Centura College

Connecting Communities & Careers

Health Information Technology Career Outlook

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Centura College

Health Information Technologists are part of a healthcare interdisciplinary team and an integral part of the healthcare profession. As a student in Centura College’s Health Information Technology training, students will obtain a vast array of knowledge about the information technology field in preparation for entry into the workforce.

The Goal of Health Information Technology

A health information technician is entrusted with the application of IT resources on health care operations. This objective can be accomplished through use of technology in the management of health care information.

Defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health information technician:

Medical records and health information technicians, commonly referred to as health information technicians, organize and manage health information data. They ensure that the information maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories. (1)

Job Outlook

The employment for health information technology is projected to continue growing in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate is set to be about 15% faster than the average for other jobs. This improvement can be attributed to the increased need for medical by the older generations. There will be a higher demand for health insurance information management because more individuals are benefiting from the reforms on the federal insurance. In addition, more hospitals and clinics are embracing electronic health records, providing extensive opportunities for HIT experts.

Statistical Data

The median pay in 2016 for health information technicians was $18.29 per hour or $38,040 per year. The number of HIT jobs in 2014 is estimated at 188,600 and the field has continued to expand. Those who hold a health information technology diploma are eligible for employment as a coder, biller, medical record specialist or health information technician.

Source

1. “What Medical Records and Health Information Technicians Do.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 26 July 2017. < https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-2>Source

Information Technology: Keeping Your Information Safe

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Bachelor Degree Completion Program, Centura College

By Robb Rajnys and Jul DeGeus

With great technological advances, comes great technological responsibilities; like protecting your personal information.

Thanks to the progress of technology, we are living in an age where you can accomplish almost anything with a swipe of a finger. Track your fitness, manage your bank account or even supervise your lights and lock systems at your home remotely; that is, as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection and a charged smart phone. But like all great things, technology comes with a downfall: cyberattacks.

Understanding Cyberattacks

There severity of a cyberattack is only limited to the imagination of the person who creates the virus. Familiarize yourself with common terms and proactive prevention to ensure the safety of your personal information:

Malware: In Latin, “mal” means “bad,” it’s no surprise that malware is the general term for malicious threats, like Trojans or worms, that try to steal and destroy data.

Malvertising: Keeping in mind that the Latin root of “malware”, malvertising is an ad that has been infected with malware. When you click on the ad, whatever was effect the cyberattacker loaded in the coding of the ad is downloaded on your computer.

Password Attacks: Probably the most obviously attack term, password attacks occur when a hacker tries to steal your password for information. Cyber thieves can use a program to access your passwords, or even resort to old fashioned ways: peering over your shoulder to see your smart phone screen as you type in the pin to your debit card.

Phishing: Another term many people are familiar with is “phishing.” This attack targets your email accounts. The attacker sets up a company and requests personal information or provides a link to click on. The website’s information you’re directed to aligns with the information you received in the email, sometimes creating a false sense of security and legitimacy. As soon as you input your information, the hackers can use it as they see fit.

Ransomware: In a nut shell, Ransomware is a virus that will lock you out of all your data- documents, photos, contacts, etc. – until you pay a fee. If you chose not to pay the fee, you’ll have to wipe your whole computer in order to use it, losing all of your data anyway.

Thwarting the Attacks

Never fear, prevention is out there! To counter the above hazards, ensure you install and adhere to the following:

Firewalls: This is a virtual gate, if you will, that can prevent or allow certain traffic from leaving or gaining access to your PC. To increase effectiveness, the firewall should stay turned on, especially if you are connected to the internet.

Antivirus Software with Ransomware Protection: Invest in a good antivirus software that includes a ransomware protection plan; good meaning that you should pay for it. Most free antivirus protection software only monitors issues and then alert you, not take care of the problem. Purchasing antivirus software provides monitoring and proactive protection.

Keep Your PC Up to Date: Most users do not maintain their updates. Updates are important because they’re purpose is to help keep your computer safe.  Every time a new malware is developed or and old one is updated, programmers hastily work to develop and push out an update to their consumers to counteract its effects, keeping your information all the more protected.

Email: Everyone on the planet has an email now a days. 91% of cyberattacks stem from email. Be wary of emails you receive that:

  • Request passwords
  • Request your Social Security Number
  • Offer anything “free”
  • Alert you with an “urgent” warning or threat of an expiration of an account
  • Request credit card information

Everywhere you go on the internet leaves “footprints;” where you shop, where you bank, what you may want to buy, etc. Malware picks up on your “footprints” and tries to trick you by creating emails and pop-up advertisements that are catered to your internet browsing, searching and buying habits. If something look suspect, treat it as such. However, if you land on a website you’re not so sure about or regret downloading a file, there are handy websites to scan files or sites in question.

File Storage: Backup your computer and all data regularly to ensure its safety. Use a secure file housing website, software, or simply copy important folders and files to a USB disk regularly. This minimizes the impact, headaches and helps to avoid having pay a ransomware to get your vital documents.

Self-Care for Massage Therapists

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Adult Education, Career Change, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Health, Lifestyle, Massage Therapy, Spotlight Feature, Tips & Tricks

Self-Care for Massage Therapists

By Shawnte’ Peterson, Massage Therapist Coordinator at Centura College’s Chesapeake Campus

Edited by Jul DeGeus & Esperanza Poquiz

A massage therapist’s work often involves lifting clients’ body parts, repetitive postures and forceful pressure that could lead to injury or ailments. To help prevent damage, massage therapists should remember to care for their body, as it is the main tool of their trade. Here at Centura College, we encourage our students and staff to care for themselves and listen to the advice we give clientele. This self-care means nurturing your body by fueling it with nutrients to keep it energized and carefully listening to our body when it establishes its limits.

The American Massage Therapy Association describes self-care as, “an indication that you recognize the importance of balance in your life. Placing a priority on self-care helps you center yourself and reduce stress.”  Practicing self-care can extend the longevity of a massage therapist’s career. By learning techniques to keep hands and wrists healthy, a massage therapist benefits by working smarter and not harder through body awareness. Massage therapist can find tips, such as the ones listed below, useful in everyday life and at work as a means to avoid burning-out and injury:

Centura College Chesapeake Campus’ Massage Therapy students practicing yoga.

Stretching– A massage therapist should know better than anyone that “warming up” before putting your body through intense activity helps prevent strains. Massage therapists can develop the best stretch routine by consulting with their doctor.

Massages– Whether it’s a self-massage or a massage from a coworker, massage therapists should get them often, especially since therapist have a great understanding of massage benefits including stress relief, pain management and improving sleep cycles.

Proper Diet and Nutrition- Regardless of profession, everyone should have a diet tailored to the improvement or balance of their health. By visiting a dietitian or doctor, massage therapist can create a meal plan full of the nutrients they need.

Body Detoxes– Preforming a body detox  can boost a healthy mindset. Massage therapists that detox can experience sharpened thoughts, improved breathing and a surge in energy.

Exercising– To preform optimally, massage therapists should exercise regularly. Exercising strengthens therapists’ body, from the hands to the core.

Yoga and Meditation- With similar positive body strengthening effects to exercising and stretching, yoga also includes the revitalizing element of meditation to put the mind in a positive state. Starting the day with a positive energy will allow for therapists to transmit this energy to the people they interact with.

Because massage therapist’s jobs are labor intensive, they need to move to keep their muscles and joints healthy. Keeping this in mind, massage therapist will have a long positive career, which will ensuring the happiness of their clientele and themselves.

Business Training: Cell Phone Etiquette

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Business Accounting Degree, Business Management, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Tips & Tricks

By Jul DeGeus

Some might argue that professionalism is one of the keys to success in the business world. Knowing the rules of business etiquette can set you apart from other employees, but one of the most commonly abused etiquette rules is the use of cell phones. While you should refer to your company’s rules and regulations for instruction regarding cell phone usage, these are some best practices:

Cellphone Volume and Ringer/ Ringtone

There’s nothing worse than sitting at your cubicle, working on a report in a silent office and having your phone ring. Anxiously, you bustle around through your personal items, quickly trying to hush it. You apologize for disturbing everyone and, red-faced, you get back to work hoping you won’t be made fun of later for your choice of ringtone. Two main rules of etiquette can be learned in this situation:

  • Always remember to silence your phone- Make turning your phone to “silent mode” part of your morning routine to save you some shame. Breakfast, shower, brush your teeth, check your phone, grab coffee and head to work.
  • Pick a professional ring/text tone- While you might know all the words to “Baby Got Back,” and even have a choreographed dance paired with it for special occasions, your ringtone reflects your professionalism. Keep it generic to keep it professional.

Also keep in mind that setting your phone to “vibrate” is not the same as “silencing” your phone. While it is harder for some to pick up the sounds, vibrations are audible, especially if sitting on a tabletop surface.

When and Where to Use Your Cell

Prime Time                                       

Lunch time is the perfect time to take or make personal calls. Most lunches are “off the clock” which is the ideal time to make your calls. Just be aware of your surroundings and understand that in a cafeteria or restaurant setting, others have the opportunity to hear part or all of your conversation. A personal or secluded space, such as your car, will allow for more privacy.

Be Cautious

Most companies allow you to use your phone on break, but take into consideration how long you use your phone. Generally, breaks are 15 minutes. If you exceed this time, it is likely that your boss will notice and could result in discipline.

Avoid Usage

It’s not the best idea to use your phone when in your cubicle. A neighbor can pop their head over the separator and gaze your screen or overhear a chat you are having. Additionally, you do not want to interrupt your peers’ concentration by carrying out a loud, disruptive dialogue.

People often use restrooms to have conversation on their phone. While this seems private, voices can carry through the buildings ventilation system. Not to mention, if your office shares a single or limited number of stalls, you could be holding up someone who needs to use the restroom.

There’s always an exception to the rule and when it comes to cell phones, emergencies are the exception. If there is some sort of emergency that causes your phone to ‘blow up,’ communicate this with your boss so they are aware of why you are on your phone.

Avoid Rudeness

Say you are in a meeting and someone vaguely refers to information you know you have access to via your cell phone. In situations like this, it’s ok to use your phone to access the information, so long as you announce that that is what you are doing. Something as simple as, “I’ll get those exact numbers for you,” or, “I have that email, let me pull it up,” will let everyone in the meeting know you are using your phone to enhance the meeting, rather than ignore it.

When interacting with people, give them your full attention. Try not to use your phone as a timepiece and avoid your smart watch; if you spend too much time looking at your smart watch, people will assume you are checking a text message and ignoring them. Finally, as sneaky as you may be, don’t read text messages under the table, behind a coffee cup or in back of portfolio or clip board.

Helpful Training to Strengthen Your Next Interview

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Career Change, Career Services, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Lifestyle, Tips & Tricks

Helpful Training to Strengthen Your Next Interview

By Esperanza Poquiz

Some of us find interviews a little nerve-racking while others may be cool, calm and collected. Preparing for the interview process can ease stress. Whether you are a pro or amateur, keep these tips in the forefront of your mind when going to your next interview.

First Impressions

We’ve all heard that making a great first impression is important. A survey showed that 66 out of 2,000 hiring managers knew in 90 seconds if they would hire the job candidate. Ensure that your appearance gives the hiring manager a great first impression by:

  • Smiling
  • Having a firm handshake and great posture
  • Wearing more neutral colors like: black, gray, navy blue and white
  • Communicating with proper vocabulary and grammar

Confidence

Having confidence in yourself definitely shows in an interview. Emitting confidence lets the hiring manager see that you know what you want and you take initiative. Radiate confidence through:

  • Voice projection; don’t mumble
  • Eye contact
  • Body language: don’t fidget, play with your hair, touch your face or cross your hands over your chest
  • Hand gestures, but keep them to a minimum
  • Enthusiasm; Let your personality shine and show warmth

Know Who You Applied For

Before going in your interview be sure to do the following:

  • Research the company and get general information
  • Have a specific position in mind and learn the requirements of the position you seek
  • Come prepared with questions based on the company
  • Know the company’s mission statement and what is important to them

Final Suggestions

  • Have a generic answer about why you lost or left your last job
  • Don’t put down previous positions, employers or peers
  • Don’t focus on pay, schedule or benefits in the initial interview
  • Ask relevant questions

Be sure to keep these suggestions in mind for you next interview. You can also ask family and friends for help through mock interviews. Good luck!

History Refresh: The 4th of July

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Centura College, Community Connections, Lifestyle, Spotlight Feature

Source: Library of Congress.

What Happened on the 4th of July

Americans observe the 4th of July to commemorate the birth of our nation. With fireworks, cookouts, and garments consisting of red, white and blue, it’s a day that we all come together as a nation and celebrate with pride. In 1776, it was the day that the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was adopted and America’s 13 colonies officially declared their independence from Great Britain. With Thomas Jefferson as the main author, the Declaration of Independence’s contributors included: John Adams, Ben Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. It was later signed by all members of Congress on August 2, 1776.

How it All Began

By 1774, the first settled colonies grew tired of Britain’s tight control and high taxes. They felt that they were being unjustly taxed and didn’t have any representation in the British parliament. They expressed their unrest by staging rebellions, such as the Boston Tea Party in December of 1773. The colonies formed the First Continental Congress on September 5, 1774, in order to come up with solutions that would convince Great Britain to recognize their rights. They were unsuccessful and Britain’s King George III continued to tax the settlers. This led to great discontent and eventually, the Revolutionary War.

The Revolutionary War

By 1775, Tensions between some of the colonists and Great Britain reached their boiling point. Rebellions and restlessness grew rampant and movement towards a revolution was rapidly gaining speed. Colonists wanted to take action and started by rallying troops and collecting supplies. When it was made clear that King George III had no intentions of making compromises, the support for the revolution increased. On April 19, 1775, the Revolutionary War began in the towns of Lexington and Concord Massachusetts. British soldiers and Minutemen, the colonists’ militia, exchanged gunfire in what is known as the “shot heard around the world”. George Washington was elected Commander of the American patriotic forces by the Second Continental Congress on May 10, 1775.

Even though the Revolutionary War continued on until 1783, America was eventually able to gain its independence from Great Britain. It would not have been possible if the Declaration of Independence was not finalized and adopted on our Independence Day, July 4, 1776. By declaring themselves as an independent nation through the Declaration, the 13 colonies were able to form an alliance with France, which ultimately led to Great Britain’s surrender to America in Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. Later in 1783, a final peace treaty was signed in Paris, putting a final end to the Revolutionary War.

<