Allied Health Professions Week 2014

Categories: Allied Health, Career Services Coordinator, Dental Assisting, General, Health Information, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting, Pharmacy, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy

Blog12-HiresEvery year, the health care community desires to create awareness for particular health care related professions, including Allied Health. November 3rd-9th, 2014, is a week dedicated to honoring all Allied Health Professionals.  This event honors the more than 3 million health care providers working in more than 80 allied health professions.  It promotes the celebration of allied health careers by providers, educators, and allied health accreditors.

Who are Allied Health Professionals? Allied Health Professionals provide patient care, which including the medical, dental and pharmacy fields.  They work within a team to make the health care system function effectively and efficiently by providing a wide range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, and direct patient care and support services.  These professionals are crucial to the health care providers they support and the patients they tend.  It is estimated that Allied Health Professionals make up approximately 60% of the health care workforce.

What are some important traits for Allied Health Professionals to demonstrate?

  • Communication-Allied Health Professionals communicate detailed information on a daily basis with the patient directly or other health care team members. Good communication skills, both verbal and in writing, are imperative to ensure the best patient care is given.
  • Passion- Patients and team members often observe more from body language than spoken language, so make sure your passion for your field is ignited. A positive attitude and passionate person are often required for a satisfying health care career.
  • Empathy-Understanding and relating to a patient’s feelings are important in making patients feel comfortable. When health care professionals respond empathetically to a patient’s feelings, the patient is more likely to follow and stay on their treatment plans. An Allied Health Professional who is empathetic will assist on reducing their patient’s anxiety about their visit.
  • Knowledge- Completing a degree or diploma from an accredited institution is one way to learn about work within the field. Seeking additional certification within the field of study is another way to further skills and knowledge. Completing continuing education courses, networking, joining a field related professional organization, or volunteering could increase knowledge within a profession. If an Allied Health Professional is knowledgeable about her profession, she will more likely have a long lasting and rewarding career.

At Arizona College, our programs are designed with Allied Health Professions in mind. Our programs are accredited through the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).  We offer many exciting programs that include both lecture and laboratory courses for the ultimate hands on learning experience.  Our programs include: Medical Assisting (degree and diploma), Dental Assisting, Massage Therapy, Pharmacy Technician, Health Information Technology and Health Information Specialist. With two conveniently located campuses in Glendale and Mesa, AZ, you can find a campus near you to begin your Allied Health training today!

What is Reflexology and how does it work?

Categories: General, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Massage Therapy

Blog11-ReflexologyReflexology is the application of direct pressure to specific points located in the hands, feet and ears. Reflexologists believe that these specific points correspond to particular organs and body systems throughout the body and that, applying pressure to those points results in physical health and mental benefits.  Although Reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure disease, it is often used in conjunction with other traditional treatments to help relieve symptoms and promote healing.  It is often used to improve conditions related to anxiety, asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, headaches, PMS, and sinusitis.

The origin of Reflexology can be traced back to ancient Egyptian and Chinese civilizations, with evidence of hieroglyphics documentation of pressure points on the feet, dating back to 2330 BC. In modern times, Reflexology was said to be further researched and professionally documented by Dr. William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist) with the publication of Relieving Pain at Home in 1917.  His philosophy was based on his research that concluded, “Humanity is awakened to the fact that sickness, in a large percentage of cases, is an error of body and mind.”  Dr. Fitzgerald also created the first known map of the longitudinal zones along the body and their corresponding “reflex” or point of contact to create a physical response and promote healing. This was called Zone Therapy. His modern research opened a door for additional professional research and documentation, which has evolved Reflexology to its current state.

To perform a Reflexology session, the therapist will begin with a consultation with the patient to document any physical ailments and gain knowledge regarding the purpose for the visit. Reflexology is often performed on a massage table, with the patient fully clothed and removal of shoes and socks only.  The therapist will find the corresponding reflex point and apply direct pressure with their thumb or fingers.  The brief pressure on these specific points allows the release of built up toxins and blocked energy.  During the treatment, physical and mental tensions are released and a state of relaxation is achieved.  This allows the body to improve circulation, reduce pain, relax muscles, encourage lymphatic system drainage, release toxins, and stimulate the nerve pathways.  Each session typically lasts from 60-90 minutes.

While there continues to be a debate regarding medical documentation and authenticity of the long-term benefits of Reflexology, many patients still turn to this non-conventional method of treatment. In fact, its popularity continues to flourish.

Massage Therapy students at Arizona College learn how to incorporate Reflexology into their Massage Therapy ritual in their course MTM 210 Spa Techniques. Do you like the idea of learning how to perform Reflexology to reduce pain and promote general well being?  Have you considered a career as a professional Massage Therapist? With a career in Massage Therapy, you could work in resorts, spas, gyms, and chiropractic offices, or even start your own business. Contact Arizona College today to learn more about our programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.

What are the Factors of General Health?

Categories: Allied Health, BSN, Dental Assisting, General, Health Information, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting, Pharmacy, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Registered Nurse, Wise Health Consumer

heart shape by various vegetables and fruitsMany of us spend countless hours every week working out at the gym, doing yoga or recreational activities, and eating specific diets to achieve or maintain good general health. It is very likely, that most of us just continue with these rituals we have become accustomed to, knowing the result leave us feeling better overall.

We all know that food, water and shelter are required to meet the basic necessities for life. After these basic needs are met, we are constantly attempting to obtain a higher level of overall general health. In addition to diet and exercise, there are a few factors that contribute to general health that may get overlooked. Let’s dig deeper into all contributing factors of overall general health:

  • Diet/Nutrition-a proper, well balanced diet that consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Within those groups you can also include vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Water is also considered part of this category as our bodies are made up of approximately 50-75% of water.
  • Exercise-burns excess calories, conditions muscles and vital organs such as the heart and lungs, regulates metabolism and bodily processes, helps combat and prevent diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, increases stamina and blood flow, and increases natural chemicals in the brain that promote a better mood.
  • Rest-a good night’s rest definitely makes you feel better. When deep sleep is reached, the health benefits of regular sleep can include improved memory, reduced inflammation (inflammation can contribute to heart disease, arthritis and diabetes), sharpened attention, and reduced stress.
  • Spirituality/Religion- Spirituality or a practice of organized religion can improve one’s well-being by providing purpose, a general guideline of positive living and a greater sense of meaning amongst life’s challenges.
  • Avoiding Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs-these items are classified as Psychoactive Drugs, which means that they are known to alter the mind. They are highly addictive and can damage multiple body systems, as well as potentially contribute to impaired judgment and accidents. While some doctors recommend an occasional glass of red wine for the antioxidant properties which have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, remembering that consumption in moderation is still the key.
  • Socialization-humans are social beings and interacting with others is very important for general health. Humans have always assembled in groups and tribes while sharing/organizing responsibilities for survival. Studies have often shown a strong correlation between physical and mental health problems of those humans who are not actively social with others.

General health contains a broad spectrum of both physical and emotional contributing factors. Striking a balance of all factors is required for the achievement of optimal health and well-being.  For example, if one focuses too much attention to exercise and does not replenish the body with nutrition and rest, the body cannot rebuild itself and will most likely result in lowered immunity or physical injury.  Developing a harmonious balance is essential for general health.

Physical health can be improved by assessing your current health status with a visit to your medical health care provider (for a general physical), dentist (for your oral health examination) and scheduling a therapeutic massage (for stress reduction). Boosting your emotional health can include seeking spiritual meaning, or adding more socialization in your life.  Participating in a hobby or recreational activity, joining a small group at a church, or volunteering can easily assist on meeting new people and filling a socialization void.  Lastly, prioritizing more rest will recharge you physically and mentally.

Do you have the desire to assist others with improving their general health? Are you interested in the medical field?  Careers in Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting and Massage Therapy can be very rewarding by working with physicians and patients on a daily basis. Contact Arizona College today to learn more about our Allied Health degree and diploma programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.

How Technology Has Changed Healthcare

Categories: Allied Health, General, Health Information, Healthcare, Technology, Uncategorized

blog10Over the past century, technology has changed the way physicians diagnose and deliver healthcare to patients. It has changed the way patients schedule appointments and receive treatment for ailments as well as the process for healthcare management.  The medical field has always integrated hand-in-hand with science and formed partnerships with the brightest physicians and scientists. Technology has advanced the medical field in many ways and has improved the mortality rate and general well being for patients.

  • Internet-The Internet has changed the way patients are checked in and out of an office or hospital by using Internet based software. It has also changed the way physicians analyze data, with instant access to large quantities of data available with the click of a mouse. With the ability to search the Internet for symptoms and conditions to assist in the diagnosis and treatment process, many patients have taken their healthcare into their own hands.
  • EHR (Electronic Health Records)- By 2013, 80% of hospitals had implemented the use of EHR for accessing, processing, and storing patient data. EHR has made it possible for doctors and physicians to instantly access multiple years’ worth of a patient’s medical history, resulting in a more thorough examination of previous health conditions, treatments, and outcomes. EHR has also streamlined the billing and coding processes of medical claims, resulting in faster and more accurate submission and reconciliation of claims.
  • Robotic Surgery-The use of robotics in healthcare has increased rapidly in the United States at a rate of 400% from the year 2007 to 2011. Robotic surgery can be performed for a wide variety of procedures including hysterectomies, urology conditions, ophthalmology procedures, and mastectomies to name a few. The benefits of using the option of robotic surgery, includes minimally invasive operations when compared to traditional methods and shorter total surgery time.
  • mHealth-Mobile Health (mHealth) refers to freeing medical devices from cables and cords, allowing medical devices to become wireless and mobile. This allows patients and physicians to follow up on health conditions while they are on the go. Tablets and mobile smart phones have technology that allows patients to download EKG and blood pressure information from their medical devices at home and electronically submit readings to their specialist. mHealth also allows physicians to be reached on their mobile device at all hours throughout the day and night if patient care is required.
  • Telehealth-Telehealth refers to the use of digital technology to deliver medical care and health education by connecting multiple users from various locations. Patients have the ability to video conference with physicians for their routine appointment verses being examined physically, thus, reducing the fee structure typically charged for an office visit and saving time of the commute to the physician’s office as well.
  • Remote Monitoring Tools-In 2010, the Affordable Health Care Act required the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a protocol to reduce the re-admission rates for patients into hospitals. As a result, numerous companies have developed Remote Monitoring Technology that constantly monitors patient’s chronic health care conditions, which can catch deviations in health prior to re-admission to the hospital. With the ability for patients to monitor conditions such as diabetes, oxygen levels, and blood pressure on their own at home, and for the results to be submitted on a daily basis electronically to their medical provider, patients can receive corrective treatment prior to an ailment requiring costly re-admission to the hospital.

Technology has changed the way physicians provide treatment and has improved the mortality rate and well being of patients. Breakthroughs in technology have given medical providers new tools, made patient information available at click of a mouse, and added fresh ways to practice medicine.  If you are thinking about a career in healthcare and like the idea of working with patients to help promote health and wellness, then a career in Allied Health or Nursing may be for you. If you like using technology, Health Information (Medical Billing and Coding)integrates the medical field with technology and could also be a rewarding career. Contact Arizona College today to learn more about our Allied Health degree and diploma programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.

 

 

What do Vital Signs Consist of?

Categories: Allied Health, Career Choices, General, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Medical Assisting, Nursing

Blog8-heartbeatAnytime you go to the doctor, typically the first things that the Medical Assistant begins to measure are your Vital Signs. Do you know what Vital Signs are and what the normal range for an average adult should be?

Vital signs typically consist of four primary readings:

  • Temperature- the baseline for the body’s core temperature at which it functions under normal conditions. The body and its systems are constantly burning energy and temperature is tightly controlled. This process is called Thermoregulation. The average adult temperature is approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The purpose for checking body temperature is to check for an increased temperature; which is an indication that the body is fighting and infection.
  • Pulse/Heart Rate- the expansion/contraction of an artery and is typically measured on the body at the wrist or ankle. The measure is counted in beats per minute and the average for an adult is 50-80 beats per minute.
  • Blood Pressure- consists of two readings, a high systolic reading (which occurs when the heart contracts) and a lower diastolic reading (which occurs when the heart is at rest). A normal reading for an adult would be 120 systolic over 80 diastolic.
  • Respiratory Rate- the process of breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. The average respiratory rate for an adult is 16-20 breaths per minute.

In addition to the basic four primary vital sign readings, physicians typically require Medical Assistants to also include readings for height and weight as a measure for general health and BMI (Body Mass Index).

  • Height-is measured in inches with your shoes removed. Height is monitored for infants/toddlers/adolescents to ensure they are on the correct growth curve. For adults, height is monitored as an indication for bone loss during the beginning stages of osteoporosis.
  • Weight-is measured in pounds and determines total body weight. This number can be used in conjunction with your height to determine your BMI (Body Mass Index), which can determine on a general scale, if one is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Keep in mind that the BMI does not calculate muscle weight vs. fat weight.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to take vital signs or wondered what it would be like to have a career as a Medical Assistant or Nurse? Arizona College offers a Medical Assisting degree and diploma program, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Make a change in your future, and Contact Arizona College today to learn more about our degree and diploma programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.