The Important Role of Palliative Care

Any person who has been in need of a palliative care for a loved one knows the life changing role this person plays in the medical community. Working in palliative care is much like working in home health care in terms of the skills and tasks you perform, but it takes a special person to be there in this delicate time of the patient’s life. Beyond caring for the patient’s medical needs, you also are a key emotional support pillar for the patient and the family members.

Palliative care is a specialized team of professionals who focus on assisting those with a serious illness.

While many times the care comes in the form of hospice, or end-of-life care, it can be used at any stage of an illness, including alongside a curative treatment.

Palliative Care

Become a Palliative Care Team Member

Most palliative care team members are CNAs and CMAs due to the nature of the work. You are responsible for providing relief from the symptoms of their illness and monitoring their reactions to medication changes. The number one goal is to improve the quality of life of your patient and make them as comfortable as possible. Some tasks you may perform are:

  • Monitoring and recording vital signs
  • Administering medications
  • Feeding the patient and maintaining hydration levels
  • Cleaning the patient and changing bed linens

Are you ready to make a difference?

Quality Career Pathways

Finding Your Career Pathway As A CNA

Consider Becoming a CNA

When looking at a career in healthcare, there are a myriad of options you can explore and all of them make an impact. Maybe you want to be a healthcare hero, but you want to minimize your patient exposure.  Or maybe you want to work in the medical field while pursuing a larger medical career goal, like becoming a doctor or nurse. The good news is that you have options when you get certified as a CNA.

Future CNA

CNA Job Opportunities

Medical Call Centers

You may think the person answering the phone when you call your doctor’s office is just a receptionists, but think again. Many times hospitals and private practice doctors use CNAs to run the front office and answer the phones. Someone with medical experience can better assess the needs of the patient upfront, and schedule appointments more accurately.

Medical Coding and Billing

Another ‘behind the scenes’ job for a CNA is in the medical billing department.  Some additional training will be necessary, but the benefit that CNAs bring to the table is a familiarity with medical terminology and diagnoses.  Being a CNA applying for a coding and billing job will give you a head start in the job race.

Hospitals

You can find a multitude of job opportunities within a hospital as a CNA. You simply need to determine which area of practice you prefer. For example, our Premier Partner CHI Health is looking for CNAs to assist in their physical therapy department, cardiology clinic, orthopedic health department, urology, family practice, and more.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

When you work at skilled nursing facility you will work one-on-one with patients to ensure they are living their best life possible. This could range from helping them with their mobility through physical therapy or simply assisting them with daily routines. And if you look for employment at a place like our Premier Parter Hillcrest Health Services, you have a variety of locations where you can work.

In-Home Health Care

If you are looking for a bit more flexibility in your hours, you may want to consider a career in in-home care. Because clients that use this service can elect for full-time care or part-time, the care giver hours can vary as well. You too can request request full-time or part-time work.  Our Premier Partner Comfort Keepers is alway looking for quality CNAs to join their team.

 

Is Pharmacy Technician The Right Healthcare Career Path For You?

The name of our school, Quality Career Pathways, is by design.  We truly want to help individuals find the right healthcare career path for them wherever that may lead. In many cases, getting a certification in a particular area can help you quickly determine if you’re on the right pathway.

Healthcare Career Path

So, How Do You Find The Right Healthcare Career Path?

If you do an internet search for this question, there are no shortage of articles written about this topic, particularly in the last two years (check out this great article from Indeed.com). But let’s stay focused on a “Healthcare Career”.

If you know (or think you’re interested) in a Healthcare Career, it’s helpful to start with these questions:

    • How long do you want to attend school?
    • Do I want to provide DIRECT patient care or more administrative/supportive function?
    • What type of healthcare setting do I want to work in? (hospital, office, small business, etc.)
    • How many hours a week do I want to work?
    • What is the career outlook and wages for your desired position?

Quality Career Pathways provides certifications with a variety of options for each of the questions of above.  Covid-19 has also encouraged many to re-evaluate their career and explore new ones.  The need for healthcare providers and our certifications has increased at an amazing rate.  This article is going to highlight one certification that many may have not explored previously is Pharmacy Technicians.

pharmacy technician

Pharmacy Technicians

The role of a Pharmacy Technician is expanding and can vary based on the work environment, skill level, employer, etc.

What does a Pharmacy Technician do?

The Pharmacy Technician will always be under the direction of the pharmacist and/or Pharmacy Administrative Team. Duties may include but are not inclusive to: accurate and timely medication purchasing, preparation, labeling and delivery; maintain supplies and medication inventory levels; compound topical, oral, intravenous admixtures and drug therapies; answer phones, direct calls, greet visitors and respond to question in the Pharmacy.

How long does Pharmacy Technicians attend school?

Employers typically require a high school diploma or equivalent and will learn many of their duties through on-the-job training supplemented with an education program either through the employer or school.  Most employers in Nebraska will require placement on the Nebraska Pharmacy Technician Registry with National Exam certification within one year of employment.

Education programs for Pharmacy Technicians vary in length depending on if they are preparing you to pass the National Examination, include clinical experience, or lead towards an associate’s degree.

Quality Career Pathway Pharmacy Technician 12-week course is approved by the Nebraska Board of Pharmacy with materials created by the provider of the ExCPT National Certification Exam and includes a clinical externship with CHI Health.  Your certification will then be accepted in all states that require a national certification.

Do I want to provide direct patient care or a more administrative/ supportive function?

Pharmacy Technicians can have the best of both worlds based on their employer – in-patient, retail or administrative settings are all an option!

What type of healthcare setting do I want to work in? (hospital, office, small business, etc.)

Again, this is another advantage for Pharmacy Technicians when choosing an employer.  Positions are available in hospitals (state, local and private); pharmacies and independent drug stores; food and beverage stores; military; in-home health care settings; long term care facilities; mail service pharmacies; managed health care organizations; and educational programs.

How many hours a week do I want to work?

Once again, based on the employer, you may be working full-time or part-time.

What is the career outlook and wages for your desired position?

Covid-19 has accelerated the demand for pharmacy technicians due to vaccinations and increased hospitalizations and long-term effects.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics published the most recent information for the median annual wage was $35,100 in May 2020 but completing a search on any job posting website will show a higher wage.  Most employers also provide benefits such as insurance (dental, health and vision), 401(k), employee discounts, consistent schedules and paid time off.

 

Six Questions To Ask When Looking For Employment

So you have your certification,
what happens now?
It time to find employment that you will love!

Employment You Love

Every role and every employer is different, just as each one of us is different. Here are some things to consider when looking for your perfect job.

Do you want your employment to be outside of an office building?

Maybe the idea of heading into an office building every day is not appealing. If so, you may want to consider employment as a home health care profession, like the positions offered at Comfort Keepers. This takes you to a new location every day for work since you visit clients at their own homes. And usually, there is a bit more flexibility in your schedule.

Do you want to assist elders in a facility setting?

Maybe your idea of personal care involves getting to know your clients through playing games, sharing meals, exercising, and daily conversations. If so, look into Hillcrest Health Services. They have over ten different locations throughout the Omaha area. And the services they provide include short- or long-term care…memory support for loved ones showing signs of dementia…and upscale independent living apartments.

Would you like to focus your attention toward children?

CNAs are in high demand for the elderly community, but if that is not your preferred clientele, there are other options.  Consider becoming a Pediatric CNA at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. After taking our PEDS course that teaches you how to convert your CNA skills to work with children, you will be ready to apply for a job.

Is a hospital experience top on your list?

Maybe you want to have variety – sometimes helping elderly, sometimes a child, and everything in between. Then consider a job as a CNA, CMA or PCA at Nebraska Medicine. This also means you can be part of one of the fastest growing research centers in the country.

It is important for you to include a spiritual aspect to your employment?

If a job is more than just a job for you, consider working at the Good Samaritan Society. Their senior care services are driven by faith, love and compassion. They believe everyone deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and empathy, plus provide employee well-being benefits tailored specifically to address physical, emotional, spiritual, professional, financial and social issues.

Would you like to see people get better and go back home? 

One employment role a CNA can play is assisting rehabilitation. At Douglas County Health, you could help people recover from a stroke, perfect their coordination and balance, manage their pain, and help them regain their functional independence.

So, there are many different careers you can pursue as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Where will you go?

 

Is A Patient Care Assistant (PCA) Right For You?

BECOME A PERSONAL CARE ASSISTANT (PCA) TODAY

A Personal Care Assistant is the perfect way to introduce yourself to a career in medicine. The PCA Course is only 12 hours, so you can complete your training in no time!

Another option for PCAs is to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. A CNA course covers the materials and skills a PCA will need to succeed – and more! Because of this, many area employers will hire CNAs for their PCA positions.

CNA vs CMA

Difference Between Patient Care Assistants and Certified Nursing Assistants

The main difference between these two titles is the training involved. CNAs are considered to be a low entry medical worker, whereas PCAs are essentially caregivers. So if you are considering becoming a PCA, getting a CNA certification will essentially make you a more qualified candidate.

Because these two certifications build upon each other, we allow you to apply your PCA tuition to a CNA course if you decide you would like to expand your skills in the future. Simply contact us within 60 days of completing your PCA program to do so.

PCA v CNA

PCA Course Information

Time Requirements: 12 Hours
8 Online Hours
4 Classroom Hours
– Hybrid Only –

What You Will Learn

Roles and Responsibilities of a PCA
Ethical and Legal Behavior
Communication & Cultural Diversity
Infection Prevention & Standard Precautions
Safety & Body Mechanics
Physical, Psychological, & Social Health
Confusion, Dementia, & Alzheimer’s Disease
Human Development & Aging
Mental Health
Dying, Death & Hospice
Nutrition
Caring for Yourself
Basic Personal Care Skills

CNA Course Information

Time Requirements: 76 Hours
44 Online Hours
32 Classroom Hours
– 100% In Classroom Also Available –

What You Will Learn

All the skills from the PCA Course plus:

The skills of a nurse assistant (CNA) and their role within a health care team, including setting up medical equipment, assisting in medical procedures and taking/recording vital signs

Effective communication skills to interact with staff, co-workers, faculty, and other members of the healthcare team

The importance of privacy and security for patients and others

Phlebotomy: 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Certification

When asked about what programs we offer, we always get at least one person asking, “Why don’t you offer Phlebotomy?” We have considered it. But through discussions with area employers, we have chosen to not include Phlebotomy (the art of puncturing a vein in order to withdraw blood or introduce a fluid) in our medical certification line up.

Phlebotomy

Three Reasons Why We Don’t Offer Phlebotomy

1: Employers Do Not Require a Certification When Hiring Phlebotomists

If you look at many job descriptions for Phlebotomists in the Omaha area, it generally states “Certification Preferred.” Granted, if you have experience – or a certification – it would set you apart from the others. But know that it is not a requirement up front. Just check out these open positions.

2: Many Employers Prefer to Train Future Phlebotomist Onsite

As a career partner, we consistently talk with area employers to understand what they need from our graduates. When it comes to Phlebotomy, everyone we asked told us they provide all the training needed onsite. And in some cases, they actual prefer to train people without any experience so they meet the exact standards required for their facility.

3: Area Employers Do Not Reimburse for The Course

When we determine which courses to offer, we want to ensure employers see the value in the class and offer to reimburse employees for the costs to get certified. As of yet, we have not identified a local employer who will reimburse for a Phlebotomy course like they do for the CNA, CMA or Pharm Tech classes. Click HERE to see a list of employers who have hired our graduates, send us employees to train, or reimbursed their employees after completing our course.

Phlebotomy Course Alternatives

If you want to have a medical credential on your resume when you apply for a phlebotomy position,  consider getting a CNA, CMA, or Pharmacy Tech certification. The knowledge you will gain in one of these courses will set you apart from other candidates and will make you eligible for additional positions.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Hours: 76

This course will teach you:

    • The proper way to transfer and move patients
    • Bathing and dressing protocols
    • How to take vital signs
    • The procedures required to control infections
    • How to maintaining a clean and safe environment
    • The basics of anatomy and body mechanics

Certified Medication Aide (CMA)
Hours: 40

This course will teach you:

    • The five rights of safe medication administration including accurate and complete documentation.
    • The residents’ rights, especially the right to refuse medications
    • How to administer medications in clinical setting by the following routes: oral, inhalation, topical and instillation

Pharmacy Technician
Hours: Approximately 166

This course will teach you how to:

    • Complete patient paperwork
    • Accept payments & process insurance claims
    • Receive & verify prescriptions
    • Price & fill prescriptions
    • Package & label prescriptions
    • Manage drug supplies

So while Quality Career Pathways does not offer Phlebotomy, there are many other certification options that allow you to get started on a medical career quickly.