Concorde Blog - Feb 25, 2020
Concorde takes great pride in its health care training programs. One of the greatest advantages we offer prospective students - getting you into a rewarding health care career as quickly and effectively as possible. There are different challenges and stresses that come with health care training, however. You might complete the program in a shorter period of time. But that doesn't mean you're learning less. In fact, you're learning the same amount of material as in a traditional program, just in a more compact - and intense - format. Handling such an intense course load is manageable. In fact, it's very doable, as proven by the hordes of students that successfully complete courses and programs each and every term. It simply requires some tools and strategies that, when adhered to, make successfully completing health care training not only possible but probable.
Have a Plan for Health Care Training"This is a topic I know all too well as I am back in school myself," said Josh Alvarez, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's campus in Miramar, Fl. "In order to stay healthy during an accelerated program, a student must have a plan. If not, they are certain to feel overwhelmed." What does Alvarez mean by a plan? Four simple steps can make the difference between success and failure.
- Create a schedule - Set aside a good chunk of time to study. This is super important for those who have a family, Alvarez said.
- Set short-term goals for yourself... like week to week - "Each week, I set a goal to accomplish an amount of work," Alvarez said. "I then pace myself to achieve that goal by week's end. I do not procrastinate and cram."
- Detach - Steps 1 and 2 should allow for some much-needed "you" time. This is important to keep your bearings and avoid feeling consumed with school.
- Starbucks is your friend - "If you like coffee as much as I do, Starbucks is a great place to study," he said. "I try and get there around 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday, order some coffee, and get to work. It's a nice combination of study time and you time."
Keeping your Health in mindZane Wilson, MBA, CPC, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's campus in Portland, Ore., disagreed with indulging in caffeinated beverages, however. "There is typically a crash that takes place after these types of beverages," he said. But, he does agree on making a plan. Time management and maintaining a life balance are of the utmost importance. Wilson also encourages speaking up when feeling overwhelmed by stress. Get advice and counsel from those you trust. And, always feel free to lean on your Student Affairs department. It's as simple as that. Well, it might not be quite that simple, but the point that a little organization can go a long way toward taking the stress off should be given due consideration.
Balancing Work with Health Care ProgramsThere are a few tricks of the trade when it comes to balancing work with health care training programs. We sought out the advice from two of our resident experts - Concorde directors of student affairs - to help with some tips on how to navigate accelerated learning successfully. Here's what they had to impart. "Balancing work and home life is a challenge in and of itself," said Liane Pardo-Mansfield, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's campus in Orlando, Fla. "Throw in accelerated learning, and you could feel as if you are on the fast track to a meltdown." "But, it doesn't have to be that way." Pardo-Mansfield said health care programs can be manageable and very rewarding by sticking to three things - preparing, planning and evaluating. Make sure your supervisor at work is aware you are in school, she said. Ideally, fill him/her in while researching schools and programs of interest to be able to select the best match between the program requirements and those of your job. Find out what schedule modifications are possible at work and then match it with the school/program that best fits. "Plan for the whole program, not just the first week or first mod/term," Pardo-Mansfield said. "Let your supervisor know from the outset what your schedule will be for the class and externship." Request days off far in advance, she said, for mandatory meetings and even for days before a big exam or project so you have time to study. Schedule out activities, meetings and other obligations for children as well. Try to identify any possible conflicts with work and/or school. "The more you can project and plan for in advance, the less stressful it will be when it arises," she said. "You'll also be in a better position when the unexpected occurs because you'll be able to focus your energy on that new issue and not all of them at once."
Tips for Balancing work with your health care programLori Liebman, MBA, Director of Student Affairs at Concorde's campus in Garden Grove, Calif., gave these ideas to help be successful at both work and school.
- Acknowledge that the path will be difficult, but that you are strong and can handle it. Put out constant reminders of what you are working toward.
- Schedule everything! Make appointments with yourself for even the most mundane tasks and keep them. This includes "downtime," too.
- Enlist the help of family, friends, and co-workers. This includes children, significant others, your boss, everyone within the sphere of influence.
- Remember this dual life is only temporary. Once you are done with school and have a great new job, you will look back with pride and realize that most things are possible with a plan.