Anatomy and Physiology in the Online Classroom

Why Is It Important to Learn Anatomy and Physiology?

A very wise farmer once said, “Before you do anything, you gotta dig a hole. Then you can fill that hole with the foundation you need to build anything you choose to build.” (Wm Hugh Smith Sr.). This statement is especially true when it comes to taking an Anatomy and Physiology course online.

why it is important to learn anatomy and physiologyThink of taking an Anatomy and Physiology class as digging a hole and building a foundation for the healthcare classes that come later. Although there may be other healthcare classes that may seem like more fun, skipping an Anatomy and Physiology class can short circuit your medical knowledge and stunt your career growth in the healthcare field. This is one reason why Anatomy and Physiology classes are mandatory for all healthcare students.

Anatomy and Physiology introduces you to the basic concepts and fundamental medical terms used throughout the healthcare industry. It helps you understand how parts of the body work alone and together to keep us alive. It also shows you what these parts look like when they are healthy and unhealthy, and when something goes wrong with a certain part of the body. Think of the parts of the body as a rubber band that stretches in many different directions. If the rubber band pops, you have to understand what caused it to pop and what needs to be done to fix it.

Armed with more than just a basic understanding of the human body and the ways in which it should work, a healthcare professional can more readily identify what may be working correctly and what may be working incorrectly. It becomes much easier to spot these differences when you understand what you are seeing. Once you are able to identify the problem it becomes easier to treat.

With Anatomy and Physiology as your basic foundation, you gain a solid understanding of the human body and how it works, as well as the terminology used to describe the human body. With this level of knowledge, you won’t just be able to do your job, you will be able to do your job well because you be able to make the right decisions from a healthcare standpoint, regardless of the nature of your job in the medical field. This enhances your reputation as a healthcare professional.

Enrolling in online classes is a good way to learn the fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology because  you can schedule your study time around family and work responsibilities. Contact us for more information on the benefits of learning Anatomy and Physiology in the online classroom!

The Early Days of Ebola vs. HIV: Similarities and Differences

In the early 1980’s a new disease entered the U.S. that had doctors scrambling to find answers. A number of gay men in both New York and California were experiencing treatment resistant diseases and cancers that were extremely uncommon. Luckily, doctors were able to relate the diverse presentations of the new disease fairly quickly. In the early days, this disease didn’t have a name. Today, we know it as Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV. To put U.S. cases of HIV in perspective, currently the CDC

“estimates that 1,144,500 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 180,900 (15.8%) who are unaware of their infection1.”

ebola vs. hiv: similarities and differencesWith new cases of Ebola presenting in the U.S., it is important to compare our handling of patients to that of the early days of the HIV outbreak. When we look at Ebola vs. HIV: similarities and differences, we can find ways to improve our initial response thereby gaining better control of the spread of diseases with no currently known cure and high death rates.

Misinformation in the early days of HIV caused many to believe that only gay men need fear the infection. Since then, we have learned differently. Many of the early cases of HIV could have been prevented had we known about the danger to our blood supply and had a more complete understanding of how HIV spreads. Currently Ebola is on the tipping point between those who want to believe it is “someone else’s disease” and those who fear contracting it from any stranger they meet. This combination of fear and denial is the perfect atmosphere to create larger spread of the infection. Although Ebola does not hide in a person’s system creating the risk of invisible carriers, its early symptoms are flu-like. We live in a country that is very used to going to work when they are ill. Ebola becomes contagious once symptoms present so denial is a dangerous attitude. Until real, truthful information on prevention is widely understood, diseases are far harder to contain.

Early treatment is also very important. Luckily, we have known options for the treatment of Ebola. We have been developing medications to battle the outbreak in Africa for some time and feel that we understand how to fight the illness. Advances in these treatments are already in development. This differs greatly from early treatment of HIV where doctors were forced to try options based on best guesses pulled from incomplete evidence. Had we been studying the HIV virus for as long as we have been studying Ebola, we would have had much better chances to minimize its effects on our population.

Avidity Medical Design currently has a comprehensive course under development to explore this topic in more detail. Be one of the first 100 students to enroll and get a 50% discount. Contact us for more details. Early knowledge and understanding is the key to treating illness before it can become an epidemic.

woman speaking with doctor in doctor's office

Why Medical Terminology Is So Important To Learn

Medical terminology is important if you work in the healthcare field. It is the basis for all that you will do. It is used to describe symptoms, diagnoses, tests that need to be ordered and ran, and special medical equipment. The terminology is spoken and written in charts so you must learn to say, spell, and read medical terms.

medical terminology

Medical terminology is important for many reasons.

  • It allows all healthcare workers to communicate in one language.
  • You will use it every day when you work in the healthcare field.
  • If you have to get your medical dictionary out every time you get asked to do something, you will be wasting valuable time. Nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals do not have time to waste, especially in an emergency situation.
  • One small mistake can make a big difference. You could give the wrong medication or just give the right medication the wrong way. It can be the difference between ordering the right test or the wrong one! You need to understand medical terms
  • Common abbreviations are used in patient records. This helps doctors and nurses write quickly and efficiently in the records so that they can be onto the next patient. It also allows you to read and understand the records quickly.

If you want to do a great job in the health care field, you need to learn medical terminology and understand it! You do not want to have to reach for a medical dictionary every time you are told to do something. If you are unsure, it is better to check your dictionary than get something wrong. However, with a basic understanding of medical terminology, you will be able to communicate quickly and efficiently with other healthcare professionals.

If you are interested in learning more about medical terminology, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps!) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy. For more information on this course, click here.

Contact us whether you need a full course or a refresher course on medical terminology!

What is the Impact of ObamaCare on Physician Reimbursement?

Healthcare in the United States is still being developed around private insurers and public providers. ObamaCare was signed into law to make affordable healthcare services accessible to patients all over the country. ObamaCare required insurance companies, hospitals, clinics, and private practices to make many changes to accommodate patients without prejudice. Some of these changes have affected how physicians and private practices are reimbursed by insurance companies covering a patient under ObamaCare. This article discusses the impact of ObamaCare on physician reimbursement.

impact of obamacare on physician reimbursement

ObamaCare

ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act, has made health insurance a requirement for all Americans. ObamaCare was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Under the terms of ObamaCare, insurance providers cannot deny coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions. ObamaCare also regulates the prices of healthcare plans in accordance with a market of free commerce, so that all patients are eligible for affordable healthcare coverage. Although the free market principle has resulted in low cost insurance, it has also resulted in lower coverage.

Physician Reimbursement

Many physicians and private practices have noticed a decrease in reimbursement from ObamaCare plans. As these plans are provided by private insurers, many doctors felt that their businesses would still receive the same kind of operating revenue as they had been.

According to an article from the New American, one doctor has noticed a substantial decrease in reimbursement.

‘I cannot accept a plan [in which] potentially commercial-type reimbursement rates were now going to be reimbursed at Medicare rates,’ Dr. [Doug] Gerard told NPR. ‘You have to maintain a certain mix in private practice between the low reimbursers and the high reimbursers to be able to keep the lights on.’

Dr. Gerard is describing how his practice is his business, and that his operating expenses are becoming prohibitive due to reduced payments from ObamaCare health plans.

ObamaCare has resulted in:

  • Reduced reimbursement rates from private insurers of $100 down to $80.
  • Reduced health care availability to consumers because physicians are changing their businesses to a cash only model.
  • Reduced quality of care for consumers as insurers adjust their health plans to match the costs of ObamaCare plans.

Many primary care physicians have felt that ObamaCare is stifling their business, so they are choosing early retirement. The problem is compounded by fewer medical students pursuing careers as a physician.

ObamaCare was provided as a means for Americans to receive healthcare at affordable rates. This required insurance companies to adjust their plans in order to accept lower rates. Many physicians have found that ObamaCare plans reimburse their practices at levels similar to Medicare and lower than private insurance. This has resulted in several unintended side effects within the American healthcare system, that manifest themselves as a reduction in healthcare quality.

Avidity Medical Design provides services for healthcare course development. Please contact us with any questions.

Getting Continuing Education Credit with Healthcare e-Learning

healthcare e-learningDoctors, EMTs, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners are constantly evolving from a professional standpoint, as medical procedures become more advanced. The value of continuing education cannot be denied; however, the busy professional lifestyle of individuals in the medical field sometimes makes continuing education classes difficult. To meet the demands of busy healthcare professionals, healthcare e-Learning has risen to the challenge. Healthcare e-Learning has become the most efficient way to provide continuing education to medical staff because online professional development training allows professionals to train in their spare time from the comfort of their own homes, rather than commuting back and forth to campus to adhere to an inflexible class schedule.

Avidity Medical Design designs courses for busy healthcare professionals. Courses include:

  • Medical Coding: Courses in medical coding include ICD-10 coding, CPT coding, and other health information management courses that directly pertain to medical coding.
  • Medical Transcription: Courses in medical transcription include practicum courses that help transcriptionists sharpen their skills in medical language interpretation and voice recognition editing.
  • Medical Claims Processing: Courses in medical claims processing train medical claims examiners to accurately apply Medicare and Medicaid guidelines, as well as guidelines for third-party administrators, to challenging claims processing situations.

Avidity Medical Design offers courses for busy medical professionals in the comfort of their homes and on their own timetable. Instructional and motivational design strategies solidify course content and keep doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other healthcare workers on the intellectual forefront of their fields.  Contact us to see how our unique e-Learning courses can help keep your healthcare professionals on track with continuing education and professional development.

How to Increase Enrollment for e-Learning

e-learningDuring the e-Learning enrollment time of year, which happens to be starting around now, you’re probably wondering what the best plan is for making students want to enroll. How do you give them what they want? How to you get what you want? Here are some helpful tips that can effectively increase your enrollments.

Draw attention to your school by recommending it to all the students you know. Encourage them to tell others about your school too. Show what you offer, and explain how great of a deal it is, all without seeming too proud or forceful.

Many students are looking for the school that’s going to benefit them immensely, but aren’t entirely sure where exactly to look. Help out by giving yours as a suggestion. Try putting a link on your social media sites, personal as well as staff supported. Encourage anyone who likes what they see to share the link with all their friends and followers.

When you have students start flowing in, try leaving an option on the enrollment page for the student to post to Facebook or Twitter that the just enrolled in the school. This also will help get them going with showing off your school to their friends.

Try using social media to your advantage and the students advantage. For instance, try offering contests on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Whoever reposts, retweets, or shares your new class list is automatically entered into a drawing to win two free movie tickets. Something as simple as that can help you to gain students. It gives them the option of seeing how in tune your school is with their daily desires.

Another great way to use social media is to award a random prize of $100 when your school reaches so many Facebook likes or shares.

All of this is important, but remember to never give up on cultivating your school. It doesn’t have to ever be perfect, but it would be nice to get close.

For more valuable information, please feel free to contact us. Thank you!!

Applying Healthcare Instructional Design Strategies that Work

If you are responsible for the continuing education of medical professionals, the importance of Healthcare Instructional Design Strategies that Work is clear.  Healthcare workers are busy, and it is often difficult, if not impossible to get a group together during working hours.  How then, do you teach and document new skills, and provide meaningful continuing education?

healthcare instructional designThe answer is to use personalized educational programs, that have been designed just for your needs.  Avidity Medical Design can provide these programs.  If your staff is self directed, and motivated to learn, you can choose mobile programs.   These learning modules can be completed on the employee’s own time.  If your employees don’t want to take their work home with them, choose a traditional program.  This would be completed as a group learning experience. Another option is a combination approach, where part of the module is completed by the individual, and and then a review is done as a group.

Continuing education requirements vary state by state.  Customized course development assures that these requirements will be met.  Staff will stay up to date, and competent.  Nursing Continuing Education Requirement Chart, from the American Nurses Organization, shows the hours required by each state.  Even if your state does not require documented hours, the importance of maintaining competency cannot be stressed enough. Also, nurses are not the only staff that need continuing education. All staff have to remain up to date, and competent.

An article in Propublica.org documents the astounding statistics of errors in United States hospitals.  It is reported that up to 98,000 deaths a year are as result of error.  This number is just from hospitals.  Errors also occur at walk-in clinics, dialysis clinics, ambulatory surgical facilities, etc.  These errors were not intentional, but none the less, lives were lost.  This shows how absolutely necessary it is for healthcare workers to remain competent.

For more information on Healthcare Instructional Design, please Contact Us.

Healthcare Education in “the Cloud” Pours Information Into Our Hands

How does “the cloud” enhance the educational experience of today’s healthcare professional? The cloud gives students unbridled access to the information they need to grow in the profession.

Gone are the days when flashcards were the only way to test a student’s knowledge. Technological innovations such as the smartphone, tablet and apps have transformed the landscape of healthcare education forever. The quest for healthcare knowledge is migrating to apps where information is available 24/7.

healthcare education in the cloudYour Health: There is an App For That

A report released by mobile industry analyst Research2Guidance predicts that by 2017, 3.4 billion people will have accessto tablets and smartphones with access to mobile healthcare apps. Of the 3.4 billion, 1.7 billion people will have downloaded them. To say that healthcare apps are popular is an understatement. That being said, how does the cloud and the mobile movement in general help hospitals train their staff for 21st century healthcare?

Raining Down Information

The cloud allows hospitals to reach physicians and other healthcare practitioners wherever they are. Being “in the cloud” also allows hospitals to train staff year round without the ebb and flow of information that comes from older forms of information sharing such as journals and conferences.The power of the cloud and mobile technology is undeniable. Knowledge is power and technology releases that power for the good of humanity.

Thirst For Knowledge

The availability of healthcare training apps has exploded over the last couples of years. Many nurses and healthcare professionals turn to their smartphones to acquire new information on drugs, diseases and procedures.

A study conducted by Wolters Kluwer Health’s Lippincott Williams Wilkins (LLW) of 3,900 nurses indicated in early 2012, 71 percent of nurses were already using smartphones professionally. Medical practitioners should be encouraged to download reputable healthcare applications and use them to increase their fund of knowledge and reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Here is a short list of apps that hospitals can use to improve patient care:

  1. Nursing Central
  2. NurseTabs: Fundamentals by AusQuinn
  3. NCSBN Learning Extension Medication Flashcards
  4. The Merck Manuals For Mobile
  5. Shots By STFM

 

E-Learning Platforms

The power of e-Learning helps hospitals stay current on emerging trends using the right healthcare platforms. Here is a brief overview of the most popular platforms available:

HealthStream Learning Center – The most widely adopted learning management system in the healthcare industry. An estimated 3.4 million healthcare workers actively use their system.

TidWiT Social Learning Solutions –  A learning platform that offers social healthcare solutions for medical providers. The platform is 100% cloud based.

There are a variety of approaches that hospitals can use to provide continuing education for healthcare professionals, whether they are nurses, physicians, coders, or CEOs. Cloud, apps, and e-Learning solutions are the future. Incorporating these solutions into a comprehensive continuing education program creates durable and long-lasting change for all healthcare professionals. Contact us today to discuss how we can bring your current healthcare training program into the future.

Six Easy Ways to Motivate, Educate, and Stimulate Your Healthcare Students

Let’s face it, it’s easy to start out with good intentions. Healthcare textbooks are designed to educate students on medical and surgical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and medical processes and procedures. The depth and complexity of the material can sometimes keep healthcare students from becoming as motivated as they should be. That’s why it’s important for students to have a healthcare course that incorporates a variety of strategies that help them stay motivated. The teacher also plays an important role because he or she motivates, educates, and stimulates healthcare students. Let’s look at six strategies for motivating healthcare students:

  • State expectations clearly. Starting off on the right foot is the key to maintaining motivation and increasing the likelihood of success in any endeavor. The best way for both teachers and students to start off on the right foot is with a clHealthcare Studentsear list of expectations. The students will be motivated to meet the teacher’s expectations when the students know what the expectations are. Teachers, in turn, will find themselves more motivated knowing that students are on the right path to learning.
  • Incorporate school work into the plan. It is easy to get so caught up in teaching that the work placed on the students after they walk out of the classroom is forgotten about. The teacher can help by weaving in tips on how to do the assignments to keep the students engaged and motivated even after they leave class. This strategy may lighten the load for teachers from the standpoint of grading assignments also.
  • Establish goals for the curriculum. It’s easier for students to stay motivated when the big picture is clear. Instead of just moving from lesson to lesson until the exam, try creating a theme that can set students up for a monthly goal. One goal might be to ask students to demonstrate how the anatomical structure of the arm allows a pitcher to throw a baseball. By the end of the lesson, students are able to accurately describe the parts of the arm, and how these parts work together to facilitate throwing an object, such as a baseball.
  • Encourage rewards. Grade school may be long past, but everyone responds well to rewards. Find fun, creative ways to reward healthcare students both in the physical classroom and online. Celebrate victories when they successfully master tough topics, such as correctly abstracting diagnoses and procedures from a complex medical record.
  • Maintain engagement. Whether teaching online or in the traditional classroom, staying engaged with each student is necessary to create a motivating atmosphere. Stay engaged by incorporating healthcare-related games, crossword puzzles, and other fun ideas into the curriculum.
  • Keep a positive attitude. A positive attitude can make the difference between having lackluster feelings about a course and really being motivated to learn the material. When students aren’t feeling motivated because they are struggling to learn the material, teachers should maintain a positive upbeat attitude and offer positive words of encouragement.

Creative course creation can incorporate a variety of strategies to help students maintain motivation. It might take some simple word changes or sidebars with ideas for motivation in certain areas of the curriculum, but it can be done.

If you need help creating great healthcare lessons that encourage student motivation, send us a message to get started.