Top 5 Study Tips for the CPIM Exams

If the idea of getting ready for your CPIM exam takes you straight back to high school and the pre-finals jitters, relax. It’s okay. Taking an exam doesn’t have to be the nerve-curling, eyelid-twitching trial of yesteryear. And your first preparatory steps start before you so much as crack open a book.

First, let’s run through 3 bad habits to avoid: understudying, over-studying, and overconfidence. You need to study for this exam, but you need to do it right. Remember that guy in the back of the class who partied all night and was totally unable to so much as lift up a pencil on exam day? Don’t be that guy. Also, don’t be the gal in the front of the class who stayed up all night studying. Finally, don’t assume that, with all your professional experience, you’ll sail right through. These exams are meant for seasoned pros.

Five Study Tips for the CPIM Exams That Will Help You Conquer Exam Stress

These 5 tips aren’t rocket science, but they’ll definitely help you get the most from your studying. The first one seems as simple as taking an umbrella when it rains:

1. Get the Right Materials. At the very minimum, you should have the APICS CPIM Exam Content Manual and the APICS Dictionary. These absolutely indispensable references will give you an overview of the content covered on the exams and a definition of all the acronyms and terms you’re going to run across. However, stinting in the research department is like rowing a boat using only one paddle: you can do it, but it’s way more work to get where you are going. We recommend starting with any of our study program packages, such as our starter pack which has enough to get you headed in the right direction.

2. Keep Your Materials Together. We all know how distracting it can be to spend 15 minutes searching for the definition of some obscure acronym. Nix it with this simple step. It also signals your brain that this is dedicated study time.

3. Set a Schedule. Again, this is Study 101, but it’s very important. As many a reading list or chore list can attest, things simply will not get done unless you firmly schedule time to do them. For study, it’s best to set aside a certain time every day. Make it a habit, and you’ll not only find the time to do it, you’ll also combat the stress of studying with the comfort of routine.

4. Use the 20-Minute Rule. Did you know that many experts recommend limiting your active study time to about 20 minutes? Your brain can only handle so much new information in one go. Cramming and all-night study sessions just defeat the whole purpose of study. Use the rest of your time to review and apply what you already know, then take a break and come back for Round Two.

5. Practice Test-Taking Skills. Taking the sample tests does two things: it points out your weaknesses so that you can give them extra attention, and it cuts the potency of pre-exam nerves. That big, scary exam looming around the corner becomes not-so-bad when you’ve done the practice run a few times.

Is passing the CPIM exams difficult? Sure. But following these tips will help you minimize stress and maximize success.

Top 3 Proven Speech Therapy Tips When Your Child’s Speech Is Unclear

Do you have problem understanding what your child is saying?

Does she say “yion” instead of “lion” or makes mistakes with other sounds?

Is your child getting left out in school or at the playground because other children cannot understand him?

It is frustrating for both you and your child when you cannot understand her, and have to ask multiple questions just to clarify. Here are the main reasons we frequently explain to our speech therapy clients why your child has unclear speech:

Muscle weakness.

Various muscles are involved when producing speech, and sometimes the inability to move these muscles may cause speech to be unclear. For example, your child may not be able to lift up the tip of his tongue in order to produce the ‘l’ sound.

Control and Coordination.

The problem may not be muscle weakness, but rather your child has difficulties coordinating the movements. This is similar to people who are not able to dance. There is nothing actually wrong with their legs, but they dance ‘with two left feet’. So, your child may be able to say ‘l’ in ‘lion’ but unable to say ‘l’ in “caterpillar”. Or she might say ‘lion’ one minute and ‘yion’ the next, and ‘wion’ the next.

Phonological difficulties.

This is more about having a cognitive concept of sounds, as opposed to the physical aspect of producing speech. For example, if your child grew up speaking or hearing Mandarin Chinese, he may be say ‘hou-‘ instead of ‘house’ or ‘cat-‘ instead of ‘catch’.

It is not that he is unable to produce the ‘-se’ or the ‘-ch’ sound; it is simply because there are no such ending sounds in Mandarin and thus makes it more difficult for him to understand the concept that there are ending sounds in English.

Why Speech Therapy is Important

A speech therapist is a professional who is specifically trained to diagnose and treat speech problems in children (and adults). Speech therapy is important because it:

1. Makes your life easier

2. Eliminates the vicious cycle: unclear speech causes less interaction and therefore less speech input and worse speech and language.

When your child has unclear speech, this may result in less interaction with other children, which would result in even worse speech and language because of the lack of practice. Even adults attend speech therapy classes for this reason alone.

3. Affects how your child learns to read.

Instead of learning that the letter ‘s’ has the sound in ‘sock’, for example, if he says ‘tock’ instead, he may end up thinking that the letter ‘s’ has a ‘t’ sound.

The 4 Guiding Principles for Speech Therapy

Teaching a child with unclear speech may be different from how you teach other children in your family. You may need to repeat more often and emphasize the sounds more. Here are a few things we use regularly in speech therapy when tackling your child’s unclear speech:

Be aware that clear speech sounds comes down to the oral motor movements of the tongue or lips or other speech muscles. (It’s not ‘All about that bass’ it’s ‘All about the place’!) The placement of the tongue, that is.

We produce different speech sounds in tongue twisters (“She sells sea-shells on the sea shore.”) and in everyday speech because we are able to move our tongue to different positions within the mouth, and also by producing sounds in different ways. Some sounds are ‘quiet blowing sounds’ such as ‘f’, ‘s’, ‘sh’; some other sounds are ‘noisy sounds’ such as ‘z’, or ‘r’.

Be aware that some sounds develop earlier, some sounds develop later.

The general developmental order of speech is ‘from the outside in’. This means that it is easier for your child to use their lips and jaw than their tongue. Hence, it is important to note that some sounds don’t come as easily as the others.

Be aware that not all words that begin with the same letter or sound will be equally easy or difficult.

A child who is having difficulty saying “k” sounds will find it easier to say the sound in a word such as “kite” where the mouth is more open and there is more space for the tongue at the back of the mouth compared to saying it correctly in “key” where the mouth is more closed.

Be aware that getting from where he is right now to the target sound may take a few intermediate steps.

For instance, if your child cannot say “the” and says “ge” instead, she may need to learn to progress from ‘g’ to ‘d’ and then ‘th’. Anything that moves her in the right direction is progress.

Now that we’ve gone through the ‘why’, it’s time for the ‘how’:

Here are the top 3 speech therapy tips:

1. Slow Down, emphasize the sound and do everything you can to show your child the necessary tongue and lip movements.

If your child says ‘totate’ instead of “chocolate”, rather than just telling your child ‘No, say chocolate’, at your usual conversational speed, try to slow down, and emphasize the sound: ‘ch-ocolate‘. Exaggerate what you do with your mouth. Look in a mirror together with your child while you are teaching so that he can see what you are both doing.

If your child cannot say the entire word, at least try to get a small part of the word right, for example, just being able to say the sound on its own “ch-ch-ch” or even just the sound partly right, such as just being able to blow out the air, or just rounding the lips.

2. Help your child to hear what it’s not and what it is.

Help your child to avoid mistakes and say sounds correctly by showing them what it is not and what it is. For example, “I don’t have any coyour pencils, these are all colour pencils. What would you like?” Your child will be more likely to say “colour pencil” correctly.

It is also important for you to give them very clear feedback. This includes mimicking what your child is doing, or describe the sound in a language your child can understand. For example, you could say: “If you say ‘-op’ your friend may not understand you. It’s a quiet sound ‘h-op’.”

3. One Game Changer Tip: Teach it aloud, then say it silently, then say it aloud again.

One great speech therapy tip I found with my experience is to focus the on the movement of the mouth. Ask your child to say the word, for example, ‘strawberry’ with you. On the second attempt, just mouth the word without saying it aloud.

Encourage your child to move his mouth in the same way. This allows your child to focus more on the movements of the mouth. Using a mirror can help your child see exactly how they are moving their mouths.

Please understand that correcting unclear speech through speech therapy exercises is a process. Being able to do it slowly is better than not being able to do it at all. Speech therapy for learning the necessary lip and tongue movements is more like learning to dance or how to play the piano rather than learning a new language.

Just knowing the word is not the same as being able to move the tongue quickly enough to say the word. It takes practice and the more you practice, the better you get. So you want to try to get your child to say the word more than just once. One time is NOT practice.

Remember: your child is where he is right now because of how he learns so far. If your child learns speech differently, he needs to be taught differently. Seek help from a professional and consult a speech therapist.

Working along with a speech therapist will save you and your child a lot of time and frustration. More often than not, your child will also enjoy the speech therapy sessions too!

Top Four Tips to Succeed in an Online Class

Enrollment in online education is at an all-time high. More students are going back to school to complete their degree or pursue higher education than ever before. Adult learners love online classes due to their convenience, flexibility, and cost savings. One of the main concerns a new student has is if they can handle an accelerated online class along with work and their family obligations. In this article we are going to discuss four tips to help a new online student succeed in a course.

First and foremost, make sure you have enough time set aside per week to complete your assignments. Many students are overwhelmed in their first couple of classes because they are not prepared. Students should ask their advisor how much time an average students spend per week in a class. If you are a new online student you should add 5-10 hours on top of that. Make sure to have a set schedule of when you will be studying and completing your assignments each week.

Second, students should have the support of their family and friends. Things will come up when you will have to ask for some help from loved ones. You may need a babysitter so you can concentrate on a big paper or just a friend to talk to. Make sure your family and friends know about your online classes and will support you throughout the program.

Before classes begin make sure to have all of the reading materials you need for the class. If you need to purchase a book, make sure you have it shipped well before the first day of class. If you need access to online lectures, videos, or articles make sure you know how to access them prior to the first day of class. Also, make sure you have all of the up to date computer software you need to be successful. If you have a MAC make sure the online course is compatible. If you have a PC make sure you have updated windows and Microsoft Office.

Once classes begin you should have easy access to important contact information. You want to be able to call or email your professor, academic advisor, and classmates. You also want the number to the IT helpdesk in case you experience any issues.

As you can see online courses are very popular but can be a very daunting experience if you are not prepared for them. Each class is a little different, but hopefully these tips help you along your journey.

TOP 5 Tips for Academic Success: How to Make the Most of Your Education for a Career in Healthcare

Careers in Healthcare are BOOMING right now. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Healthcare will generate 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). If you want to pursue a career in healthcare, you need an in-depth education.

Education is one of the most important, and necessary steps to the start a career in healthcare. In the healthcare industry your body of knowledge and clinical expertise is your skill set. It is the marketable asset that will use to land that dream position you desire. Unfortunately, sometimes I see healthcare students who do not know how to maximize their training for the most benefit.

I have spent several years in education. Throughout that time I have noticed that there are 5 consistent habits and/or traits that successful students demonstrate. The students who embrace these practices are more likely to succeed in their career path than others that do not. If you implement these practices in your education it will be richer, more dynamic, and much more valuable.

Here are the TOP 5 traits of successful healthcare students that separate them from the crowd:

1. They engage with their teachers- The instructors are there for a reason, use them! Ask questions when you do not understand something. By having your question answered immediately you are helping to develop a better understanding of that theory or concept. In addition, when the teacher asks a question of the class, answer it. Be involved with your instructor’s discussion. Open discussion, if guided by the instructor, can be a valuable method of learning. However, be careful not to monopolize a discussion, instead seek to add to it.

2. They collaborate with others- Teachers are not your only ally in your education. Your peers in class and other professionals in the field can also complement your training. Many of the successful students whom I see form study groups. These groups create a synergy of learning. They use each other’s strengths to help one another. Students strong in one area can help those that are weak. Furthermore, another aspect of the group is accountability. While making a commitment to study to yourself can be easily dismissed, making a commitment to a group of peers carries a sense of duty and is not so easy to break. Aside from your peers, do not hesitate to utilize those already in the field. Not only are they a plethora of knowledge they can also become an integral part of your network.

3. They study for the present but look to the future- While studying for your career in healthcare you will feel the need to focus on the present (the next practicum, the next exam, etc.). However, do not become shortsighted to your goals. Those students who are focused on their end game will not let any small setbacks deter them from moving forward. By knowing what you want down the road, you are more focused on what you need to do to get there. In effect, by knowing what is ahead of you, allows you to better prioritize the present.

4. Know your resources- Many schools offer numerous tools that students can utilize to help them succeed in their course of study. Several have libraries, workshops, tutoring, and coaching readily available for students. For example, our school offers Skills Boot Camps in which students can come in and work on their patient care skills after class in a casual environment. In addition, there is a workshop where they can come in and work on getting vital signs from patients with one of our Nurses, almost one on one. Numerous schools in today’s world have online resources of which the students can use to augment their classroom time and better understand the material. This can range from books online, to practice tests to even games. Discover the resources that your school has and USE THEM!

5. Show up!- This is the most important, if you do not show up you will not succeed, PERIOD. Be there every day ready to learn. Any time you miss out on a class you miss out on the knowledge. Finding yourself falling behind in class is never a good way to find success. Besides physically being there make sure that you are mentally there as well! Show up well rested and prepared so that you are in the optimal mindset to absorb that day’s material.

So there you have it, the top 5 tips for a successful start to your career in healthcare. These tips by and large, are the pillars of successful students. Use these pillars to build a great foundation, and you will find success. Good Luck!