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September 07, 2015


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SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Program Director Instrumental to Surgical Technologist's Successful Career

Program Director Instrumental to Surgical Technologist's Successful Career

Certified surgical technologist Eduardo Del Toro Batista feels proud to be working on the surgical team at Norton Hospital, where he confidently uses the skills that he gained in his surgical technology program at the Louisville Campus. “I’ve always liked the medical field, and now that I have the opportunity to work as a scrub tech, I can save lives,” he explained.

As a surgical technologist, or “scrub tech,” Eduardo maintains the sterile field of the operating room and assists surgeons with their instrumentation. His experience in the OR has included a wide variety of surgical procedures, from plastic surgery to vascular surgery. “My favorite surgery right now is spine surgery, because they’re complicated and you’re learning different instrumentation and different technologies every day,” he shared.

“I've always liked the medical field, and now that I have the opportunity to work as a scrub tech, I can save lives.”

Keeping the OR safe for his patients is a big responsibility and one that Eduardo doesn’t take lightly, but he is secure in his abilities after studying under program director Stephanie Walker, who taught him about sterile technique and surgical instrumentation using her experience from over ten years in the field. “I tell everybody that the program for scrub techs at National is one of the best, because what Stephanie teaches is what you need to learn to prepare you to go into the field,” Eduardo said. “I’m really thankful to her for teaching me all the steps that it takes for me to do what I do now.”

After spending the first few terms of his program working with Stephanie in the simulated OR at ANU, Eduardo began his clinical rotations in area hospitals. The hands-on experience that he received working side-by-side with medical professionals during actual surgeries was invaluable as he prepared to enter his new career. It also gave him an opportunity to demonstrate his skills as a member of the OR team. “You’re proving yourself to the people who you work with [and showing them] that you can do the job,” he said.

After graduating and becoming  certified as a surgical technologist, Eduardo attended a surgical technology advisory board meeting at ANU where Stephanie introduced him to a representative from Norton who helped him set up a job interview with the hospital, and he was hired by Norton a short time later. “It was my lucky day,” he recalled with a smile.

Eduardo, a native of Cuba, is thankful for the staff and faculty at American National University who helped him attain his new career in the U.S., a career that’s allowed him to make a difference in his patients’ lives, and in his own. “National changed my life and it will change life for others,” he stated.

A- Eduardo Del Toro Batista, a native of Cuba, enjoys the variety of surgeries he participates in as a certified surgical technologist at Norton Hospital.

B- Eduardo feels that he was well prepared for his career as a surgical technologist after working in the simulated OR and clinical rotations in area hospitals during his program at ANU.

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BRISTOL
The National Difference – Medical Assisting

The National Difference – Medical Assisting

Brianne Overbeek knows the value of a National College education firsthand. Having previously earned a medical assisting certificate from an unaccredited school, her opportunities were limited. She was working as a patient care technician at an area hospital when she began searching online for opportunities to expand her education. Soon she was sold on the Bristol Campus and National’s comprehensive medical assisting curriculum--accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Thanks to National’s student-friendly credit policies, Brianne was able to finish her associate’s degree program in about a year with transfer credit from previous college work. She loved the fact that National’s programs are focused on getting you into the workforce quickly, without a lot of coursework that isn’t relevant to your field of study. “Medical assisting is a great way to go,” she said. “You’re more rounded, you can do the office part, you can do the clinical part.”

Key to the real-world curriculum is the hands-on component of the program. “My favorite classes were obviously the clinical ones; the Invasive [Clinical Procedures] class was probably my most favorite,” Brianne added, noting that director of health science education Sheri Jesse was an outstanding instructor.

“You’re in school for a year to two years, but you have a job for the rest of your life.”

Less than three months after completing her program in April, she began working for Holston Medical Group, the Tri-Cities’ leading health care provider that works closely with National to fill the ranks of their workforce. Brianne couldn’t be happier. “I love all of it; I love being able to provide care for multiple, different types and ages of people,” Brianne said. “I also love the people I work with; I love the area. It’s a wonderful office, it really is.”

“Stick to it; it’s worth it in the long run,” Brianne advises fellow students. “You’re in school for a year to two years, but you have a job for the rest of your life.”

Graduate Brianne Overbeek was able to earn her medical assisting associate’s degree in about a year, thanks to transfer credits from her previous college work.


DANVILLE, KENTUCKY
Medical Assistant Becomes Part of the Team from Day One

Medical Assistant Becomes Part of the Team from Day One

Danville, Kentucky Campus graduate Christina Brown is working as a registered medical assistant after being hired from her externship site at Kentucky One Health –Saint Joseph Jessamine. She is working in the offices of Dr. Leo Rogers and Dr. Stephen Draper, where she’s using her training from ANU to perform a variety of duties, including taking blood pressure readings and other vitals, giving injections, and performing EKGs.

“I wanted to start school to go into the medical field to give my children a better push in life, as well as myself.”

Christina was a stay-at-home mom when she enrolled at ANU. “I decided I wanted to start school to go into the medical field to give [my children] a better push in life, as well as myself,” she explained. 

At ANU, her clinical classes were her favorite, and director of health science education Stephanie Slone was always available whenever she needed help. “She’s always there when you need something,” Christina said. “She didn’t act like you were a burden to her; she wanted to help you if you need it.”

During the last term of her program, Christina was placed in her externship at Kentucky One Health-Saint Joseph Jessamine. “I’ve pretty much been on my own since day one,” she said of the externship which gave her an opportunity to demonstrate her abilities to the office staff. “I love it there.”

A- Christina Brown was a stay-at-home mom when she made the decision to return to school to help create a brighter future for herself and her children. 

B- Christina accepted her medical pin from director of health science education Stephanie Slone at the Danville Campus graduation ceremony.


ROANOKE VALLEY
There are Lessons to be Mastered for Managing a Restaurant

There are Lessons to be Mastered for Managing a Restaurant

On a recent evening, Roanoke Valley Campus MBA students in the Business Policy and Strategy class sat down together to work on a class project surrounded by plates and bowls filled with delicious Chinese food. The students are working on a weeks-long project dedicated to a better understanding of what it takes for day-to-day operations at area restaurants. As part of the project, they will be visiting and meeting with the owners of various restaurants, from fast food franchised eateries to upscale family-owned restaurants.

“The restaurant business is very complicated and requires a lot of strategy for success.”

CL Asia, a Chinese restaurant in Daleville, Virginia, was the first location selected for study. MBA students were eager to learn about restaurant management strategies to make a profitable business. As students assessed the specialty foods and observed the operations on a busy Friday night, everyone was impressed by the work that goes into running a restaurant. “The restaurant business is very complicated and requires a lot of strategy for success,” noted MBA student Rachel Huang. The students look forward to learning and eating more as the project continues.

Graduate programs chair Annette Chamberlin (fourth from right) and students in the MBA program recently visited a local restaurant as part of an ongoing project to learn the business side of restaurant ownership.


MARTINSVILLE
Kids Come to Campus for Fun Learning Experience

Kids Come to Campus for Fun Learning Experience

American National University’s Martinsville Campus hosted a series of interactive science workshops for children in sixth through eighth grades this summer.

Director of admissions Barbara Rakes and admissions representative Kim Myers noticed there was an opportunity to provide fun and educational activities for area students during the summer months that would not cost parents anything. They decided that a series of science workshops open to the public would be beneficial to area youth while also welcoming visitors to the Martinsville Campus.

“It was engaging and a fun learning activity that integrated science and math.”

Campus instructor and middle school teacher Sarah Ginter, who holds a degree in biology, and Anna Rakes, who holds a degree in horticulture and entomology, were eager to demonstrate science concepts through simple lab exercises based around four workshop themes: chemistry, biology, physics & engineering, and ecology.

The children who attended were able to get hands-on during the workshops. For instance, when learning about chemistry, they were able to make slime, geysers, snow, and ice cream.  “It was engaging and a fun learning activity that integrated science and math,” said parent Tim Gilley.

“My son Seth has a learning disability, and I was looking for something that would get him interested in science,” added parent Angel Cassell. “Seth loved the ecology workshop and did not want to leave. The instructors were great. They really knew how to keep the kids excited.” 

A- Workshop leader Anna Rakes shows participants how to pin a butterfly during an ecology demonstration.

B- Tim Gilley helps his son Zachery make ice cream during the chemistry workshop for middle school students held at the Martinsville Campus.


PIKEVILLE
Graduate on Track to Become Nurse Practitioner

Graduate on Track to Become Nurse Practitioner

Kayla Tuers enrolled in the nursing program at the Pikeville Campus right out of high school, and today she is continuing her education working toward her master’s degree in the nurse practitioner program at Chamberlain College of Nursing. 

Considering her passion for the nursing field and her ambition, it’s not surprising that Kayla, at the age of twenty-four, has advanced so far in her career in such a short time. However, she feels that there’s another secret to her success: Pikeville Campus nurse administrator Shirley Goff, who prepared her to enter the field as an RN, and who continues to support her today, serving as Kayla’s preceptor during her practicum at East Kentucky After Hours Clinic, where Shirley works as a nurse practitioner.

“Had I not been here and met the people that I met here, I don't know that I could have succeeded as well as I have.”

“I started right after my 18th birthday and went right into the nursing program [at ANU],” Kayla recalled. “I never attended a college course before I walked in this building. Had I not been here and met the people that I met here—people like Shirley—I don’t know that I could have succeeded as well as I have.  She’s a tough instructor.  She makes sure you know your stuff.”

Kayla graduated from ANU in 2011, and worked in med-surg and in labor and delivery at Pikeville Medical Center before moving to Lexington where she was hired by The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. 

She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing through Chamberlain, and is now funding her nurse practitioner program through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Nurse Corps Scholarship Program, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which covers her educational expenses and provides a monthly living stipend in exchange for her commitment to work in an underserved medical area after graduating. 

Kayla is driving two and a half hours, three days a week to complete her practicum with Shirley. “But it’s worth it,” she explained. “I’m glad that I came here [to ANU] to school, and I’m glad that I have people in my life like Shirley.  Shirley is obviously somebody that is so dedicated that she will be with her students life-long. I feel like I [will be able to] call her in ten years and she would [be there with] whatever I needed.” 

A- Pikeville Campus graduate Kayla Tuers credits nurse administrator Shirley Goff with helping her succeed in her nursing education.

B- Kayla, who is working toward her master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner, assisted with school physicals during the Pikeville Campus’s Healthy Fun Fair.


LEXINGTON
Phlebotomy Skills are Integral Part of Medical Assisting Training

Phlebotomy Skills are Integral Part of Medical Assisting Training

Medical assisting students from the Lexington Campus’s Invasive Clinical Procedures class gathered together to practice and perfect their phlebotomy skills on the training simulator in preparation to perform actual venipunctures. Phlebotomy is one of the many clinical skills in a medical assistant’s repertoire, and students are able to perform unlimited venipunctures on the life-like training arm to assure proficiency in all areas of phlebotomy. Once their skills are evaluated and their instructor feels they are proficient, the students will then be allowed to perform actual venipunctures on volunteers.

“This simulation gave me the confidence to perform the procedure on a real volunteer.”

“This training gives us a chance to practice our skills before drawing blood from a real person,” commented medical assisting student Andrea Garrett. “The training arm is very life-like. This simulation gave me the confidence to perform the procedure on a real volunteer, and it was easy.”

“Medical assistants are one of the industry’s most versatile health care professionals,” explained director of health science education Jessica Hart. “This type of repetitive training builds confidence, muscle memory, and a high level of skill for our students. You can never train too much for clinical skills.” 

A- Medical assisting students in the Clinical Invasive Procedures class include (clockwise from bottom left): Sierra Domingo, Andrea Garrett, Amanda Reynolds, Ashlee Elkins, Stacie Adams, and Davina Brown.

B- Student Ashlee Elkins practices a venipuncture on the Lexington Campus’s training simulator.


PRINCETON
Chamber Event Brings Area Business Representatives to Campus

Chamber Event Brings Area Business Representatives to Campus

The Princeton Campus hosted a joint Chamber of Commerce (Bluefield and Princeton-Mercer County) Business After Hours event on Thursday, Aug. 27. Employers and dignitaries from the area gathered to meet, mingle, enjoy refreshments, and spend an evening networking.

Hosting the event allows staff and faculty to showcase the Princeton Campus and program offerings, while maintaining contact with employers and business professionals in the community who could potentially present students and graduates with employment opportunities.

“I have been attending these for a while, and I always look forward to attending the one here [at ANU].”

“I have been attending these for a while. It helps in acquiring new customers, it’s relaxing, the food is always great, and I always look forward to attending the one here [at ANU],” commented First Century Bank loan officer and branch manager Justin Spracher.

Human resources manager Michael Johnston (left) loan officer and branch manager Justin Spracher (right), both with First Century Bank, attended the Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event hosted by the Princeton Campus.


KENTUCKY
Organization Leader Provides Glimpse into the Future of Education

Organization Leader Provides Glimpse into the Future of Education

Staff and faculty from American National University recently participated in the Kentucky Association of Career Colleges and Schools (KACCS) Annual Conference that was held in Louisville on Aug. 21.

The event provided networking and training opportunities and also featured two presentations by Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU). APSCU is a voluntary membership organization that serves as an advocate for career colleges, such as ANU, by providing information and public policy recommendations that promote access to career education and the importance of workforce development.

To read more about Mr. Gunderson’s presentation on The Future of Education, visit the KACCS website at: http://kycareercolleges.org/?attachment_id=921.

A- ANU vice president of government affairs Roger Dalton (left) congratulated Senator Jimmy Higdon, a Republican from Lebanon, Kentucky, on being named Legislator of the Year during the KACCS Annual Conference.

B- ANU vice president of government affairs Roger Dalton (far left), Richmond Campus director Keeley Gadd (2nd from right), and Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra (far right), spoke with presenter Steve Gunderson (2nd from left) during the KACCS conference.


AKRON AREA/STARK COUNTY
Thomas Fontana – Instructor – Difference Maker

Thomas Fontana – Instructor – Difference Maker

Difference Maker Thomas Fontana is a business instructor at the Akron Area and Stark County campuses of American National University. He brings to ANU a wealth of education and experience. He holds degrees from Yale University, Harvard Business School, and Kent State University and has years of work experience owning and operating companies, as well as serving as a strategic consultant to businesses. He began teaching at American National University in 2010.

“I was invited to ANU as a guest to run a business workshop one evening by the teacher. I noticed that the students were older and more motivated than at the other colleges where I had been a guest instructor. I also noted that most of the students came from backgrounds that could best be described as challenging. This made their commitment most impressive to me; especially considering I had grown up under similar adversity. I felt I had learned a lot about how to transition successfully to a career-type job. I wanted to share this experience with motivated students.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to influence students who are at a point in their lives where they see the need for change.”

“Each of the students has some situation in their life that makes coming to school challenging. And yet the students come to class and, by term’s end, get their work done. Not just because I insist on it, and I do, but because I work with them to accommodate their situations and respect their effort. I am grateful for the opportunity to influence students who are at a point in their lives where they see the need for change.”

“I enjoy engaging each and every student in course situations to let them think about how they would handle different situations. We often talk about low student-teacher ratios as our strength for how it benefits students. But it is also a strength for how it benefits teachers. I have the time to think about each student and develop a plan for individual success.”


RICHMOND
Student Polishes Her Networking Skills at Chamber Event

Student Polishes Her Networking Skills at Chamber Event

On Thursday, Aug. 20, Richmond Campus career center director Cynthia Hansel and accounting student and military veteran Randi Short attended the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Business at Noon luncheon with Congressman Andy Barr serving as guest speaker.

“I have developed more confidence in my skills and abilities.”

Cynthia and Randi attended the luncheon to network with community leaders and business professionals. “I am always shy around people, and this helped me be able to come out of my shell and talk with business leaders about what they are looking for in an employee,” shared Randi. “I have developed more confidence in my skills and abilities.”

Randi was able to use the event as an opportunity to advocate for ANU in the community and share her experiences as a student with Congressman Barr. The Congressman was pleased to meet Randi and thanked her for her service and congratulated her on obtaining an education.

Student Randi Short (right) had the opportunity to share her career aspirations with Congressman Andy Barr at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce luncheon, where he served as guest speaker.


FLORENCE
International Student Moves from Chicago to Study at ANU

International Student Moves from Chicago to Study at ANU

After coming to the U.S. from Somalia, Aniisa Hersi studied in an ESL program in Chicago while working for Western Union. But after she lost her job with the company, she found it difficult to find work without a degree. A friend, who was also from Somalia, told her about the great experience that she was having as a student in the medical assisting program at the ANU Florence Campus and urged Aniisa to join her there. Soon thereafter, Aniisa took her friend’s advice and left her family in Chicago to come to Northern Kentucky to study at ANU.

“That’s why I chose this degree – to help people.”

 

As Aniisa trained for her new career in the medical field, she particularly enjoyed the small class size at ANU. “And I like the teachers a lot,” she added. “National is a very good college.” 

After earning her degree in the medical assisting program, Aniisa returned to be with her family and new husband in Chicago, where she found a big demand for individuals trained in the medical field. She’s now working as a medical assistant at Asian Family Health Center, where she cares for patients side-by-side with a doctor from Guinea. “It’s so amazing. I love it,” Aniisa said of her new career. “Since I was young, I’ve been dreaming about [having a career in] nursing or being a doctor, so that’s why I chose this degree – to help people.”

Click here to read more about Aniisa’s educational journey at ANU: https://www.an.edu/news/STUDENT-LIVES-THE-MEANING-OF-THE-AMERICAN-DREAM-20130820-4556.

A- Aniisa Hersi enrolled in the medical assisting program at ANU on the advice of a friend.

B- Originally from Somalia, Aniisa was living in Chicago before moving to Northern Kentucky to complete her education at ANU.


 
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.