My Starting Point – Chelsea Ruiz – Where To Start?

Chelsea RuizHello guys, it’s Chelsea again. I started the Medical Assisting program at the Carrington College Tucson campus in March and I’m blogging about my experiences. If you missed my first post, read it here!

Why Carrington?

Once I decided to change my life by getting a career, I looked into most of the schools in Tucson. I’d actually planned on going to another health care school, but one day we were passing the Carrington campus and I said to my husband Alex – “Let’s go in and talk to them.”

I have to say that I felt at home from the minute I walked in the door. Everybody seemed welcoming and happy. I really liked the environment; they told me that the school was moving to a new campus in April and that the Medical Assisting (MA) program would have a brand new hands-on lab.

A Simulation (Sim) Lab is set up like a little hospital room; it means I’d be able to get used to working with things as they’re set up in a real hospital – the oxygen on the wall, all the tools where they’re meant to be. It just gives us an idea of what a real setting is going to be like.

I was excited to get in there just from the description. From the other school visits and tours I’d done, nothing else in Tucson could beat that. I actually enrolled on the spot, and went through orientation that day – it all just felt right. They were actually having an Open House that day, but I showed up before that had even started.

A Ton of Enrollment Questions

Even though I wasn’t thinking about enrolling when we walked in off the street that day, I did know that I was going to enroll in college somewhere, so I already had a list of questions in my head, I knew all the stuff I needed to ask.

Because I dropped out of high school, I missed all the stuff they usually teach you about college enrollment when you’re a senior. You know – all the stuff to do with student loans, tuition and what all that means. I was completely in the dark about all that stuff. I needed someone to explain to me how loans and grants worked – all that stuff.

All the staff were really helpful; they broke everything down for me to very simple levels – it was exactly what I needed. I loved it because I was really concerned about money, that’s a big thing for me, and for everyone probably. They have a whole financial team that helped me a lot.

Chelsea's ChildrenI was also concerned about the hours and the class schedule. Because I have two kids – Lillian is 7, and my baby boy Riot is 5 months old – I was worried about daycare and school.

But they had three different options for me to choose from – morning, afternoon and evening classes; it’s only four hours at a time so that was really convenient. I chose 8am to 12pm.

Getting Started

FA100 ClassThere was a class starting just two weeks after I enrolled, but I decided I wanted to join the following class so I had time to prepare, figure out childcare and everything. The MA program has classes starting every six weeks, so I guess it was about two months from that day to my first day in class.

I went out and did all the school shopping – you know folders and a backpack – but I really didn’t do too much else to prepare for that first day – other than make sure I had figured out childcare. My daughter is in school, and the baby is in daycare, so that works great with my class schedule.

Thanks for checking back on me! Next time I’ll talk about my first days back in school – and how nervous we all were!

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