PCI WELCOMES SUMMER LEE AS COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER
We’re honored to announce that Summer L. Lee will deliver the keynote speech at the Pittsburgh Career Institute commencement exercise on October 5th.
Ms. Lee is a lawyer and the incoming Pennsylvania State Representative for the 34th District. She attended Woodland Hills High School and the Howard University School of Law. Ms. Lee has been active in struggles to improve the Woodland Hills School District and to ensure fair wages and the right to unionize for fast food workers, among many other causes.
PCI welcomes Ms. Summer Lee to our graduation festivities!
Constitution Day at PCI – Sept. 17
Bring a Friend to School Day & Pizza Party – Sept. 18
PCI Fall Open House – Sept. 22
Dental Assistant Job Description
What Do Dental Assistants Do?
Dental assisting is an increasingly popular career option, but what do dental assistants actually do? Each day may be varied as a dental assistant, but most of the time you would be performing some or all of the following tasks:
- Prepare patients for treatments
- Prepare instruments and hand them to the dentist during procedures
- Use suction and/or rinse to maintain the patient’s mouth
- Teach patients about proper oral hygiene
- Process x-rays and manage patient records
- Schedule appointments and assist patients with billing
Dental assistants can choose to specialize in something so that their day-to-day job emphasizes a few particular treatments or tasks, or they can take on some of everything!
How to Become a Dental Assistant
Becoming a dental assistant generally requires some post-secondary education in a dedicated program. Each state also has unique requirements for other tasks and procedures. Most states require licensure or certification for more technical tasks, in addition to the ones listed above, such as:
- Topical anesthesia
- Application of sealant
- Fluoride treatments
Check with your state licensing or certification board to to find out what your state requires for dental assisting. At Pittsburgh Career Institute, located in Pennsylvania, licensing as a dental assistant is done by passing the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
About Dental Assisting Programs
Dental assisting programs will vary in what they teach state by state, but most of them cover similar skills and topics. A good dental assistant program should also include training and preparation for state licensure or certification in the state the program is offered. Most programs fall in the range of nine months to two years in length, depending on the licensure, degree, or diploma awarded upon completion. Pittsburgh Career Institute, for example, offers a 10-month program that awards graduates with a diploma. This can allow graduates to begin their careers more quickly compared to students that have to work through a two-year program to earn a degree.
Learn With Pittsburgh Career Institute
Pittsburgh Career Institute can help you if you want to get your education and certification in dental assisting. Our 10-month program is designed to prepare you for the CDA exam so you can certify as a dental assistant as quickly as possible. Read our blog to learn requirements to enroll in dental school, or contact us to learn more about the program
What is a Surgical Technologist?
Surgical technologists are allied health professionals that work on surgical care teams. They are sometimes also known as surgical technicians, scrubs, scrub techs, surg techs, or operating room technicians. The titles and roles may vary based on state licensure laws and educational requirements, but most surgical technologists work in surgical rooms under the supervision of a surgeon or other surgical personnel. They provide assistance in surgeries and make the procedure as smooth as possible. It’s an exciting career with incredible opportunities to help save lives and make a difference!
What Do Surgical Technologists Do?
Surgical techs can perform many different tasks on any given day depending on who is needing care. Generally, surgical technologists spend their time preparing the operating room, organizing instruments so they are ready for a procedure, maintaining the sterile operating room, transporting patients, and monitoring equipment while the procedure is underway. Sometimes surgical techs have to be on call to be ready for nearly any situation. Some more specific tasks could include:
- Prepare sterile & non-sterile equipment for a procedure
- Check equipment for functionality before the procedure
- Prepare patients for surgery
- Pass instruments to surgeons during the surgery
- Operate equipment such as sterilizers, suction machines, lights, and more
- Handle laboratory specimens or dispose of them correctly
- Clean the operating room to prepare for next procedure
As you can see, there’s never a dull moment in the day of a surgical technologist. There are plenty of ways to help patients have a smooth and manageable experience in the hospital.
How Are Surgical Assistants Different?
People commonly use the terms “surgical technologist” and “surgical assistant” interchangeably, and in many ways they are the same. Surgical assistants usually have similar responsibilities as a surgical tech, with a few additional duties. Surgical assistants usually assist in the surgery itself, acting as a “third hand” for the surgeon while he performs the surgery. A good surgical assistant will be able to anticipate what the surgeon needs, providing tools and equipment right as it’s needed. The assistants also frequently help with suturing the site of the surgery closed and wrapping up the surgical procedure.
How Do You Become a Surgical Technologist?
Each state has different licensing and educational requirements to become a surgical technologist. In most cases, you would be required to complete an associates program that gives a degree to prepare them for their role as surgical tech. At Pittsburgh Career Institute (PCI), we offer an Associates in Specialized Technology (AST) degree program that can prepare students to be talented technologists. Even if your state doesn’t require a degree to become a surgical technician and requires a license instead, the degree can help you stand out against the competition during your job search after graduation.
Surgical technologist programs generally take one to two years to complete. During that time, you can learn the following skills and principles and many more:
- Anatomy & physiology
- Medical terminology
- Surgical pharmacology
- Surgical procedures & techniques
- Aseptic technique
- Surgical instrumentation
- Much more!
The program at PCI allows students to graduate in as few as 15 months, giving them the opportunity to apply for entry level surgical technologist positions in just over a year. Many students like this career path because they can graduate and start working in less time than a four year degree would require, and it can cost much less money!
Learn At PCI
If you have a passion for helping other people and making a difference, pursuing a career in surgical technology could be the right choice for you. Visit our surgical technology program page to learn more about what you can learn in our program and what career options you can have after graduation. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about what a career in surgical technology can do for you!
What Could You Do With a Medical Assistant Diploma?
The title of “Medical Assistant” covers a vast area of skills and knowledge. Medical Assistants are capable of performing many tasks and assisting medical professionals in many ways throughout their careers. Who could they assist? Where will they find employment opportunities? What is their career path like? Medical assisting opportunities continue to grow in popularity in recent years due to the projected increase in the demand for medical services over the next 10-20 years. Here are just a few examples of how you could use your Medical Assistant Diploma to shape your career.
If you would like to learn more about how to become a Medical Assistant, visit our blog that goes over each step!
Where Could I Work?
One of the big questions potential Medical Assistants ask is, “where could I work after I’ve completed my program?” The short answer is that for many medical specialties throughout the country, there is also a need for medical assistants to assist doctors, nurses, and technicians. Here’s a list of popular places for medical assistants to work, just to name a few:
- Physician offices
- Chiropractor offices
- Urgent care facilities
- Outpatient facilities
- Insurance companies
- Many more
Whether you prefer to be in the thick of the action in a major hospital or clinic, or prefer the slower pace of an insurance company, you could find a place to call home as a Medical Assistant.
How Can I Advance My Career?
Many students wonder how to develop their career beyond becoming an entry-level Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). Entry-level positions are a great way to get foundational experience that can shape your career throughout the rest of your life, and that’s just a step on the journey. Many medical assistants choose to remain a medical assistant, and find it a fulfilling job, while others use it as a stepping stone and go on to complete additional courses as their career goals change. As you develop your CMA/RMA skills and other soft skills, you can explore advancement opportunities in some of the following roles:
- Team lead
- Healthcare administration
- Records manager
- Transcription supervisor
- Executive secretary
- Office manager
- Medical assistant instructor
- And more
The fantastic thing about a career in medical assisting is that the field is wide open for you to build your expertise in the way that suits you best. Do you crave to lift others up and teacher others what you’ve learned? You could become a medical assistant instructor. Do you want to lead and supervise the success of a team of medical assistants? You could become a team lead. The options are out there for you to pursue and explore for yourself.
What Areas of Specialty Could I Learn?
Employers commonly look for medical assistants that have experience in a field relevant to the position they are trying to fill. For example, if an employer is trying to find an assistant for the Podiatry department in their hospital, they would be more likely to consider a candidate with experience or a passion for Podiatry. You could find a field that you love, and target it to become a specialist. Here are a few common fields in which medical assistants choose to specialize:
- Orthopedics – bones, muscles
- Podiatry – feet
- Cardiology – cardiovascular system
- Pediatrics – children
- Urology – urinary system
- And more
Begin Your New Career With PCI
Finding a career with flexibility and freedom can be challenging, but at PCI we can help that dream become a reality for you. Our Medical Assistant diploma program is designed to provide the education you need in less time so that you can start working sooner. Our Medical Assistant Program Director, Ms. Sherri Steele, has worked exceptionally hard to help her students be ready to jump into their careers head-on. Reach out to us to learn more about what you could learn in our program today!
Open House – August 18th