Welcome to The Avidity Medical Design Blog

Avidity Medical Design Consultants, LLC specializes in all areas of healthcare instructional design. We develop courses in health information management, allied health, Just-In-Time training, and job aids for performance optimization.

Avidity Medical Design Academy offers courses in a variety of healthcare subjects including:

“How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!)”

“How to Protect Your Own Medical Identity (in 8 EASY Steps!)”

“How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!”

“How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps!) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!)”

“How to Learn in the Healthcare Classroom (and ANY Classroom) (in 10 EASY Steps!)”

and much much more…

Visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy website for more information on current healthcare courses, course discounts (50% off), and future healthcare courses currently being developed.

new healthcare job with doctors speaking in hallway

5 Ways to Be Successful on Your First Day on the Job as a Healthcare Professional

new healthcare job with doctors speaking in hallway

The first day on a job is stressful. You want to present yourself as responsible and enthusiastic. Here are five tips so you can make the best impression possible in your new healthcare position. 

Be Punctual

Arriving late on your first day gives the wrong first impression. You want to start out on the right foot, and you want your immediate supervisor, as well as her manager, to know they made the right decision by hiring you, rather than another candidate with similar qualifications. So, give yourself some extra time when you start your commute. It is better to arrive too early than too late; if you arrive too early, you can always stop and grab a cup of coffee or pick up a breakfast sandwich if you need to kill some extra time. You will feel a lot calmer if you can start your day without feeling rushed. It is also a good idea to stay a little bit later if it looks like you are needed. There will be a lot to absorb and staying late shows you are a team player. 

Act Professionally

Dress for the part. People expect professional dress in the healthcare environment. Additionally, it is important to interact with people in a professional manner. You want to look people in the eye, smile, give a firm handshake, and employ active listening. Refrain from joking around until you know people better. For more thorough recommendations, enroll in our course entitled, “How to Learn Professionalism in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples).”

Ask Questions

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You won’t learn everything the first day. There’s a lot to learn, in terms of the processes and procedures that you need to follow to do the job effectively, so go easy on yourself. Ask as many questions as you can think of, and keep a notepad nearby to write down the answers, so you don’t have to ask the same question twice after you receive the answer to your question the first time. You don’t want to pester your supervisor with questions but you do need to know what you are supposed to do. In addition, asking questions shows you are interested in learning the job. If you don’t have a notepad nearby, open your phone and add a note as a memo to yourself. When you compile a list of the questions that you asked, and the answers you received (and the person that gave you the answer in case there are any contradictions in the answers you receive), make a copy of your questions and answers and keep them all in a safe place.

Take A Break 

You will have an opportunity for a break at some point in the day. Although it may be tempting to skip the break (or skip lunch) in order to make yourself look committed, take the break and take lunch. Your first day on the job can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you are working in the healthcare environment, and especially if your new job involves dealing directly with patients, nurses, physicians, and upper-level management. Use your break to regroup and relieve some stress. Taking a short walk and some deep breaths are always a good idea. If co-workers ask you to go to lunch take advantage of the invitation. It is an opportunity to get to know people better and gain more information about the job you’ll be doing, other people that you will be working with, either directly or indirectly, the environment that you’ll be working in, and some things you can do get up to speed quickly with the job you’ll be doing.

Expect The Unexpected

You never know what the first day might look like. Hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices are often busy environments where everything does not go as planned. Do whatever your supervisor asks and be prepared to “go with the flow”. Sometimes a job is slightly different than the job description.

The first day in a healthcare setting sets the stage for your work experience. Your attitude and preparedness go a long way toward achieving a favorable outcome. If you want to thrive in the world of healthcare, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog to read more articles to help you succeed the first day on your new job in healthcare.

5 Reasons to Choose Avidity Medical Design Academy

happy woman doing online courses from home office

Are you interested in pursuing a career in healthcare? Do you want to learn how to maximize your healthy lifestyle? Then you need to explore the courses at Avidity Medical Design Academy. People are busier than ever with multiple responsibilities. No one wants to be weighed down by a monotonous brick and mortar job that does not fit with their lifestyle. In addition, people want easy access to information that will help them make educated decisions about their health. Here are five reasons to explore what Avidity Medical Design Academy has to offer.

Flexibility

Many of us have responsibilities that do not allow us to be away from home for long periods of time. Online courses offer a level of flexibility that you cannot receive from sitting in a classroom. No more racing across town to make a class that is inconvenient for you. You will receive the education you want when you want it. 

Cost

What are your health and career worth? Many courses at Avidity Medical Design Academy cost less than 100 dollars. Courses in medical coding and terminology can start you on a career that will support you over a lifetime. Educating yourself is always a smart investment.

Simplicity

The courses at Avidity Medical Design Academy are practical and easy to understand. In addition to being practical and easy to understand, each course is written from a “real world” perspective that teaches you how to quickly and easily apply what you learn the minute you finish each course. Each course includes real-world examples that illustrate the concepts being taught in each course. You also get free extra bonuses, including a step-by-step action plan at the end of each course, links to additional references in case you’d like to learn even more, as well as crossword puzzles and word finder puzzles that you can do in your spare time, to help you remember what you learn and apply what you learn as soon as you finish each course.

Expert Instruction

When you are taking a course, you want to be sure your trainer is an expert in the field.  Sheila D. McCray, MS, CCS, CCS-P has the experience and expertise to educate you about many different areas in the field of healthcare. Whether you are taking a course in medical terminology, medical coding, how to prevent disease in your body by eating fruit and vegetables, how to protect your medical identity, or how to read your own medical record and correct any errors that you find in your medical record, you can be sure that you will understand the material and you will be able to immediately apply what you learn to everyday living when you finish each course. 

Real-World Application

The bottom line is this: The courses taught at Avidity Medical Design Academy are meant to be applied to the real world. Whether it is a course to further your career—or learn essential information about healthcare—you will be able to transfer those skills to your daily life.

Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to learn more about the courses we offer and how you can learn more about the field of healthcare.

woman in job interview

How to Do Well at a Healthcare Job Interview

woman in job interview

Whether you’re fresh out of school, beginning a career change, or just looking for a new job in healthcare, you need to be prepared to do well at your interviews. You may already know the basics of a good interview, but there are some additional tips that can help you when you interview specifically for a job in healthcare.

Showcase Relevant Experience

Relevant experience doesn’t have to be limited to experience in healthcare itself. Healthcare jobs are highly specialized, and you may not have as much experience in the exact position you’re applying for, but you may still have experience in other areas that may qualify you for a position in healthcare – experience that you can still use during the initial stages of the interview. To be successful in healthcare, you must have good experience with interpersonal communication, for example, so be sure to emphasize the steps you took to acquire this experience, and how you can use this experience in the healthcare position that you are applying for. Maybe you handled difficult customers with grace and patience as a customer service representative, or maybe you found different ways to connect with people as a telemarketer. Attention to detail is another element of previous experience that you can transfer over from many different types of work. Don’t be shy about discussing your past experience in other fields as long as you can connect it directly to the healthcare position that you are interviewing for.

Be Specific

Your interviewer is looking for the best fit for a particular healthcare position. When you showcase your relevant experience, and you discuss your previous skills, be as specific as possible. When discussing a previous internship or a previous job, remember to talk about specific situations where you demonstrated skills that apply to the job in healthcare that you are interviewing for, and how you developed those skills. Did you help implement a new filing system as an intern? Did you discover a recordkeeping error at a retail job? Did your supervisors consistently mention your people skills or your attention to detail? These are great points to bring up, and will help an interviewer determine how well your skills align with the job that you are applying for in healthcare.

Don’t Forget the Basics

While interviewing in the healthcare field has its own challenges, the basic rules of interview etiquette still apply. Professionalism is key. Dress well, make good eye contact, and most of all, be on time. A day or so after the interview, follow up with a well-written “thank you” note and send it to the person who interviewed you. A note like this is not only polite, but it also keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind, especially when they have scheduled interviews with multiple candidates for the same position. In your note, be specific about your interview experience, and include your thoughts about the interviewer and what you learned about the position that you interviewed for. Remember that the note should read like a “thank you” note and not like a cover letter for the interview.

Visit the Avidity Medical Design blog to learn more about healthcare, as well as healthcare courses offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy. The key is to get as much information as possible to help you prepare for the interview and to help you prepare for a future career in healthcare.

5 Ways Medical Terminology is Used By Coding Professionals

man coding on desktop computer

If you are a medical coder, medical terminology plays an integral role in every code you enter. It is the language of medicine that all medical professionals must learn, and for a medical coder, it is vital to know. Avidity Medical Design Academy offers a course in medical terminology to help you grow in your medical coding career. In the meantime, here are five ways that medical terminology will make your job easier if you are thinking about pursuing a career in medical coding, or if you are already a medical coder, and you want to continue to learn new medical terms related to a particular medical specialty, to improve the accuracy of your coding.

Reading the Medical Record Will Become More Natural

If you’re new the medical field, terms like “hepatomegaly,” “myalgia,” and “stenosis” will probably leave you scratching your head. As a medical coder, these terms should become more familiar to you, especially if you work in a doctor’s office, clinic, hospital, or ambulatory surgery center. If you code for a particular medical specialty, such as dermatology (the study of the skin) for example, you will see certain terms over and over again that pertain to dermatology, and it will become easier for you to recognize them. But other words you will not see very often and you might have to look them up. By learning medical terminology, you spend less time looking up words and more time entering codes.

Medical Terminology Helps You Find the Right Codes

Accurate coding is critical. An incorrect code becomes a permanent part of the patient’s record, it can affect patient care, and delay physician reimbursement because the patient’s claim may be rejected due to an incorrect code. It also means that you or someone else will have to go back in and correct the mistake. Coding can be challenging, especially for someone new to the field. Knowing medical terminology goes a long way towards cutting through the confusion. 

You’ll Be Able to Speak Intelligently to Other Medical Professionals

You are probably going to have to question or query doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and many other healthcare professionals in relation to a code assignment. They are most likely going to be pushed for time, so they may not have time to give you detailed answers to your coding questions. If you are familiar with the medical terminology they are using, you will be able to know exactly what they are saying and will be able to ask intelligent questions. It also helps when you get an email from your supervisor, or the medical biller, or the medical claims examiner, asking why you assigned a particular code. 

Learning Anatomy Will Be Easier

Knowing anatomy is crucial to being a successful medical coder, and in order to understand the terms used to describe the human anatomy, you must understand prefixes, root words, and suffixes, and how they combine to form the complete medical term. There is a reason why many medical terminology classes and anatomy classes are taught together.  If you know that ‘my’ means muscle and ‘-algia’ means pain, then you understand that myalgia means muscle pain. 

You’ll Be More Efficient

No one likes to think that they are not efficient at doing their job. It’s also hard when you get negative feedback. By learning medical terminology, you will be faster and more efficient at your job. The more medical terms you know, the more time you can spend finding and entering codes rather than researching unfamiliar medical terms. Your employers will be impressed, and you’ll have greater confidence in what you can bring to the table as a medical coder.

Learning medical terminology can be intimidating, as there are many terms to master, but it is a part of the job that you will do everyday. It will save you headaches, and improve your ability to accurately code each patient’s medical record. Check out “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps!) and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!” offered Avidity Medical Design Academy, for more information on how to learn medical terminology.

5 Ways to Market Yourself as a Virtual Medical Assistant

female virtual medical assistant using laptop computer

Whether you’re just beginning your journey as a virtual medical assistant or you’ve been working as a medical assistant for awhile, you may be interested in learning new ways to market yourself as a professional in the medical industry. Here are a few basic tools you can use to market yourself effectively as a virtual medical assistant.

Network

Meeting people in person and online are two of the best ways to get the word out about your skills as a virtual medical assistant. While you may be great at what you do, no one will know that if you do not tell them. Make sure the people in your circle know that you are actively looking for more clients.

Create a Compelling Email Signature

Anytime you send an email to anyone, make sure your email signature has a catchy tagline and other information that quickly highlights your expertise. If you have a link to your own virtual medical assistant website or social media platform, include that in your signature line as well. The easier you are to find, the more business you’re likely to earn.

Use Social Media

Facebook has a tool that allows you to run your own ad campaign. It’s very simple to do and can give your virtual medical assistant career a boost. You need to do your research to make sure you’re targeting the right audience, but once you have a few successful ads, your business could really become successful.

Start a Blog

It may not seem like a good way to earn business, but starting a blog about your experiences working as a virtual medical assistant is another tool you can use to spread the word about your business. You can even create a contact page so that potential clients know how to reach you should they ever have a need for your services.

Visit Medical Facilities

It may seem like a lot of legwork, but what better way is there to let medical personnel know that you’re looking for work than to walk right into their office and tell them? You can provide a brief explanation of how your services can benefit them, and leave a business card for the office manager. Even if an office already has all the staff they need, they may know someone who could really use your help.

For more information on how to take your career to the next level, visit the Avidity Medical Design blog today or enroll in the course entitled, “How to Use Social Media in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy

female doctor speaking to female patient in doctor's office

10 *More* Reasons Why You Should Be Your Own Advocate in the Doctor’s Office (Part II)

female doctor speaking to female patient in doctor's office

While your mom may be there to hold your hand at the doctor’s office well into adulthood (AND THERE’S NO SHAME IN THAT!), you are your own best advocate when you sit down to have a talk with your doc. 

1. You know your body.

Only you know if your heart flutters after exercise or if you have digestion problems. Another person cannot possibly know every ache and pain, and those details may be important to a diagnosis. The tiniest detail, provided by you, may narrow down a diagnosis and prevent even bigger problems. 

2. You need to be informed. 

Once you sit down with your doctor, you need to understand what they are telling you. If they bring up a body part or treatment option you don’t understand, you must ask what it means. Don’t rely on others to translate. You need to hear it directly from your doctor. 

3. You know your history. 

If you are an established patient, your physician may have a fairly accurate history. However, you may not have told them an important part of your surgical history or family history unless something makes you recall it. You have to be the person that communicates (if able) because only you know the intricate details your life. 

4. You have a choice.

Patient-centered care is all about choice, and you have the right to understand and approve any procedures. You cannot do this without being informed and active in your medical care. This is not to say don’t listen to your doctor, but if you don’t feel comfortable, there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. 

5. You chose your lifestyle. 

If you do not advocate for yourself, then you probably won’t make healthy decisions. Why get your blood pressure checked if you aren’t going to do anything if it is too high? Being your own advocate gets you involved in the process, and it forces you to take charge of your situation. 

6. You need to focus on prevention or treatment. 

Focusing on what to do next is nearly impossible if you aren’t your own advocate. If you aren’t involved in the medical process, you will not be able to adequately focus on prevention or treatment. This could be as minimal as neglecting to take a multivitamin or as crucial as taking too many beta-blockers, which could be deadly. 

7. You need to take control. 

Especially if you find a medical problem, life can seem hopeless if you aren’t your own advocate. You may feel completely out of control of your destiny. Being your own advocate empowers you to take control of the situation and focus on recovery. 

8. You can only depend on yourself. 

Sure, you may have a very dependable friend or family member, but you can only depend on yourself when it comes to your healthcare. Having someone with you is not a bad idea if you are comfortable and have the right sort of person, but don’t let that let you become complacent. Remember: This is about you, and you need to depend on yourself. 

9. You know what you want. 

One of the most important reasons to be your own advocate in your healthcare is that you are the only person who truly knows what you want. If you want to lower your cholesterol, listen to your doctor. If you want to lose weight, your doctor will have good resources. You have to choose what you want out of the appointment, and nobody else can do that for you. 

10. You want your appointment to be complete. 

Lastly, you want your appointment to completely alleviate any concerns. Don’t go home wishing you had asked your doctor an embarrassing question. Trust me, they’ve heard worse. Write down your questions, and have the courage to ask them. As your own advocate, you will feel satisfied when leaving the doctor’s office knowing that you covered everything.

To learn more about different healthcare topics that can help you take charge of your own healthcare, visit the Avidity Medical Design blog.