Certified Nursing Assistant Seeks and Finds Her Challenge at ANU

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Suzette Wise was working as a certified nursing assistant when she decided that she needed “more of a challenge," as she put it, and decided to enroll in the medical assisting degree program at the $$Charlottesville Campus. "I liked the flexibility in the classes," she shared. She could take either morning or evening classes which was important to Suzette. "It gave me the opportunity [to get my degree] while taking care of my kids," she explained.  She also appreciated that many of her fellow students were adults who had similar needs.

It was important to Suzette that the classes were smaller so she could focus on her school work.  "Teachers were more accessible than if I went to a ‘traditional’ college," Suzette said. Not only were her teachers more approachable, but Suzette found they brought their personal experience from working in the field to the classes, which enriched her learning beyond just textbook teaching. "Sometimes the stories they would tell you – the same thing would happen when you would get out there in reality, and at least then you would know how to approach it," she stated. She explains how in her classes her instructors taught her that it isn't just knowing what instruments to use and how to do the clinical and administrative work of medical assisting — beyond the technical knowledge, it is also important to know your patients' common needs and complaints. "They had a lot of passion when they taught," Suzette said about her instructors, "They really cared about you succeeding and going farther."

[img]Suzette is now putting that knowledge into practice at University of Virginia Urology. "Your day is never the same," Suzette explained. "There's always something different and always something new you get to learn." From routine check-ups and blood draws to medical procedures like cystoscopies and vasectomies, "it's a little bit of phlebotomy and surgical tech in one," she said about her day to day duties.

Suzette felt that the hands on aspect of the medical assisting program prepared her to take on the variety of work she faces at her current position. "The teachers targeted exactly what we needed to learn," she said proudly, not just in teaching her the real world experience she needed to succeed in the workplace, but also in preparing her for the Registered Medical Assistant exam that she passed with flying colors.

"I'm not done yet," Suzette stated strongly about her goals in life, and is already looking forward to becoming a Registered Nurse. "I would like to get a BSN ultimately," she stated determinedly, "But right now I'm just taking it one step at a time."

A-Suzette Wise is a medical assisting graduate of the $$Charlottesville Campus. 

B-Graduate Suzette Wise is employed by the Urology Department of the University of Virginia. 

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