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February 23, 2015


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SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Graduate's Dream Becomes Reality Following Excellent Externship Performance

Graduate's Dream Becomes Reality Following Excellent Externship Performance

After graduating from the Madison Campus in the fall of 2014, Keiara Butler’s dream of working in the medical field came true when she was hired to work as a registered medical assistant in the cardiology clinic at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation.

Just a few short years ago, Keiara was working in a local restaurant when she made the decision to continue her education. She came to National College at the recommendation of her pastor, and with drive, determination, and the support of her instructors, she excelled in her medical assisting program.

“The teachers were always pushing me to stay in school and never give up,” Keiara recalled. “Everybody took time to teach you everything, and if I had a problem, I was able to go to somebody and they took care of it.”

As part of her program, Keiara was placed in an externship in the developmental medicine clinic at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, where she gained experience working as part of the medical team. “I got to be hands-on with the doctors, and they were able to tell me what they needed, and what they didn’t need, and steer me in the right way,” she explained.

As she neared graduation, her preceptor took notice of her skills and dedication and recommended Keiara for a job in the cardiology clinic.

Now working as a registered medical assistant in the clinic, Keiara has a wide range of responsibilities, including conducting electrocardiograms (EKGs). “I’m actually assigned a pager, and I’m contacted to do EKGs throughout the hospital,” she said.  

Whether conducting EKGs or taking vitals, Keiara enjoys caring for her patients, and most of all she loves seeing them smile. “I’ve always loved kids, so when I found out that I was going to be able to work here, it was incredible,” she stated. “This is something that I’ve always wanted to do, so I feel like I’ve made it.”

A- Keiara Butler has a variety of responsibilities working as a registered medical assistant at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, including conducting EKGs on patients throughout the hospital.

B- Keiara received ongoing support from her instructors at the Madison Campus, which enabled her to excel in her medical assisting program.

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HARRISONBURG
Harrisonburg Campus Celebrates a Continued 100% Pass Rate

Harrisonburg Campus Celebrates a Continued 100% Pass Rate

The Harrisonburg Campus medical assisting program is proudly celebrating the accomplishments of it most recent graduating class. All six students of the class successfully passed the registered medical assistant (RMA) exam, giving the class a 100% pass rate.  

This is the fifth term in a row that the Harrisonburg Campus has achieved a 100% pass rate for students taking the RMA exam. Harrisonburg’s newest RMA’s, Liliana Zavala, Michelle Delawder, Greta Warner, Catherine Houser, Michelle Shoemaker, and Danica Simmons, all shared in the excitement, along with their instructor and director of health care education Christopher Weve. 

“It has been a long road for this group, but it all has paid off in the end,” Christopher said. “I get to see the students when they first come in on day one for orientation, and I get to watch them grow and learn and struggle. But the very best part is being here on this day and seeing them pass their exam and reach their goals. I am very proud of each of them and happy that I am able to share this moment with them.”

(L to R) Liliana Zavala, Michelle Delawder, Greta Warner, Catherine Houser, Michelle Shoemaker, and Danica Simmons passed the exam to become registered medical assistants.


BARTLETT
Lakeside Behavioral Health System Recognized as Valued Partner

Lakeside Behavioral Health System Recognized as Valued Partner

The Bartlett Campus recently presented Lakeside Behavioral Health System with the Distinguished Community Employer Award in recognition of its ongoing support of National College and career college education.  

Lori Deason, human resources director of Lakeside Behavioral Health, feels that National College is a valuable resource for qualified job candidates, and she contacts career center director Sammie Hawkins whenever she has openings to fill. “She’s been very responsive,” Lori said. “We love to work with the local schools whenever we can; we get some good candidates that way.”

Nikki Stafford, health information director at Lakeside Behavioral Health, is a 2011 graduate of the Bartlett Campus. She has three other National College graduates working in her department, including one whom she hired following her externship at the facility. 

Nikki, who also began her career as an extern at Lakeside Behavioral Health, knows firsthand how valuable externships can be, and she feels proud to play a part in a fellow National College graduate’s career success. “[They] get a lot of hands-on experience,” she explained of the externship program. “They can use [the externship] on their résumé and say, ‘Yes, I actually did this; I actually coded; I actually did chart assembly.’ I think that’s very important.”

Bartlett Campus career center director Sammie Hawkins (far left) is shown with National College graduates Martha Harris (front center), Nikki Stafford (back center), and Katrina Griffiths during the Distinguished Community Employer Award presentation.


NASHVILLE
Business Degree Will Help Enable Vet to Make a Difference

Business Degree Will Help Enable Vet to Make a Difference

After completing two deployments in Iraq, Hope Durham left the U.S. Army and was hired to work in the sterile process department of the Nashville VA Medical Center. She also made the decision to return to school using the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits that she’d earned while serving her country. 

Hope chose to use her education benefits at National College because she liked the friendly atmosphere that she found when she visited the Nashville Campus. The Armed Services Recognition Grant, available exclusively at National, was also a big plus, as it helped to alleviate out-of-pocket expenses not covered by her G. I. Bill.

In her program, Hope feels that she’s particularly benefited from her technology classes, which have allowed her to update her computer skills. “It’s like teaching an old dog new tricks and we can learn new tricks” she said with a smile.

She also appreciates the support and encouragement that she receives from the staff and faculty at National. “There are a lot of great people here,” said Hope. “They’ve been exceptional to keep pushing me [to reach my goals].”

Hope plans to use the skills that she’s gained in her business administration program at National to help her advance in her career at the VA Medical Center. “I think the more education that you have, the better off you’re going to be,” she explained. “My goal is to one day become the chief over one of the departments at the VA, because I think that I can make a difference.”

U.S. Army veteran Hope Durham hopes to use her business degree to advance in her career at the Nashville VA Medical Center.


MEMPHIS
Community Career Fair Offers Career Coach and Networking Opportunities

Community Career Fair Offers Career Coach and Networking Opportunities

The Memphis Campus offered area job seekers the opportunity to network with local employers during a recent community career fair. Representatives from over 20 companies participated in the event, including Regional One Health, Adecco, Manpower, PharMEDium Services, SIMOS, and several branches of the military. The event also featured the Career Coach, a mobile resource center operated by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

According to Sandy Barnett, mobile services coordinator, the Career Coach offers many of the same services available at a Tennessee Career Center, including a computer lab with access to the department’s online database. “I love this kind of event,” said Sandy of the community career fair. “It’s very exciting to be able to help job seekers by critiquing résumés and offering interviewing tips and dressing tips.”

In addition to gaining job-search skills in the Career Coach, many job seekers were able to meet face-to-face with employers during the event. Surgical technology students Valraneeka Brown and Shani Sulaimaan, who are currently participating in clinical rotations at the Regional Medical Center, took advantage of the opportunity to network with a representative from Regional One Health. 

“She gave us some really good information for our [clinicals] at the Med,” said Valraneeka.  “She told us about the people that we want to be on the lookout for to introduce ourselves to, so I felt that information was very helpful.”

A- Surgical technology students Shani Sulaimaan (front left) and Valraneeka Brown received valuable advice from Jackie Blackwell (right) of Regional One Health during the community career fair at the Memphis Campus.

B-The Career Coach, a mobile resource center operated by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, offered job-seekers résumé assistance and access to their job search database during the career fair.


CLEVELAND
Annette Jackson – Health Care Instructor – Cleveland Area Campus

Annette Jackson – Health Care Instructor – Cleveland Area Campus

WHO:

Annette Jackson – Difference Maker at the Cleveland Area Campus

WHAT:

Instructor of medical assisting, medical office assistant, and health information management courses

Certified medical reimbursement specialist (CMRS)

Owner of billing services company

WHEN:

American National University faculty member for four years

Has 37 years of experience in the health care profession

WHERE:

Has initiated medical billing and coding programs at other higher education institutions

Served as a consultant for the Greater Cleveland Hospital Association

WHY:

“I utilize my experience in the health care profession to create a supportive environment aimed at providing students with the tools necessary to compete effectively in our global economy. I have created a learning environment for lifelong learning by focusing on real life scenarios, using case studies, technology, office equipment, and team assignments. 

“The biggest transformation I see in students is on graduation day -- when they come to the finish line and cross over. The tears that are shed are of great joy!

“The best thing about being a faculty member at American National University is being part of a diverse population that can help change the health care industry by delivering excellent care with a smile.”

Instructor Annette Jackson brings 37 years of health care experience to the Cleveland Area Campus.


PARKERSBURG
Cornerstone Health Care Provides Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Cornerstone Health Care Provides Hands-On Learning Opportunities

The Parkersburg Campus recently presented the Distinguished Community Employer Award to Cornerstone Health Care, in recognition of their continued support of career education.   

Cornerstone Health Care is a primary care physician group located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. They currently employ one ANU graduate and actively participate in providing externship experience to medical assisting and phlebotomy students.   

“We hired a graduate because of the great job she did as an extern,” said Dimple, Cornerstone’s practice manager. 

The Parkersburg Campus is pleased to be working with Cornerstone Health Care in helping students and graduates get the hands-on training they need, as well as opportunities for employment. “I love sending students there because they learn and they’re trained well,” commented director of health care education Leah Lane. Both organizations look forward to a long, prosperous relationship. 

(L to R) Cornerstone Health Care administrative assistant Stephanie Carpenter and practice manager Dimple accept ANU’s Distinguished Community Employer Award from career center director Maryann Sims.


RICHMOND
From Extern to Certified Medical Assistant to Clinical Manager

From Extern to Certified Medical Assistant to Clinical Manager

Heather Patrick has seen big changes in the medical field during her twelve years working  at Richmond Women’s Health Care as a certified medical assistant (CMA). “The medical assisting career is changing tremendously from year to year,” she said. “From insurance to how we treat patients—it’s totally different.”

Heather first began working at Richmond Women’s Health Care as an extern during her medical assisting program at the Richmond Campus. After completing her externship with the practice and graduating from American National University, she was hired by Richmond Women’s Health as a CMA  and was later promoted to clinical manager of the practice. “They had only been open a few weeks when I started my clinicals, so I’ve been at this practice since the beginning,” she explained.

Heather feels that hard work, her passion for the medical field, and the foundation of knowledge that she gained at National, under the instruction of director of health care education Paula Beth Ciolek, have all contributed to her career advancement. “It’s a constant learning process,” she said. “Even though I learned what I needed to know in school twelve years ago, I still learn something new every day.”

In fact, Heather was so pleased by her education at National that when the practice recently had an opening on the staff, she contacted the American National University career center to identify qualified candidates for the position, and Richmond Campus graduate Jessica Green was soon hired as a registered medical assistant.  

Heather feels that Jessica is a great addition to the staff and that they will both enjoy a long and rewarding career with Richmond Women’s Health. “This place is great. We work for great doctors, and most of us are like family here,” Heather said. “I love what I do. I will be here as long as I can.”

A- Richmond Campus graduate Heather Patrick began working at Richmond Women's Health Care as an extern and has advanced into a position as clinical manager of the practice.

B- Heather hired Richmond Campus graduate Jessica Green after contacting American National University to find qualified applicants for the opening in her office. 


LOUISVILLE
Louisville Campus Celebrates Students' New Status as College Graduates

Louisville Campus Celebrates Students' New Status as College Graduates

Louisville Campus students who completed their program in the winter term recently gathered with family and friends to celebrate their new status as college graduates. Students in the medical programs also participated in a medical pinning ceremony and recited medical oaths.

For many of the students, the ceremony also celebrated their transition into new jobs using the skills that they’ve gained at American National University. Graduate Autumn Busch, who received her medical assisting pin, celebrated her new job working as a registered medical assistant at Bullitt County Family Practitioners. She was hired by Dr. Mohana Arla, who operates the medical practice, after completing her externship in the office. Bullitt County Family Practitioners was recognized as a Distinguished Community Employer by the Louisville Campus in 2013 because of their ongoing support in providing externships and employment opportunities to American National University students.

“I’m excited; it feels so real now,” Autumn said after receiving her pin during the ceremony.  Autumn and the other graduates of the winter term will also be participating in the campus’s annual commencement ceremony in the spring.

A- Medical assisting graduate Autumn Busch (right) is shown receiving her medical pin from director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer during the graduation celebration at the Louisville Campus.

B- Students in the pharmacy technician program and their instructor, Theresa Collins, are shown taking their oath as it is recited by director of health care education Bonnie Kiefer.


LEXINGTON
Medical Assisting Graduates Celebrate New Credentials as RMA’s

Medical Assisting Graduates Celebrate New Credentials as RMA’s

The Lexington Campus is celebrating the 100% pass rate of the winter term medical assisting graduates who recently sat for the exam to become registered medical assistants (RMA). Certification as an RMA is an important credential that is often required by employers in the medical assisting field, and an RMA exam preparation class is included as part of each medical assisting student’s program at American National University.

“The RMA certification exam covers clinical, administrative, and general areas that the medical assisting students learn throughout their program,” explained Jessica Hart, director of health care education. 

“[The RMA exam] makes sure that you know exactly what you need to know when you go into the field,” added Shayla Brown, one of the graduates who earned her credentials as an RMA. 

“I’m so proud of this class of graduates and all of their hard work,” said Jessica. “They studied very hard and they’re very well-prepared to begin their new careers with their new certification as an RMA.”

(L to R) Lexington Campus graduates Shayla Brown, Samantha Gilbert, Shuntay Johnson, and Natalie Williams recently passed the certification exam to become registered medical assistants.


DANVILLE, KENTUCKY
Career Center Director Offers Résumé Writing Tips

Career Center Director Offers Résumé Writing Tips

Career center director Felicia Luttrell recently spoke to students at the Danville, Kentucky Campus about résumé writing. During her presentation, she encouraged the students to keep a record of their education, work history, and job descriptions so that they will have the information at hand whenever they need to update their résumé to submit to a potential employer.

“A résumé is a marketing tool that explains your skills and experiences to prospective employers,” stated Felicia. “Its purpose is to get you a job interview. The job interview gets you the job, but the résumé gets you the job interview.”

Felicia told the students that an employer will decide if their résumé goes into the file as accepted or rejected in less than ten seconds. “So, a lot of that has to do with its layout,” she explained. “Is it neat? Is it organized? You want to make sure yours gets in that pile to be considered.”

Felicia advised the students to seek out several people to proofread their résumés before submitting them to employers. She also urged them to work closely with her throughout their program. “It’s never too early to start your job search,” she said.

Career center director Felicia Luttrell is shown presenting résumé writing tips to students at the Danville, Kentucky Campus.


FLORENCE
Surgical Technology Student Gains Experience in the OR during Externship

Surgical Technology Student Gains Experience in the OR during Externship

Camelia Evans, a student currently in the last term of her surgical technology program at the Florence Campus, is gaining hands-on experience under the watchful eyes of her preceptors during her externship in the operating room at James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital. “It’s awesome,” she said.  “My preceptors have been great. I’ve learned so much being there with them.”

Camelia, a Kentucky National Guard veteran who served two deployments in Kuwait and Iraq, has enjoyed everything about her program at American National University and finds it hard to believe how little she knew about the field of surgical technology when she first came to National in search of career direction. “When I learned more about the surgical technology program and what they did, I just got more and more interested; I just knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she recalled.

After completing her externship, she will sit for the exam to become a certified surgical technologist (CST) as the final step in her program. In the meantime, she’s enjoying the excitement of working side-by-side with the surgical team in the OR. “I’ve helped assist with quite a few surgeries, and I really love orthopedics,” she said with a smile.

Camelia Evans is completing an externship at James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital, where she's gaining hands-on experience as part of the surgical team.


 
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.