Medical Assistants Recognition Week Comes to a Close

Medical Assistants are the heart of healthcare. They are there to provide a comforting presence to their patients and assist the medical team.  Being a medical assistant is a challenging and rewarding career, but before one can become a Certified Medical Assistant, they must learn the skills necessary to provide their patients with the best care.

At South Texas Vocational Technical Institute we get the opportunity to teach and guide some of the most amazing students. Being that this past week was Medical Assistants Recognition Week, we took the time to talk to some of our Medical Assisting students about their choice of career path.

laura-moya-sqWhen asked, STVT students had many different reasons why they chose the Medical Assisting program.  Reasons like Laura Moya, Medical Assisting student, at our Weslaco location. “I’ve always been in the business of helping people. Before receiving my Texas residency, I would volunteer at a nursing home helping LVN’s with patients.” says Moya. After receiving her residency, Moya says she jumped on the opportunity to start her career and enrolled at South Texas Vo-Tech. Medical Assisting student at our McAllen location, Juan Alvarez, chose Medical Assisting because he wants to help people and he’s looking forward to climbing the ladder. Alvarez says, “I am looking further, not just becoming a medical assistant, but one day a surgeon.” MA student Monica Buentello at our Corpus Christi campus, chose Medical Assisting because she wanted to “make a difference in a person’s life.”

monica-buentello-sqTraining to be a medical assistant can be a demanding, but fulfilling endeavor. While there are many reasons that would make someone a great medical assistant. We asked some of our MA students what they would say to someone who is thinking about a career in the field. Damien Bernard from our Brownsville location said that he would tell anyone who is thinking about medical assisting as a career to “go for it.” “It would be a great learning experience and if you continue school it will come easy,” says Bernard.  MA student, Griselda Ponce, from our Weslaco location believes, “If you are a hands-on learner and have a desire to help people, then this field is for you.”

Medical Assistants Recognition Week celebrations may have come to an end, but we continue to be extremely proud of all of our students in the Medical Assisting program at each of our STVT campuses. Their on-going success will always remain our top priority, as it is for every one of our STVT students.

Are you interested in becoming a medical assistant? Fill out the form below to request info about the Medical Assisting program at the location closest to you.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – South Texas Vocational Technical Institute

6 Reasons to Train for a Career in Welding

Welding is a career that is in great demand right now. Lack of skilled trades in the work force has made welding a very sought after profession. “Hard work, dedication and the drive to be the best we can at what we do, sets welding apart from other trades,” boasts, STVT San Antonio, Combination Welding Instructor, Samuel Elizondo. We asked him for his professional thoughts why welding is such a beneficial career path. Here are 6 reasons why you should train for a career in welding:

  1. Skilled Welders Are Always in High Demand

 Welding is one of the few career choices that is always in high demand. Since welders are vital in almost every industry, they have the flexibility of moving from one industry to another without changing careers. As a career choice, welding has endless opportunities that continue to fuel the demand.  There are very few things made in the world today that have not been in the hands of a welder, at one point or another. In addition, according to a report by Weld-Ed, the National Center for Welding Education and Training, between 2009 and 2019, there will be a need for 238,692 new and replacement welding professionals. One major reason for the high need is that the average age of the welder in this country is about 60 years old. As this generation of welders retires, the demand for skilled welders to replace them, increases.

  1. Welders Have Endless Career Paths to Choose From

Demand for welders has been high all over the country, but in Texas, in particular, the demand has been strong for the past few years, largely because of the booming energy-related industries. Welding is career that offers a vast number of industries to work in, which greatly increases the number of career paths to choose from. A few examples of the fields in which you can work are: inspection, engineering, education, project management, sales, and robotics.

  1. Welders Have the Opportunity to Travel the World

Welders travel the world due to their jobs and their unique skill sets. Welding is done everywhere from the bottom of the ocean, to outer space and everywhere in between.  It is a profession that can take you places.

  1. Welding Can Be Quite Lucrative

Welding is one of the higher paid skilled trades in the industry. Depending on skill level most welders make very good money. Did you know that welding is one of the few careers where you can earn a six figure income without a college degree? Highly skilled welders willing to travel and/or work in hazardous conditions can earn upwards of $100,000 a year.  But remember, just like any other profession, when it comes to welding, salaries can vary a lot.  If you are well trained, at a welding school like South Texas Vocational Technical Institute, willing to work hard, and possess a good work ethic, the sky’s the limit.

  1. Job Satisfaction: Welders Love What They Do

Welders are used to hard work and do not mind doing it. Becoming a welder takes patience, practice and persistence. Completing the perfect weld is a feeling like no other. Welders take pride in their work; that coupled with the fact that they are actually making something with their own hands, contributes to the level of job satisfaction.

  1. Welders Aren’t Stuck Behind a Desk

Many people choose welding as a career because they don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day. Welders get to work in a variety of different environments from hot to cold, or high in the sky, to deep under water. The choices are endless.

As you can see, there are many reasons to pursue a career in welding and the possibilities are endless. To get started or to request information about the Combination Welding program at STVT click here.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – STVT Institute

Tips for a Healthy and Happy Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year and rightfully so.  We’re celebrating the birth of, not only our nation, but the birth of democracy itself.  And how do we choose to celebrate? With fireworks, family, sunshine and barbecues, of course!

But the holiday can also come with a few potential hazards if you’re not careful. Not to worry; we’ve got some helpful tips to make this Fourth a happy and healthy one!

Bring some earplugs

And no, they’re not to tune out your annoying cousin Larry.  Fireworks can produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range. The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure and for children, the recommendation is 120 decibels. Ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85.  So be sure to grab a pair of earplugs before you head out to enjoy the fireworks.

Apply Sunscreen

To keep your skin from matching the red, in the red, white, and blue of the American flag, you’ll want to apply sunscreen.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology it takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. So you’ll want to put it on before you’re out in the sun. You’ll want to use something with an SPF of 30 or higher, that is water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage. Reapply every couple of hours to prevent sunburn. Follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s tips on How to apply sunscreen and you should be covered.

Stay Hydrated

Being outside in the sun for a picnic or barbeque cookout can make you more susceptible to dehydration and other health risks. Keeping a bottle of water nearby will help to keep you cool and hydrated throughout the day’s festivities. Plus alternating each alcoholic beverage (if you are of age) with a bottle of water, will help to stave off alcohol-induced dehydration.

Practice Safe Barbecuing

So you’re the one who’s manning or woman-ing the grill; then it’s up to you to make sure that you’re practicing safe barbecuing. This means that you’re designating different plates for the raw and cooked meat, you’re marinating food in the refrigerator and not out on the counter, you’re cooking the food thoroughly, you’re not leaving the food out in the sun for more than 2 hours (one if temperatures are really extreme), and you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating your grill.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a happy and healthy Fourth of July!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – South Texas Vocational Technical Institute

8 Essential Auto Repair Tools

Whether you are starting your career as an automotive service professional or starting career training in the Automotive Service Technician program at STVT San Antonio, one thing remains true for both, you are going to need some tools.

Here is a list of 8 essential tools used in auto repair, compiled by our very own Automotive Service Technology instructor, Adam Moore:

  1. Cordless Impacts – Cordless power tools are replacing most lighter-duty pneumatic tools due to the advantages of not being tethered to a hose. Hoses/couplers can be an impediment to using the tools in tight spaces and present an additional danger to customers’ paint finish as well as a tripping hazard on the shop floor.
  2. Ratcheting Wrenches – Ratcheting wrenches have become essential time-saving tools. The ratcheting function can be combined with a number of other features such as flex-head, locking flex, reversible ratcheting mechanisms, and offset or ‘socket’ style inserts to make ratcheting wrenches useful in situations where conventional wrenches are ineffective or overly tedious.
  3. Long-handled Ratchet – In days past, a non-ratcheting ‘breaker bar’ was kept at hand to ‘break’ fasteners loose before using a ratchet to quickly remove them.  In may cases, ratchet mechanisms have now surpassed the strength of non-ratcheting breaker bars, making a long-handled ratchet able to loosen, as well as tighten, fasteners that would have damaged older ratchets.
  4. Power Probe – A power probe is essentially a test light which identifies voltage or ground continuity on a circuit and can also be used to connect power or ground into the circuit to test circuit/component functionality. In spite of the danger it poses to expensive electrical components while in untrained hands, a properly used power probe is now considered almost indispensable to top-level technicians.
  5. Pocket LED Flashlight – The ‘LED Revolution’ is bringing major benefits to automotive technicians. LED bulbs have a long lifespan and are extremely vibration/impact resistant, making them ideal for portable lighting in harsh conditions. They’re also much more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, which combines with ever-improving battery technology to give LED flashlights and other portable lighting much greater endurance and allows them to replace corded lights in many applications. Technicians can now meet most of their lighting needs with a pen-sized flashlight that fits in their shirt pocket and can run for many hours on a charge.
  6. Torque Wrench – A professional technician cannot do his job without being able to tighten fasteners to a precise torque specification, making an accurate torque wrench an essential tool for professional technicians.
  7. Service Information – Having access to vehicle-specific service information from a manufacturer program or independent provider such as AllData, ShopKey, Mitchell OnDemand or Identifix is essential for technicians to be able to correctly diagnose and repair modern vehicles.
  8. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Technicians’ careers, earning potential or lives could be cut short by failure to protect themselves with PPE appropriate to their work.  Technicians in training need only ask those who are experienced in the industry to hear innumerable stories and reasons to ensure your own safety at all times.

If you aren’t familiar with these tools and their uses, don’t let that stand in your way of becoming an automotive technician.  At STVT, you’ll get the hands-on training that you need to become more comfortable with these tools and the classroom instruction to help you know when and why to use them.

For more info on the Automotive Service Technician program at STVT San Antonio click here!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – South Texas Vocational Technical Institute

5 Reasons to Celebrate Your Instructors during Teacher Appreciation Week

When you really add up all the time we spend in school, from kindergarten to high school graduation and even on to higher education for a lot of us, it’s evident how important a role teachers really play in our lives. Without teachers, we would have no doctors, nurses, or presidents. We would have no mechanics, engineers, or welders. We wouldn’t even know how to read this very article.

With all things considered, we should show our appreciation for our teachers every day, but since this week happens to be when, we as a nation, observe Teacher Appreciation Week, here are five reasons to celebrate your instructors:

  1. Their Inspiration –

Your instructors possess an immeasurable amount of knowledge and understanding of their field, and they have chosen to share their passion and knowledge with you, as their students.

  1. Their Dedication –

As instructors they have chosen to dedicate their lives to helping their students have a successful future. They give of themselves, day-in and day-out to help you along your educational journey.

  1. Their Support –

When you’re having a hard time understanding a concept or struggling with preparing for a test, your instructors are there to offer you their support. They want to see you succeed and will go out of their way to make sure you have the support you need.

  1. Their Willingness to Challenge You –

Your instructors are there when you’re struggling, but in the same way that they will support you, they are also willing to challenge you. It is through these challenges that you learn to grow, both as a student and as a person.

  1. For Believing in You –

Even when you might not have believed in yourself, your instructors believed in you.  Because they believed that you could succeed, you believed that you would succeed.

Share your reasons to celebrate your instructors in the comments!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – Ancora Education

What Food Labels Aren’t Telling Us

Food Labels 101

You would think that if you wanted to know exactly what is in your food, you would just read the label. Think again. Although labels are supposed to be there to tell us exactly what’s in the food we’re about to purchase, they can be extremely deceiving. With consumers being more health conscious than they ever have been, food companies have figured out how to trick us with misleading claims and clever marketing phrases.

Labeling claims are carefully crafted to catch your attention and convince you that the product is healthier than it actually is. Look out for these common, but misleading phrases found on food labels.

Natural

This is possibly the most misleading term in the food industry. This does not mean that the product is healthy or even all that natural. The word “Natural” is used to reel in unaware consumers who tend to believe it means the same thing as “organic”, which it does not. In fact, when it comes to labeling foods, the term has no clear meaning and isn’t regulated by the FDA, much less, any agency. A recent survey of 1,005 adults  by Consumer Reports found that more than half of consumers usually seek out products with “natural” on the label, based on the false belief that they’re made without GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), hormones, or artificial ingredients.

Low Fat

Food labels claiming that the product is “low fat” can be found on everything from yogurt to salad dressing. Unlike the term “natural”, the FDA does regulate when this claim can be used. This may seem to offer the assurance that the food has a significant nutritional benefit, but in fact it could be the opposite. Low fat products are processed to reduce either calories or fat and some products are simply watered down. Often when these things are removed something is added in their place, like sugar or artificial ingredients.

Cage free or Free Range

The terms “cage free” or “free range” might conjure up lovely images of happy hens frolicking around a farm yard all day, without a care in the world, but unfortunately this is not the case. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) defines free range as having exposure to the outdoors. The problem is that there are no requirements for the amount, duration or quality of the outdoor exposure. Most “free range” or “cage free” birds spend their lives in extremely over-crowded warehouses, with little exposure to the outdoors. Diseases run rampant in these conditions, due to unclean surroundings, tight quarters and contaminated feed. If you are looking for eggs or poultry from happy birds, look for “pasture raised” on the labels.

Sugar Free

Products labeled “sugar free” may not contain refined sugar, but it is often replaced with something far less healthy. “Sugar free” usually indicates the presence of artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. Aspartame, sucralose, and other artificial sweeteners can have just as many, if not more negative health effects than regular sugar. Just because a food has no added sugar, doesn’t mean that it’s sugar free! Juice, for example has no sugar added to it, but the naturally-occurring sugar in an 8 ounce glass of juice still contains anywhere from 24 to 36 grams of sugar – the equivalent of six to nine teaspoons.

Finding your way in the supermarket jungle

Making informed choices on the food that we buy for ourselves and our families can be difficult when food companies are constantly trying to mislead us, but here are a few suggestions to help you find your way:

  1. Stay informed – the best way to avoid being pulled-in by healthy-sounding deceptive marketing phrases is to become knowledgeable about the foods that you should be eating.
  2. Be skeptical – If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Shop the Perimeter – The perimeter of the store is where the freshest and least processed foods are generally found, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish.
  4. Keep it simple – Avoid foods that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Want to see if you’ve learned a few things about food labels? Take the Web MD quiz here.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – Ancora Education

 

 

Study Techniques That Compliment Your Learning Style

shutterstock_217035208_renderedStudy, study, study. Do you find yourself studying excessively, but your grades aren’t reflecting all the effort you’re putting in? Then maybe you aren’t studying in ways that compliment your learning style. Contrary to popular opinion, textbooks and lectures might not be the only way to prepare yourself for an exam.

What is a learning style and how does it effect me?

Learning style has to do with the different ways that people bring in and absorb new information. Knowing your learning style can help you use your strengths when studying.

Ever wondered why you do well in some classes and not in others? This may depend on your learning style. Whether taking a regular class or studying for a major exam you can greatly increase your productivity by tailoring your study habits to compliment your particular learning style.

You might be a Visual Learner if…

If you never forget a face, but have trouble remembering people’s names then you might be a Visual Learner. If you’d rather watch the movie than read the book, you might be a visual learner. Visual learners process information best when it’s presented to them visually.

Study tips for Visual Learners:shutterstock_280433198_rendered

Take detailed notes

Whether you are sitting in class or reading a text book, make sure to take lots of notes. By taking copious amounts of detailed notes you give yourself the ability to review what was covered later at your own pace, and the act of note-taking itself contributes to your absorption of the material.

Watch a video on the topic

Like I said before, if you’d rather watch the movie, then maybe you should. Now this doesn’t mean go watch the new Star Wars movie instead of studying. It means finding videos online that cover what you are studying. Whether you Google a short clip to answer a particular question or you use an online learning resource like Khan Academy, you will find videos to be strong study aids. Note: Make sure your videos come from reputable sources.

Use Flashcards

Flash cards will help you learn the subject using repetition to ensure you retain the knowledge. There are many apps available if you don’t feel like making your own flash cards. Apps such as Chegg Flashcards and Studyblue allow you to keep score and track your stats so that you know what areas you need to focus on.

 You might be an Auditory Learner if…

If you find you enjoy humming aloud or talking to yourself, you might be an Auditory Learner. If you remember words to songs and notice sound effects in movies, then you might be an Auditory learner. This just means that you study best by listening. Auditory Learners tend to perform the best in classes that emphasize lectures and class discussions.

Study tips for Auditory Learners:

Record your lecturesshutterstock_272450690_rendered

Recording your lectures allows you to listen to them again when trying to study. There are many apps available.

Verbalize what you’ve learned.

In the same way that visual learners learn from writing notes, auditory learners can solidify their learning by verbalizing what they’ve learned. Put it into your own words, this helps you to truly grasp the subject and remember it longer.

Read aloud

Read aloud whenever possible. After reading a chapter, summarize it out loud.

Use Mnemonic Devices

A mnemonic device is a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something. Using a mnemonic device can make remembering dull or difficult to learn material such as numbers, formulas, dates, terminology, or concepts easier and maybe even a little fun.

Work in Groups

When working in a group you can discuss the subject and better absorb the material. You can also quiz each other.

You might be a Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner if…

If you hate using an owner’s manual when you buy a new gadget or reading the instructions to put together IKEA furniture, then you might be a kinesthetic learner. If you tap your feet to music and can’t sit still in lectures, you might be a kinesthetic learner. This means you comprehend information best through hands-on learning. Kinesthetic learners tend to do better in labs than in lectures.

Study Tips for Kinesthetic Learners:girl typing on laptop with socks

Apply what you’ve learned

If you’re studying from a textbook, you can get frustrated pretty quickly. To combat this frustration and better understand the material you covered, look for practical applications for what you’ve just learned.

Take short study breaks

Rather than forcing yourself to sit and study for long periods, break up your study sessions into 30 minute increments with 5 minute breaks in between to stand up and move around. This can be beneficial to all students, but especially for kinesthetic learners.

Keep your hands busy while studying

Believe it or not, kinesthetic learners study and comprehend information better when their hands are involved. It can be as simple as holding an object, like a stress ball, while studying or typing out your notes.

What to keep in mind

 No matter what your predominant learning style may be, it’s important that you keep in mind that it’s just your predominant, not your only learning style. Most of us are a mix of all three.  Don’t be afraid to try methods from other learning styles as well. The goal is to find what methods work best for you.

 Find Out Your Learning Style

You can find out what your preferred learning style is by taking the assessment found here.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – Ancora Education