7 Signs a Career as a Dental Assistant Is Right for You

Jun 24 2020

Someone getting their teeth examined at a dentist appointment

If the field of dentistry has been on the top of your list of education to pursue, there are a variety of options you can choose from, such as a dental hygienist or even a dentist yourself.

Another option is to become a Dental Assistant, where your primary responsibilities are to assist the dentist and hygienists to keep records in order, schedule appointments, and help the dentist or dental hygienists during appointments.

1. You Enjoy Helping Others

In a career as a Dental Assistant, you can be a part of a team that helps people feel good about their smiles. You can help calm an anxious patient during their appointment. And, once the appointment is done, you can teach each patient about good oral hygiene to keep their smiles healthy and clean at home.

This field can feel fulfilling as you can make an impact on the community around you.

2. Dental Assistants Are in Demand

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Dental Assistant field is expected to grow by 11%, which is much faster than average. The BLS equates this field growth to an aging population and an increase of research that links oral health to general health.

As more people become informed and choose to go to their dentist more regularly for check-ups and care, more Dental Assistants are needed to care for the increased number of patients.

Students at PCI learning dental assisting.

3. You Are Always Organized

If you’re someone who loves to be organized and has a knack for details, a career as a Dental Assistant may be right for you. Dental Assistants often help the dentist office run smoothly by:

  • Maintaining patient records
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Sterilizing equipment
  • Handing dentists instruments during procedures
  • Teaching patients good dental health and hygiene
  • Getting patients ready for procedures

While Dental Assistants aren’t quite the same as dental hygienists, they do play a big role in dental offices to keep everything organized.

4. You Want To Care for Others’ Smiles

According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), 48% of adults believe that a smile is the most memorable feature. If you love helping people feel confident in their smiles, a career as a Dental Assistant could be a good fit for you!

If you have a patient who is self-conscious about their smile, you can play a big part in making them have more confidence with their smile.

5. It’s a Good Stepping Stone for Future Careers

If you want to be in the dental industry, an education as a Dental Assistant can be a good first step. It can lead you to further your education into other careers in the dental field, like a dental hygienist or even a dentist yourself!

Dental Assistants can become certified by taking the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Getting certified can create a good foundation for further education.

6. You Can Be Part of a Team

Think of the last time you went to the dentist. How did the dentist interact with their team? Were they having fun while taking care of their patients? Were they attentive to each patient’s needs and concerns? You know you’ve found a good dentist when everyone at the office seems to love working there. You can work as part of that team to care for patients.

Your team of dentists, dental hygienists, and other Dental Assistants all play a big role to create a good experience that makes patients excited for their next appointment.

Dental assistants working with a patient.

7. You Can Have a Flexible Schedule

Some Dental Assistants can choose to work full-time while others might choose to work in an office part-time. A career as a Dental Assistant can make it possible to fit work into a busy schedule, especially for those who have family responsibilities or other commitments.

Something else to keep in mind is that most dentist offices are often only open during regular business hours, which means you most likely won’t have to worry about working during evenings or on weekends.

Learn How To Take the Next Steps

If you’re considering dental assisting as the next step in your career, you can learn more about what a Dental Assistant does and how to become one. You can also get in touch with an admissions representative at Pittsburgh Career Institute.

As part of an education in our Dental Assistant program, you can expect to get support from our team. Our curriculum incorporates the technical skills in a supervised environment and requires students to complete an externship, so they can feel more prepared for their future career.

If this sounds like the right move for you, contact an admissions representative. We’ll walk you through the process of starting at PCI, like scheduling a tour, filling out the proper application forms, and starting to apply for financial aid*. We can’t wait to meet you!

*Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

PCI- COVID-19 Information

Jun 08 2020
PCI’s COVID-19 Safety Plan June 2020 (1)
Memorandum COVID update June 2020-0601

How Long Does It Take To Become a Medical Assistant?

May 29 2020

woman smiling while holding a binder

A question we frequently get asked is “How long does it take to become a Medical Assistant?”

At Pittsburgh Career Institute, a Medical Assistant Diploma Program can be completed in as little as 40 instructional weeks.

There are a few considerations to take when looking for a Medical Assistant Diploma program:

  • Scheduling options
  • State laws
  • Specific schools

Here’s a little more about starting a Medical Assistant Education with Pittsburgh Career Institute.

What Is a Medical Assistant Diploma Program?

A typical Medical Assistant program should help prepare students to assist medical providers by performing administrative duties and other clinical procedures.

At its core, a future Medical Assistant should expect to learn about:

  • Medical practice
  • Law and ethics
  • Medical communications
  • Medical records
  • Insurance
  • Patient prep
  • Laboratory procedures and tests

Finding a school that can help you pursue your goals of becoming a healthcare professional is an important step in the process of becoming a Medical Assistant. The school and program you choose should give you the resources and tools you need to help you be successful.

What You Need To Know To Become a Medical Assistant

How Can I Complete the Program?

Hard work pays off in the medical field. Pittsburgh Career Institute will always be there to provide assistance when it comes to gaining an education.

Here are some things that you can do to help you complete the Medical Assistant Program.

Work and Study Hard

Sometimes learning comes easy for students, and other times it takes a little extra effort to help students succeed. No matter where you are on the spectrum of learning, Pittsburgh Career Institute is here to set their students up to reach their goals. Those students who diligently attend classes, study hard, and practice their skills whenever possible should have confidence in themselves to succeed.

Talk With Our Career Services Department

The Career Services Department* is the bridge between you and employers! You’ll be in communication with them starting from your orientation and throughout your journey at PCI. This opportunity gives students assistance with:

  • Job searching
  • Finding part-time employment while in school
  • Interview preparation and training
  • Resume writing
  • Professional networking tips and events

Attend Events That Can Help You Grow!

At Pittsburgh Career Institute, we offer plenty of opportunities for our students to attend on-campus events and workshops to help them on their path to success after school. Some of these include:

  • Hosting career fairs
  • Holding mock interviews
  • Offering on-site interviewing with some of Pittsburgh’s valued employers
  • Scheduling job search strategy workshops

There are many other tips for success that can help prepare students to become hard-working medical professionals! It’s up to you to do what you can to make your future happen!

*Pittsburgh Career Institute does not guarantee employment or salary.

Are You Ready To Become a Medical Assistant?

The medical industry will be around for a long time which means that Medical Assistants are in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job outlook for 2018-2028 is 5%. Medical Assistant careers are at 23% which is much faster than average! This means that there are going to be plenty of opportunities for those passionate about the world of medicine.

If you’re ready to start on a career path today, then get in contact with Pittsburgh Career Institute. We’d love to show you even more of what this field has to offer you.

If you’re still curious to learn more about the field of Medical Assisting, then you can learn more about how to become a medical assistant and what you could do with a medical assistant diploma.

5 Reasons It’s Never Too Late to Begin Your Education at PCI

Going over tools in the medical industry

It’s never too late to further your education, and it’s never been a better time to consider making the leap. While there is a lot of uncertainty right now, you can take this opportunity to explore a new education and career! At Pittsburgh Career Institute, we’re still striving to help prepare our current and future students with a good education.

You can get the conversation started to learn how to apply at PCI now. Plus, you can check out a few reasons why now could be the right time for you.

1. You Never Know What You Can Accomplish

If you’d like to find a career you can love, it may help to get an education that supports you with your new goals. You could set a goal to find a career that lets you feel fulfilled or find something that allows you to pursue your interests. People love their careers for different reasons! Some love working with others, while others love a good challenge.

Whatever your dreams are, finding the right education can help you discover what you naturally enjoy and how to unlock your potential. Who knows? You may find that you love being in a career that lets you work with a variety of people, and the healthcare industry is a good place to start.

Student learning how to test blood pressure.

2. We Can Help You Start Your Education

No matter what concerns you have that are stopping you from pursuing an education you’ve been dreaming of, we can help! We want to support our students and help them feel prepared for their future in the medical industry.

Some of the resources we offer for students are:

  • Financial aid available for those who qualify
  • Externships and hands-on experience as part of our programs
  • Small class sizes to keep our student-to-teacher ratio low

You can learn more about other reasons why PCI could be a good choice for you.

3. PCI Offers Continued Support After Graduation

Beginning your education at PCI is just that, a beginning. We will be there for you after your time at PCI, working to help connect you with the right career fit. Don’t let your fear of looking for employment hold you back.

Our Career Services department is there to help you every step of the way – from interview preparation to resume writing and professional networking. Some of the other resources we make available to our students are: Some other things we offer to help our students are:

  • Career fairs
  • Mock interviews
  • On-site interviews
  • Job search workshops

We want our students to feel supported in finding their new career, so our career services focus on both finding a career and showing employers that you deserve the position.

4. The Right Training Can Help You Find the Right Career

Whatever your health care career goals are, PCI offers an educational path that can benefit you. There are many options available, especially at PCI! You can explore careers in or as a:

A career that fits your lifestyle and your interests is within your reach!

Surgical technologist students preparing a surgery

5. The Medical Industry Is in Demand

The healthcare industry is expected to grow! In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are growing by 14%. We expect that the medical industry will always be in demand. Good healthcare professionals are always needed to help care for those who need it.

Take the Next Step

Finding a new career can take time, but it’s worth it. Our admissions team is happy to discuss your career options. We would love to help you find your next career path, so get in touch to learn how to get started at PCI.

Read more about specific career paths in our career guides:

Interested in Pursuing a Future as a Respiratory Therapist?

Apr 14 2020

Respiratory Therapy students working with equipment

If you’re wondering where to take your future next, why not consider finding a career in the healthcare industry? There are a variety of options, from Veterinary Technology to a Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Another option is to become a Respiratory Therapist, who have especially important roles right now. Here’s an overview of the Respiratory Therapist career.

What Is a Respiratory Therapist?

A Respiratory Therapist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the cardiopulmonary (relating to the heart and lungs) system. They care for all people, including:

  • Infants
  • Pediatrics
  • Adults
  • Geriatrics

They can help with all types of cardiopulmonary illnesses and diseases, too.

PCI Respiratory Therapy instructor demonstrating to students.

What Is the Day in the Life of a Respiratory Therapist Like?

Each day for a Respiratory Therapist is different from the last. The day may start with completing breathing treatments and performing Oxygen Exercise Testing. Then, a code goes off, and the Respiratory Therapist must assist the physician and nurse with chest compressions and intubation.

This results in the patient being transferred to the ICU, where the Respiratory Therapist manages the mechanical ventilator. And the day could end with a call for the Transport Team to pick up a patient in severe respiratory distress and transfer them back to the hospital.

Respiratory Therapists work as part of a team to make sure patients are taken care of and necessary care is given. As each patient is different, there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow more.

Respiratory Therapy is not a mundane career. Physicians and nurses count on the Respiratory Therapist to help manage and care for the cardiopulmonary patients. They can also think outside the box to solve problems for patients. The reward is watching patients recover and go home to their loved ones.

What Credentials Do You Need To Become a Respiratory Therapist?

In order to become a Respiratory Therapist, someone will take their medical boards after graduation through the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC). Once successfully passed, the Respiratory Therapist will acquire the credential of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) depending on their passing score.

Where Can Respiratory Therapists Work?

Respiratory Therapists can work in more than just hospitals. Depending on who they want to work with can determine where they find a career. A Respiratory Therapist can gain employment in places, like:

  • Hospitals
  • Pulmonary Rehab
  • Sleep Centers
  • Home Health Care
  • Pulmonary Function Testing
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Transport Teams (ground and air)
  • Education

You can choose from a variety of places, and an education at Pittsburgh Career Institute can help find the right fit for you. We offer a variety of career services, including tips to succeed at our career fairs and on-site interviews, too!

With the COVID-19 Pandemic, What Is the Role of a Respiratory Therapist?

COVID-19 has brought to the forefront the need for Respiratory Therapists. COVID-19 has damaged countless people’s lungs in ways no health care professional expected. Victims of the pandemic are placed on mechanical ventilation or other oxygen devices to alleviate the damage and destruction of the illness.

PCI students working with Respiratory Therapy instructor.

The Respiratory Therapist is the specialist on the front line that assists in maintaining the patient’s breathing and assists the physicians to maneuver therapies that will be more beneficial to the patient, allowing them to successfully recover from this illness. The Respiratory Therapist recognizes one treatment doesn’t fit all.

Their expertise in mechanical ventilation and the cardiopulmonary system allows them to think outside of the box to find optimal ways to treat this growing illness.

Want To Learn More About Respiratory Therapy?

As the need for more Respiratory Therapists increases, it’s a good time to explore the education you can use to become one. You can learn more about the field of Respiratory Therapy as part of our Respiratory Therapy Career Guide.

You can also take the next steps to learn how to get started by getting in touch with us. Schedule a tour to learn more about our Respiratory Therapy program and take the next steps to apply.

How Well Do You Know Diagnostic Medical Sonography?

Mar 31 2020

If you have what it takes to work with other medical professionals and analyze sonograms each day, this might be the profession for you! A profession in Diagnostic Medical Sonography can be a rewarding career, because you can work with patients on a personal level and give them information about their physical health.

In our program at Pittsburgh Career Institute you can learn about physiology, anatomy, and more! You might even know a little bit about the profession already. Test your knowledge to see how well you know Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

The History of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

“Manufacturers now make ultrasound equipment that is so compact, it can be carried to patients on battlefields or used by astronauts in space,” stated Beth Orenstein in Radiology Today Magazine. Technology wasn’t always this simple though.

The history of sonography goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Around that time the theory about right-angled triangles was discovered. This discovery led to the creation of the sonometer.

Most people believe the ultrasound was invented when a French physicist, Pierre Curie, discovered piezoelectricity in 1877.

Thirty-five years later, sonographic imaging was developed by French professor and physicist Paul Langevin.

Now there are countless sonograms and Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a niche profession that you can pursue. Find out more about our Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program!

A Typical Day in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

young girl at the doctors office getting a sonography done on her abdomen

Are you wondering what a typical day looks like in Diagnostic Medical Sonography? In this profession, a few common places you can work at are hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical labs. At these places you generate images and study them through sonographic equipment for most of the day.

You also get to work with clients and analyze their patient history to determine which images would be the most beneficial to the doctors. Other responsibilities include preparing and maintaining the diagnostic equipment, and communicating with the interpreting physician who makes a diagnosis based on the images.

What’s the Difference Between an Ultrasound and a Sonogram?

Ultrasounds are the high-pitched vibrations used to create a medical image. This medical image is called a sonogram. If you want to work with ultrasounds, a Diagnostic Medical Sonography Profession is the way to go!

Here at Pittsburgh Career Institute, you can learn to perform diagnostic ultrasound examinations required of an entry-level general sonographer. These examinations include the abdomen, pelvis, pregnant female pelvis, and superficial structures. Students are also introduced to vascular ultrasound.

If you would love to work with high technology and build client relationships, contact us today to apply for our program!

Class of 2020 Graduation

Feb 25 2020

Our 5 Favorite Pittsburgh Spring Activities

Feb 20 2020

Spring is just around the corner! We’re ready for the weather to warm up and for the trees to start blooming. Once it’s warm, check out one of our five favorite spring activities to jumpstart the new season! Whether you’re looking for some extra-curricular science or want to jumpstart your adrenaline, there’s something for all our students at the Pittsburgh Career Institute.

Cheer on the Pirates or Tour PNC Park

view of PNC park baseball field in Pittsburgh

Let’s go bucs! Opening day is March 26th 2020, and the first home game is April 2nd 2020! Take a break and watch the Pirates take on the Cincinnati Reds. PNC Park is a short drive or ride over from the Pittsburgh Career Institute, and if it’s really nice, it’s about a twenty minute walk over! Enjoy a beautiful view of the city, watch the game, and enjoy a Slice.

PNC Park also offers tours! Tours typically include:

  • Legacy Theater
  • The Clubhouse (away days only)
  • Batting Cages, tunnel, and dugout
  • The Press Box
  • Club Level and Suites
  • Whether the Pirates are home or away, PNC Park on a spring day is a must for us!

Carnegie Science Center


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The Carnegie Science Center has something for anyone interested in robotics, aerospace, awter, sports science, physics, medicine, and more! We especially love the newer expansion of the PPG Science Pavilion. The PPG Science Pavilion hosts national and international touring shows, including Mummies of The World, which is the largest collection of touring mummies ever assembled.

Want to check out the science center with no kids? Grab a couple of your classmates and get tickets for one of the monthly Science After Hours nights! Admission is open to adults 21 and older. There’s a different theme for every month that includes experiments and advanced learning! Get some outside learning and have fun bonding with classmates in your program over experiments, escape rooms, trivia games, and more.

Phipps Conservatory


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If you haven’t been to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens yet, now is the time to go! There are dozens of themed rooms, exotic flowers and plants, artwork, and seasonal flower shows. The Phipps Conservatory is a great way to celebrate the start of spring by exploring delicate orchid species, desert plants, and tropical fruits and spices.

Need a quick break from studying? Explore the Phipps Conservatory from the comfort of your laptop with their online tour! Keep an eye on upcoming shows so you can plan a day off learning about all the Phipps Conservatory has to offer.

Pittsburgh Zoo


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We have a feeling our veterinary technology students will love or already love The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium! The Pittsburgh Zoo opened its doors in 1898, and is one of only six major zoo and aquarium combinations in the country. See baby animals, celebrate penguin birthdays, and learn more about wildlife conservation!

If you don’t have time to head over during the week, check out their Cheetah Cam! Our Veterinary Technology program can include learning zoo animal medicine, so set up the Cheetah Cam while you study and schedule a day to go to the zoo when you can.



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For a full day of fun, Kennywood is a Pittsburgh must-see! Opening day for the 2020 season is May 2nd. Kennywood is home to some of the oldest roller coasters in the country, including the last remaining Noah’s Ark fun house in the world. Kennywood also has a wide variety of new rides, attractions, and food stands, so there’s fun for everyone no matter their age or tolerance for roller coasters.

Make PCI Part of Your Spring Plans

Get started on your future education with Pittsburgh Career Institute this spring! PCI is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, with convenient access to public transportation and some of Pittsburgh’s best restaurants and venues. If you’re interested in starting your education, contact us to find out if Pittsburgh Career Institute might be right for you.