Balancing Work With Accelerated Learning
Jul 31, 2019
Life can get crazy at a normal pace. When it comes to managing everything along with studying in accelerated health care programs, life can become especially dizzying.
We're proud of our health care programs at Concorde, and we work hard to ensure that they stay manageable for our students. The key, as it is with most anything, is to remain very organized. Make a plan and stick to it.
There also are a few tricks of the trade when it comes to balancing work with health care 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 learning successfully.
Here's what they had to impart.
Balancing work with accelerated health care programs
"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."
Include your support network in your plan
Pardo-Mansfield said it's important to include your support network in this planning process so they can be prepared as well.
"Lastly, continually evaluate your plans and adjust as needed," she said. "If working nights is making it harder to keep up with your homework, and you have an option to work on the weekend, make the adjustment and see if it helps. Or, perhaps use your breaks at work to do homework."
"Remember, it's a short-term sacrifice for a long-term gain."
More ideas for balancing work with accelerated health care programs
Lori 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.