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April 27, 2015

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Navy Veteran Becomes Successful Surgical Technologist

Navy Veteran Becomes Successful Surgical Technologist

Anthony Baker knew little about the field of surgical technology when he came to the Lexington Campus in search of training for a career in the medical field. But after learning about the vital role that surgical technologists play in the operating room, he enrolled in the program at American National University, earned his degree, and was hired as a certified surgical technologist at Bluegrass Orthopaedics and Hand Care less than two years later. 

“It’s something new, not just every day, but from case to case and from moment to moment,” he said of the busy pace of the operating room. “The surgeons, they’re powerful people, but they depend on you to do your job to help them.”

In the operating room, Anthony relies heavily on the skills that he gained in his program at National. As a U.S. Navy veteran, he didn’t take the decision regarding where to utilize his valuable Post 9/11 G. I. Bill benefits lightly, visiting a number of local schools before choosing National. In addition to the friendly, knowledgeable, and supportive staff and faculty that initially attracted him to the school, Anthony also chose National due to the essential hands-on experience gained in the simulated operating room lab and during clinical rotations in several area hospitals.  

“[My education gave me] that opportunity to get into a field, where the only way to get there is through certification through an accredited school like [National],” he explained. “The good thing about being [at National] was that I got all of the fundamental requirements that I needed to actually be able to go into an OR, and [before I] see the procedure, I know where I need to be, where [the instruments] need to be, and what I should be looking for next time.”

Surgical technology program director Regina Shumard feels that Anthony’s skills are so impressive that she recently requested that he serve as the surgical technologist for her own shoulder surgery at Bluegrass Orthopaedics. “He was an absolutely fabulous student, so much so that I requested him for my subacromial decompression,” she said.

Anthony continues to gain experience and expand his knowledge of the field, assisting with a variety of procedures from carpal tunnel surgeries to total hip replacements. “It’s a busy, busy center and it’s growing,” said Anthony. “It’s really extensive work and we have a really good staff there. [There’s] something new that I learn every day.”

A- Anthony Baker visited several area colleges before enrolling at American National University using his Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.

B- As a student at the Lexington Campus, Anthony Baker got hands-on experience in the simulated operating room lab, which helped prepare him for his new career as a certified surgical technologist.

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Medical Billing and Coding Graduate Expands Her Skill Set in Medical Assisting Program

Medical Billing and Coding Graduate Expands Her Skill Set in Medical Assisting Program

After completing her medical billing and coding diploma program at the Danville, Kentucky Campus, Sonya Baker was encouraged by her instructors to continue her education in the medical assisting associate’s degree program, where she’d gain clinical skills and expand her knowledge of the administrative side of the medical office.

Although Sonya was somewhat nervous about performing phlebotomy and dealing directly with the public, she accepted the challenge, and is enjoying using her new medical skills more than she ever imagined while working in her externship at Mercer Medical Associates.

“I felt like it was time for a change and to do something to better myself,” Sonya said of her initial decision to enroll at American National University. “Since I’ve been doing the externship, I just love dealing with the patients and checking them in; I really enjoy it.”

During her externship, Sonya was entrusted with a variety of duties, from taking vitals and performing glucose checks to working the front desk. She feels that she’s already impacting others’ lives, recalling one instance in particular when she helped a patient bring their blood sugar to a healthy level.

“I really enjoy being able to make a difference,” she explained. “That’s what I really want to do is be able to help people.”

Sonya Baker enjoyed using the clinical skills that she gained in her medical assisting program during her externship at Mercer Medical Associates.

Student Supports Others While Challenging Herself

Student Supports Others While Challenging Herself

Ethel Louise Burnett’s smile and high spirit lifts everyone she meets at the Cleveland Area Campus. Her positive attitude is an inspiration, as she helps students better understand what they are learning in their classes, helps them edit their papers, and gives general encouragement to all. “I want to see others succeed as well as myself,” said Ethel. 

Ethel came to American National University because of the smaller, flexible classes and because the institution’s respect for veterans appealed to her, having known many members of the military in her life. She has appreciated the encouragement she has received from her instructors, which helps her to want to do her best. “They give me the knowledge I want because they care,” Ethel said.

Ethel chose the pharmacy technician associate’s degree program because of her background and her desire to help others. She has seen how drugs can cause harm and knows that educating people on how to use drugs properly can be beneficial to their lives. When prescriptions or over-the-counter medications are abused, the harm can be devastating. She wishes to use her education to be a positive influence to those who have addictions by helping them understand the consequences of drug abuse and transition to healthier and more productive lives.   

Upon graduating next month, Ethel will be adding her pharmacy technician associate’s degree to her medical assisting degree, as well as her Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), Certified Allied Health Instructor (AHI), and Nationally Registered Certified Pharmacy Technician (NRCPhT) credentials. She has worked in retail pharmacy settings since 2001 and volunteers with the Veterans Administration. Ethel plans to continue her studies in pharmaceutical research and was inspired by director of health care education Andrew Eade to dedicate herself to helping find cures for diseases that are considered incurable at this time. 

A-  Student Ethel Burnett will graduate from the pharmacy technician program next month. It will be her fourth earned medical credential.  

B-  Ethel has been employed by retail pharmacies for nearly 15 years and serves as a volunteer with the Veterans Administration.   

Technology Day Calms Student Anxieties

Technology Day Calms Student Anxieties

The Columbus Campus recently held a Technology Day event as a chance for students to become more comfortable with the technological aspect of their American National University experience. Campus librarian Quenton Kiser instructed the students on how to set up and access their student portal accounts, the Blackboard course management software, and their student email. He also showed them how to access their assignments and submit their work to their instructors on their Blackboard accounts.   

In addition, Quenton explained that students need to provide proper citations when quoting directly from someone else’s work. While the internet and the college’s virtual library make research easy, it is important to avoid plagiarism by properly citing sources and putting information gleaned from multiple sources in the student’s own words.

“It helped me better understand the technology used around campus,” said student Felicia Assibey of Technology Day. Felicia already felt that she had a good comprehension of the technology used at American National University, but the instruction provided at Technology Day sharpened her understanding of Blackboard even further, which she appreciated.  

Campus librarian Quenton Kiser led a Technology Day at the Columbus Campus for students to become more comfortable with the technological aspect of their college experience.  

Local Employment Agency Offers Employment Opportunities and Job Search Advice

Local Employment Agency Offers Employment Opportunities and Job Search Advice

Adecco was recently presented with ANU’s Distinguished Community Employer Award for their partnership with the Lynchburg Campus in providing employment opportunities for graduates and for offering job search advice to students. Providing employment opportunities in a variety of fields, from temporary-to-hire to direct hire, with full-time, part-time, day, and evening positions often available, Adecco has been a beneficial employment resource for students. 

Shannon Devore, client program manager for Adecco, has visited the campus several times and has worked with students seeking employment. She also ensures that the work does not interfere with their class schedules. Understanding the importance of completing their education to get their degrees, she encourages students to stay the course so they can have their “dream job” when they finish. “We appreciate ANU giving us the opportunity to work with their students,” said Ms. Devore. “These students are always pleasant and very easy to work with. We want to keep them going in the right direction.” 

The feeling is mutual. “I like when Shannon comes,” said student Shannon Bowling. “She’s very helpful in showing us how to apply online and search for jobs.”

Campus director Bill Baker (left) and career center director Stephanie Anastasio (right) present ANU’s Distinguished Community Employer Award to Adecco client program manager Shannon Devore.

Campus Connects Job Seekers with Employers

Campus Connects Job Seekers with Employers

Students, graduates, and other area job seekers recently had an opportunity to speak one-on-one with local employers during the Spring Career Fair at the Richmond Campus. Career fairs are regularly held by the American National University career center to give students and graduates an opportunity to make connections and find employment, and they are often open to the community, as well.

During the event, medical assisting student Angel Powell, who is on track to graduate from her program in July, presented her résumé and introduced herself to the human resource representatives in attendance. “I got positive feedback,” said Angel. “I plan on moving, so I talked to an [employer] in the London area, and she told me as soon as I got settled to give her a call.”

In addition to speaking with employers, medical assisting graduate Valisa Durbin also received assistance from Denise Jones, a workforce development specialist from the Kentucky Career Center, who helped her navigate through the online job application process. She’s also working closely with the career center during her job search. “[Career fairs] are really good because you’ve got to get that foot in the door somehow, some way!” she said.

Medical assisting student Angel Powell spoke with representatives from Employment Plus during the Spring Career Fair at the Richmond Campus.

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.