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May 23, 2016


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SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Former 911 Dispatcher Mixes Up a New Career

Former 911 Dispatcher Mixes Up a New Career

Kimberly Spraker, a student at American National University’s Lynchburg Campus, has been a 911 dispatcher for 15 years. While she loved her job and being able to help people in need, the swing shifts and emotional toil of the job began to wear on her. She decided to pursue career training in the medical field that would still allow her to help others while providing a steadier schedule for herself and her son.

“I knew community college and big universities were just going to be out of the question. I needed something that was going to be flexible, that was going to work with me being a working mom,” Kim explained.

She checked out ANU and fell in love. “When I came here…I just liked the atmosphere and how welcoming everyone was. When you walk in, everyone knows your name. They’re just as invested in you as you are in yourself. They root for you and pull for you as much as you pull for yourself,” she stated. “Being a full-time parent and having a job is hard enough, and then coming to school on top of that…so when you come to an environment that is supportive and comfortable, it makes it a lot easier.”

“They root for you and pull for you as much as you pull for yourself.”

After enrolling in the medical assisting program and excelling in her classes, including making the Dean’s List, Kim’s instructors encouraged her to add on a pharmacy technician minor to round out her education and give her more to bring to the hiring table. She completed her pharmacy technician course requirements in December, earned her Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential from the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, and will finish her medical assisting program later this year.

Even though she still has a little ways to go until graduation, Kim has already received a pharmacy technician job offer from the Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital pharmacy and is excited to be starting her new job. Although she has already gained some retail pharmacy experience, she’s looking forward to using the skills she learned in the classroom, labs, and her externship in a hospital pharmacy setting. “I’m going to get to do some chemo drugs, so I’m actually going to be working in a laminar hood and working with some different types of medicines, which is going to be exciting,” Kim explained. “I’ll be making IV’s, which is going to be really, really fun--I actually can’t wait to do that…and making specialized medicines for hospice patients, which have to be very sterile. Making specialized medicines and IV’s, we learned about all that, so it’s going to be really exciting to actually suit up and do it.”

Now that she’s putting her education to work, she feels ready to dive right in to her new role, thanks to the comprehensive education she received at ANU. “I wanted to go back to school to show my son that at any age you can do anything that you want to do,” Kim shared. “You don’t just have to settle just to do a job that pays the bills, you need to do something in life that you’re going to enjoy and that you love. You’ve got to do something that’s going to make you happy.”

Photo A-Kimberly Spraker has been hired to work in the Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital pharmacy after completing her pharmacy technician course at the ANU Lynchburg Campus and becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Photo B-Kim is excited to use the skills that she learned in class at ANU in the hospital pharmacy.

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PRINCETON
Student Shares His Knowledge of Imaging and His Passion for the Medical Field

Student Shares His Knowledge of Imaging and His Passion for the Medical Field

Army veteran Matthew Phillips, a student in the medical assisting program at the ANU Princeton Campus, recently visited instructor Patricia Sell’s Non-Invasive Clinical Procedures class to discuss imaging.  Matt served as an x-ray technician for eight years while in military service as well as in civilian life, and he provided an abundance of information on the topic of imaging to the medical assisting and medical billing and coding students.

 During his presentation, Matt discussed positioning of patients for specific x-ray views, as well as preparation and procedures for more extensive examinations.  Students also got the opportunity to browse the classroom windows, which were covered with actual films belonging to Matt, including x-rays, MRIs, and ultrasound images of the chest, shoulders, pelvis, head and neck, and extremities.

“Matt's presentation touched all of us that have a great passion for healthcare and want to help others.”

This is the second but certainly not the last time that Matt has talked to classes about x-ray imaging, and medical assisting student Faith Rasi said that he did an amazing job. 

In addition to working on his associate’s degree in medical assisting, Matt is minoring in medical billing and coding. Matt has a hunger for helping others and for his studies. He stressed to the students that they need to have a passion for their chosen healthcare profession rather than only desiring a paycheck. After completing the medical assisting program, he plans to continue his studies at ANU to earn his bachelor’s degree and then hopes to travel the country doing relief work. 

“Matt’s presentation touched all of us that have a great passion for healthcare and want to help others,” stated medical assisting and pharmacy technician student Tracy Cook.

Photo-Army veteran Matt Phillips, a student in the medical assisting program at ANU, is shown sharing his knowledge of imaging with a Non-Invasive Clinical Procedures class at the Princeton Campus.


DANVILLE, KENTUCKY
Medical Students Use Skills to Serve Community During Annual Event

Medical Students Use Skills to Serve Community During Annual Event

Medical students, faculty, and staff from the ANU Danville, Kentucky Campus recently returned to the annual Inter-County Energy Cooperatives Health Fair, an event where they’ve served the community for many years by providing glucose, blood pressure, and other health screenings to attendees.

In addition to giving back to the community, the event provides a wonderful opportunity for the ANU students to use their medical skills and practice professionalism while interacting with the public.

“This was my first time participating in the health fair,” said medical assisting student Kimberly Miracle.  “All in all it was an awesome experience for me to use the skills I had acquired in class at ANU.”

“The encouragement from the teachers, staff, and fellow students was incredible—a great confidence builder.”

“I really enjoyed myself and had a lot of fun learning with my classmates,” added Brittany Reynolds.

Student Brittany Howard also felt that the event was a great hands-on learning experience. “The encouragement from the teachers, staff, and fellow students was incredible—a great confidence builder,” she stated.

Photo-(left to right) Medical assisting students Brittany Reynolds, Kimberly Miracle, and Brittany Howard are pictured performing glucose checks during the Inter-County Energy Cooperatives annual health fair.


HARRISONBURG
Valued Community Partner Recognized for Educational Assistance and Employment Opportunities

Valued Community Partner Recognized for Educational Assistance and Employment Opportunities

The ANU Harrisonburg Campus recently presented Shentel with the Distinguished Community Employer Award due to its ongoing support of career college education.  The Distinguished Community Employer Award was created to recognize community partners who foster career success by providing employment, externship opportunities, and educational assistance to ANU students and graduates.

Shentel, a telecommunications company, provides tuition assistance benefits to a number of its employees who are students at the ANU Harrisonburg Campus and at ANU Online, including Tina Reynard, who works as a project coordinator; Ginger Eaton, an inventory clerk; Cara Lord, a fleet coordinator; and John Gatchell, Jr., who works as an outside plant design engineer.

“Shentel is a valuable partner to ANU because of its legacy of investing in and positively impacting its employees and the community.”

The employee tuition assistance benefits provided by Shentel are matched by the exclusive ANU Business Partnership Grant, which allows the Shentel employees to graduate with less out-of-pocket expense.

“Shentel is a valuable partner to ANU because of its legacy of investing in and positively impacting its employees and the community,” said ANU Harrisonburg Campus director Wandile Maseko. “ANU looks forward to continuing its relationship with Shentel as it completes its recent acquisition of nTelos Wireless, which will see 300 jobs added to the company”

Photo-(Left to right) ANU students Tina Reynard, Ginger Eaton, Cara Lord, and John Gatchell, Jr.,  who receive valuable educational benefits as employees of Shentel, are pictured with the Distinguished Community Employer Award, which was presented to the company in recognition of its support of career college education.


CLEVELAND
Recent Graduate Plans to Seek a Career as a Doula

Recent Graduate Plans to Seek a Career as a Doula

Marie Tucker just completed her medical assisting program at the ANU Cleveland Area Campus, and she has big goals for her new career.  She can’t believe how far she’s come in her program, recalling that when she first began her clinical classes she was afraid of drawing blood, but now she’s completely at ease performing phlebotomy.

“It’s the hands-on that drives you to want to do more—once you ace one part you want to keep going,” she said of the clinical classes at ANU, which were her favorite part of her program.

Marie also gained hands-on experience during her externship at Cleveland Dialysis Center where she took patients’ vitals, explained procedures to them, and helped process their paperwork.  “It helps a lot because you can see a real-life scenario,” she shared. “The people I work with are very educational.  I’m learning a lot from them.”

“It's the hands-on that drives you to want to do more—once you ace one part you want to keep going.”

After getting some experience in the field, Marie has big plans for her future.  She hopes to one day become a birth doula and open a clinic where she can provide care for expectant and new mothers.  She wants to provide women with information about natural childbirth options and about caring for newborns.  “I’m going to open up doors to let them know that they have options.”

To help ensure that she has all the business skills that she needs to open her own clinic and make her dream a reality, Marie plans to continue her education in the business administration-management bachelor’s program through ANU Online.

Photo-Marie Tucker hopes to eventually use her medical skills to become a doula and open her own clinic for expectant mothers.


RICHMOND
Graduate is at the Center of the Action in the OR Pharmacy

Graduate is at the Center of the Action in the OR Pharmacy

Allyson Mosley came to the ANU Richmond Campus when she grew tired of working dead-end jobs in call centers and factories, and living paycheck to paycheck.  She found out about American National University from a commercial she saw on TV, and since she lived close by she thought it would be a good idea to check ANU out.

As a student at ANU, Allyson really liked the small class size and one-on-one time she was able to have with her instructors. She found director of health science education Paula Beth Ciolek and her instructors to be helpful and encouraging.  She especially enjoyed her anatomy instructor, Kimberly Cates, and her pharmacy instructor, Glen Jones, who were very knowledgeable in their careers and able to pass that knowledge on to their students.

“Don't give up.”

She also gained valuable real-world experience working at her externship during the last term of her program, where she saw exactly what working in a pharmacy would be like.

After graduating and becoming certified as a pharmacy technician (CPhT), Allyson was hired by the University of Kentucky Pharmacy. She works in the OR pharmacy supplying all the necessary drugs and anesthesia for each operating room, and she also assists with billing. Her dream was to work in a hospital pharmacy and she loves her position with UK. Her favorite part of her job is being able to interact with the OR staff and being around all the action.

Allyson feels that her education at ANU and working at UK has brought many more opportunities for her and her family. Her family is extremely proud of her and the job she was able to obtain by coming to school.

Her advice to other students and graduates: “Don't give up. There will be days you won’t want to be [in class], and there will be days you don't think you can do it. Just keep trying,” she said. “There will be days on your job search that you don't think you will ever get that dream job. It is out there--you just have to keep trying!”

Photo-Allyson Mosley has been hired to work in the University of Kentucky Pharmacy after graduating from her program at the ANU Richmond Campus and becoming a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT).

Photo B-Allyson found her instructors and director of health science education Paula Beth Ciolek (right) to be helpful and encouraging.


 
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