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In our GO AFTER IT blog series, you'll meet fellow students and grads who committed themselves to chasing their dreams and proving it pays to GO AHEAD toward better opportunities -- no matter the obstacles to be overcome.
Pharmacy Technician student Julie Mustin is a renaissance woman. She has worked as a trucker for a decade, raised a special needs child as a single mother, and earned a teaching assistant diploma through Ashworth College – all at the same time and without giving up her job or her social life.
“After I earned my teaching assistant diploma several years ago, I discovered the local job market wasn’t what I thought it would be,” Julie said. “So I took some time to think about what else I might want to do, and I decided on pharm tech.”
Julie has always had a passion for helping people, and she believes in the need for pharmacy techs to serve as advocates and educators for anyone who takes medication. “Think about medication management for the elderly,” Julie says. “So often people take medications and have no idea of the side effects or whether they interact with each other. As a pharm tech, I can help make people aware of their medication options so they stay safe.”
To Julie, taking courses at Ashworth College is a no-brainer. She says the flexibility of an online education makes it so simple anyone can do it.
“I tell people, look, this is so easy,” Julie said. “It’s kind of like reading your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram every day. If you can commit an hour to that, you can do this [pharm tech program]. Commit to at least one hour or one lesson per day, and you’ll be done in no time.”
She also cites the program’s flexibility as a key benefit of online learning. “You can take your schoolwork anywhere – to the beach, anywhere,” Julie said. “What I liked about Ashworth College is you can get an education and still have time for a social life, home life, and everything else.”
Julie acknowledges that while the online method of learning is easy and flexible, the coursework itself is rigorous. She says you need these three traits to be successful:
“You have to want to do it,” Julie said. “Although you can take as long as you want to complete the program, actually getting it done is on you. Then again, I have done all my coursework while driving 48 states, working 70 hours a week. If I can do it in a semi truck anybody could do it.”
For Julie, attitude is everything when taking online courses. “It definitely requires focus,” she said. “It’s fun, and the people are awesome, but some days are hard. The coursework can be hard. But anything worth having is not easy to get. Keep an optimistic attitude and stay focused, and you can get through in no time.”
To succeed in the pharm tech program, Julie relies on the support of friends and faculty. “The faculty support has been great,” she said. “There’s phone support available, it’s very simple to access, and when I needed it I got great information and help.”
For Julie, “education on your terms” has been a blessing, and she believes in both the value of education, in general, and the unique value of an Ashworth College education.
“The more education we give people, the better they can live,” Julie said. “And with Ashworth College, you can have a certificate or degree in your hands that you can take anywhere, and it didn’t cost you $20,000 like a university education. I mean, what would I do if someone gave me 20 grand? I would sign up for as many courses as possible at Ashworth College!”
Learn more about the pharmacy technician program – or any of the many degree programs available at Ashworth College! Talk to an admissions advisor today!
You want to get the most out of your education so why should you settle for anything less than the best? Ashworth’s Medical Office Assistant: Administrative Procedures Career Certificate Program was named the best online medical assistant program by Medical Assistant Advice. Here’s how we can help you get the skills to help you prepare for a career in the healthcare administration field.
— Medical Assistant Advice
You’re organized and pay attention to detail. You also enjoy helping others and making sure things run smoothly. With these skills, you can help run a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital from behind the scenes. From keeping records and helping patients fill out forms to coding procedures, your talents can be used in various ways as a medical administrative assistant.
Being a medical administrative assistant involves helping patients with intake paperwork, pulling files, and scheduling tests or examinations. You’ll learn how to schedule appointments, follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and ensure Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliance. You’ll also complete courses to help you prepare for the medical administrative assistant field such as:
This certificate program provides students with an introduction to administrative work at private practices, hospital offices, and clinical departments.
Our Medical Office Assistant: Administrative Procedures Career Certificate Program can help prepare you for the field. Designed by healthcare professionals, this program focuses on the skills and knowledge can boost your potential for a career as a medical administrative assistant. Once you enroll you can prepare to take steps toward starting your career with Ashworth EDGE, our online career services toolkit that helps you translate lessons into the career skills.
Start your journey toward working as a medical administrative assistant with Ashworth College by calling an Admissions Advisor at .
Where do you study? If you find yourself studying on your bed in a messy room, you may want to consider revamping your space. The environment you’re studying in can determine how you learn, how much you retain, and how you apply that information. As an online learner, you have a lot of control over your study space. That’s why it’s important to make sure you make it the perfect study environment.
Here are five ways you can make your study space learning-friendly while also personalizing it for you.
At home, there are countless distractions. Between family, a page long to-do list, and lack of motivation, it’s easy to let your mind wander. That’s why it’s important to set study rules. Let your family or roommates know that you’re studying, what you’re studying for, and how long you plan to study. This way they know not to disturb you and understand the importance of the material you plan to go through.
Your spot should also be peaceful and noise free. Listening to distracting music or watching TV may not be the best approach to studying. While music helps some people focus, if you find yourself singing along or concentrating more on the music than your studies you may want to turn it off. Your phone should be off or turned over to limit distractions. It shouldn’t be buzzing and giving you the temptation to surf the Internet. If your area is too quiet for your liking, turn on a fan to add some white noise. Or, think about past study environments that have worked for you. Try recreating that environment with sounds, smells, or lighting.
Nobody likes to be uncomfortable and you definitely shouldn’t be while you study. As an online learner, it’s easy to roll out of bed and start your schoolwork. While comfort is key, you need to draw the line between comfy and too comfy. This means you may want to change out of your pajamas before you hit the books. This way, you’re telling your brain it’s not time to nap, it’s time to learn.
Think about your desk and chair, too. You want to make sure your chair is comfortable with good support and won’t hurt your back as you’re busy reading and writing. Don’t forget to make sure that your computer monitor and chair are set to heights that are comfortable for you so you’re not injuring your neck or wrists. Lastly, keep your space cool and well lit. If it’s too hot or too cold, or if you’re straining your eyes to see, you’ll be easily distracted. Research shows that productivity is at its highest when the temperature is between 72°F and 75°F.
Now that you have a study space, you want to keep it organized. First, make sure to gather all the supplies you may need and place them where they’re easily accessible. You want these items to be within reach so you don’t have to waste precious study time looking for what you need. You can organize these items by using desk drawers or by placing them in organized piles on top of your desk. Try keeping your materials together by course, including all notes and printouts you may need.
Ultimately, organization means something different for everyone. While a clean desk promotes productivity, a messy desk may help you be more creative. Everyone has a different style and it comes down to personal preference, so choose whatever style fits you. After all, comfort is key.
Adorning your study space with photographs, inspirational quotes, or posters can motivate you and keep you going. Maybe a picture of your family reminds you why you’re working so hard to earn your education. You can also spruce up the area with a plant or two. Studies show that plants improve air quality and can help you focus.
Most importantly, this space should be somewhere you enjoy being. A space that’s yours and only yours, even if it’s only a small corner in a busy room. Make this a space you actually enjoy spending time in.
You love your new study space. It’s comfortable and personalized just for you. So, it’s tempting to use it for non-study related activities. Don’t! You’ll be more likely to create distractions if you decide that this is also the space where you’ll watch Netflix, play video games, draw, or just relax. Dedicate it exclusively to studying, that way you only associate the space with learning.
Creating a study space is all about you and the way it makes you feel. It’s about dedicating time to study and creating an atmosphere that allows you to get ready to hit the books and work towards reaching your goals. Due to budgeting restrictions, you may not be able to create the study space of your dreams, but with these tips, you can turn even the most boring space into a spot that inspires you to learn.
Share your study space with us! Use the #AshworthCollege on social media and show us your favorite space to learn.
If you’re lacking energy, having trouble concentrating, or just aren’t feeling your normal self, what you’re putting into your body (or lack thereof) may have something to do with it. Often times people tend to overlook how their lifestyle choices, like nutrition and exercise, can affect their brain. Making small changes in your busy life to adopt a healthier lifestyle can fuel your body and mind while giving you the energy you need to complete your tasks. Here’s how to fit healthy living into your busy schedule.
If you’re losing focus or falling behind in your schoolwork don’t brush it off. It may be due to your overall health. Believe it or not, nutrition affects your learning. Adopting a healthy lifestyle around your busy schedule, schoolwork, and career may seem exhausting, but it’s important. Eating well and moving more doesn’t mean you have to be miserable or eat foods you don’t enjoy. It’s about making small, gradual changes that result in you feeling better. And, if you feel better, you’ll produce better work, gain more energy, and enjoy a boost of confidence.
Food is fuel—fuel for your brain. But, “bad fuel” like processed or refined foods—meaning foods that have been pre-packaged, canned, or frozen—affect your brain in a negative way. Diets that are high in refined sugars can result in impaired brain function and mood disorders. According to the Harvard Health Blog, eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress. Healthier foods produce serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain that affects your mood. If you eat food that’s good for you, that means your overall mood will be better, resulting in better productivity.
With your busy life, it may seem easier to grab a burger on your lunch break from the closest fast food restaurant. Maybe you’re eating just to eat, not considering how it’s affecting your learning and overall mood in general. However, the more junk food you consume, the less nutrients your body receives.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of fitting healthy eating into your hectic life. Instead, try tips like
Small changes is all it takes to get the nutrients you need to concentrate on your studies.
There are plenty of reasons to exercise that range from reducing the risk of diseases to improving your body composition. But that’s not all. Research shows that exercise is just as important for our brains as it is for our bodies. Exercise helps our memory and thinking and reduces insulin resistance, inflammation that can lead to disease, and raises the growth of new blood vessels in the brain and the abundance and survival of new brain cells, according to Harvard Health Blog. Additionally, studies have shown that those who exercise have greater brain volume in the parts of the brain that controls thinking and memory.
While finding the time to exercise may sound exhausting there are ways to be active without spending hours at the gym. Here are some exercise tips that will have you study-ready:
Nutritious eating and exercise is the ultimate self-care. When you’re healthy inside, you’ll produce better work on the outside. Keep your memory sharp and ready to learn with a solid diet and regular exercise. If you’re not sure where to start, Ashworth College can help! Our Nutrition, Diet and Health Science Program can help you understand how a better diet can improve your quality of life, while our Personal Training Program can help you recognize why physical activity improves your overall health. Ready to take the first step? Enroll online or call us at to see if these programs are right for you.