Arizona College Donates Blood for American Red Cross

Categories: Allied Health, Career Services, General, Glendale Campus, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Medical Safety, Mesa Campus, Phlebotomy, Uncategorized

Blog4-Donate bloodHave you ever donated blood? Donating blood is a simple thing to do and it makes a significant impact in the lives of others. If you have ever needed surgery, there is a large chance that you have answered the question, “If required, would you be willing to accept a blood transfusion?” Donated blood and blood products processed from donated blood saves lives every day. Donated blood is used for many purposes; including patients who require a blood transfusion during or after surgery, chemotherapy patients during treatment, and for patients living with various medical conditions such as sickle cell disease. Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and 41,000 pints of donated blood are used on a daily basis.

Recently, both of our Arizona College campuses partnered with the American Red Cross, and held successful blood drives at each campus location. The Mesa Campus drive was held on June 24th, and the Glendale campus drive was held on July 1st, 2014.   Students, staff, and faculty came together and donated blood to help make a difference in the lives of others. The blood drives were held in actual medical mobile units supplied by the American Red Cross which resembled medical clinics assembled on a modern, clinical bus.

The goals for both campuses were met, with the Glendale campus exceeding their goal by 3% and collecting enough blood to save 99 lives! Our students, staff and faculty truly changed the lives of others who will receive this blood; thank you for your participation!

The journey from “arm to arm” is quite rigorous and involves many steps to ensure the blood is safe for use. Do you know what the process entails from when the blood is donated to when it can actually be used? Here are the interesting steps in the process:

  1. Donation-Each donor is screened for medical purposes. A health questionnaire and mini physical is performed. 1 pint of blood and several small test tubes are collected from each donor. Each collection is labeled with an identification tag to track to the donor and is stored in a cooled refrigerator.
  2. Processing-The donated blood is scanned into the database. It is spun in a centrifuge to separate the blood components such as platelets, red blood cells and plasma. The components are leuko-reduced (white blood cells are removed) and bacterially tested. Test tubes are sent to the lab for testing.
  3. Testing-The test tubes are received at one of five Red Cross National Testing Laboratories. A dozen tests are performed on each unit of blood to test for blood type and infectious disease.   Test results are generated within 24 hours; if infectious disease is present, the collection is discarded and the donor is notified.
  4. Storage-When test results are received; all appropriate units are labeled and stored. Red blood cells are maintained at a temperature of 6 degrees C for up to 42 days. Platelets are stored at room temperature in agitators for up to 5 days. Plasma is frozen and stored in a freezer for up to 1 year.
  5. Distribution-Blood is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be shipped to hospitals for patients in need.

If you participated in our recent blood drive, or have ever donated blood in the past, thank you for your efforts to help others in need of this precious resource. Keep an eye out on our Arizona College Facebook page regarding future blood drives that Arizona College will be hosting in collaboration with the American Red Cross.

Are you interested in a career in the medical field? Have you thought of the possibilities of becoming a Medical Assistant or a Registered Nurse? Make a change in your future, and Contact Arizona College today to learn more about our allied health degree and diploma programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.

Important Qualities to have as a Medical Assistant

Categories: Allied Health, General, Glendale Campus, Healthcare, Important, Medical Assisting, Mesa Campus, Uncategorized

senior woman and caring young nurseHave you been thinking about a career as a Medical Assistant? Do you know what qualities are important to have to be a successful Medical Assistant? What is a Medical Assistant responsible for during a typical workday? If you have ever been to a doctor’s office, chances are, a Medical Assistant has prepped you for your visit with the physician.

A Medical Assistant is a vital part of the healthcare team and performs many tasks on a daily basis. The Medical Assistant is often the “wing man” for the physician, and performs clinical duties by prepping the patient for the physician’s examination by taking vital signs, recording symptoms and changes in medical information. Depending on the physician’s diagnosis of the patient, the Medical Assistant may give injections; perform procedures such as blood draws, urine dips, and mouth swabs, to name a few. The Medical Assistant also performs administrative duties such as answering the phone, acting as the liaison between the physician and other healthcare providers, calling in prescriptions to the pharmacy, checking patients in/out of appointments and scheduling follow up visits.

Being that the Medical Assistant is the direct link between the patient and the physician, it is extremely beneficial that they demonstrate certain qualities, in order to be successful. Along with the clinical and administrative skills listed above, Medical Assistants should demonstrate professional “soft skills” required to communicate effectively and efficiently as a representative of the physician’s office. Examples of professional “soft skills” include:

  • Good communication skills (both oral and written)
  • Organization of workspace
  • Ability to multitask
  • Ability to maintain calm and composed under pressure or stressful situations
  • Ability to maintain a high level of professionalism by keeping patient’s medical information confidential
  • Assist patients in feeling welcome and comfortable

By working with patient’s on a daily basis to improve their health, a career as a Medical Assistant can be very rewarding. If you if think you have the qualities that would make Medical Assisting the career for you and want to make a difference in someone’s life, Contact Arizona College today to learn more about a career as a Medical Assistant.

EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week!

Categories: Allied Health, General, Glendale Campus, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Massage Therapy, Uncategorized

Pretty woman getting massage of shoulderHave you ever experience a professional massage? If not, why not pencil in some “me” time, and schedule a professional massage? July 13th-19th, 2014 is officially EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week and is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a relaxing professional massage. Every year, Massage Therapists and Body-workers nationwide, lend their hearts and hands to raise awareness of the benefits of massage and body work.

Arizona College will be observing EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week at our Glendale Campus with Chair Massage, Raffles and more. Contact Ms. Munoz, Massage Therapy Program Director for more information at: smunoz@arizonacollege.edu. Are you in need of a massage?  Arizona College offers massages in our Massage Clinic, Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 2:30p and 3:45p at a rate of $15 for Arizona College students and $20 for the general public.

With our busy schedules these days, it is sometimes difficult to find time to relax and unwind. We rarely are completely unplugged from the outside world; especially with technology being our life-line to work emails, phone calls and social media accounts. That is one reason why Massage Therapy and the health benefits it offers, is so important, especially to working individuals who manage stress on a daily basis.

We all know that Massage Therapy helps reduce stress and tension, but some additional health benefits based on research complied by the American Massage Therapy Association include:

  • Relief from chronic low back pain: Everyone at some point in their life experiences low back pain. Chronic low back pain refers to pain that lasts 3 months or longer. If one experiences a 1-hour Swedish Massage, once per week, for 10 weeks duration, those individuals had significantly less pain and reduced the need for conventional medicine such as over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Reduce anxiety: After a massage, the level of stress hormone Cortisol was decreased by 50%. The neurotransmitters Serotonin and Dopamine levels, which are responsible for decreasing depression, actually increased! This is why Massage Therapy is often used as additional supplement for people who are being treated for anxiety disorders and to calm patient’s before and after surgery.
  • Reduce blood pressure: Blood pressure often increases as a result from unmanaged tension, stress and pain. With a relaxing Swedish or Aromatherapy massage, one’s body and mind can be relaxed, resulting in potential reduction of blood pressure. Pain can also increase blood pressure; if you decrease pain via massage, blood pressure will decrease.
  • Boost immunity: Massage has been shown to boost immunity by improving the function of the lymphatic system, which flushes toxins out of the body. It also has been shown to increase the activity levels of T-cells, which fight off viruses and tumors.

If you want to make a difference in someone’s life and make a change in your future, Contact Arizona College today to learn more about a career as a Massage Therapist, and our Massage Therapy Program offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.

Arizona College implements new Electronic Medical/Health Record Software Program

Categories: Allied Health, General, Health Information, Healthcare, Uncategorized, Wise Health Consumer

Computer with Heart Rate-resizedHave you ever heard of the term Electronic Medical Record or Electronic Health Record (EMR/EHR)?  If you have been to a doctor’s office or hospital recently, chances are your health information has been processed using this technology.  So what exactly is EMR/EHR?  According to The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is comprised of many components that work together to capture, create, share, maintain and store an accurate and complete patient health record. There are various systems, applications, standards and specifications that must be in place in order to meet the goal of true interoperability.

The Health Information (Medical Billing & Coding) field is excited about the incoming Electronic Medical/Health (EMR/EHR) records requirements from the U.S. Government.  On February 17, 2009 the $787 billion, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by the federal government. Included in this law is $19.2 billion intended to increase the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) by physicians and hospitals.  This portion of the bill is called, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the HITECH Act. The government firmly believes in the benefits of using electronic health records and is ready to invest federal resources to proliferate their use.

If Medicare eligible professionals, or EPs, do not adopt and successfully demonstrate meaningful use of a Certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology by 2015, the EP’s Medicare physician fee schedule amount for covered professional services will be adjusted down by 1% each year. The adjustment schedule is as follows:

  • 2015—99% of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount
  • 2016—98 % of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount
  • 2017 and each subsequent year—97% of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount.

To stay in the forefront of this emerging technology and to ensure that our students have the most current industry requirements, Arizona College has adopted an EMR/EHR program called CareTracker through a company called Optum.  CareTracker is one of the top 10 EHR systems used in the field currently, so our students may actually use this program when they are in their area of practice.  This new class is currently for Health Information Technology, Health Information Specialist and Medical Assisting Degree programs.  It will be phased in to the Medical Assisting Diploma program throughout the year and will be offered at the Mesa campus soon.

Are you interested in a career in the Health Information (Medical Billing and Coding) field?  Make a change in your future, contact Arizona College today to learn more about our degree and diploma programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.

Arizona College Christmas Angel Tree

Categories: Christmas, General, Healthcare

Christmas Angel TreeIt’s official; the Holiday Season is here!  Can you believe that Christmas is only 3 weeks away?!  In keeping with Arizona College tradition, our lovely blue and silver Arizona College Christmas Angel Tree is currently displayed in the front lobby.

Our Christmas Angel Tree is similar to the Angel Trees you see at the malls, however, the items donated are actually for our students and their family!  These needs were based upon individual nominations within the student body. The tree has Arizona College ornaments displayed; on the back of each ornament, a simple item is listed.  These donations will help provide presents for their children and loved ones.  What an amazing gift!

If you would like to help a fellow student and family this holiday season, you can purchase the item listed, and return the UNWRAPPED item along with the ornament tag to Ms. Vanslyke by December 17th, 2013.  Thank you for your support to one another, and helping to make everyone’s Christmas, that much merrier!

To learn more about Arizona College, check out our Newsletter, or contact us at (602) 222-9300.