MK Education is proud to announce this month’s “Instructor Spotlight,” Helen DeWitt. She is a passionate, dynamic veterinary technician who has been teaching the veterinary assistant training program at the College of Lake County with us for over two years. Helen has received positive feedback from her students, who enjoy her enthusiasm and are grateful for the earnest care she has for the success of each of her students. I was able to get the opportunity to ask Helen some questions about her work and experiences.
MK: So Helen, what made you want to become a veterinary technician?
H: For as long as I (and family members) can remember, I was attracted to animals. I loved being around them and helping anything that was injured, scared or in need of a home. So, it seemed like a natural progression once I got into school to follow a science curriculum. I originally thought I wanted to be a veterinarian, but about the time I was graduating from high school a new veterinary career was starting. That was the study of veterinary technology. Once I found out about this aspect, I never looked back. The technical side of veterinary medicine was what really interested me. I started working at an animal hospital when I was a sophomore in high school on Saturdays and filled in during the week on summer break. I continued working for animal hospitals until I went away to tech school in Colorado. I graduated from Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs Colorado with my degree in veterinary technology in 1979. I have worked for 2 small animal hospitals during that time. In 1993 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree while still working full time. I was attracted to teaching due to my years of experience and desire to share this wonderful profession with others who want to make veterinary medicine a career.
MK: What do you enjoy most about teaching for MK Education?
H: The freedom to mold and expand the program to make it the most beneficial for the students. And wonderful the support I get from the MK staff.
MK: What do the students enjoy most about taking the class?
H: They enjoy the learning environment. They enjoy the learning environment. They like being able to see and experience things that they never realized were taking place in a veterinary practice, learning about externships, the hands on work, the challenging material, useful information and working with animals!
MK: Can you tell me any hobbies/fun facts about you?
H: I enjoy bird-watching and bicycling, I especially like to combine the two. There's nothing like going for a long bike ride and just enjoying the day, nature, and all the beautiful birds. Gardening is also a great way to forget about everything while attempting to make my property attractive to wildlife.
Another passion I have is traveling. I love to go on nature based trips and learn about that specific area's enviornment. I spent a week in Denali National Park in Alaska doing different nature based activities each day. I have even traveled to the arctic, just for the weekend, to photgraph polar bears! That was an awesome, once in a lifetime trip!
For those that enjoy being around animals and have a drive to make a difference, a career as a Veterinary Assistant may be just for you! Estrella Mountain Community College has partnered with MK Education to offer Veterinary Assistant Training. Local veterinary offices throughout the Phoenix area have partnered with the program to offer students hands on training for their externship.
For the first time in Fall 2013, three students have completed their externship at Wild Life World Zoo and Aquarium! Kristy Morcom, Animal Trainer and Media Specialist said, “Here at the Wild Life World Zoo and Aquarium we welcome students who want a career working with exotic wildlife. Being so, two of our interns from the Estrella Veterinary Assistant Training Program are being considered for employment. We are so pleased with our interns and hope to continue having them at our zoo!”
The program taught by Vicki Wakelee, CVT offers students entry level work and experience in the veterinary field. Sarah Williams, Client Manager at MK Education stated, “Many of our graduates continue their education and go on to become Vet Technicians after they realize their love for the veterinary field”.
This short-term and fast-tracked allied health care training program will be offered again for the upcoming Spring 2014 semester. For information on the program which starts in February attend the information session at Estrella Mountain Community College on Tuesday, January 14th at 6:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you at the information session!
MK Education partners with other local colleges nationwide that offer the Veterinarian Assistant Training program too. Please contact us at 630-541-3600 to see if this program is being offered near you. Or you may visit our website www.mkedu.org to view our Spring 2014 program list.
*Pictured Above: Sierra Nolan, Vet Assistant Student
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20 million people in the United States suffer from some form of chronic kidney disease. Throughout the country more than 506,000 people have kidney failure and require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Given this epidemic, it is imperative that we have trained hemodialysis nurses who are knowledgeable, well-trained and patient-centered. A big component of better care is efficient and accurate diagnosis and coding all of these procedures. With the new healthcare regulation requiring ICD-10 in 2014, healthcare facilities need trained staff members who understand the new coding system so it can be used efficiently.
MK Education is excited to partner with Brandman University’s School of Extended Education to offer a Hemodialysis Nurse training program, ICD-10 Skill Upgrade and ICD-10 3M CRS Simulation program. MK Education works with employers to identify demand and then tailors student programs to meet those needs and ensure employment for their graduates. With Brandman’s outstanding SIM lab and advanced technologies and MK’s talented and dedicated staff, students have the opportunity to create a life of possibilities. At MK we implore you to find a career path in healthcare that best suites you!
For more information about Brandman University’s School of Extended Education’s health, wellness and science programs, please visit the website at www.brandman.edu/exed. If you’d like to speak to an advisor about the Hemodialysis Nurse program or ICD-10 courses, please call (630) 541-3600!
Dr. Mayur Shah and Dr. Priti Shah, of MK Education, donated $500 to support scholarships at Midwestern's University, College of Pharmacy. This is a step in the right direction to help students pursue their dreams and the commitment by MK Education to continue to enhnace educational training to the students.We at MK Education strive to help the students in whatever ways we can and we are going to continue in our initiatives.
This might come as a surprise; there are plenty of job openings across the county. The catch? You need sufficient training to even be considered qualified for those positions. Positions in healthcare often require licensing, certification, even degrees. And gaining these credentials can be expensive. I constantly hear from friends and people in the community how difficult it is to pay for a program when they are unemployed or underemployed.
What they don’t know is that there is a list of programs that the government supplies money for through a program called WIA (workforce investment act)!If you are low income or displaced from work, you may be eligible for some of these funds.
First, you must to find your local office and make an appointment with a representative from your area. Use this website to locate an office near you. http://www.servicelocator.org/program_search.asp?prgcat=1&officeType_1=0
They will assist you in picking a training program and ensure you have the ability to complete that program. You may be required to take placement exams before taking a course, but don’t let that intimidate you! This is your chance to take advantage of a program that can change your life and start you on a new career.
Once you have completed a healthcare training program, take advantage of the other services the college has to offer. Career Services will help review your resume and practice your interviewing skills. These services are priceless, so use them!
MK Education offers many WIA approved programs in colleges across the country. Check out our website at mkedu.org to see what programs are available in your area, and then give us a call to get started!
Inside MK Education...
Here at MK Education I get to work with all our different departments, in addition, I also get to work with our pharmacy student interns. Midwestern University interns come every 8-10 weeks. When I started in 2005, I was excited to know that in addition to offering great training programs, we also work with universities and offer our company as a location for student rotations and internships, so in essence, we practice what we preach.
As a preceptor, MK, our pharmacy interns have a list of objectives, similar to the list we send with our externship students to their respective externship sites, whether it be a Veterinary Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, or Medical Billing and Coding student.
Recently I started to ask our interns about their experience with us here at MK Education. The coolest part is they always find something different that engages their interest. I will start showcasing our students as they end their time with us and ask them... what was it like?
Check out the first entry from one of our students, Jalpa Thakkar, below!
Diary of a Pharmacy Intern...
4th year Pharmacy Student
It was left up to me to pick a topic for a lecture handout and presentation. So, I thought for a while and was like, I need to brush up on my over-the-counter (OTC) products and decided it would be interesting to do my project on this topic. As I started doing my research, it was a lot more than I expected. This is such a broad topic! I even had to include vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplementation. I didn’t know when to stop researching and including information, but yet I wanted to keep it as informational as possible for my audience, the pharmacy technician students. My lecture handout was about 20 pages, but do not be scared it included a lot of tables and charts (that is the way I learn). After the handout was complete, the bigger challenge for me lay ahead, how was I going to condense all of this information, yet keep it informative, include all of it into a powerpoint presentation, and keep it interesting and engaging for the students. It took a lot of work, several pairs of eyes, and multiple revision drafts to get my presentation to perfection. That was the tedious and difficult part of this project, but now came the scariest part for me!
I had to practice my lecture and perfect it before I stood up in front of a class of 24-27 pharmacy technician students. The day finally arrived and I can recall all the minutes and seconds before my time had come to present. I was so nervous! I was starting to sweat, mostly because I knew how long the presentation would be (about 1 hour). I arrived to the class location a half hour earlier to set up my props and get all the technology aspects of my presentation sorted out. I got everything organized and was just waiting on the course instructor to start class. I was waiting for about 10 minutes and all the students were in class just staring at me, wondering who I was and why I was there. Then without further panicking, I decided the course professor may be running late and I needed to keep my composure and begin class. As class began, it started to get more interactive and interesting. I just kept telling myself, “YES! I can do this!” It was definitely not as bad as I thought. I guess getting nervous and having butterflies in the beginning is common, but the lecture turned out great! I had props, the class seemed engaged, and many students were asking questions. I left time at the end of the lecture to answer any questions the students may have had about the presentation, personal questions about my pharmacy school experience, and/or about my experiences as a pharmacy technician/intern. I really enjoyed the opportunity and am looking forward to my next presentation in a few days.
As children, we are taught that an apple a day will keep the Dentist away. So what do we do? We eat tons of apples so we don’t ever have to see the man in the white coat with drills! Then we grow up and realize that having a nice smile is one of the best things you could ever hope for. The Dental Assistant is the Dentist’s partner in crime during your check-ups. What exactly does a Dental Assistant do and how can you turn your childhood fear into a prosperous career?
Dental Assistants are the happy faces that perform a variety of patient care, office and lab duties. Other duties include the sterilization and disinfecting of instruments required to treat each patient as well as obtaining a patient’s dental records. They are the gatekeepers to your perfect smile because they have to first make you smile and feel comfortable with their extraordinary people skills. If you’re not relaxed, how can you lower your guard to get a proper cleaning? Being comfortable in the hands of your healthcare provider is the difference between a successful visit and a terrible one.
Interested? Where can you get trained as a Dental Assistant? How can taking this first step propel you into an exciting and rewarding career? Many community colleges offer short term training courses that give you the necessary tools to be a viable candidate to work at a Dental office. Not only will this be a great career, but it can also be a great stepping stone for someone who is interested in taking it a step further and becoming a Dental Hygienist or Dentist. MK Education partners with several colleges across the nation to help bring more smiles to everyone! If you are interested, take this opportunity to learn more about becoming a Dental Assistant. Do you think you have what it takes to become a Dental Assistant? Take a look at the websites provided below and find out! Take that first step towards success!
http://mkedu.org/dentalassistant.html - Dental Assistant Program
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos163.htm - Bureau of Labor Statistics (great overview) overview
http://www.dentalassistant.org/ - American Dental Assistant Association
http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx - Dental Admissions Test
A Pharmacy Student’s Tips |
Your Loved Ones Taking Blood Pressure Medications
A whopping 68 million Americans have high blood pressure*. With so many people being prescribed medications to help lower their blood pressure, chances are you have family members who are too. Because patients don’t always ‘feel’ the effects of their blood pressure medications working, it becomes important for them to remember to take their medications regularly. This is especially true during the holiday season when so many people are on the go. Here are four simple tips you can share with your family to help them take their medication correctly and help keep them safe:
Always try to have your loved ones keep a list of the medications they are currently taking nearby. This will help any doctor who wants to look over their medications to make sure they are being treated effectively and safely.
If your loved one is on many different medications, as is common with those being treated for high blood pressure, they can buy a pillbox that is marked with the days of the week. This helps patients to get more organized and help develop a routine for taking their heart medications.
They should try to fill their medications early to avoid running out. They can ask their local pharmacist how many refills a medication has left, and when it will be ready to fill again.
When traveling, your loved one should take the medications they need with them so they can continue to take them. For longer vacations, they can take an extra weeks supply if possible. They should always have their regular pharmacies number in case they need a prescription transferred to a nearby pharmacy while on vacation.
Remember, these tips are not just for blood pressure medications and can be used for anyone taking long-term drug therapy.
If learning about blood pressure medications makes your heart skip a beat then maybe a career as Cardiographic Technician is right for you.
Visit http://www.mkedu.org/cardiographictechnician.html for more information.
*CDC. Vital signs: prevalence, treatment, and control of hypertension--United States, 1999-2002 and 2005-2008. MMWR. 2011;60(4):103-8.
Midwestern University, Chicago College of Pharmacy
PharmD candidate, Class of 2013
Best Free Smartphone Apps That Can Improve Your Healthcare Game!
Whether you currently work as a healthcare professional, are an aspiring healthcare worker, or just someone with a casual interest in medical knowledge, obtaining information on the fly is a great way to improve your healthcare skills! Both iPhone and Android smartphones provide many free applications (apps) that provide a vast amount of medical information right at your fingertips. Here are a few of my favorite free apps for both platforms that can definitely improve your healthcare game…..
• Medical Dictionary for Android (Developed by Hadi Yazdi): Let’s face it, no matter how much medical training you have, it can be pretty confusing when you hear words like pheochromoblast (A precursor of a pheochromocyte) or abiotrophy (Disordered functioning of an organ or system) thrown around. Thankfully, Medical Dictionary has over 100,000 medical terms at your disposal. It also has offline access, so even if you happen to be in a dead-zone when someone mentions how abarognosis (Lack of ability to estimate the weight of an object one is holding) is causing problems with their workout routine, you can now sympathize accordingly.
• Visual Anatomy Free and Visual Anatomy Lite for Android and iPhone, respectively (Developer by Education Mobile): Suppose it’s my night off, and I decide to watch Season 3 of House. Right about the time when Dr. House mentions that a patient’s torn serratus anterior is causing trouble breathing, I decide I should probably be watching Family Guy instead. That is until I remember my Visual Anatomy app and locate precisely what and where the serratus anterior (muscles that rotate the scapula and elevate the rib cage) is. “Now I understand, Dr. House!” I giddily exclaim. All jokes aside, this app is a useful visual aid for quickly referencing common anatomical features while on the go.
• Micromedex for Android and iPhone (Developer: Thomson Reuters Inc.): As a pharmacy student, this app is one of my favorite free drug reference tools. It has dosing and safety information for brand, generic, over-the-counter (OTC), and herbal medications. I prefer Micromedex over other free drug information applications due to their reputation as being an unbiased source of evidence based medicine. It allows me to make confident treatment decisions from the convenience of my phone. Micromedex can be used by any healthcare professional to find quick, accurate information on most clinically relevant drugs. Other free apps to try that offer similar drug information include Epocrates and Medscape.
*Because there are an abundance of applications available for smartphones, it is important to remember that, as with all knowledge in life, the information is only as credible as the source. So always try to use good judgment and caution when using these apps in the real healthcare world. If you want to find a way to put these apps to good use, then visit http://www.mkedu.org/Programs.html to see what programs are available that can jumpstart your healthcare career!
For those of you already in healthcare, what medical iPhone or Android apps do you find helpful?
When’s the last time that you've taken a good look at the industry that you're in? If you happen to be in the healthcare industry, it’s a good idea to stay ahead of the pack by making sure that you keep up with the latest and greatest changes. For example, doctors attend school for a maximum of 20 years, yet they never stop taking classes and learning because things in their field continue to evolve on a daily basis. If you are working as a Pharmacy Technician, Cardiographic Technician, or even a Phlebotomist, you will need to take continuing education credits to become recertified. Why does this need to happen? Healthcare is an ever-changing field and new methods and ideas are constantly on the horizon.
Every year, healthcare professionals are required to take continuing education courses to keep their minds fresh with the latest technologies and procedures. Although there are many great industries from which you can choose, professions in the healthcare industry will always be in demand. As we see many industries around us fade away due to technology updates, the healthcare industry is here to stay for as long as mankind continues to evolve. We will always need someone to take care of the sick.
With that said, you never want to be caught off guard when it comes to your career, especially if you're just starting off. With the economy the way it is and so many people looking for employment, there’s always someone out there who thinks they’re better, and ready to step into your position, if given the opportunity. So, you always want to stay on top of your game. A lot of the times, taking classes can be done in the evening after you get off of work. This way, it does not interfere with your work schedule. There are also weekend classes that you can take. The main thing is that you stay up to date and current with what's going on in your industry, so that no one gets the opportunity to surpass you.
If you're in one of the professions that's constantly changing, your employer is aware of this, and will be ahead of you as it relates to ensuring that you receive the proper training. Many local community colleges offer healthcare refresher courses that count towards Continuing Education Credits. Some can be a full on course and some can also be one hour webinars and all you’ll need is the presenter’s signature. Take the proactive approach and research your local community colleges and see if there are any relevant courses that pertain to your specific field. MK Education partners with various colleges and offers many programs that qualify as CE credits.
Here's to your success in your future endeavors. Now, go and get your learning on!