Although high-energy consumption is something that we normally associate with industries such as transportation and power generation, it is surprising how much energy the global IT industry uses. In fact, a report produced for the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) showed that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a whole accounted for 2% of global carbon emissions in 2008, and that this will rise to 3.4% by 2020. To put this in context, this is approximately the same amount of carbon that is emitted by the global airline industry.

However, the ICT industry – which includes both IT and telecommunications – has been making significant strides to reduce its energy consumption in recent years. This doesn’t just make good environmental sense – it makes good business sense since energy is a significant component of operational costs across the industry. The same GeSI report indicated that various ICT initiatives could deliver energy savings of more than $600 billion dollars per year.

 

green-information-technology1

One of the biggest areas of focus for ICT energy savings is in the data center – which is understandable since the amount that the typical data center consumes is enormous. For instance, Google has estimated that its data centers consumed 2.26 billion kilowatt-hours of energy in 2010 – that is enough to keep more than 2.5 million 100W light bulbs burning for a year. There are a number of different approaches to reducing data center energy consumption, which taken together can have a radical effect.

The first approach used is known as virtualization, and is already in widespread use in large data centers. This is a software technique for getting more productivity out of each server in the data center. In the past, each major application – such as email or payroll – would have to run on a separate server. Because these applications were not used at peak capacity all of the time, the server would spend a significant amount of its time not doing anything – although it would continue to use energy. In fact, the normal utilization rate was in the 6% to 12% range. With virtualization, however, multiple applications can run on a server, so that it is used more efficiently. In some cases, this means that the number of servers can be reduced by a factor of 10.

Another important way of saving money in data centers is to reduce cooling costs. Most of the energy that goes into powering servers is translated into heat – which has to be eliminated so that equipment does not overheat. In fact, the energy needed to cool a data center can be more than the energy needed to power the equipment itself. As a result, data centers are now starting to use intelligent environmental control systems that make use of outside air when the temperature is low enough, rather than using air-conditioning. Sophisticated software is also being used to map heat and airflow in data centers, so that hot spots can be minimized – which in turn reduces the amount of air conditioning needed. Another approach involves isolating hot and cool aisles, so that air conditioning is only applied where it is needed.

green-information-technology2

Moving beyond the data center, automated workflow software is creating a greener environment in the office. These types of systems are designed to automate business processes such as customer care, manufacturing or even HR processes such as employee onboarding. One of the key environmental advantages of these systems is that they radically reduce physical paperwork and its associated environmental impact. In fact, these types of systems act as centralized repositories for digital documentation, which is delivered to users automatically when they need it. This is far more efficient from a business perspective, and it also offers the possibility of staff working from home rather than having to come into the office. This in turn reduces both real estate costs and energy consumption.

The telecommunications industry is also putting an increasing focus on energy efficiency. For example, large telcos are starting to use route optimization software to lower their energy consumption and drive efficiency at the same time. Companies such as AT&T have large field engineering forces that are responsible for installing new equipment in the field, maintaining the existing network, and repairing any problems that occur. Route optimization software monitors the location of these employees in real time, and then automatically adjusts their schedules to reduce the amount of distance that they have to travel between jobs. For instance, if a new problem arises, the closest employee who is available will be assigned, and the schedules of other employees will also be adjusted accordingly to ensure that the affected scheduled work is still completed. This approach radically reduces the amount of fuel that telcos have to use, as well as dramatically increasing their productivity.

Deciding to become a medical assistant is a good career choice. The medical field is continuing to grow rapidly, creating many different opportunities for health care professionals. In fact, more than 9% of the U.S. workforce is employed in the healthcare sector – this amounts to about 14 million people. Despite the enormous size of the industry – revenues are over $1.75 trillion – it is still one of the fastest growing sectors in the nation.

In order to become a medical assistant, you will need to study for an associate degree in medical administration. This will take approximately two years, during which time you will study a wide range of subjects. For example, you will need to acquire all the administrative skills needed for the role, including knowing how to classify – or code – different types of medical procedures so that they can be tracked. You will also have to learn how to maintain medical records, and to enter billing information so that doctors can charge their patients. In addition, you will need to be able to manage doctors’ schedules, and convert their recorded patient notes into written documentation – this is known as transcription.

Aside from the administrative aspects, if you are a medical assistant you will need a strong knowledge of medicine itself. When you’re dealing with patients on a daily basis, it’s important to understand exactly what conditions they are suffering from – so you must have some knowledge of things like anatomy, as well as medical terminology. At the same time, handling patient information can be extremely sensitive, so it is essential to gain a strong grounding in the legal aspects of medicine, as well as in ethics – including issues such as confidentiality.

If you are thinking of becoming a medical assistant, then one of the challenges you may face is how you acquire all of that knowledge, given the fact that you need to support yourself at the same time. Pursuing a fulltime degree means that you need to have sufficient funds to keep yourself going for two years – which is challenging for many people. A good approach to handling this is to do your medical administrative assistant degree online. For instance, if you take a look at bryantstratton.edu, you will see that you can learn everything you need for your medical administrative assistant degree by working during your evenings and in the weekend. This gives you the flexibility to stay in your existing job while preparing for the future.

Once you put in all that effort and walk out the proud owner of your degree, then you need to think about exactly where you would like to work. Obviously, when you are starting out, you are going to be open to any job that provides you with experience to complement your education. However, in the long-term, you need to make sure that you are working in a field of medicine that is interesting for you and has long-term potential. While you are going to focus primarily on administrative duties, you are likely to be dealing with patients on a daily basis – so you need to make sure that you are able to handle this.

For example, one of the most difficult things in medicine is dealing with people who are seriously ill. To do this, you need to be empathetic, but you can’t afford to go home at night feeling badly distressed. If you work in a discipline such as oncology – cancer treatment – you are going to be talking to people who are very ill every day. The same applies in fields such as hematology – the treatment of blood disorders. If you know that you can cope with this and you get a real sense of satisfaction from giving comfort to people, then this type of field may be for you. On the other hand, if you find it awkward to talk to people who are suffering, or if you can’t leave your work at the office, then you should consider doing something else. For instance, working for a plastic surgeon still gives you the opportunity to talk to patients, but for the most part they do not have life-threatening conditions. You may end up talking to patients who have burns and other injuries, but you will know that they are on the mend for the most part. If you really have problems with any sort of suffering, then consider doing something like working in the medical records department at a hospital.

Generally speaking, medical administrative roles at hospitals are better paid than similar roles elsewhere. On the other hand, working in a hospital may involve shift work and the pace is often more intense. A more relaxed – although less lucrative – job is working in a doctor’s office. Here, you will have the opportunity to talk to patients and run the office without the same level of pressure. A good compromise could be working in a clinic – the pay is likely to be better than in a doctor’s office, and you won’t feel the same pressure as you do in a hospital.

You need to think about where you want your career to go. Do you want to continue as an administrator for the rest of your life – or do you want to move up into management in the long term? If you do, then working at a large institution may be a good idea since you will find more management roles in this environment. On the other hand, if you want more flexibility but don’t have ambitions to move up, then a smaller organization may be a better choice.

The other option, of course, is to use your medical administrative degree to set up your own business. For example, you could provide medical transcription services to doctors – or even billing services. Another approach is to start out providing vacation cover for other medical and administrative assistants, and then hire additional people once all your time is booked.

Tags:

Writing a thesis is a sizable undertaking that can prove intimidating to even the most studious student. If you are about to take on this project, there are some things that you can do to improve your chances of thesis writing success. Instead of moving through the process quickly, trying to get the job done as fast as you can, take your time on your master’s thesis to improve your final product.

Pick a Purpose

When planning your master’s thesis, decide not only what you want your topic to be, but also what purpose your thesis will serve. Think carefully about what the finished thesis will prove and how it will be relevant to potential readers, ensuring that your time isn’t wasted crafting a purposeless thesis.

Pace Yourself

Don’t attempt to take on the task of writing a complete thesis all at one time, but instead break up the task into more manageable parts. Plan to write at least one page a day, gradually building your thesis to the appropriate size instead of chaining yourself to the keyboard and pounding out the entire document in one sitting.

Follow the Format

Study the thesis format prescribed by your school before you start to ensure that you follow it. Failure to follow this format can result in getting marked down, so sticking to it is quite important.

Know your Audience

As you write, keep your audience in mind. Think about what pre-existing knowledge your audience brings to the table when deciding how much detail you need to give in your thesis. If your topic is highly specialized, it may be unlikely that your audience has any background in it at all, making it more important that you give some basic information at the start to ensure that the readers can understand the more complex theories and ideas you present.

Avoid Verboseness

Your thesis should be long, but it shouldn’t contain pointless ramblings. Get to the point, keeping your writing as concise as possible. If you don’t, you will likely lose readers who are not willing to wade through extraneous words to determine what you are trying to say.

Revise and Edit Carefully

Your first draft of your thesis is far from a finished product. Read though this initial copy carefully, seeking ways to improve upon it by moving the parts of your paper around until you have craft the perfect arrangement. After your major revisions, turn your attention to smaller edits, perfecting your thesis and readying it for submission.