American Medical Technologists (AMT) > AM-Courses

Monday, July 19

Keynote Address: Impactful Communicators: Four Keys to Build Trust, Captivate Listeners, Reduce Conflict and Win with People
Betsy Allen-Manning, Certified Human Behavior Expert

Have you ever felt like you’re unable to build trust with certain types of people? Do you ever find it difficult to keep someone’s attention? Do you ever feel misunderstood and you’re not sure why? Studies show that over 60% of the time people become stressed out, misunderstand others, or lose interest altogether during conversations. Why? Because communication is NOT one size fits all, and in this program, Betsy shares four scientifically proven barriers to effective communication and gives you immediate strategies to connect people to your message, become more influential, communicate with confidence, and get better results with others.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Discover scientifically proven strategies to captivate someone’s attention, let your voice be heard and influence outcomes.
  • Describe how to avoid misunderstandings, improve collaboration, and prevent conflict by understanding the ‘4 Barriers to Effective Communication™.’
  • Identify quick hacks for quickly building rapport, gaining someone’s trust, and dealing with difficult people.

A Refresher of Transfusion Reactions
Carol Starks, FACHE, MS, MLS, CLS
Laboratory Track

A comprehensive look at the types of transfusion reactions defined by the CDC hemovigilance module. Signs and symptoms, classification of severity, and etiology is covered.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify signs and symptoms of a reaction.
  • Discuss etiology of common transfusion reactions.
  • Define immune verses non-immune reactions.

AMT Standards of Practice "Code of Ethics"
Francine Oran MA, BS, RMA/AHI(AMT), LRT, PBT(ASCP)
Leadership & Professional Development Track

Have you ever heard of the Latin phrase "First do no harm"? It comes from the Hippocratic Oath, which is one of the most famous Code of Ethics. What does the term ethics mean to you? Have you ever heard of standards of practice or code of ethics before? This presentation defines and discusses these key terms and will help you to apply them to your work and your life.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Define and discuss ethics.
  • Discuss qualities of successful healthcare practitioners.
  • Identify the characteristics of principle-centered leadership.

Variability within Phlebotomy: A Look at the Total Testing Process
Beth Warning, MLS(ASCP)cm, AHI(AMT)
Phlebotomy Track

Reducing errors and performance improvement are standard practices within the laboratory industry. We are asked to examine the Total Testing Process, consisting of the preanalytical, analytical, and post analytical phases of laboratory testing. But what if we drill down and focus only on the sub process of phlebotomy, to examine variables in pre-collection, collection, and post collection steps within phlebotomy alone? This session will focus on identifying where errors may occur and how errors can be prevented within the total testing process of phlebotomy.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the factors that influence pre-analytical variables in specimen collection, processing, and handling.
  • Identify pre-analytical sources of error.
  • Describe the impact on established guidelines, procedures, and techniques for proper venipuncture, specimen collection, processing, and handling.

The State of the Art in POCT for Infectious Diseases
Joel Mortensen, PhD, MLT(AMT), SM(ASCP), CLC(AMT)
Laboratory Track

This update will provide an overview of the infectious agents and testing platforms and available for "near patient testing” including influenza virus A and B, COVID-19, RSV and Streptococcus pyogenes. In addition, the next generation of agents that will be available for testing will be discussed. Specific examples from the COVID-19 pandemic and influenza outbreaks will be presented including the impact on clinical care, costs to the laboratory and patients, and staffing. The movement of testing for infectious agents at the point of care started several years ago but the pace is accelerating and the impact on the traditional field of microbiology is striking!

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Discuss available platforms available for POCT testing for infectious agents.
  • Explain the impact of this testing on clinical care costs to patients as we move to these techniques.
  • Discuss some of the operational considerations associated with a move to more POCT microbiology.

Respecting Patients with Cultural Humility
Rikkisha Gilmore-Byrd
Leadership & Professional Development Track

This session will address communication and how it is essential that healthcare providers adequately communicate with patients from medically vulnerable populations. Racial/ethnic, sexuality and sexuality/gender health disparities will be discussed including linkage to poor health outcomes and lower quality care. Cultural humility will be discussed when working with patients and how the patient should guide the conversations based on their uniqueness, rather than if all members of a culture conform to a certain stereotype.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Explain the value of cultural humility and its practical application in allied health.
  • Describe the dynamics of difference.
  • Reflect on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes which are associated with becoming culturally self-aware and valuing diversity.

Opioid Overdose Crisis
Monti Herring, CPRS
Medical Assisting Track

In this session attendees will learn about the signs and symptoms of the impaired versus an overdose. Attendees will also learn about opioid addiction.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize signs and symptoms of an individual using Opiates.
  • Discuss the physical changes occurring with addiction.
  • Explain the working relationship of Narcan to Opioids and overdoses.
Attendees are encouraged to attend the Naloxone Training session.

When It's More Than Just a Headache: A Look at Meningitis and Encephalitis
Cherry-Ann Da Costa-Carter, MSc, MPH, MT(AMT), RPT(AMT)
Laboratory Track

The session will show the differences between encephalitis and meningitis. Some of the common causes of Meningitis and Encephalitis will be discussed including clinical and diagnostic means of identification. Current events leading to increased rates of prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) will be examined, along with effective control measures to eliminate insect vectors.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between meningitis and encephalitis.
  • Discuss common viral and bacterial pathogens which cause meningitis and encephalitis and how they are identified clinically and diagnostically.
  • Describe recent cases studies of EEE and determine effective control and treatment measures.

The Effects of Specimen Rejections on Patient Care
John Whitfield III, MT(AMT), BS in Chemistry
Phlebotomy Track

This session will overview how patient care is affected when a specimen is rejected, whether due to phlebotomy difficulties, specimen integrity, labeling mishaps, and/or any other issue that arises. By implementing hospital standardization, patient care would be less affected due to a decrease in specimen rejections.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify causes of specimen rejections (pre-analytical).
  • Discuss impacts to patient care.
  • Discuss hospital standardization.

Naloxone Training
Monti Herring, CPRS
Medical Assisting Track

In this session attendees will learn how and when to administer Naloxone. Additionally, attendees will hear about reducing stigma, harm reduction, and ACE’s. Attendees are encouraged to attend the Opioid Overdose Crisis session.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize and respond to an opioid overdose.
  • Define ACE.
  • Administer Naloxone.

Bring Your Camera – Time for a SELFIE in Telehealth
Suzan Perreault, Certified Telehealth Facilitator, Telehealth Subject Matter Expert
Informational Session Open to All Attendees

Telehealth is changing the way each of our roles view healthcare. With the dramatic growth in technology, it is only suitable that technology influence our offices and careers in the medical business. Healthcare in the rural and urban areas won’t continue in the status quo it has known, doctors and staff want a variation and patients are looking for care providers that will bring technology to help manage their care. Come away from this session with knowledge for your team, your office or yourself about how Telehealth is shaking up the medical and business fields, what the future looks like and how easy it is to apply reimbursement codes.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Discuss what the research is saying about Telehealth.
  • Recognize how Telehealth fits into your practice.
  • Examine where Telehealth reimbursement is applied.

Tuesday, July 20

COVID-19: What We Know Now
Anna Jannak, RN, APN, MSN, FNP-C
Informational Session Open to All Attendees

What is a coronavirus and how is it related to COVID-19? This session will review SARS-CoV-2. We will discuss the epidemic, the pandemic, and where we are now.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify symptoms of disease.
  • Describe testing and diagnosis of disease.
  • Identify current treatments for COVID.
  • Discuss disease prevention.

Case Studies in Hematology. Those Tricky Platelets: What’s ‘In’ for Thrombocytopenia Diagnosis?
Becky Socha, MS, MLS(ASCP), BB(ASCP)
Laboratory Track

If you ever find yourself struggling over reporting an accurate platelet count, this session is for you! Sticky, tricky platelets can be a real problem for techs, yet accurate reporting is critical for patient diagnosis and treatment. When platelet clumps are suspected, how can you tell a spurious result from a true platelet clumping problem? An overview of platelet function, counting methods and various causes of thrombocytopenia will be presented. Case Studies will be used to demonstrate important concepts.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize abnormal and spurious platelet results and how to troubleshoot them.
  • Define and List causes of thrombocytopenia.
  • Identify the use of platelet parameters in the differential diagnosis of thrombocytopenia.

Resolving Conflict to Increase Retention
Matthew Bowman, MS
Leadership & Professional Development Track

We all deal with workplace conflict. In fact, conflict is a needed part of any workplace that wants to improve upon itself. The challenge is that we are rarely given the needed tools or language to appropriately manage conflict within our teams, and when conflict goes unresolved, people quit or get fired. The purpose of this session is to give you the framework and skills to engage with and embrace conflict more appropriately.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Explain that conflict is not inherently bad.
  • Recognize and manage conflict in the workplace.
  • Identify the employee retention benefits of choosing to work towards resolution.

Phlebotomy and its Interpersonal Implications: What You Need to Know
Agatha Ekeh, EdD, MSN, BSN, RN, PHN
Phlebotomy Track

For many people, a visit to the doctor’s office has the potential to lead to the need to obtain blood sample for data that the doctor will use to make decisions regarding one’s health. Many individuals in the hospital are trained on the skills to perform the function of obtaining blood samples from the patient, known as Phlebotomy. This process involves the use of a needle to puncture the blood vessel through the skin for blood collection. This process can create anxiety for the patient. While the there is some training on the skills involved in phlebotomy, training on interpersonal activities to manage the phlebotomy process seems to be limited. This presentation will highlight the interpersonal aspect of the phlebotomy process and the potential effects on patient outcome.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe process involved in phlebotomy process and its positive/negative implications.
  • Describe patient’s perceptions of the process and the phlebotomist.
  • List behaviors to be incorporated in practice.

Novel Virus in the 21st Century
Zenaida Maraggun MS, MT(AMT), CLS(HHS)
Laboratory Track

Healthcare professional are continuously faced with an increasing variety of pathogens and rapid emergence of antimicrobial resistance to even the newest antibiotics. This leads to significant morbidity and mortality as well as the associated cost of care and resource utilization therefore continuing education thru seminar or virtual conference is very important process in producing good quality results.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of viruses.
  • Differentiate the emerging strains of novel virus.
  • Identify the symptoms associated with novel virus, mode of transmission, and prevention.

Are You Nice or Kind?
Jewell Taylor-Zweegman, LMT, MR, CSMT, WLS
Leadership & Professional Development Track

Which would you say? Are you "nice" or "kind" or are you both? Which one would you be "BEST" at? Jewell Zweegman will take you down a humorous route of finding out which you are best at and whether others would agree with you. Come and have a great time looking at past, present, and future you as we find out are..."Are You Nice?" or "Are You Kind?"

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Define nice and kind.
  • Apply knowledge into everyday life.
  • List the vital things that makes you nice and what makes you kind.

Pre-Certifications and Prior Authorizations – Oh My!
Susan Phillips, RMA
Medical Assisting Track

This program will define prior authorizations and pre certifications. The instructor will help you through the processes of Medicaid, HMOs, and private insurance. You will be walked through the steps to obtaining various authorizations. Learn what to do if you are denied and what this means to the business’ bottom line. Learn how patients can depend on their insurance through you at the pharmacy. Learn how to get approval for inpatient procedures, outpatient procedures and durable medical equipment. Relieve the intravenous medication confusion and let your patients receive the treatment they need. Help your doctors give the best patient care the patients deserve.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Define prior authorization and pre-certification.
  • Obtain a prior authorization or pre-certification.
  • Process denials, appeals and reimbursement issues.


Root Cause Analysis, Not Just an Investigation
Carol Starks, FACHE, MS, MLS, CLS
Leadership & Professional Development Track

A playbook on how to perform a root cause analysis, that begins with a complaint, and follows the process through resolution and sustainability.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Determine who to invite to the table for a root cause analysis.
  • Ensure success and sustainability.

Phlebotomy and Antibiotic Stewardship
Carlo Ledesma, MS, SH (ASCP), CM, QLSCM, MT (ASCPi), MT (AMT)
Phlebotomy Track

The session will discuss the role of phlebotomists in quality management. The session will discuss emerging pathogens that are implicated in blood culture draws. Discussion will involve the national benchmark established to reduce blood culture contamination. The session will also cover the different pathogens implicated in blood culture collection. Previously called normal microbiota, some organisms are implicated with bacteremia and bacterial endocarditis. This session will different collection methods for blood culture collection and new technologies to aid phlebotomists in the reduction of normal microbiota.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize and be able to enumerate at least two pathogens associated with bacteremia that were previously considered normal microbiota.
  • List and enumerate new technologies to aid the phlebotomist in blood culture collection.
  • Identify the national benchmark for blood culture contamination rate.

Challenges in Patient Safety
Caroline Lavado, MT
Laboratory Track

The safety patient program must be the health services core. It contributes to incidents mitigation to reduce unintentional medical errors. In the laboratory, our final product is the delivered result. There are three phases involved on it. Through this workshop the attendants will be able to identify the failures in lab processes analyzing adverse incident cases and generating improvement actions.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize that Safety Patient Program is the core of health services.
  • Realize that every single process is inherent to trustworthy and high-quality results.
  • Identify and control small risks that can trigger medical errors in the future.

Personalized Medicine
Carlo Ledesma, MS, SH (ASCP), CM, QLSCM, MT (ASCPi), MT (AMT)
Phlebotomy Track

This session will cover the vital role of pre-analytical specialists in sample collection for molecular diagnostics. Topics covered will be an overview of sample collection for infectious disease testing, paternity testing and for pharmacogenomics. This session will discuss preservation of specimen integrity, specimen handling, positive patient identification and the information needed for the laboratory. Emphasis will be made on interfering substances from pre-analytical testing in molecular diagnostics.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify at least one interfering substance that affects molecular testing.
  • Enumerate the different areas of the clinical laboratory performing these tests.
  • Identify at least one test that is vital in personalized medicine.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Bindu Pillai, MBBS, RMA
Medical Assisting Track

Have you ever felt your hand or foot on fire 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) endure this daily. There is no cure for CRPS but instead there are a combination of treatments that temporarily manage the symptoms. This session will cover the types of CRPS, causes, symptoms, pathophysiology, diagnosis, prognosis, and management. Additionally, this session will increase awareness of this rare and new disorder.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish the different types of CRPS.
  • Describe the symptoms of CRPS.
  • Understand the different treatment modalities of CRPS.

Wednesday, July 21

Town Hall
Coming Soon

Student Medical Assisting Kahoot! Challenge
Are you a current medical assisting student who wants to be crowned the 2021 AMT Annual Meeting Student Kahoot Challenge champion? Compete against your fellow students for fun prizes and bragging rights during this hour long, Kahoot! online competition. Students must be registered for the Annual Meeting to compete.

What Employers Look for When Hiring Medical Assistants
Maria Hamakiotis, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Associate Chief Nurse, Executive Director of Professional Practice and Development, Northwestern Medical Group
Informational Session Open to All Attendees

Employers look for very specific competencies when adding medical assistants and other allied health professionals to their healthcare team. These competencies span well beyond technical aptitudes and knowledge. During this session, you will discover the skillsets you need that will make you stand out as a potential candidate.

Resources for Engaging Medical Assistants: In Person and Remote Environments
Denise Dubois, Senior Product Manager, RealityWorks
Informational Session Open to All Attendees

The session includes teaching strategies and resources for soft skill instruction, technical medical assistant skills, how to use medical manikins to teach and anatomical models. Through scenarios, videos, lesson plans and activities, teachers will be armed with many new resources to use in their programs for a variety of learning environments.

Medical Assisting Curriculum During the Pandemic: Shifts and Continuity
Sarah R. Marino, PhD, Executive Director, Medical Assisting Education Review Board
Informational Session Open to All Attendees

During the pandemic, medical assisting education programs skillfully pivoted to ensure that students received the education and experience necessary to graduate and join the workforce as competent, entry-level medical assistants, a central goal. This presentation will cover the many types of adaptations and shifts, while still highlighting the continuity of the central goal. There will be a 30-minute presentation and a 15-minute chat session.