Monday, July 30, 2012

Planning a Route For A New Railway - And How Digital Maps Assist

Whenever a new railway development is being considered, a survey is particularly useful both for the construction and also to plan for ongoing maintenance. Surveyors will spend time mapping out the best possible routes for the railway and will also confer with engineers on details such as gradient, ground type and practicality of the possible route. It is essential that a site visit is carried out before any portrayals are made so that any geographic issues can be seen in order to assess whether they are going to cause an issue.
Blueprints can then be drawn up by the surveyors and given to the engineers and the construction firm. The surveyors are involved at every stage and should continue to be consulted all the way through the whole process so that nothing is left to chance and to ensure that everything from laying the track to positioning of signal poles and stations is done properly.
In a perfect world, the railway line would run in a straight line from start to finish without any changes in gradient. If that were indeed the case, there would be probably be no need for a surveyor in the first place. However, as we do not live in a perfect world, this is not likely and there are certain rules that a railway surveyor needs to follow when planning a new railway route.
The first is that any gradient must be no steeper than two units high for every one hundred units forward. The second is that when it comes to corners, no more than ten degrees can be considered. This is why it is so important to be aware of the lay of the land beforehand. Other relevant information includes the track gauge and the maximum number of carriages to be pulled.
The railway surveyor is mostly concerned with the track and whilst there are other issues to think about such as the height and width of the track, clearance of either side and so on, the system will not be able to work correctly if the rails themselves are not correctly placed. Other aspects of railway design include bridges and tunnels and these can be very challenging. This is where the engineers input is essential as they will be required to build the bridges and tunnels. The surveyor will design cuttings and embankments beside the track and be in charge of ensuring the track remains centered.
Modern mapping technology has made planning new transport routes much simpler. It is now common practice to use aerial photography, Geographic Information Systems, CAD and height data to create a plan for a new transport route. Making use of other information such as green belt data, sites of special interest, local town planning policies and where existing road and rail routes are, all contribute to producing several different types of visual display as well as 2 and 3D models.
When building starts, by making use of laser imagery combined with specialist software, the surveyors can identify the integrity of the materials and ensure that the railway is properly positioned and centered. The laser technology is also useful once the route is in use for maintenance teams who can easily identify areas that require attention. Being able to take advantage of all this modern technology has enabled both surveyors and engineers to create plans for and build accurately new railway routes.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pharmacy Technician Salary Information

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist and help pharmacists distribute medicines. This involves taking information and filling up a prescription, counting tablets and measuring other prescription medicines, mixing medications and preparing creams or ointments, and prepares various other intravenous medications.
Thus, the role of a pharmacy technician is as important as other jobs in the medical field. Considering the tasks and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, how much salary does one make in a year?
For those who are just beginning with their career as pharmacy technician, the salary can start at $7-$8 an hour, while those who have longer years of experience in the field can earn up to $13-$15 per hour. Roughly, that is $26,000-$29,000 annually.
Factors Affecting Compensation
Various factors help determine the salary of a medical practitioner such as location of practice, industry, years of service, and credentials considering that there are also technicians who earn up to $40,000 per year.
Salary according to State
According to studies, average rate for pharmacy technicians is from $12-$16 per hour, and among the highest paying States are:
- Alaska - $18.75 per hour ($39,100 per annum) 
- Washington, California, and District of Columbia - $18.50 per hour ($38,500 per annum) 
- Hawaii - $17.00 per hour ($35,300 per annum) 
- Oregon and Nevada - $16.50 per hour ($34,300 per annum) 
- Wyoming and Connecticut - $16 per hour ($33,500 per annum)

On the other hand, following are States that pay the least for pharmacy technicians:
- Puerto Rico - $9.60 per hour ($20,000 per annum) 
- West Virginia - $11.90 per hour ($24,900 per annum) 
- Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky - $12.20 per hour ($25,300 per annum) 
- Virgin Islands, Arkansas, and Oklahoma - $12.40 per hour ($25,800 per annum) 
- Ohio - $12.90 per hour - ($26,800 per annum)

Even though the above States pay lower than most other States, one thing that must be taken into account as well is that the above States have lower cost of living, thus, the per hour rates are still competitive especially after taxes and other fees have already been deducted.
Salary according to Industry
On the average, those who found employment in hospitals are said to receive higher pay than those working in pharmacies and drugstores.
- Hospital - $32,500 
- Grocery Stores - $28,800 
- Pharmacies and drug stores - $27,000 
- Department stores (drugstores in malls) - $25,800 
- Other stores - $25,400

Other Factors
As mentioned earlier, experience and credentials also determine the salary of practitioners. On the average, pharmacy technicians who have 3-7 years of experience can enjoy additional 10% salary increase per year, while those technicians who pass their certification can earn a one-time additional 10% increase on top of the regular salary. These are just a few of the reasons on how a pharmacy technician can earn up to $60,000 annually.
Employment Prospects
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, career prospects for these health professionals is positive and is expected to experience job growth by 32% of its current population of 335,000 practitioners until 2020 - that is about 110,000 job openings for pharmacy technicians.
Therefore, now is the best time to decide whether this is the best job for prospective students or professionals who want a career change.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Medical Assistant Job Description And Salary Information

Because of the government's thrust in improving the quality of services accorded to citizens, the need for more people working in the medical industry is ever growing. Aside from this, with people becoming more conscious about their health and the number of people getting sick, the requirement for additional medical assistants to help doctors manage their work is increasing.
So, what are the main duties and responsibilities of these health professionals?
Job Description
Typically, assistantr aide physicians in various tasks that include front office, administrative, and clinical responsibilities.
Front Desk Tasks. The assistant is the first person a patient sees during doctor's appointments. They welcome patients and hand out registration forms for them to fill out. In cases when a patient is required to come back for a routine check-up, the assistant arranges the patient's appointment depending on the doctor's availability. Aside from scheduling appointments, the assistant also answers phone calls and performs other data entry tasks.
Administrative Tasks. A medical assistant is also expected to perform clerical tasks that involve organizing all patient medical documents and records, coordinating with insurance companies, responding to billing concerns, recording all information about supplies and equipment purchased, and maintenance of the clinic's financial records and other accounting tasks.
Clinical Tasks. Aside from clerical responsibilities, assistants may also be required to perform some clinical duties that include application or changing dressings, collection of urine samples to be sent for diagnosis, and observing patient's health (if working in a hospital) and reporting the results to the physician.
Required Educational Background 
The minimal educational requirement to get into an medical assisting program is a high school diploma. Programs for this type of job are available in vocational schools, community colleges, technical schools, and universities, and can be completed within a period of one year. These certificate courses can lead to an associate's degree in medical assisting, offered and can be completed within two years.

Although graduating from CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program) accredited programs or school is not mandatory, still there are States that prefer graduates from reputable and accredited schools.
In addition, these health professionals are not required to undergo any licensing tests to begin working in hospitals or clinics although there are recognized certifications for medical assistants, including Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), and Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). Passing these any of these certification exams, although not a prerequisite, strengthens an applicant's chances of being hired as it shows one's dedication and expertise on his chosen field.
Pay Rate 
When it comes to salary, medical aides generally receive from $20,000-$40,000 per year depending on experience. For those who are just starting their career, salary could even be lower than $20,000, while those who have been working in this capacity for years and with more complex responsibilities can command up to $50,000 annually.

With this knowledge in hand, prospective students and career shifters can now make a decision whether this career is for them or not.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Managing Disruptive Behavior in Adult Learners

So what do you do when your best classroom management prevention efforts fall short and you come face-to-face with in- your-face resistant or provocative behavior from adults in a training/teaching situation? Following are four strategies to deal respectively yet directly with these situations and keep the training or teaching on track.
  1. Breathe and live the mantra - EVERYTHING is curriculum: When behavior like the above is happening, it isn't just you and the person exhibiting the behavior, it is everyone in the room who is holding their breath, attention riveted, to find out how you will respond. Whatever you do, it needs to model the curriculum or at least the principles embedded in the curriculum you are teaching. It doesn't matter what you teach, surely embedded in most content are elements of prudence, wisdom, discernment, taking a higher road, creativity, humor, reframing, coaching, problem solving, trouble shooting, barrier removing, relationship, self-esteem, self-efficacy and teamwork. How you respond to provocative behavior is a teachable moment on wide-screen, surround sound, living color. It is the perfect moment to practice what you teach. Think through the principles that drive or support your content and plan ways to respond to provocative, resistant or challenging behavior that are real-life illustrations of the principles and practices of your content in action.

  2. Create opportunities for a better choice and saving face. Everyone melts down sometime, either because it is the last straw in a bad day or because they don't have the skills to meet their needs in less provocative ways. Find a way to call a "do over," make an offer with your limit attached and then create space for the other person to pull themselves together. If you can create a way they can save face, they will generally realize their first reaction wasn't the best and they will tend to soften if you support them in saving face and setting the stage for a turn around that looks like it resulted from their reconsideration rather than a strong arm tactic by you. You can do this by saying (after you state your need or expectation) "Take a few minutes and let me know what you'd like to do."

  3. Balance face - saving offers with staying in charge of your classroom or training room.Often, provocative behavior directed at you comes from someone everyone else has grown weary of enduring and they WANT you to end their suffering and protect their learning experience. It is a delicate balance but you must take charge so that one or two outspoken folks aren't holding the rest of the group or the learning process hostage. Often this can be accomplished by validating feelings and needs while setting limits on behavior.

  4. Practice good self-care and spend time with colleagues who can support you. Validating feelings and needs while setting limits on behavior takes finesse, lots of practice, along with opportunities to debrief with mentors and colleagues who've had similar experiences and who can coach you. Spending time with others in a Community of Practice can refresh you, give you new strategies for recurring problems, and help you better manage disruptive, provocative behavior that allows you to model in practice what you teach.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Popular Whiteboard Magnets For Children

When it comes to choosing whiteboard magnets for the workplace, most people are simply concerned with getting something that works and is cheap. The same cannot be said when buying magnets for locations where children will be one of the primary users of the whiteboard, however, as they care more about how 'pretty' or 'cool' the shapes are than they do about their functionality. If you work in a school, daycare centre, kindergarten or other children-dominated area, you will find that the following whiteboard magnets are popular:
  • Alphabet: There are a number of reasons why these magnets are popular, the first being that they are often brightly coloured and attractive for little fingers. They do, however, have a more practical use in that teachers can use them to help teach spelling, grammar and other little lessons that often arise in the classroom.
  • Bricks: Like the alphabet whiteboard magnets, these ones are often brightly coloured and fit snuggly in the palm of a little hand. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them similar in appearance to Tetris pieces. As well as being highly attractive for the children, teachers can also use these magnets in their lessons, specifically when teaching shapes.
  • Words: These magnets often come in a large sheet that the teacher must cut up or break apart into smaller words. Children will often have fun putting up messages to each other on the whiteboard, and teachers find them useful for a number of writing and story-telling exercises, as well as for spelling and grammar.
  • Dolls: Whilst these whiteboard magnets have little bearing in lessons, they are very popular with children because they form mini dress up manikins. These dolls are available in a number of different themes - from ballerinas and nurses to firemen and policemen - and are suited to both boys and girls.
  • Homemade: Children tend to love looking at and playing with magnets that they have made themselves. This can make a great arts and crafts project for a class of youngsters to work on. Whilst they are commonly made out of felt, they can also be made out of plastics, metals, painted plaster and so on.
When it comes to choosing whiteboard magnets for children, it is important that you take into account the colour and how 'fun' they will be deemed. This will ensure that the children will respond positively to the use of magnets in the day to day running of their classes, as well as providing the teacher with an additional aid for getting the information across.