to graduate and move on to thriving careers in the medical field. A clinical externship permits students to put multiple skills to use that are absolutely imperative for securing gainful employment in the healthcare field.

Call Legacy Healthcare Careers CNA School at (682)626-5266 to obtain a rewarding career in the healthcare industry as a nursing assistant. The training programs offered by Legacy Healthcare Careers all involve clinical externships at local healthcare centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas.

Healthcare Career Spotlight: the Medical Office Assistant

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A medical office assistant, also known as an administrative medical assistant or front office medical assistant, is a multifaceted allied healthcare professional whose primary function is to ensure that the front office area of physicians’ offices, clinics, medical groups and hospital units runs smoothly. A competent medical office assistant puts an array of soft interpersonal skills and hard procedural skills to use every single workday to get the job done.

Medical office assistants are vital members of the healthcare team because without their varied skill set, many healthcare settings would have difficulty managing day to day operations. In general, the medical office assistant tends to be the very first individual with whom patients, clients vendors and visitors come into contact at most physicians’ offices and clinic settings. Thus, these multi-skilled healthcare workers serve as the front line backbones of many workplace settings.

The allied health occupation of front office medical assisting has expanded greatly over the past few decades. Therefore, the role of the typical medical office assistant has also expanded to keep up with modern times.  Medical office assistants complete tasks such as scheduling patients’ appointments, greeting and checking patients and visitors in, coordinating visits with guests such as pharmaceutical representatives, and contacting vendors to reorder supplies.

Medical office assistants may also be responsible for clerical duties such as computer data entry, conducting phone interviews, verifying clients’ personal health information, obtaining signatures on new patient forms, sending faxes, compiling charts, filing paperwork, scanning documents, maintaining the orderly appearance of the reception area, and ensuring that diagnostic results reach the appropriate healthcare providers.

Depending on the policies of the specific workplace, many medical office assistants also carry out tasks that are either directly or indirectly related to monetary collection. Some of these duties may include gathering information on health insurance payer sources, processing payments in exchange for healthcare services, generating receipts, making patients aware of co-payment and/or coinsurance amounts, scanning documents such as insurance cards, and setting up payment plans.

Since the field of medical assisting entails intensive contact with people, medical office assistants need to be extremely comfortable interacting with a variety of individuals including patients, physicians, coworkers, visitors, families, vendors and others. The role of a medical office assistant necessitates effective communication skills. In addition, medical office assistants must have the ability to quickly establish trust and cooperation with the multitude of people who visit the healthcare setting on a daily basis.

Medical office assistants are employed primarily in workplaces such as clinics, multi-specialty medical group practices, acute care hospital wards, physicians’ offices, and ambulatory surgical centers. After amassing several years of experience, some medical assistants secure employment as medical office assistant instructors at trade schools, community colleges, technical colleges, and private for-profit academies.

Persons with an interest in entering this career pathway must usually have a high school diploma or G.E.D. before completing a training program in medical assisting that results in a postsecondary certificate, diploma or associate of applied science degree. Medical office assistant diploma and certificate programs are typically less than one year long. On the other hand, programs that lead to an associate of applied science degree generally take two years to complete from start to finish.

Medical office assistant career training programs are offered at several different types of postsecondary schools such as technical colleges, community colleges, trade schools, state universities, vocational schools, adult education centers, regional occupational programs and private for-profit academies.

Most employers prefer to hire medical office assistants who possess a professional certification. As a result, a number of entities will certify the medical assistant’s vast fund of knowledge. The National Healthcareer Association, the National Center for Competency Testing and the American Medical Certification Association are three different entities that offer professional certification to medical office assistants.

Furthermore, medical office assistants remain in high demand in many employment markets for the near future. Employment of medical assistants is projected to increase by approximately 29 percent through the year 2026, which happens to be much faster than the average for all occupations. Much of this job growth is driven by grand openings and expansions of doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics and multi-specialty group practices.