The History of Surgical Technology

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Surgical technologists are not as well known as other healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses, yet they play the all important role of assisting surgeons during surgical procedures.

Surgical technology is a recent profession that resulted from the need for trained medical personnel after the succession of wars that plagued the world in the last century severely decimated their numbers. Many nurses and doctors were called to serve during theses wars to attend to medical needs of the soldiers on the battlefront, and those wounded and confined in medical camps and hospitals as well.

Surgical technology rose from the ashes of the succession of world wars participated in by the United States: World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and the Vietnam War (1945-1975). During World War I, Army medics were conscripted and trained to give emergency services. Nurses were not allowed to serve on the battlefield but were confined to medical stations. The Army medic’s counterpart in the Navy was the medical corpsman since women were not allowed aboard combat ships at that time.

Thus the role of operating room technicians, or ORTs, was thus created. ORTs took the place of female nurses in the battlefield. They received training through an accelerated nursing program that emphasized on operating room technology and received on-the-job training in the surgery department. Their studies included sterilization of instruments, care of operating room patients, suturing, draping and instrumentation. They likewise received Emergency Room training.

After the Korean War, the shortage of nurses to work in operating rooms in the United States led to the hiring of ex-medics and ex-corpsmen to work in civilian hospitals. These ex-military men performed. Over time, this arrangement led to the evolution of the title of ‘operating room technician’ to ‘surgical technologist’.

Improvements in surgical technology that started in the late ’60s led to the formalization of the role of surgical technologists in the ’70s. More and more institutions began designing and developing surgical technology programs. In 1968, the Association of Operating Room Technicians was created. This was composed of two committees: the Joint Committee on Education, and the Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist. Successful examinees to the first certification test that was given in 1970 were bestowed the title of Certified Operating Room Technician (CORT or OR Tech). In 1973, the Association of Operating Room Technicians changed their name to the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST), now an independent body. They changed the title Certified Operating Room Technician to Surgical Technologist, thus creating a new name. Since 1973, the AST has been diligently working to promote excellence in the surgical technology profession.

In 1974, an accreditation body was created to ensure quality education for the surgical technician. The Accreditation Review Committee for Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting imposed as an entry level to surgical technology education a two-year associate’s degree. Today, aspiring surgical technologists are required to take the national certification examination designed by the National Board of Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants (NBSTSA) in order to qualify as Certified Surgical Technologists, or CSTs. This certification is renewable by reexamination.

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Apples in American Culture – Why, Apples are as Amercian as Apple Pie!

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Here in the United States, though, we have many traditional fruits. Of course, perhaps the most popular and most traditional fruit that we grow is the apple. In fact, apples are such traditional fruits that they have become ingrained in our culture.

Take a look at some of the ways in which apples have moved off the tree and into our language, games, and stories:

It is a very common in our culture for someone to say, “That is like comparing apples and oranges,” Meaning that you are trying to compare two things that are incomparable.

Apples have even made it into our folklore: most kids know the story of Johnny Appleseed, the boy who traveled across the United States with an upside down pot on his head, dispersing apple seeds.

And everyone knows that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Although this proverb has some merit, most still just pass it off as an old wive’s tale. An apple a day will not keep the doctor away if you do not also eat right, exercise, and refrain from excesses such as smoking and drinking a lot!

A phrase that really shows how apples have become a major part of our society is, “that is as American as apple pie!” Apples are completely ingrained in our culture, and apple pies are an American icon, reminiscent the “happy” years in the United States.

A rotten or bad apple is not just a piece of bad fruit. This idiom describes the one “bad” or “rotten” person in a group.

Other popular phrases that we often use in our culture are: “the apple of my eye” and “how do you like them apples!”

As you can see, there are many ways in which apples are fully ingrained into our culture. In fact, it is likely that no other fruit is nearly as important to our American culture as the apple is.

The apple is truly a traditional fruit in the United States, and it is a fruit that seems to have many traditions associated with it.

For instance, “bobbing for apples.” This is a game that is especially popular around the autumn months and Halloween. In this game, a large bucket or cauldron is filled with water, and apples are place in it to float. Participants must bob for the apples, trying to catch one in their teeth, without using their hands.

If, though, you take a look at another culture, a culture in another region of the world, they will likely have far different traditional fruits. And along with their different traditional fruits, they will likely have different idioms, stories, and games based on those fruits, wound into their culture.

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Accuracy and Attention to Detail – Key Requirements for a Pharmacy Technician

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Many Americans are looking for a recession proof job, which is fulfilling and rewarding. The pharmacy industry experienced a surge in growth lately. The projected growth rate of a particular kind of technician is especially promising. Pharmacy techs are indispensable in the day to day operations of the pharmacy. Many jobs are available, and a pharmacy technician can work in many different work places. Many pharmacies are open 24 hours, which can result in odd work hours for the technician.

A pharmacy tech is often considered the right hand of the pharmacist. He/she has a variety of duties in the pharmacy. The particular duties of a pharmacist technician depend largely on the place of employment, experience, and seniority. Online and retail pharmacies operate in many ways similar to pharmacies located in drugstores and grocery stores. In most work environments, the technician’s duties include data entry for storing and sorting purposes, labeling bottles, filling prescriptions, as well as dispensing medications to patients/customers.

Keeping an accurate count of stored medications, and maintaining the stock, are also duties of a pharmacy technician. This includes all over-the-counter medications as well. Filling out insurance claims, and contacting insurance companies are the responsibility of a technician. Questions related to prescriptions sometimes require a technician to contact the patient’s physician for verification. The preparation of IV solutions, creams, and ointments can also be done by the pharmacy technician.

As an assistant to the pharmacist, clerical and administrative duties are also fulfilled by the pharmacy tech. This mainly includes answering the phone, and managing the financial operations of the pharmacy. Customer service is a big part of the daily duties of any pharmacy technician. Regardless of the size of pharmacy, dealing with customers, or patients if your workplace is a hospital or clinic, is a requirement.

Filling prescriptions and dispensing medications are tasks that need attention to detail. Accuracy is important, as filling a prescription incorrectly can ultimately cause a lot of harm to a patient/customer. Adverse reactions can even cause death. Medications are often named very similar. Double-checking the medication and the dosage ensures, the patient/customer receives the right medication for his/her condition. It is also important to be aware of exchanging brand name medications with equivalent generic medications, as these may contain additional ingredients.

Pharmacy techs are not allowed to advise patients/customers. For any questions regarding medications, they have to refer the patient/customer to the pharmacist. The pharmacist is the person, who has to give information about possible adverse reactions or general information about medical issues to the patient. Technicians can only refer to the pharmacist for question, even though they may know the answer.

A career in this field is rewarding. Someone, who likes to deal with people, enjoys responsibility, is diligent, and has the required attention to detail, will find this occupation very fulfilling. The predicted job growth rate is higher than average. Pharmacy technicians can advance by being certified. A CPR certificate is an example for such a certification. The median salary of a pharmacy technician is around $ 25,000-30,000 annually.

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The Differences Between An LPN And An Ultrasound Technician

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An ultrasound technician or sonographer differs from an LPN in many ways. An ultrasound technician is someone who captures images of a patient’s internal structures through the use of ultrasound equipment, while an LPN is a person licensed by the state that provides care to old, disabled, injured, terminally ill, or sick patients. LPNs can be found working in a broader range of work settings and they also have more tasks than sonographers.

LPN Job Description

An LPN’s duties and responsibilities range from administrative or clerical tasks to clinical practice. LPNs gather and record the patient’s history and symptoms, they keep records, and they make appointments. They also take vital signs, prepare and administer injections, help patients prepare for medical exams, collect test samples, assist supervisors in performing laboratory procedures and tests, treat wounds, and provide bedside care to patients and assist them with daily living tasks. Furthermore, LPNs offer emotional support to patients and their family members. They can be found working in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, nursing care facilities, schools, plus many more.

Education

To become an LPN, a candidate has to take a program, which is commonly competed in approximately one year. The program is divided into clinical practice and classroom instruction. Clinical practice takes place at a hospital or a clinic. Classroom instruction focuses on nursing courses such as anatomy and physiology, fundamentals of nursing, psychiatric nursing, nutrition, maternity and child health, and pharmacology.

Salary And Advancement

An LPNs average salary is around $39,000 annually. LPNs have the choice to advance their career into registered nurse. If that is what they desire, then they will have to acquire a nursing diploma, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. All candidates will need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam in order to practice as a registered nurse.

Ultrasound Technician Job Description

An ultrasound tech analyzes and interprets diagnostic images taken with ultrasound equipment. Ultrasound techs provide summaries, either oral or written, of technical findings. They direct the patient’s position and they explain the ultrasound procedures to the patient. They also perform equipment maintenance and they keep records. Ultrasound techs can be found working in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and diagnostic imaging centers.

Education

Most ultrasound techs hold an associate’s degree in medical sonography. Associate’s degree programs can be completed in two years. For those that want to earn their bachelor’s degree, four-year programs are available. Completing a one-year program to earn a vocational certificate in sonography is the minimum qualification available to those who want to become an ultrasound tech. Coursework may include classes in patient care, medical ethics, anatomy, physiology, and basic physics.

Salary And Advancement

The average annual wage of ultrasound techs is around $62,000. They can seek advancement by specializing in more than one area. Specializing in two or more areas will expand their opportunities. They can become educators, administrators, or researchers with additional education and experience.

What To Choose

Being an LPN is as rewarding as being an ultrasound technician. Deciding what career path to take greatly depends on your preferences and your skills and abilities. It is important that you examine each career carefully and learn which one is more suitable for you before you make your final decision.

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B.Tech in Civil Engineering

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It is essential for the infrastructure of a country to grow if the economy of the country has to grow. An increase in demand of infrastructure will lead to an increase in demand for Engineers. B-Tech in Civil Engineering will help you gain a strong foothold in this field. There are many opportunities for Civil Engineers and enough scope for growth in a sector that is essential to the growth of a country. All Engineers are in demand for rail, road, bridges, waterways and other such infrastructure development projects.

They work in hand with town planning as it helps developing water resources, sewage treatment facilities and other such solutions to problems that the society may face. During the course you will learn about project management, structural sciences and construction. The course includes modules in Structural Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering and Environmental Engineering. Over the duration of the course students learn through theory as well as practice as they work on live projects.

The course is supported by an enabling faculty and a modern laboratory space.

The requirements for application to this course includes 50% aggregate in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at Senior/ High School Graduation. Apart from this, applicants will also be judged according to their JEE score.

This is a field with immense scope as infrastructure takes on a predominant role in Government investment. Employment of civil engineers is projected to grow at 8% from 2014 to 2024 and higher as India keeps up pace with China at the global level.

Moreover, as the scope increases and times change, there will be a need for environmental engineers and engineers to plan smart infrastructure for smart cities. a student who have gone on to become architects, technicians, construction managers, environmental engineers, landscape architects, surveyors and urban and regional planners.

Both the private and government sectors are constantly on the lookout for good civil engineers. Some of the private sector companies include Shapoorji Pallonji and Larsen & Toubro. In the Government Sector, you have to clear the Indian Engineering Service and can then be hired for top positions in the Government. With the 7th pay commission, the average salary in the Government sector is at par with the private sector.

After working for a few years in infrastructure and real estate, you would also become a Subject Matter Experts. Such Subject Matter Experts are in high demand in consultancies. An MBA would further bolster your candidature should you prefer to pursue this field.

Beyond B.Tech., civil engineers can also further pursue the professional line of designing. This requires strong analytical skills and experience with AutoCAD. Proficiency in 3D printing could be a great advantage for the future. In the recent past, civil engineering has also found use in robotics and mechatronics. Civil engineers are able to determine load bearing capacities of robots and self-engaging systems that are used in construction. An M. Tech in the combined field will give you a strong hold in this niche but rapidly growing category.

In essence, a civil engineers job is to ensure the smooth running of the economy. This could include buildings that are sturdy as residences, roads that sustain over the years and cause less wear and tear or bridges to be built over rivers.

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Where Are the Women in Tech?

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According to the National Center for Women Information Technology (NCWIT), the U.S. Department of Labor estimated that 1.4 million computer related jobs would be available in the U.S. between 2010-2020. At current graduation rates for Information Technology, we can expect to fill only 32% of those jobs with U.S. Information Technology graduates. The NCWIT further states that although women hold about 57% of professional occupations in the U.S., only 26% of computing occupations are held by women. Even worse, only 3% of those jobs are held by African-American women, 5% by Asian women, and only 2% by Hispanic/Latino women.

The computing industry is failing to attract women to the field and sadly retention is poor. Women are leaving the industry at staggering rates, according to the NCWIT. Overall, the number of people graduating with computer or information science degrees has been steadily decreasing since 2004. There is a severe shortage of talent in IT. Salaries for.net programming and other popular technologies are the highest ever and the need for developers is rising. Companies are in near crisis mode as they fight to retain and attract IT talent. American women with computer science degrees can help fill some of these gaps.

Personally, I have been a woman in IT since the late 70’s when I graduated with a business degree and the MIS Manager at the company I worked for noticed I had programming on my resume. At the time, I was only making a summer pit-stop before pursuing further education in interior design. Struggling with a shortage of programmers even at that time, I was made a very lucrative offer as a full-time programmer, which I accepted. I never thought I would stay in the field, but as the years wore on I realized I was destined for a career in IT. Oddly, it wasn’t my passion but the money was good and the opportunities were like none other for a woman in the 80’s.

The software development career path led me to work with managers and co-workers in a highly male dominated field. Even from a client perspective, all upper management and power lunches that I was included in featured a roundtable of suited men with one petite suited woman – me. I never actually thought much about it. My opinions and work were always highly respected. The knowledge of software and the creation of highly necessary business programming provided a “20 something” woman with opportunities that I could have never had in most other fields. Besides being highly compensated, the work was challenging and I worked with business executives at the highest level.

One of the best things about software development is that you are filling a business need. To sit across major players at top companies and work with them to develop software that will make their business better is an amazing experience. Further, technology is exciting to work in because there is always something new to learn and some new development perspective to take.

I encourage developers to take a field trip to visit users that are performing their daily tasks utilizing the software that the developer wrote. There is no better feeling than watching people doing their jobs or playing a game using something that you made. Further, if you work for a national software manufacturer, there are people all across the nation in many companies and offices or homes using something that you produced. It’s like a song that people listen to everyday and enjoy. As a software developer, you can create a program that is utilized daily and enjoyed.

Software developers create tools that make the world more efficient. Companies rely on software to cut costs and increase revenue and profitability. The career path for software developers is wide in range and offers a host of benefits, including some of the highest salaries. The field of IT is broad and there is a need for IT Managers, Designers, Team Leads, Programmers, Testers, and more.

Although I am a woman in IT, before analyzing some of the statistics, I never realized that there was such a lack of diversity in the industry. Even in my own company, we have a 4 to 1 ratio of men to women in the development role. That statistic is even worse when assessing incoming job applications.

There are solid reasons for women to consider roles in development. First, unemployment statistics are favorable for jobs in IT. Also, tech companies are generally profitable which means some extra job security. The work is very interesting, challenging and always changing. You can get creative. Job growth is steadily increasing. Highly competitive salaries are standard issue. There is no variance in pay between men and women in IT (for comparable experience, education, and skills). This was confirmed by a salary survey performed by Dice.com®.

Why aren’t there more women in tech? Good question. Working in IT can be life changing, and the first step for a woman conquering a development role is making the need for women developers known. Let’s get that pipeline flowing. College students should explore the field, talk to tech companies, and find out more about how coding is cool. The future of IT depends on it.

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Realtor Lockboxes Explained: A Summary of Lockbox Options and Alternatives for Real Estate Agents

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Real estate professionals today have a plethora of high tech options out there to enhance their business, but rarely do we fully consider the value of the lockbox – the sole piece of equipment responsible for allowing agents to show the homes that we sell everyday. The lockbox itself has evolved over time, and today agents find themselves comparing the value from a standard combination lockbox to that of a more high-tech electronic lockbox. Real estate agents today are pressed from all sides for fees, dues, and expenditures that are unavoidable costs of doing business, so when it comes to making a decision between a combination lockbox that’s just a few bucks versus a high-tech electronic lockbox that is substantially more expensive, does the increase in cost justify the value? Also, what are all the options out there for electronic lockboxes? This article highlights the findings of current industry options available.

Having the ability to show a home without the sellers there to watch your every move was a move in the right direction for the real estate industry. Agents know very well the situation where a seller will remain in a home during a showing and “pretend” like they are minding their own business while the buyers tip-toe through the home trying not to impose while attempting to get a sense of what the home was like.

This is a wild departure from the typical showing when the sellers aren’t there; clients love to snoop around in order to get a good sense of the home. With the sellers not there, the buyers get a good opportunity to get a true sense of how that particular home would feel and if they can see themselves living there. Put simply, it allows for a better, more convenient showing experience.

From this dilemma the lockbox was invented. A device securing the key for entry by licensed real estate agents to show their prospective buyers, and it allowed sellers (or their agents) the opportunity to have the home shown without the need of their presence. It saved time, and allowed for a better showing experience. Truly, it was a win-win.

However, early lockboxes were simply a combination lockbox. They are certainly inexpensive, but an obvious downside was the lack of security for the home in question once the lockbox code was known. Sellers would rely on the professional ethics of real estate agents to keep the code confidential, but sometimes the code would slip into hands of non-agents. Less frequently, the code would be found by people with malicious intent.

With the obvious shortfall of relying on the honor system to keep lockbox codes confidential, it offered the opportunity for a better solution that would allow for accountability along with the ability to show a home without the seller being present. As a result, it did not take long for “smart” lockboxes using electronic technology to come into existence, thus revolutionizing the process of showing a home. Before a seller and their agent wouldn’t really know who was showing the property other than the confirmed appointments that were made. Flash forward to today, and you have the ability to know exactly who and exactly when someone shows a property through the use of an electronic lockbox. With these smart electronic lockboxes, only an agent or other authorized party can access the lockbox itself, further emboldening the assurance to a seller that only licensed agents and properly authorized individuals are showing or entering their home.

Today there are 2 main companies that provide these smart electronic lockboxes to real estate agency associations. They are Supra key and Sentrilock. Together they comprise the majority of the lockbox industry market; nobody else comes close.

Supra (or SupraKey) is owned by general electric and provides lockbox solutions to all sorts of niche industries, real estate lockboxes being one of them. Bill Love, national account manager for Supra, says that out of a given state or region in the country, Supra, on average, maintains an 80% market share. Supra has sold several million lockboxes throughout the years to real estate agents, and currently Love estimates that there are 1.5 million+ Supra lockboxes currently in use by about 750,000 real estate agents throughout the country.

The supra key itself features a cylindrical design up to the “shackle” (the loop part of the lockbox that will noose around something and keep it in its place securely) where the shackle fits in seamlessly. Its simplistic design is pleasing to the eye, and to activate the lockbox, an agent has a “digital key” that’s about the size of a small flip phone and has a number pad and screen on it. The agent sets the key to open a box and points it in the direction of an infrared sensor on the box itself. When the lockbox recognizes that it being accessed by the remote digital key, it will release to allow access and the bottom of the lockbox will fall out when it’s pushed by the agent, and voilĂ , the key to the home is available for the agent to take and open the door for the showing.

Love says that Supra has plans for upgrades to the current model lockbox that will include the ability for wireless Bluetooth access and syncing. Also, rather than having the digital key, if the agent has a smartphone, Supra offers an app for access with the phone instead, which makes it easier and more convenient, for a monthly fee. Love claims that the key difference with a Supra Lockbox is that “it keeps intelligence in the hands of the user.” Rather than having to rely on extra equipment or other trades people, the user has the control. Supra has had the current model for several years now with incremental software updates along the way. If an agent wants to buy a new Supra lockbox, it costs around $90, but the actual price that an agent will pay is determined by the association that they belong to.

Sentrilock is the other major player in the real estate lockbox industry. Sentrilock, which is based out of Indiana and is partially owned by the National Association of Realtors has been around for less than a decade and currently services about 250 of the 1000+ Realtor associations throughout the country and Canada as well. These associations comprise about 250,000 agents and approximately 500,000 lockboxes in current use. Sentrilock has 2 main models that are currently used; one is a silver lockbox that resembles a cell phone from the late 1980’s, bulky and heavy and somewhat longer in size than the supra lockbox. It has a key pad directly on the front of the lockbox itself, and holds the key within a drop-down door that pops open when accessed.

The other lockbox they offer is a smaller, more compact blue lockbox that is more cube-ish in shape but with the similar functionality features. The main difference between the silver and blue lockbox is that the blue lockbox allows for more space within the lockbox itself (which is important for people trying to sell a condo and who need to include an “access fob” in addition to the key to the front door of the unit itself – there just isn’t enough room for multiple keys or when including the access fob with Sentrilocks’ silver lockbox). Sentrilock sells their lockboxes for about $125 a piece, but this also depends on where you are getting it from, as the actual retail price is determined by the local real estate association that sells the boxes.

Both lockbox companies offer substantial warranties on the product themselves. They also have a support team that is almost always available in the event there is difficulty in accessing a lockbox, or for troubleshooting purposes. Both companies offer a comprehensive online tool that can provide the analytics from the showings and use of a specific lockbox which agents can use to share with their clients.

Some of the main differences between these two are how the lockbox itself is accessed. Sentrilock doesn’t need an extra piece of equipment to open a box. Rather, they utilize a “Smart-Card” which is essentially a credit-card that fits into the lockbox and has a chip inside it that shares your information with the lockbox you are accessing. This card is all you need to access the lockbox, whereas Supra requires the digital key, although they have addressed this by means of offering the smart-phone app so an agent can use their phone in place of the digital key. Both systems require updating; in other words, the smart card for the sentrilock system requires you to stick your card in a “card reader” that you get when you buy your smart-card that hooks into your computer. Every few days (the exact amount of days is determined by your local Realtor association) you must update the card through the card reader, which will allow you to show property, and at the same time uploads the information of the places you have shown to the Sentrilock system, which in turn is then able to be seen by the agents who owned the lockboxes of the places that you accessed. In a pinch you can update your card over the phone, but you can only do this once or twice.

On the other hand, supra keys update wirelessly. They didn’t always do this, where you were required to keep your “digital key” docked on a charging station that was hooked up to a phone line. You had to do this every day and that’s how the system would both update your card as well as share your showing information to the system. The wireless updating feature has been in place for a year or two now, and takes the headache out of the equation of having you update your key each and every day.

The back end system for Sentrilock allows an agent to create specific access codes for one-time access of a specific lockbox. This makes it really convenient for a contractor, appraiser, termite inspector, etc. to be able to access a property with a code, but only one time because that code will expire after the day the code was intended to be used. This is a great feature that Supra doesn’t have an answer to.

Although there are benefits to both systems, any agent can’t simply choose which lockbox system they want to use – this is decided, agreed to and contractually obligated between either Sentrilock or Supra and an agent’s local real estate association. These associations, once they have agreed on a system to use can then “tweak” the system to their discretion and preference. Things like the cost of a lockbox, whether the lockbox is leased or sold to agents, the amount of times an agent can renew their key by phone, the amount of days that can elapse before an update of an access key is required, these and more options can be tweaked and most real estate professionals are unaware that other options or preferences exist.

When comparing the benefits over your standard combination lockbox, an agent must be able to justify the added cost of a smart-electronic lockbox by the value it provides. It’s easy to do so, especially when taking the seller’s best interests at heart, as the smart lockbox will ensure accountability and a better safety and security measure for the showing process and for the home itself. Its analytics information and the ability to control who can actually gain access to the home are tantamount to successfully being able to gauge the interest in a home by means of how many people are interested in seeing it as well as being able to rest assure the seller that a home is being shown but in the most secure manner possible.

During this most recent downturn in the economy, most real estate markets throughout the country were inundated (and some still are) with foreclosure property. Certain real estate brokerages that specialized in this type of distressed property had the best years of production on record for the 2008 and 2009 years. All of these properties that needed to be shown and sold needed lockboxes, but the value provided by a smart lockbox through Sentrilock or Supra didn’t justify the cost to acquire, as distressed-property brokerages had inventories of 50, 100, 200 or 300 properties at a given time. The smart lockboxes were too expensive, especially when taking into account that the home in question was owned by the bank, it was vacant and the analytics of showings didn’t matter when a given foreclosure property is selling in no time at all with multiple offers. If an agent is carrying even 50 listings with a smart lockbox, it entails $5000 worth of lockboxes needed on all the properties he/she has for sale. At this point, a less expensive combination lockbox from Lowes for $7 looks way better and the total outlay for the lockboxes is substantially less. It’s a combination of utility value and overall price paid from the standpoint of the real estate professional, so it begs the question, why are the smart lockboxes so expensive?

Put simply, the market will bear the current price point of both the Supra and Sentrilock lockboxes because the value they provide are well worth the cost. That being said, certain companies have come into existence that are poised to take advantage of the amount of agents that want to sell their used lockboxes as well as the agents out there who don’t want to pay retail for the lockbox(es) they need for their business. Blake Nolan, co-owner of San Diego based LockboxSwap has created a website where a secondary market has been created and regulated for both the Sentrilock and Supra lockbox systems. Nolan says his company can help agents buy or sell their lockboxes and in the process save time and money. “Right now there is no real place online that offers what we offer” Nolan Says. He continues that “if you call into (any association) and ask about used lockboxes, or where to sell your own lockboxes, they say to go try craigslist or Ebay. We created LockboxSwap to address this vast and untapped market opportunity.”

Nolan’s’ LockboxSwap company plans to unveil the business this summer, and preliminary beta-test users have offered rave reviews.

In the world of Realtor lockboxes, smart-lockboxes are preferred because the overall value inherent in being able to secure a home, controlling the use of entry and having analytical accountability far outweighs the alternative of your standard combination lockbox (or no lockbox at all) Although the 2 main players in the Realtor lockbox arena have 2 excellent products, both fall short of being 100% perfect. They both do some things quite well and have the capabilities that the other does not. It would be great to be able to merge both products and concepts together, but since that is not possible, it’s up to each individual Realtor association to interview and determine which company is a better “fit” for them. At the end of the day, the 2 companies and respective products, although imperfect, represent competition between one another which keeps productivity and innovation high while keeping prices in check. Companies like that of LockboxSwap help to do this further by inventing and establishing the precedent for an industry that hereto has yet to exist, but has the ability to offer a cost-efficient alternative to Realtor professionals when it comes to their lockbox needs.

No matter what, it’s obvious the industry is moving in the right direction; we are witnessing technological advancements that help to serve Realtor professionals do their job better and more efficiently, and it is interesting to see what will be the norm in the near future as well as the long term. For now, Realtor professionals should be confident in knowing that while it’s great where we stand today, the future is only getting brighter.

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Nail Technician, Nail Salon & Beauty Salon – 5 Deadly Mistakes That Can Kill Your Profits

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Are You Killing Your Nail Profits?

Nail Salons and Nail Technicians often get caught up into thinking nails are all they do. This type of thinking limits nail technicians and box them into offering just the typical nail services to their clients. Nail salons and nail technicians are part of a bigger industry. This bigger industry is beauty. Yes, the Beauty Industry! The beauty industry is hot and booming and if your not taking advantage of this huge industry, your leaving a lot of money on the table. This world of Beauty opens up many additional streams of income and ways to make money as a nail technician!

Yet still, a lot of nail techs are not taking advantage of this industry and are killing their profits. They are practically giving away business and money that could be theirs! Lets examine a few ways nail techs can set up road blocks in their business that result in lower income and fewer clients.

Top 5 Mistakes Nail Technicians & Nails Salons Make And How To Avoid Them

1. Focusing More on Learning Nail Art Designs and Application than Sales and & Marketing. Believe it or not, Sales and Marketing should be a strong focus point, just as nail designs and application. It does not matter if you are the hottest nail art designer in town, if you don’t have enough clients to keep you in business you will not make the kind of money you desire. A nail tech that knows Sales and Marketing will out grow and make more money than the nail tech that is only good at nail designs, application, pedicures and manicures!

2. Not over delivering on services. In order to survive and keep clients coming back to see you. You will need to be different and offer services that other nail techs and nail salons are not. Every nail salon in town does manicures the same way practically. What can you do to make your manicure different? Always go the extra mile to give your clients more than what they were expecting. This keeps clients coming back to you and not going anywhere else to get there nails done.

3. Not Creating a customer Loyalty program. The best way you can thank your clients and keep them coming back is with a customer loyalty program. For example, offering a punch card that offers the 10th visit free or at a discount is a great way to say ” thank you” for being a loyal client and coming back! Clients love free stuff! So make it a point to keep rewarding them for their loyalty to your business.

4. Not Getting Contact Information for Each Client. For every client that a nail tech service, there should be a customer card that highlights their name, phone number and email address. This information is valuable to you as it is your way to keep in contact with your clients, promote specials, events, products and give nail care tips. Having contact information keeps you fresh in their minds and coming back to see you for their beauty needs.

5. Not offering back-end sales. If your services are great. Then getting the customer to spend more at each visit would not be hard to do! By offering complimentary services in the beauty industry such as eyebrow waxing and lip waxing may enhance your bottom line a lot. (Make sure you check for licensing requirements if you get into these types of services in your state). You can also get into carrying a few nice costume jewelry pieces, skin and hand care products and more! Keep it simple, just a few nice things to enhance your bottom line and get your clients to spend more at each visit.

While these are just a few profit killers, there are many more ways to kill your profits. Such as not keeping up with the latest beauty news and techniques, Not continuing education, and not being attentive to health concerns and more! Knowing what to avoid will keep you ahead of the game and keep money flowing into your business consistently!

The nail care industry is hot right now and if approached right you can make a lot of money at what you love to do- Nails! If you want to be successful and a have a rewarding career as a nail tech don’t make these mistakes, they can hurt your business and your bottom line.

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High-Tech Billing Solution That Meets CMS, NUCC, HIPAA Regulatory Standards

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With EMR gaining its importance post the stimulus bill; the Billing application can’t be ignored. For any small, medium or large level of medical information business, medical billing health care services is the most indispensable and easy on the pocket for the healthcare industry.

Binary Spectrum’s billing application is a robust platform that automates electronic claims, remittances, member enrollment, eligibility and disenrollment processes for a large HMO. The application has delivered adaptability to client software and billing process with prompt medical billing services, thereby saving on client’s staffing and operational expenditures. It helps scale up the claims processing capability, and is able to do so in a timely manner while being able to deal with a variety of vendors.

The billing solution provides seamless integration features for charge creation based on the data provided in the clinical charting functions to avoid duplicate and error prone data entry. The transmission of claims could be done either through electronic means i.e. ECT or paper based preprinted forms.

The following are the list of EDI Messages supported:

For Batch transactions-

• 837 P/I (professional / institutional) – Electronic Claim files

• 835 – Healthcare electronic Remittance advice request form

• 834 – Enrollment and disenrollment for Medicaid eligibility

• 820 – Electronic response files for premium Payments to insurer

For Real time transactions-

• 271 / 272 – Member eligibility request / response

• 276 / 277 – Claim status request / response

• 278 – Authorization and Referrals

The key differentiator of the Medical Billing application is that there are multiple ways of creating a final charge for a patient.

• At the time of booking an appointment, an encounter can be started, treatment plan details can be captured and the encounter can be ended which takes the user to charge creation screen & for creating the charge for the encounter.

• Another flow is from the book appointment page. There is the option of super bill which starts the charge creation process, imports all the services that are captured in the super bill to the charge creation screen & creates the charge, associating the appropriate prices for the services.

Benefits for the Billing Companies:

Billing companies can benefit from the following:

• Reduce efforts in entering data

• Automated Workflow and Rule Management

• Compliance checks and acknowledgement generation

• Support for multiple integration mechanisms for Vendor interactions

• Parsing and Validation mechanisms

• Integrated processes related to primary care physician, the HMO and the government funding bodies (CMS / ACHA)

Benefits for Physicians:

The billing solution will help physicians to:

• End medical billing hassles

• Support for Real-time Messages

• Support for both Government and Private multiple health insurance plans and in variety of ways including guarantor, co pay, primary/secondary/tertiary

• Timely and accurate charge entry and claim generation

• Implementation and conformance to applicable standards including HIPAA, standard procedures CPT and illness nomenclature ICD.

• Faster payment to doctors accurately

Binary Spectrum delivers significant system and personnel designed software with superior 24 / 5 customer services. Our solution centric approach helps us to endow with technical expertise for cost effective robust solutions to our clients.

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Big Boys’ Toys – Why Men Love Gadgets

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From sports cars to spy cameras, power tools to wireless power gadgets–guys love technology. Most men have at least one high-tech obsession. It could be the latest gas grilling equipment, a cutting edge fly rod, the newest graphite golf clubs, computers, electronics–the list goes on and on. It’s obvious that guys love gadgets–but why? Here are just a few possible reasons.

The “Wow” factor. Let’s face it: a shiny new techno-toy is cool. From the latest plasma screen TV’s to slender, stylish mobile phones, a beautifully designed machine is sure to catch a guy’s attention. Many gadgets are designed to maximize the coolness appeal: electronic card shufflers for the card shark in your family; sleek Mp3 players and mobile phones that look good out on the town; computer speakers that look like contemporary sculpture. The “wow” factor is elusive, and it’s usually a combination of style and function.

It’s all about status. Cutting edge technology is a status symbol. And even those of us who insist we don’t care about such things get a secret thrill from owning the latest and greatest. Those gadgets cost money, and they send a signal that the owner has it to spare. They also give the impression that the owner is educated, trendy, and plugged-in. Most social species have ways to determine status among their members, and human beings are one of the most complex social species in the world. Techno-gadgets are just one way guys can display their status among their peers.

They make guys feel like kids again. Most guys start their love affair with gadgets at an early age. Little boys love remote control cars, video games, kid-sized tools, and more. A new gadget can make a guy feel like a kid again. Playing with high-tech toys is something that never changes. It’s engrossing, fascinating, and fun–just like it was when he was a kid. Most guys get just as excited now when they’re given a gadget for Christmas as they did when they were much younger. No wonder gadget gifts are a quick and easy way to a man’s heart.

Believe it or not–they’re practical. Gadgets let you do things you couldn’t do otherwise. A cutting-edge laptop can let you do everything from recording your own music to building your own e-commerce business. A feature-packed cell phone lets you check your email, play your favorite music, and even download a movie or television series in addition to keeping in touch with your friends. A well-made power tool lets you build anything from furniture to sailboats to motorcycles from the ground up. Guys love gadgets because they don’t just make our lives easier–they make impossible achievements commonplace.

Entertainment value. Technology doesn’t just improve our lives–it also makes things more fun. Entertainment technology has come far in the past decades, from early radio and television to cutting-edge plasma screens, video games with astonishing graphics, and more. No matter what you like to do for entertainment, technology takes fun to a whole new level. And it’s everywhere in our culture–almost everybody has a television, a radio, a CD collection, a computer, and many other gadgets. Today, even our most simple and familiar toys have been given a technological overhaul: dolls walk and talk; teddy bears play songs and tell stories; and toy cars have remote controls.

The cutting edge is addictive. Once you get into techno-toys, it’s hard to stop. You get excited when you see the newest model out on the market. You read about the new features, you watch the reviews, you comparison shop until the price comes down–and then you jump on the best deal. If you love gadgets, it’s hard not to keep up with the latest trends. No matter the type of tool, the technology industry is making new developments every year. This year’s gadgets have more to offer than last year’s, and next year’s techno-toys are sure to make this year’s look like stone tools. When you’re into technology, it’s tough not to keep up with the latest trends.

It’s not just men who love gadgets. Women are also getting involved. In fact, it’s likely that the sleek, graceful lines of today’s technology, from thin plasma screen televisions to stylish mobile phones and Mp3 players, are designed to appeal to women as well as men. Technological advances have made it possible for us to do things our ancestors never dreamed of. With everything we can do with gadgets, it’s hard not to love them–no matter who you are.

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