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November 09, 2015

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Native of Cuba Returns to Medical Field after Graduating From ANU

Native of Cuba Returns to Medical Field after Graduating From ANU

After completing an English as a Second Language course, Misleidy David visited the Louisville Campus two times before she summoned up the courage to enroll in the medical assisting program at ANU. She knew that continuing her education was her only option if she wanted to return to the medical field where she knew she belonged. “I was a nurse in Cuba for ten years, but then when I came here [to the United States] I was forced to work in the factories,” she explained. “I just decided to start again and start over.”

Misleidy’s insecurities about returning to school were quickly alleviated as she worked with her bilingual admissions representative, Ely Kraft, who assisted and supported her from enrollment through graduation. She also got all of the personal attention that she needed from her instructors, as she refreshed her clinical skills and learned more about the administrative functions of a medical office.

As she neared the end of her program, Misleidy had two more important steps to complete to help ensure her career got off to a great start—completing an externship, where she would gain on-the-job experience working in a medical practice, and passing the exam to become certified as a registered medical assistant (RMA), which she prepared for in her Medical Assisting Exam Success class and through study groups with her classmates. 

Misleidy was placed in an externship at JW Medical where her skills were put to the test and her performance was closely evaluated by the staff as they considered her for future job openings. After passing the certification test to become an RMA and earning her degree, she was hired by the practice, which was a recent recipient of the Distinguished Community Employer Award due to its support of the ANU medical assisting program and its graduates.

“National changed my life because I'm doing what I like to do.”

Nurse practitioner J. W. Harvey, who operates JW Medical, said that Misleidy is one of several hard-working medical assistants that he’s recruited from ANU, and he feels that the practice is attracting more Hispanic patients thanks to her bilingual skills. “She’s really grown and become part of our practice. She does a very good job,” he said.

Misleidy is happy to be out of the factory and back working in the medical field caring for her patients each day. “National changed my life because I’m doing what I like to do,” she stated.  “I love the people; I love to take care of them; I love everything about my job.  I’m [going to be] doing this all my life.”

A- Misleidy David, a native of Cuba, earned her degree in the medical assisting program at the ANU Louisville Campus after finding that her credentials as a nurse were not honored in the United States.

B- Misleidy was hired by JW Medical after completing her externship in the practice and becoming certified as a Registered Medical Assistant.

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Students Help Arm Internet Users against Online Dangers

Students Help Arm Internet Users against Online Dangers

In recognition of October being National Cyber Security Awareness Month, IT students at the Lynchburg Campus participated in a project for instructor and IT director Pamela Hooper’s Technical Writing for Information Technology Professionals class. The students were challenged with coming up with cyber security tip sheets to be displayed around campus and on the campus’s Facebook page so their fellow students could be made more aware of potential threats online and ways to protect against them.

The cyber security tips the students provided covered a range of topics, such as safe internet browsing, “Only visiting webpages that begin with https:// is a safe start, but not always an option,” they explained. “The “s” in https:// signifies a secure webpage. Some webpages may seem safe, but if something on a site sounds too good to be true, chances are it probably is. Common examples are ads and pop-ups.”

“Some webpages may seem safe, but if something on a site sounds too good to be true, chances are it probably is.”

With many people now using their smartphones to access the internet, social media sites, and even for personal banking, the students decided to also include tips for safe mobile practices, such as “Using GPS, your mobile phone can keep track of your location. You probably know how to tag the places you are at in your social media status. This gives people knowledge of when you are away from home. All that it takes is for somebody to start planning around your schedule and then they can break into your house while you are away. Turn off the location settings on your phone to make your whereabouts almost invisible.”

Above all, the students recommended making sure that operating systems and applications are up to date and that antivirus and firewall settings are always updated, to ensure that any holes or gateways that are vulnerable are being patched and protected.

IT students at American National University’s Lynchburg Campus provided cyber security tips for their fellow students in recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Graduate Returns to National to Expand Her Skill Set

Graduate Returns to National to Expand Her Skill Set

After retiring from her job working as an administrative assistant for the state of Tennessee,  Jane Shelbourne enrolled in the medical office assistant program at the National College Madison Campus to help her launch a second career in the medical field. “I just wanted a change and to try to find something that I could do in my latter years of life,” she explained.

“I was encouraged by my health care director to try another program that would assist and benefit me with what I had already accomplished.”

She graduated from her program in May and was hired by Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt where she works on the pediatric medicine acute care and epilepsy unit as a medical receptionist. 

Her work on the unit, as well as the encouragement that she received from Madison Campus director of health science education Sherry Graham, inspired Jane to continue her education by enrolling in the medical office professional program. This will expand her skill set, including adding basic patient care skills which will allow her the flexibility to work in both the administrative and the clinical side of a medical facility.

“After traveling this path this past May and completing my program, I was encouraged by my health care director to try another program that would assist and benefit me with what I had already accomplished,” Jane stated. “After serious consideration, I decided to take her advice and jump on the band wagon once again. After a few classes, I then began to get stressed, and felt like throwing up my hands, throwing in the towel, and giving up. But after constantly being encouraged and pushed by Ms. Graham, I stuck with it, and now I am pleased to say that I am on the way to passing this term. I just want to say, ‘Thank you, Ms. Graham, for caring.’”

A- Jane Shelbourne enrolled at the National College Madison Campus to help her find a new career in the medical field after retiring from the State of Tennessee.

B- After graduating from the medical office assistant program in May, Jane has returned to National College to continue her education in the medical office professional program, in order to expand her skill set.

2nd Annual Wellness Fair Promotes Community Health Awareness

2nd Annual Wellness Fair Promotes Community Health Awareness

In September, the Indianapolis Campus once again joined forces with generous members of the local medical, business, health, and sports communities to bring free health care screenings, wellness information, and sports and fitness demonstrations to the Indianapolis community during the campus’s second annual health and wellness fair. With a number of career training programs in the medical field, American National University has continued their commitment by sponsoring events which combine health, fitness, and fun. 

“This event is an excellent opportunity for ANU to support health education and increase wellness awareness in our local community.”

Attendees throughout the Indianapolis area mark their calendars each year to attend the health and wellness fair because of the unique opportunity to learn more about wellness topics, receive free health screenings, and participate in fun demonstrations while attending the event. This year’s wellness fair featured The Indianapolis Colts Play 60 Zone, an inflatable obstacle course designed to promote youth awareness in fitness, sports, and keeping active at an early age.

“This event is an excellent opportunity for ANU to support health education and increase wellness awareness in our local community,” said Patricia Ridge, director of health science education at the Indianapolis Campus. The Indiana Blood Center provided a mobile blood donation site for attendees to help support Indiana’s mission for blood donations. Across the parking lot, Brickhouse Fitness conducted lively ZUMBA fitness demonstration classes, while inside the campus, free blood pressure, BMI, and weight readings were offered by Minority Health Coalition, and current ANU medical assisting students helped out with health screenings.

“The health fair was a nice event. I learned new healthy eating information that I didn’t already know about,” student Carol Gathing stated. “My sister came with me to the event and met with the admissions department and enrolled in the accounting program. She’ll be starting in the winter term at the ANU Indianapolis Campus.”

A- Representatives from health-related organizations across Indianapolis participated in the health and wellness fair.

B- Brickhouse Fitness conducted ZUMBA demonstrations at the event.

Cyrus Hess - Paramedic Program Director - Difference Maker

Cyrus Hess - Paramedic Program Director - Difference Maker

Difference Maker Cyrus Hess is the director of the paramedic program at the Pikeville Campus of American National University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Alice Lloyd College and has worked in the EMS industry since 1997. He started school to become an EMT in 1997; went on to become a Kentucky licensed Paramedic in 1999; and became certified as a Critical Care Paramedic in 2004. He is also a Kentucky certified fire fighter. Cyrus is a member of the National Association of EMS Educators, and he has been certified as a Level III Instructor/Evaluator since 2000. Before becoming the paramedic program director, he taught in the medical assisting program at ANU for three years.

“I have some friends that worked for Accu-Care Ambulance Service in the early 90’s. They invited me out to ride with the ambulance crew one weekend. I fell in love with helping people and decided that I wanted to be an EMT. Once I was an EMT, I decided I wanted to do more to help those that I had been responding to and went on to become a paramedic. To further my advancement, I decided to become a Critical Care Paramedic.”

“I get to bring real-life experience to the classroom. This helps bridge the gap between the field and classroom.”

“I was a Paramedic Supervisor for DHP Ambulance Service in Pike County. While there, I got involved with the Healthy Fun Fair at the Pikeville Campus. I have coordinated the mock disaster since the beginning of the fair. As I got to know [campus director] Tammy Riley, we spoke of my teaching experience, and she said there was an opening at the college. I have been enjoying teaching at the college since then.”

“I still work part time for Appalachian First Response Ambulance Service. I get to bring real-life experience to the classroom. This helps bridge the gap between the field and classroom. The greatest reward as a teacher is seeing the proverbial light come on when the student understands the material being taught. The discussions in the classroom become much more in-depth when this happens.”

Bright Services Honored for Partnering to Help Find Jobs for Graduates

Bright Services Honored for Partnering to Help Find Jobs for Graduates

The Roanoke Valley Campus recently presented American National University’s Distinguished Community Employer Award to Bright Services for their collaboration in matching ANU graduates with employment opportunities in their fields of study. Director of sales Teresa Noakes and her office staff accepted the award on behalf of Bright Services. “The quality of students that ANU prepares are some of the best; they speak well and are ready to interview,” stated branch manager Geneva Jennings.

“We know what the client needs and are able to meet those needs due to the quality of graduates from ANU.”

Ms. Noakes also praised the students she sees that come in for job placement. “They really have a work ethic mentality, which is why our partnership marries so well,” she explained. “We know what the client needs and are able to meet those needs due to the quality of graduates from ANU.” Both ANU and Bright Services are looking to continue their partnership of matching qualified graduates within the workforce.

(L to R) Bright Services office staff members Ashley Johnson and Kelly Thompson, branch manager Geneva Jennings, and director of sales Teresa Noakes accepted the Distinguished Community Employer Award presented by the Roanoke Valley Campus of ANU.

Fulbright Scholars Visit Campus and Share from their Experiences

Fulbright Scholars Visit Campus and Share from their Experiences

During two weeks in October, the Princeton Campus welcomed two Fulbright Scholars to speak to students, faculty, and staff about their education and experiences traveling the world. The first to visit, Dr. Gerrit Stols, a professor of mathematics at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa, discussed life, history, economics, and education in his homeland.

With several medical students in the audience, Dr. Stols discussed how he has worked closely in forensics with a dental coroner. They have developed a computer program using mathematics to solve murder cases by matching bite marks to crimes. He explained that most Africans do not have orthodontia care so the varying angles and spacing of teeth leaving bite marks can be identifiers in criminal cases. Because of the poverty in the area, he said that criminals will often eat at the crime site, stealing food from the victim’s refrigerator and leaving bite marks behind. They have solved hundreds of murder cases using this computer technology and have even developed a means of solving cold cases, which are more difficult due to tissue changes. Many in attendance found this information fascinating. “I didn’t know you could identify a person just by bite marks out of food,” stated student Holly Kadar.

The following week, the campus hosted Dr. Pankaj Chakraborty, a Fulbright Scholar from Tripura, India who discussed history, economics, and government in India. He explained how he has seen corruption in his country’s government but that there have been good changes that started with Mahatma Gandhi. He regrettably said that there have been elections, especially at the local level, where he has had to choose between candidates that he considered the “least bad” and “least likely to corrupt.” 

The faculty and students attending the presentation appreciated learning about the diversity of his culture. India is one of the most densely populated countries in the world so there are areas of extreme poverty and areas of wealth. Student April Stanley was struck by his statement that, “if we stay still we grow moss, but a rolling stone will not.”

“If we stay still we grow moss, but a rolling stone will not.”

When asked why so many well-educated and capable physicians leave India to practice medicine in the United States, Dr. Chakraborty explained that it is usually for economic reasons.  He stated that today, one dollar in the United States is worth about 65 in India and that often doctors will come to the U.S. to work and pay off student loans and then decide to stay. He said that this happens with many fields, not just medicine, and he referred to it as “brain drain,” a phenomenon that the government is well aware of and trying to fix.

A- Students, faculty, and staff of the Princeton Campus welcomed Dr. Pankaj Chakraborty (3rd from left), a Fulbright Scholar from India, as a guest speaker.

B- Dr. Gerrit Stols, a mathematics professor from South Africa, spoke with students about how he is working with a dental coroner to use mathematics and computer technology to solve crimes.

Math Is Fun When It Has a Practical Application

Math Is Fun When It Has a Practical Application

Students in instructor Jill Jones’s Dosage and Calculations of Medications class at the Lexington Campus are experiencing a revelation – mathematics can be fun when it has a practical application in their chosen careers. The class is required in several of ANU’s medical programs, and it is vital for students to be proficient in all areas of its application.

“Accuracy and precision are requisite skills in Dosage and Calculations,” stated Jill. “Over- or under-dosing of medications can have catastrophic results. Prescription and over-the-counter medications must be given in proper amounts and on the proper schedule or they can be very harmful. Students learn the importance of the adage, ‘right patient, right drug, right route, right dose, right times,’ so the medications will have the desired effect and the least harm,” stated Jill.

“This class builds your confidence that you can succeed.”

For some students, proficiency in mathematics can diminish over time if the skills are not used. They simply need to re-awaken those skills in college. “I had been out of school for 20 years when I enrolled here at ANU,” shared medical assisting student Kimberly Tussey. “This was difficult for me at first, but Mrs. Jones has made it easy to comprehend. I can relate the math to something I can understand and it helps. If we don’t understand something, she goes over it until we do. This class builds your confidence that you can succeed.”

“Mrs. Jones’s class has helped me feel less anxiety with doing math. The anxiety blocks your ability to think and perform, and with it gone, I’m doing great!” added surgical technology student Stephanie Stutzman.

(L to R) Students Ciarra Taylor, Stephanie Stutzman, Diona Jackson, Nastacia Fields, and Kimberly Tussey are appreciative of instructor Jill Jones’s (3rd from right) methods for teaching Dosage and Calculations.

Couple Prepares for Future While Attending ANU

Couple Prepares for Future While Attending ANU

As Angel Powell nears the end of her medical assisting and medical billing and coding programs at the Richmond Campus, she has already gone on several interviews and is working closely with the ANU career center to help her land her first job in the medical field.

“I’m just ready to better myself.”

Before coming to ANU, Angel worked as a cosmetologist, but she found that as a single mom, she needed more income and better benefits to support her two little girls. While caring for her grandmother, she became inspired to find a career in the medical field, so she enrolled at ANU. “The classes worked around my schedule and my girls’ schedule,” she explained.

Angel’s enthusiasm for her upcoming career and the support that she’s received as a student at ANU haven’t gone unnoticed by her boyfriend, Adam Holt, whom she recently inspired to enroll in the ANU medical assisting program, as well.

Adam has worked in local optometrists’ offices for several years, and as he and Angel look toward building a future together, she encouraged him to continue his education to help him advance his career. “I’m just ready to better myself,” Adam stated, as he prepared to attend his first class as a student at ANU.

A- Adam Holt enrolled at the ANU Richmond Campus after seeing the success that his girlfriend, Angel Powell, was having in the program.

B- Angel and Adam hope to build stable careers in the medical field with their ANU degrees.

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.