Making My Way To a Medical Career : A Medical Assistant Story

After a career filled with many job experiences, such as cosmetology and pharmacy technician training, Angela Pickral decided to further her working experience in the medical field and chose ANU to help her do so.

Angela first joined through our Phlebotomy + ECG program but had to leave due to personal reasons. After some encouragement from her former teachers and admissions staff, she looked into our medical assisting program. When reading about the program, she thought, “Wow, this is everything I want to do… I would have been crazy to turn it down!” In addition, she loved the fact that she could apply the credits she earned from her previous program toward the Medical Assisting Associates degree. “They let me pick up where I left off,” she noted, “It was a real blessing!”

While studying in the medical assisting program, Angela grew to love her instructors. She appreciated how their compassion for students extended beyond the classroom. When recalling one of her favorite teachers, Sharon Harding, she said, “If I didn’t show up, Miss Harding would make sure to call me. She knows that it’s not like me to miss a class.” She felt that her teachers properly prepared her for the certifications they needed to become successful in their careers. “Abby was an excellent teacher. If you pass her class, you will pass your certification.”

Outside of the classroom, Angela received hands-on experience at a local health facility for her externship, thanks to Miss Kim, who she thinks very highly of. She made sure to take plenty of notes and absorb as much information as possible in the real-world setting. “I learned so much through my externship… the LPN I worked with was my rock” During the externship, she solidified techniques that she learned in the classroom. “I’m no longer scared to draw blood,” she explains, “in fact, it’s one of my favorite things to do.”

She graduated from the Medical Assisting Associate program in November of 2021. “When I passed my test, I started crying… It wasn’t really that bad!” She graduated with honors and became a recipient of the American National University Achievement Award and the Achievement Award for the Phlebotomy/ECG program in 2020. She is currently happy as a medical assistant at one of her local facilities. She looks forward to interacting with the patients and is most interested in doing labs.

She encourages anyone who wants to join our medical assisting program to take it seriously and find study methods that work best for you. “If you sign up, be serious about it… never miss a ZOOM class, make flashcards, and do the best that you can.”

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American National University