How to Stay on Top of School While Traveling

By: Jessica

Hi everyone! Welcome back to another week. This week I will be discussing traveling with homework. There may be times that you will need to travel while also getting homework done. There are so many options and ways to get things accomplished, so here are some of the tips and tricks that I’ve used before. Remember, there is no excuse not to stay on top of your schooling, believe me, I know every excuse in the book. So, here my favorite tips!

1. Take a bag that has lots of pockets or expandable file folders. Organize what chapters or tests you want to accomplish each day. I separate my tests and quizzes. I only do one test a day, but only because tests tend to take me a while. Remember not to overwhelm yourself each day – just start out with adding a little more each day. If you start out with a huge amount to accomplish you will not want to start again the next day.

2. Bring ear buds so you can listen to the audio lesson for terminology. I actually do this when I need to give my eyes a break while on the road. It will help you to sleep and also will help you to remember the medical terms easily.

3. When you go in a restaurant or restroom make sure to put your stuff in a pocket so it wont get lost. Also, pick a few term words or body parts to repeat to yourself while you are walking. My family helped me make jingles Other folks may think you are crazy, but that’s ok!

getfileattachment-12.jpg4. Pick a specific time everyday to study. Let others that are traveling too know that you need to do this and need quiet and no distractions. You will be surprised how willing they will be to help and support you!

5. Come up with fun games to play with others with your studies. The one I did was spelling game. Pick a medical term or body part – I picked short ones at first, like vein. You could use any signs or license plates you see, but you can only use the first letter in a word. The first one to spell it won. We kept score and whoever got the highest score got to get a free dessert or drink, or something like that, next time we stopped. The bigger the word the harder it got! This seems so easy until you forget how to spell a word! Or, when everyone is looking for the same letter!

6. Use a pencil!!! I literally have a whole workbook that looks like a 2-year-old wrote all over it. Roads are SO bumpy. Trains are the same way, stop and go and the rocking.

7. Don’t make the entire trip about stressing over getting it all done. Keep your specific, alotted time each day so you’re on a schedule. I bet you will be surprised how much you accomplish by the time your trip is over. And, the wonderful memories with friends and family will last forever. Especially when you’re working and come upon a medical term from your trip that you needed signs to spell! I still chuckle when I see them!

Enjoy your week and travels if you have a trip or vacation coming up!

What I’ve Learned So Far

By: Jessica

Jessica 6-19Good morning, everyone! I hope you have had a great week! It is hot here in Michigan and I am soaking it all in. So, this week I want to chit chat about what I have learned so far in my HDS program and how I have been able to utilize it in my everyday life. So, here it goes!

1. Terminology – There are a lot of big words. But when they are broken down I can, a) pronounce them, b) there are only 6 to 10 real things to remember, which are where on the body are they (i.e. brain, heart, skeletal, kidney, skin, etc.) Terminology is basically a road map for healthcare. Once you know where to begin, it will guide you through. Just as in life, take things slowly and break it down so you can understand it all. Everything will fall into place if you just take it slow and don’t give up. Just keep following your own road map. As far as doctor visits, after the terminology portion of this course, you will know what all these complicated words mean and understand what the doctor is talking about. No more feeling clueless – and now all your other family members will want you to decode things for them, too.

2. Billing – Insurance and doctors seem like they make this so much harder than it really is. Billing has honestly been my favorite part of this program so far. Just like in life, there are so many options that can be used, so it can be very overwhelming. Again, break it down and it will be much easier. I am the type of person that likes things in black and white, that’s it, two options or I get overwhelmed. It seems, for me anyway, there are more lessons in this program than meet the eye.

3. Human Anatomy – I knew men were confusing (HA!), but there is a lot to know about our bodies! When learning about the human body, it is very interesting and, at times, can make my stomach turn. But, I have a weak stomach, too. This is when the light bulb popped on for me. Learning how things work and why you get sick and how the sickness travels through the blood was eye opening. Don’t get me wrong, there is A LOT of information, but it’s like reading a good book you cannot put down. One word of advice: don’t go to the doctor and tell him, “no thanks, I do not need your services, I know exactly what is wrong with me,” and go on to explain your anatomy and how you have come to that conclusion. He might get a bit upset!

4. Coding – This, for me, has been the most frustrating part of the course. I am still going through this section. I cannot lie, it has made me want to give up a few times. I have slammed my book shut at least three times (and counting). I have persisted, however, and I am starting to get it. Again, the light bulb has clicked on. The only way I can explain it is this: it’s like searching for a word in Webster’s Dictionary, there are so many options for each code. You have to break it down until it cannot be broken down anymore. Patience really helps in this section!

Just like in the real world, everything takes time and patience. Once you’ve accomplished your goal (big or small) a weight is lifted from your shoulders and a big smile is on your face. So, keep going and be patient. See you next week!

Your First Day vs. Your Last Day

By: Jessica

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great weekend and are all rested and ready to begin a new week ahead. I’d like you to think back to the first day you began this program; were you nervous or excited maybe? I was all in, rearing to go. I think it literally only took 2 weeks for me to complete the first course. But I had already taken a few courses prior to At-Home Professions, so please don’t feel like you are lagging at all if it takes you longer than that! By the third course I slowed down a lot. This program is by no means easy, and there are some complicated questions and situations you’ll encounter in your schoolwork that I am positive will come up in the workplace, also. But that is what this program is designed for – to give you the real life situations up front so you are trained and prepared to conquer them when they arise!

I’ll be completely honest with you, when I first started this program I was so sure that I was going to complete this program in less than 6 months. But here I am, a year later and I am working on the fourth course. I had given work and other things my focus, and not my schooling. As we all know, it is not easy to juggle school, work and family. But it can be done with lots of planning and support!

GetFileAttachment-1My last day of work until September is this Friday. Starting then, my whole focus will be to complete this course no later than July. If you’re struggling to finish the program and feel like giving up, talk to your supporters or even an instructor to get back that positive energy and excitement you had in the beginning. I cannot wait to feel the accomplishment of checking one more thing off my bucket list. However, don’t let completing one task satisfy you – keep going! Get that dream job of working from home coding and transcribing. I am a firm believer that life is what you make it. There is no limit to how much you can learn or achieve.

Each completed task, or check off your bucket list, will only make you smile brighter and boost your confidence even more. When you complete your last course and get that certificate in the mail, write down your feelings. Send an email to your instructors letting them know how much they helped you or how amazing it feels to get that certificate in your hands. Then dive right into the job search. Don’t ever stop wanting more for yourself and your family.

Another question I’ve received from others is about whether I will celebrate earning a certification? I say absolutely! Any accomplishment needs to be celebrated. Keep going, you’re almost there. If you have already finished, tell us how hard or how easy or just how the course was for you, personally. You never know how your experience may relate to another’s experience!

7 Things You Learned as a Child

By: Jessica

Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to get outside and enjoy yourselves. Did you feel excited and happy like a when you were a kid last Friday? I know I did. That’s kind of what I want to talk about this week. Are there things you learned during childhood that you still use today? I totally remember being in math class doing algebra thinking, “how in the world will I ever use this in everyday life?” So here is a list of 7 things that I use today that I learned when I was a child:

GetFileAttachment-11. If you fall get back up and try again. You know that saying your parents gave you when they didn’t want to hear you cry and whine. Get back on and try again. In adult life it’s called trial and error. I use this all the time. Even now with AHP, you have to find and search for things that work for you.

2. The golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. This will get you far in life. Now, I know it’s hard to do when you’re driving – believe me, I know – but it really does work. I wish more people would try it.

3. Get your schoolwork and chores done before play. I hate this one to this day. But it helps keep me on course. I feel like, as an adult, it’s more like “pay your bills before you use play money.”

4. Pick up your toys. Everything has a place. Yes, as a child everything had its place under my bed. I always knew what side to shove it under. As an adult I am always telling my husband everything has a specific place in order to keep our home looking nice and tidy. Then I realize I sounds like my parents. Growing up is no fun!

5. Make sure to eat a big breakfast. My mom and grandma always said this. You never know when you will get a chance to eat lunch when you are busy. This stands true. I get so busy I forget to eat until my stomach rumbles angrily. I always make sure to pack a snack, too.

6. Don’t talk to strangers. Well, I try not to talk to anyone before I have had my coffee. I am not a very peppy person in the morning. But now that we are older my parents are always telling me to go out and meet new people. The world is full of strangers but they will stay strangers unless you get to know them well. Hmm… trust your gut feeling when it comes to meeting new strangers, even if it is your boss.

7. Knowledge is power. If this isn’t the truth, I don’t know what is. The more knowledge you gain the more aware of things you are. The more degrees or certificates you have the more opportunities will be available to you.

Think about your childhood and what lessons could help you learn more in your everyday life. Life is what you make it. Enjoy your week and see you next week!

First Day

By: Jessica

Hi everyone! Hope you had a fantastic weekend and are ready to begin a new one. It’s starting to warm up here in Michigan, so I am definitely ready for the sunshine and 80 degree temps. So, do you remember your first day of school? I’m talking the very first time you got all your AHP supplies and was ready to log on for the first time. I can guarantee you, I will never in my life forget that first day!

GetFileAttachment-1My first day I was a nut job! Well, some may still claim that I am a nut job, but I like to think that I am a beautiful ball of crazy (haha!) I guess that does not sound any better. I will have to work on that. So, my first day with AHP, I had my desk literally covered in lists and papers. I walked out of my office and walked back in hoping that my cleaning fairies had arrived to make everything all neat and organized. But, as you can guess, they never showed up. I made one huge pile and picked up one list, which was a list of blog topics that I had begun writing the day I got chosen to write this blog. I smiled as I read the list and even giggled at some of the titles. I am truly funny when I think about it 🙂

I decided that I would start with my blog first to relax. Yes, I know I am strange, but I have already admitted that this blogging experience is truly a relaxing exercise to calm down and get myself ready for school work. And once I get going, I do not want to stop.

Long story short, I wrote 5 blogs and saved them on my computer and then began the photo op! When starting this blog, they ask for a profile of yourself and a photo. Well, I despise having my picture taken and avoid it at all costs. So, for 30 minutes I posed and deleted and posed and laughed and scoffed at my photos until I decided I had worked up an appetite.

I went and got some food, which led to doing dishes, cleaning the kitchen letting my dogs out, etc. I’m always getting distracted by my daily duties. I finally got back into my office after 2 hours, sat down in my chair, looked around and started to freak out. How in the world am I going to do this blog, work on schoolwork, keep up with my house and work my 50 hours at my current job. The tears and the sniffling came. I looked up in my door mirror and said, “Nope, not today, we got this, I haven’t even given this schooling thing a chance. Lets make a plan and give it a shot. We got this.”

So I wrote out a daily itinerary and posted it on my white board and started to clean my office. Another hour later, I opened my book for the first time and smiled to myself and thought, “This will be my first day of a new journey.” I read and read until 4 am when my alarm clock for work went off. Ooh boy let the day begin.

Needless to say it was a long day at work. I made it through though and I have continued to make it. Maybe not as fast as others but I’ve still made it and I am still enjoying it. So, I challenge you to begin your new journey this week and remember its ok to have a melt down as long as you don’t stay there. Have a great week!!!

Where My Inspiration Comes From

By: Jessica

Hi everyone! Hope you have had a wonderful weekend and are recharged and refreshed to begin another great week. I know I am ready for a longer weekend. But let’s get to business. What is your inspiration? What inspired you to go back to school or to go to college? Was it for your children, your family or just for yourself?

Happy man jumping on long straight road, way towards sunset sun

My inspiration is my negative attitude when it comes to my everyday job. Yes, I am currently still there but I know that I wont be for long. My goal is to be out of my current job by February 2018 . I have been with the company for over 17 years but it’s not a career that provides much time off work, which, yes, it’s nice to have days off – but it’s not easy on the pocketbook. So, of course, during the summer months there is no school (I am a school bus driver) so mid-spring means it’s time to stress out and look for work.

At my age, I want to be in a career that I have a passion for and drive to be in. I used to have it for my current job, but I don’t have it anymore. And in order to move up in my current job, I need a masters degree. To be frank, I do not have the motivation or the funds to go to school that long to work in something I am not passionate about. Why waste the time and money for a masters in something that I am not in love with? That is how I see it.

So, like I have said before, when I heard the commercial for the At-Home Professions seminar on the radio, my heart raced I was so excited and I literally could not sit still. I was just chomping at the bit ready to dive in. Once I am finished with my AHP program,  my next course of action will be to find a job where I can work from home. The idea of working in my pajamas is just SO enticing! I mean, who loves to get dressed at 3am and go outside and wipe 6 inches of cold wet snow? Not me! Then I go drive in the wet ice.

My inspiration also comes from kayaking in Munising MI at pictured rocks. It was absolutely amazing. The images and beauty are forever embedded my mind. I am a total “Dora Explorer.” I want to see all the natural wonders of the USA while traveling and living in an RV full time. My goal is to be traveling by February. I know this is not a normal way to live, but I have never been one to follow along with others. Plus, I honestly believe I am a gypsy at heart. I hope one day to find a place to settle down and be content, but until then I am ready for lots of adventures and memories. So what are your inspirations? I would love to see them in the comments!

My Proudest Moment

By: Annie

Jessica 5-12Hi Everyone! I hope you had a fantastic week, and of course an even better weekend. This weekend has been super busy, but it has given me a lot of inspiration and topics to talk about with you on here. What has been your proudest moment? Was it your moment or maybe your child’s moment? I am sure there have been several. But I want to concentrate more on YOU! What is the one moment when you were just so stinking proud of an accomplishment that you just strutted around thinking, “yep I did that, look at me now!”

I have to say my biggest accomplishment was actually getting through high school. I started out as a great straight A student. I was in all the activities, like Yearbook Club, poms, tennis, and volleyball. I was like a social butterfly – I loved everyone.

But during my junior year I messed up very badly. My mom became newly single and took to drugs and alcohol. At first we just fought a lot about those things, but after a while I realized she needed help. The problem was she did not want anyone in the family to know because she was embarrassed. So I started skipping school to stay home and take care of her. My grades slipped and my social life was nonexistent because I was ashamed of what was going on and how much I had on my shoulders. Plus, I was very mad and upset that I had to deal with taking on the role of a mother.

I ended up getting kicked out of class at least 3 times for fighting with my best friends, who knew some of the situation and were speaking poorly about my mom and things she was doing. This wasn’t a good choice. The final straw was when I got suspended and my dad found out. He forced me to come live with him and start at a whole new school.

At my new school I worked with the counselor and took double classes during the school year and even did a a whole summer of full classes so that I could graduate on time with my class. I ended up excelling in all my classes, so I even got to add some AP classes. I graduated on time with a GPA of 3.8. I have to say it was not the easiest task to do, especially while starting all over, making new friends and also trying to explain to my mom why I had chosen this path away from her.

Bottom line, there is always a way as long as you have the fight and the drive. To walk across that stage at graduation and have both my parents whistle and my aunts and uncle shouting my name literally sent chills through me in a very good way. I wanted to do a cartwheel across that stage. I accepted every hug and every ounce of love from all my teachers and counselors. However I was most thankful for my dad for being very strict and keeping me focused. Make sure you stay focused and be sure to listen to that one person who stays with you and keeps you in line. Have a great week!

Advice

By: Jessica

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great weekend and got lots of rest. I know I was ready to start a new week. I don’t know what it is about the middle of Spring and the beginning of Summer, but life gets super busy – kind of like Christmastime. Just go, go, go! There’s so much to do and not enough time to do it. But, you know us women, we make it happen! Anyways, today is all about advice. Everyone has a point in time when we ask people for advice. Most of us only ask certain people for advice, such as people we trust, people who have experience in the particular subject you need advice on, and of course our close friends whom we rely on. But have you ever gotten bad advice? What is the best and worst advice you have ever gotten? If you received bad advice from someone you always rely on for their advice would you stop asking them?

Personally, I have quite a different mix of people that I always ask advice from. Of course I lean on family and friends, but they are usually my last resort. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. I just try to use other resources first such as Google and online resources. And yes, I know you cannot believe everything that’s on the internet. But there are also lots of different ideas, tips and tricks that I may have never considered. Don’t forget videos on YouTube!

Jessica 5-9So far, the best advice that I have ever received was from my grandma. She had always told me to marry my very best friend and life will be like heaven. She said if I married for money or lust life wouldn’t be enjoyable. It took me 9 years of friendship with my husband before I said yes, but he is truly my best friend ever. I tell him everything – and I really think he wishes I would hold back on some stuff!

The worst advice I have ever received was from my husband. I kept asking him if I would need my water shoes for kayaking, knowing full well I am the most clumsy person on Earth. He said, “No I don’t think so, but maybe pack them in the kayak instead.” So I put them in our dry bag just in case I tipped over or something. You will never guess what happened! We were kayaking on Lake Superior when the waves and wind picked up, luckily we had just kayaked close to shore but the shore was 10 ft. or bigger rocks. Well I started tipping from all the waves and panicked and the dry bag was now a sunken bag with all our stuff. It was a mess but definetly a memory. My husband was able to go in and recover our bag but the water was so cold he almost couldn’t swim back up. He refused to lose his wallet. We didn’t care about the shoes but if I would have been wearing them the bag would have been in his kayak like it is from now on.

So, when it comes to advice, especially about school, use lots of resources and think your choices through thoroughly. This is your life and your choices. Have a great week. Til next time!

Technology

By: Jessica

Hi Everyone!  I am feeling sooo much better and I am back to my normal self again.  Thank goodness.  So with that being said, how many of you use technology on a daily basis?  I am pretty sure that all of us use some type of technology everyday whether it is a cell phone, computer, tablet, or internet.  There is so much around us; most of us have just grown up with it so it does not even affect us in a way we would even notice.  I know what you are thinking… who doesn’t use technology.  You would be surprised how many ahp-technology-postpeople refuse to use it or even have possession of it.

So what type of gadgets can you use for schooling?  For me I use multiple depending on what the assignment or the project it is that I am doing.  That is another great thing about At-Home Professions.  You can sync your classes to your cell phone, tablet, or the computer.  They also offer a hard copy of the actual assignments and books.

So when I use my tablet it is usually for me just to read the chapters.  I don’t mind the tablet it is just easier for me to use the desktop because the screen is so much bigger.  I also use my desktop to download any programs we may need to use for assignments too.  I try to use the desktop as much as possible because once I am on the job we will be in front of a computer.

I use my cell phone to check my grades and emails from the school, and also to write these blogs at times because I am on constantly on the go.

I do not have a smart watch but I think I would just use it to check my grades and maybe send an email to the instructor to ask a question or something quick like that because the screens are very small.

So with all the technology at our finger tips, what is your favorite go to tech gadget?  I love having all these options because I seriously can be on the go and pick up right where I left off.  But I am super Old school and like to have the physical books in my hand.  The reason I always order the books is so that I can work and highlight in them.  Also they will be a great reference for me when I am in the actual job.  They do charge a little extra for the books but I feel the extra $30.00 per section is well worth the extra reference for the future.

So what do you think about this technology at our finger tips?  Will you try using another device this week to do your school work?  Have a great week and keep up the great work.

 

Farewell, Friends!

By: Annie

Thinking about all of the different blogs I’ve written during my time as a student in the health documentation specialist program, I have noticed a few different themes I seemed to write about. The first is to always be positive and look on the bright side. The second theme I wrote about a lot is the fact that life is always changing and how to handle any change that comes our way.

I find it only fitting and even a little ironic that my last blog post is the result of many new changes I am facing in my life. In my last post I told you all I had finished the program, but that I was going to complete the Success Promise Program that At-Home Professions offers its students.  I was very excited to start the program and learn how to better market myself to get the exact job I want.

Well, let’s just say life happened. The moving process has not been a kind one and it has actually been long, tedious and more time consuming with a now-walking one-year-old than I could ever imagine. Secondly, my role in my family’s farm has increased and I now have to make myself more available to assist with that as needed. Couple that with the every day tasks of owning a home, helping my brother with his auctioneer business and chasing after my sweet girl, I tend to run out of time every day.

I began to see a pattern where my job search was not high enough on my priority list and so I sat down and listed the necessary time commitments I have in my life and what tasks I could perhaps restructure or not focus on at the moment. Personally, I felt that At-Home Professions has such a wonderful outline of the Success Promise Program and the key elements to obtaining my dream job that I could use those tools and apply them in my own way.

As a result, I have decided to begin my job search on my own and opt out of the Success Promise Program. It was definitely a difficult decision, but one that I felt was necessary for my time management structure.

This will be my last blog post for At-Home Professions. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a student blogger for this program and I thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts each week. I am so excited for my future and I can’t wait to start working in the health documentation field. Good luck to you all on your studies!