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Academy of Learning College Blog

 

Healthcare is in high demand 

With the aging population, the tremendous increase in technology, and our demand for the best quality of life, the healthcare industry is facing a growing shortage of well-trained personnel. Additionally, healthcare workers themselves are aging and retiring, creating a strong demand for qualified young job seekers. Throughout the North American healthcare industry, there is an acute need to increase the size of the workforce, as well as to raise the skill level of that workforce. 

Due to the high demand for professionals in the healthcare industry, careers in healthcare are some of the most lucrative options for all job seekers. The pay in the health care industry is relatively higher than many other industries and is continuing to grow. Not only can a career in Healthcare lead you to a professional success, it can also bring you great monetary benefits in a rewarding and flexible work environment. Additionally, there are numerous opportunities for potential growth and promotion in this field. Professionals are able to move toward other related fields in healthcare or get promoted and proceed further into their specialized fields.

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Opportunities are available for all education and experience levels 

No matter what kind of degrees or diplomas you have in hand, there are always a number of job opportunities for you in the field of healthcare. Jobs that require a general education diploma are in just as much demand as the ones that require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

For occupations such as medical receptionist, medical office assistant, addiction workers or health unit coordinator, candidates with a vocational school training diplomas are highly welcomed to enter the field. Whether you have a GED or a PhD, there is always an exciting healthcare career available to you.

Numerous financial support in education and training

If you’re looking to get into the healthcare field, you can actually get your education and training paid for. Due to the drastically increasing need for healthcare professionals, staffing shortages and turn-over are very common in the industry. Many healthcare employers such as hospitals, medical clinics, research facilities or other medical facilities are willing to sponsor the education and training of their current or future employees. There are also a variety of government-funded and employer-funded scholarships that healthcare candidates can apply to cover their educational costs.

In the healthcare industry, further education is always encouraged and mostly sponsored by employers in order to have their employees trained and skilled with the latest medical technologies and the most up-to-date procedures. The majority of medical organizations provide training for their employees to help establish professional growth and skill enhancements.

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Flexible Working Hours

Unlike the traditional 9-5 schedule for most jobs, healthcare professionals tend to have more flexible and uncommon work schedules. Although some may think that healthcare professionals often work on unusual schedules, it is a fact that flexible working hours are more common in healthcare industry than any other fields. For many medical assistant occupations, their schedules revolve around the physicians’ operational hours, which means their working schedule entirely depend on the hours scheduled by patients. Many medical occupations also allow professionals to work part-time or full-time, with even more flexibility. Many hospitals, medical clinics, and healthcare facilities offer services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This allows medical professionals to work different hours depending on their personal schedules; and it’s also very common for them to switch shifts with coworkers when needed.

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Contribution to the Community

Unlike many jobs that do not bring employees the sentimental and moral satisfaction they need, careers in healthcare offer rich opportunities for leadership, personal growth and community service. Not only does healthcare make you a satisfying wage, it also nurtures your compassion in helping those in need.

Regardless of their position, every healthcare professional is devoted to making sure patients receive the proper care; they serve in situations that many could not handle and they make a difference in other people’s lives. With a career in healthcare, you’ll become the go-to person whenever a friend or family member needs medical advice; you’ll receive the satisfaction of helping others and make a positive impact on the future of healthcare; and you’ll help make a difference in the treatment of diseases as well as the progress of modern medical researches. As the largest career college in Canada, Academy of Learning has been changing lives since 1987. You can be anything that you dreamed to be, and we’re here to help make your dream come true! Browse our program listing by province and discover the best healthcare career for you!

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What is Medical Office Assistant (MOA)?

Medical Office Assistants perform a variety of administrative tasks and some medical duties to help medical facilities run smoothly and efficiently. Medical Office Assistants are the first points of contact between patients and the facility; therefore, they are required to perform a variety of administrative tasks in their day-to-day work. The job responsibilities of a Medical Office Assistant range from setting up doctors’ appointments, arranging clinical procedures, composing coordinate referrals, conducting lab test reviews, to managing facility data updates, handling insurance reimbursements and other clerical functions in order to assist the physicians’ work and keep everything in order for the facility. They are also responsible for performing some medical duties such as measuring blood pressure, giving injections as directed by doctors, preparing blood for laboratory testing and help with medical exams while under the supervision of health practitioners.

The overall responsibilities of Medical Office Assistants vary according to the size of the facility and the specialty of the physician. They may also be in charge of billing and bookkeeping and keeping track of office inventory, ordering medical and office supplies if necessary. It is crucial for Medical Office Assistants to obtain outstanding customer service and interpersonal skills in order to create a welcoming and friendly environment for all patients at the facility.

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How do I become a Medical Office Assistant?

Although many employers prefer to hire candidates with an associate’s degree or vocational school training, a high school diploma or graduation equivalency degree should be sufficient for most entry-level Medical Office Assistant positions with further on-the-job training from the hiring physician or a more experienced assistant.

Vocational school training normally includes theoretical and practical trainings in laboratory procedures, medical law and ethics, medical insurance and billing, clinical assisting, patient care and communication, electrocardiography, the digestive system and nutrition. At Academy of Learning Career College, the Medical Office Assistant program is designed to provide employment-ready, comprehensively trained graduates. Successful graduates will be eligible to achieve the CMAP© – Certified Medical Assisting Professional designation in addition to their diploma. Medical Office Assistant graduates are fully qualified to work in a hands-on administrative/clinical support capacity in any medical field.

How’s the current employment situation for Medical Office Assistant?

According to PayScale Canada, A Medical Office Assistant earns an average wage of C$15.98 per hour. A skill in Medical Terminology is associated with high pay for this job. Entry level MOAs can earn up to $39,740 with less than 1 year of training. The average total pay for Medical Office Assistants range from $25,308 to $45,428 with extra pay for overtime. They could also receive a yearly bonus and could earn vacation time right away depending on the employer. 

There is a wide range of further career development paths for Medical Office Assistant. a experienced Medical Office Assistant could choose to become a Medical Secretary or a Office Manager at a Medical Office. Further than that, they could also advance their career towards the direction of managerial and administrative positions, such as Medical Office Administrator, Executive Secretary or Administrative Assistant, or Administrative Medical Staff Secretary. 

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What’s the career outlook for Medical Office Assistant?

With the aging population, the tremendous increase in technology, and our demand for the best quality of life, the healthcare industry is facing a growing shortage of well-trained personnel. Additionally, healthcare workers themselves are aging and retiring, creating a strong demand for qualified young job seekers. Throughout the North American healthcare industry, there is an acute need to increase the size of the workforce, as well as to raise the skill level of that workforce. 

The employment outlook of Medical Office Assistant is projected to grow much faster than average, ranking among the fastest growing occupations over the 2006-16 decade. Job seekers who want to work as a Medical Office Assistant should find excellent job prospects. A very large number of new job opportunities appears in the field of Medical Office Assistant due to the increasing needs for healthcare professionals as well as the need to replace workers leaving the occupation. Candidates with formal training or experience, particularly with certification, should have the best job opportunities.

As the largest career college in Canada, Academy of Learning College has been changing lives since 1987. You can be anything that you dreamed to be, because we’re here to support you! Browse our program listings by province and discover the best fit for you.

Have you tried virtual learning before? At Academy of learning, we implement a web-based learning platform that incorporates digital technology aspects into our teaching and learning system. During a virtual class, students can receive real-time lectures from experienced instructors, chat and discuss specific topics with the instructor, interact and network with other participating students, work on projects with peers from across the country, and review or preview recorded materials before or after the class. Today we have our Virtual Instructor Mary Jane from Academy of Learning College here with us, and we’re going to find out what virtual learning really is and what you can experience from it!

What programs do you teach as a virtual instructor? How long have you been teaching virtual classes?

MJ: I teach the Medical Office Assistant and the Health Unit Coordinator Programs. I started teaching these programs when Academy of Learning College started the Virtual Instruction programs; it’s been just a little over 5 years now. I love teaching as a virtual instructor! Teaching is actually a great part of my day: I spend my mornings writing curriculum and then I teach in the afternoons. Teaching is a great way to spend the afternoon and it’s always nice to have that contrast: writing and being conversational with my students.

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What technology do you use to perform the virtual instruction?

MJ: We use a system called ACME, it allows me to record student marks, and it is also where the students and I communicate. Additionally, Adobe Connect Pro is the platform we use to deliver live lectures. Now we’re moving over to new software like Bright Space and YouSeeU, which still allow us to deliver the live lectures, but with more opportunities to add fun aspects to the virtual classroom. Similar to Skype, Adobe Connect and Bright Space allow students to see me on camera and hear me when I talk, and I can show presentations to them on the screen at the same time.

How do you communicate with your students during and after the class?

MJ: The class is delivered through Adobe Connect Pro and when we communicate in there, the students can see me and hear me through my camera and microphone, and they can respond using a chart window. We don’t have a camera and microphone for each student, because when you have 30 people on camera and microphone who can’t see each other in the same space as they are from difference campuses, everyone will just be talking over everyone else and no one will able to hear anything. With me being on camera and students using the chat feature, they feel very involved and all the questions get answered on time. So this is how we communicate during class.

Outside the classroom, the mostly used communication method is email communication. It is worth mentioning that the students have learned to compose very efficient emails and become very efficient in their communications through email interactions with me. Also, when a student and I are going back and forth regarding a question and we’re not making much progress, I would call the campus and talk to the student on the phone because sometimes things are easier to explain through interpersonal conversations.

Moreover, students are very welcome to stay after the class where I can offer a bit more explanation. If a student needs more clarification on a topic, I can invite the student to stay in the classroom and we’ll continue to work on that. I can do one-on-one sessions with students if they want, and again, because the students use typed words to explain themselves, they’ve also learned to express themselves very well during this process.

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What is the main difference between a virtual class and a physical classroom? What are the benefits of a virtual class?

MJ: The obvious difference would be – me being in a classroom versus me being on a camera. I always tell the students to envision that I’m at your campus, I’m just sitting in the next room; I am there even though we’re all across Canada, I want you to understand that I’m a real person, I’m here in real time, and I pay attention to all of you individually while we’re in class. I try and make the physical differences very minimal.

For the class itself, the students each sit at their own computer in a campus with rows of cubicles, similar to a lab environment. There could be a campus with 5 or 10 students there, they could all be sitting beside each other or sitting in different areas of the campus. They each get their own computer, their own keyboard; they’re not watching me on a shared screen and they each get the chances to “speak” to me individually through their keyboards. Basically, the students sit at a computer with headsets on and participate in the class with no physical interference.

Sometimes there is only one student in a particular program at a campus, for example, a campus way up north that doesn’t get many enrollments. They don’t want to turn a student away because they don’t have an instructor for this program; so that student will go with me to the virtual class. It takes no time for that student to become an inseparable part of the interactive environment of my class. The students all start to network with each other, rely on each other, and encourage each other from the beginning of the program, and I try to establish that right off the bat.

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The relationship will start to build from the very beginning between the instructor and the students, as well as between the students themselves. I like to tell my students to picture us all siting in a circle with our computers and talking to each other. I’m not the figure standing in the front of the classroom giving a lecture, instead, we’re all in this together as a team. Since we’re all in different locations, I try and make the environment as inclusive and warm as possible, so students don’t feel excluded. Also, all the live lectures are recorded for students to review. Therefore, during the hours of the lecture, I tell my students not to take notes while I’m talking as they’ll only memorize what they wrote down. I tell them to just sit and enjoy the lecture, and watch the recording afterwards to take notes. This way the students will be more concentrated during the class. Also, if a student gets in late or misses a class, they don’t need to ask someone to take notes for them and they don’t fall behind, because they can watch the lectures as many times as they want on their own time. This is something you don’t get from an instructor-led classroom environment.

Last but not least, I found other than being highly focused during class, virtual students tend to be more independent and more entrepreneurial with their thinking. The students don’t have me by their sides for 5 hours a day walking around and helping them. They have to take any instructions and any advice I give them during the class and run with that on their own. They tend to spend more time doing their work, instead of having me talk to them for an extended period of time. Their typing and computer skills just naturally improve by the nature of the virtual environment; their typing speed increases naturally because they are typing all the time when we communicate.

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What kind of feedback you get from your students? What do your students like the most about your class?

MJ: I’d say most of the students are a little anxious before they start. They’re only used to having an instructor standing in front of them; they don’t know how this will turn out, or if they’ll feel included during the class. However, once they get into the virtual classroom and learn what the virtual class really is, the students actually prefer it. I get a lot of feedback from students saying “I love learning this way!”

The students get to network with other like-minded peers across Canada. They can work more on their own pace outside lecture time. For example, my lecture normally falls in the middle of the day, the students can show up early and get some work done before the lecture starts, or they can come in for the lecture and then stay a little long afterwards to work on their projects. They’re very flexible with their time.

The students love everything about the virtual class and I don’t hear many negatives about it. They like the way I explain things in class. As for the virtual environment itself, the students are pleasantly surprised about how well they adapt to it, how well they can learn and how fast their skills improve. Students are getting the same material from me as they do from an in-class instructor. As a little added benefit, students like the fact that their computer skills and typing skills improve significantly throughout the virtual learning experience.

Students also like that when they’re sitting in class, each of them is getting one-on-one attention from the instructor. Instead of looking at one specific student in the classroom, I’m looking at the camera while I teach, and the students feel like I’m teaching specifically to them as if they’re getting their own one-on-one tutor.

As for myself, as a virtual instructor, I prefer teaching like this. Some people may not be comfortable teaching in front of a camera where you can’t see people, but this has enabled me to deliver the lecture regardless of the environment, whether it’s in front of 50 people or 500 people, it takes away that stage fright for me and makes me more confident.

In short, our students love how effective virtual learning is. They love the results they’re receiving and the fact that they can work flexibly around their own schedule. Students feel more relaxed and concentrated during class without the pressure of taking notes simultaneously, they feel very confident knowing that they can review the lecture as many times as they want with the recordings and advance their knowledge time after time. With the warm support from our virtual instructor and campus facilitator, students can learn at the pace they’re most comfortable with and receive the best results from the delivered knowledge and material. At Academy of Learning College, we take career development and skill training very seriously. Browse our program listings by province and find the career education that is right for you!

 

Virtual Learning I- How Do We Deliver Live Lectures and Communicate With Students?

 

Virtual Learning II- What Do We Do In Virtual Learning? How Do Students React to it?

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A career change could be one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your whole life. You don’t want to make mistakes on your graduation, your wedding, your retirement; and you definitely do not want to make any mistakes on your career. Career change is a matter of highly concentrated precision and dedication. Naturally, there are some obstacles along the way and you don’t always make the right decisions. Today, we’re going to discuss some mistakes that all career-changers should be avoid making.

1. Don’t seek for a new career just because your current job beats you down

If you feel frustrated and overwhelmed by your current career, do not think you can simply get away by making a change of industry. If you’re struggling at work and you’ve waited too long to take actions in changing your situation, you’ve most likely grown to hate your job and you just want to run away from it. A new start at your lowest point is not the perfect solution to your problems. If you don’t have the skills or even the courage to acquire new skills to perform well on your current job, how do you plan to master a new job? Most importantly, if you change your career from such an unsettling stage and jump into a new industry, you’d likely to carry the negative emotions and fears of failure with you to your new job.

Solution: Make your situation better by repairing broken relationships, fixing your past mistakes, building a wider network, and developing stronger skills. Then, when you become a stronger and happier person, you’ll have the ability and skills to achieve success in a higher level, whether you choose to enter a new company or a new industry. Make sure your head is on straight, and that you only make reasonable and rational decisions to potentially help yourself move forward successfully.

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2. Don’t make a career change without a long-term financial plan

Career change could be a long process; you’ll need a stable financial infrastructure to support your life before landing on a new job. You can be in a very difficult situation if you don’t know or haven’t researched how long the career transition will take and you don’t have enough funding to support yourself or your family during the change. Also, a stable and comprehensive financial plan can save you a lot of trouble in the future, since you are not certain if your new job pays as high as your previous one. When you head to another direction and start a new career, you may be starting from the entry levels again and you cannot expect an entry-level medical office assistant get paid the same salary as an experienced accountant.

Solution: Do your research and explore your financial affordability with a professional consultant. Also, talk to people who are already in your desired industry and develop a clear understanding of the earning structure in the field. Having an earnings estimate for positions in the new industry beforehand will give you a head start; it will help you construct a long-term financial plan that can support your life comfortably. Analyze whether the salary of your soon-to-be new job is enough to support your life, and what kind of external financial support you may need. If you don’t have a stable monetary infrastructure to support you through the time of transition, wait until you found external financial aid or established more savings to sustain your life.

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3. Do not make a change without doing research ahead of time

Making a career change decision without doing proper research could be your worst nightmare. You might get easily carried away by titles such as “the hottest job in 2016”, or “the most money-making job in Canada”; they might all seem like glamorous industries that many people dreamed to be in, but the specific line of work may be a disaster for you. Also, just because your friends are doing well in a certain industry doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a good fit as well. If you see someone’s success in a particular field, certainly consider it as one of your career options, but make sure you studied this industry inside out before taking any actions.

Solution: Make sure you know what the industry is all about; find out what kind of qualifications you’ll need to get into this industry, what kind of education or certification is needed for the job, as well as the kind of tools, programs, software that are needed to master the job. Also, beware of your own strength and weakness, discover the qualities that makes you stand out, find out where your passion is, what you do better than others and what you’d like to avoid doing in the future. In a word, you need to know the industry and yourself well enough to find the most suitable career path for yourself.

At AOLCC, we take career development and skill training very seriously and we are devoted to help people find the right career paths since 1987. We provide friendly and comfortable learning environment and we help students chase their dreams at their own pace. Browse our program listings by province and find the career education that is right for you!

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