Submitted by Charter College
After a fulfilling 20-year career as a medical assistant (MA), Dana Lee has moved over to the teaching side of things. “I’m getting older and I have a lot of experience,” Lee says. “And I thought how much fun it would be to teach people to do what I love.”
She started teaching part-time at the Charter College Vancouver campus in 2017 and moved into a full-time position earlier this year. It’s safe to say her expectations have been met. “It’s the coolest job ever,” she says. “The other day I got to teach a student how to draw blood for the first time. Seeing the look on her face when she did it right, reminded me of how I felt 20 years ago.”
Conveniently located at the Columbia Tech Center, Charter College Vancouver specializes in career-focused education with bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs in health care, business, trades, and information technology.
The 10-month Medical Assistant program, which is available at all Charter College campus locations, incorporates a combination of clinical, technical and business skills, preparing graduates for entry-level employment in a variety of positions, including: medical assistant, clinical assistant, medical receptionist or medical office assistant.
Lee originally got into health care because she’s fascinated with the human body and customer service, making medical assisting the perfect job for her. She says she often cried with her patients, sometimes tears of joy and other times of sadness. “I get to work with patients on the best, and worst, days of their lives,” she says. “I got to tell women they were expecting their first babies and I also held some hands when they received bad news.”
Haleigh Wyman earned her MA certificate from Charter College in December 2017. She also entered the health care field because of a desire to help people. “I’m an empathetic person so I wanted to get into a job where I could work with other people and help make their lives better,” she says.
She says the working professionals that Charter College employs as instructors really help prepare students for the real world. “When I went out on my first interview, I honestly felt like I knew what needed to know to go out and do what I needed to do,” she says. “I knew what my employer was talking about and I felt very prepared.”
Wyman is currently working as an insurance examiner for Quest. Her job involves visiting people who have applied for insurance to complete their medical exams in their homes or offices. Though this isn’t something most clients insurance clients look forward to, she’s intent on adding the personal side to her job. “I know it’s not terribly convenient for them, so I go into their homes and try to make it a little more fun,” Wyman says. “I can be very funny and so I try to share that humor with my patients.”
That personal approach to health care can have a lasting effect. Lee tells of the time she received a phone call from the daughter of an elderly patient. “Her mom had passed away the night before, but she wanted to make sure I knew that every time she came into the clinic she felt like she was coming in to hang out. And that I made her feel special,” Lee says. “I was on her mind when she was on her deathbed. Can you imagine?”
Lee likes to remind her students how lucky they are to be going into a field where they get to be such an important part of people’s lives. “You make a lot of friends out there and you get to learn something new every day.”
For more information on Charter College, call 888-200-9942 or visit www.chartercollege.edu/locations/vancouver-wa.