Graduate Challenges Herself, Reaps the Rewards


It takes a strong person to turn negative experiences into positive ones, and a strong person is exactly what Staci Barker is. First, she lost her job to layoffs and downsizing. Then, she lost her mother to cancer. After her mother passed away, Staci drew inspiration from one of the hospice nurses who had been helping her mother and decided, with no prior inclination and a previous background in the financial industry, that she needed to switch gears and go into the health care field.
Staci chose to pursue a degree in medical assisting at ANU’s $$Danville, Virginia Campus because of how quickly she’d be able to complete the program and because her career research indicated she’d easily be able to find employment as a medical assistant. Her decision proved to be wise. Although she won’t walk across the stage to receive her degree until this May, Staci has already completed her program; has received her Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Registered Medical Assistant (RMA), and Certified Electrocardiogram Technician (CET) credentials; and has been hired as a medical assistant by her externship site, Providence Family and Sports Medicine.— 
[img]It was the hands-on aspect of the medical assisting program that Staci most enjoyed as a student, especially the clinical rotations, externship, and a particular competency test she recalls from director of health care education Mechelle Warren’s class, during which students had to bring in a family member or friend to practice what they’d been learning. Staci brought in her boyfriend and was monitored and assessed by Mechelle as she followed protocol through an entire patient/medical assistant scenario, from taking his vitals and recording his past medical history to performing a proper venipuncture and EKG on him. “You can read about something all day long in a book, but until you put your hands on it, it won’t make sense,” said Staci of the practical training available at ANU. “Until you do it for yourself, you’re not going to be comfortable with it; and the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll be.”
“Staci is one of the most dedicated students that I have had since coming to ANU; she never saw a challenge that she did not meet head on,” said Mechelle, citing as an example Staci’s desire to push forward to earn the CET and CMA credentials above and beyond the usual RMA. “She will do great things in the medical field.”
Staci is grateful for the guidance from Mechelle and the other instructors and staff at the $$Danville Campus that helped get her to where she is now. “Any time I ever had a question or a problem, the instructors were always available,” she stated. “They went above and beyond to make sure I had every resource available to succeed.” But she encourages those considering pursuing a degree to realize that it also takes hard work and determination to accomplish educational goals. “Make sure you’re ready to give it 100%,” she advises. “The teachers do their part, but you have to do your part too.”
A- Staci Barker turned negative experiences into a positive one by entering into a career in medical assisting. 
B- Staci has earned her RMA, CMA, and CET credentials.
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