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November 04, 2013

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Graduate Excels In The Medical Field

Graduate Excels In The Medical Field

JaJuan Thomas had worked as a direct care aide for about four years and admits that he was “struggling” in his professional life.  His mother and aunt were certified nurse’s aides, his grandmother was a registered nurse, and he knew he wanted to be a medical professional. When he started looking into colleges, he knew he wanted small class sizes that would offer one-on-one training.   He wanted to complete a program and quickly transition into his career.  He chose the Lynchburg Campus.

“I decided on medical assisting,” said JaJuan. “I decided that American National University would offer me the opportunity to focus on my education and training.  I used everything I learned in the classroom at my externship and at my new job.”  During his externship, he achieved additional certifications and excellent reference letters for his hard work and dedication.

“My instructors helped me focus on my education and I learned more than the skills it takes to be a good medical assistant,” said JaJuan. “I learned leadership skills from Mrs. Wright.  She put me in charge of projects and this me gave me confidence in myself. I went on three interviews before I graduated, landed a medical assisting job at Dermatology Consultants Inc., and started my new career one week before I graduated in May.”

For the first few weeks, he admits he was challenged by the demands of answering phones, paperwork, and multi-tasking for four physicians. Soon he was assigning patients to rooms, taking their medical histories and assisting the doctors.  His calm demeanor and professionalism made him a favorite of the staff and patients.  The doctors have promoted JaJuan to handle the Scribe responsibilities where he assists the doctors and physician assistants with electronic medical records and charts all the information including prescriptions.  For this position he has to pay attention, stay focused, and be knowledgeable in all areas of treatment and medication.

“My advice is to find a career you love, find a college like I did at American National University, and learn everything you can from your teaching professionals,” said JaJuan.

JaJuan plans to advance in his career to become a physician assistant and with the backing and support of his employer, he will be ready to start the next phase of his life.  When he stopped by the campus recently to share his good news, campus director Bill Baker said, “We are proud of JaJuan for what he has achieved and for what he will achieve.”

Graduate JaJuan Thomas with campus director Bill Baker.

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Relationship with Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Is Mutually Beneficial

Relationship with Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Is Mutually Beneficial

The Fort Wayne Campus recently presented Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation with the Distinguished Community Employer award for the quarter.  Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation is a relatively new partner of American National University.  The company utilizes externs from the medical billing and coding program. 

Donna Knepper, the office manager for Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation, said, “I like American National University’s program design.  I particularly like the evaluation and reporting processes.  I am eager to continue to be part of the program.”  Ms. Knepper added, “Our extern, Clydie Brown, was nice, polite, and always greeted people.  We utilized her for a lot of things: front desk, medical records, and filing.”  During Clydie’s externship, she shadowed Donna. “She exhibited a willingness to learn while displaying efforts that consistently went above and beyond expectations,” said Ms. Knepper. 

The Fort Wayne Campus appreciates the partnership with Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation and looks forward to continuing the mutually beneficial association.

Summit City Nursing received the Distinguished Community Employer Award for the term.  Pictured are employees of Summit City Nursing (Heather Deckard and Donna Knepper), with Dan Sattison, campus director, in the middle.  

Columbus Student Chosen For Scholarship

Columbus Student Chosen For Scholarship

Irene Cruz, a medical office specialist graduate and current medical assisting student at the Columbus Campus, recently applied for a scholarship through the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools.  In addition to the application paperwork, she was required to have letters of recommendation from faculty and staff at the campus.  Wesley Smith, campus director and healthcare director, Beth Laurenz both wrote letters for Irene.

Irene submitted her application paperwork and went about her daily routine for the next several weeks.  In a recent email to the campus, it was learned that she was selected as one of the 31 scholarship recipients out of 104 applicants.  It was an incredibly touching and appreciative moment for Irene.  Everyone on campus was thrilled for her.  Since that time, Irene has received a commending and congratulatory letter from Ohio State Senators Kris Jordan and Keith Faber. 

“I was drawn to American National University.  I was literally driving down the street and it was like my car was turning into the lot on its own,” said Irene.  “I walked in and met some really wonderful people and enrolled right away.  I chose American National University - Columbus because it is a good school with good staff and faculty who show their kindness and support for you every day.  Their regular enthusiasm and encouragement are helping me to reach my goals.  In addition, having been born and raised on a Naval Base in Norfolk, VA, I really appreciate National’s support of the military.  I really feel at home here.”

Irene will graduate next year with her medical assisting associate’s degree and plans to go on to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at some point in the future.  She hopes to work in a major hospital as an emergency room nurse.

Medical assisting student Irene Cruz is pictured.


The National News is a biweekly publication designed to share the success and academic accomplishments of students and graduates from American National University and National College. For more information, contact the Communications Department.

In accordance with the regulations of the Tennessee Higher Education Council, all references to "American National University" refer to "National College" in the state of Tennessee.