Graduate Q&A with Medical Assisting Graduate Asia Boles
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am twenty-four and I have two girls. I struggled a bit in high school because there was a lot of family drama. So, I transferred to an alternative high school where I started with a 2.4-grade point average and graduated with a 3.8. After marrying and having my daughters, I toured Carrington and decided to do the Medical Assisting program, which was just four evenings per week. Eventually, I became a mentor, was on the honor roll, and the dean’s list. Now I work at an urgent care center for Banner Health in Arizona.
When did you decide to pursue a career in Medical Assisting?
In 2019. I moved back to Arizona from Texas in July and then started Carrington in September.
What motivated you to choose Carrington?
The length of the program and being able to go in the evenings. All of that was really feasible for me. I knew exactly what I was going to be paying for the program and I really liked the smaller classrooms. Also, when I did the campus tour and saw the simulation room for nursing students, I knew I wasn’t going to stop with medical assisting. I knew I was going to return for the Associate Degree in Nursing program. That’s when I decided to become an MA so I could graduate and work while going to school to become a nurse.
What was your favorite part of your program at Carrington?
At the end of each six-week unit we had to do a PowerPoint presentation and a paper of our choice related to the subject of that term. The specialty I seemed to favor most was ObGyn and so at the end of the term that was focused on reproduction, I did a big presentation on birth control. All of my presentations were good, but that was probably the best one I ever did. I learned so much and educated the other women in my program. At the end of presentations, we were always encouraged to ask questions and all of these students were asking me questions. I had a chance to educate them. It was great!
What was the most challenging part of your program?
I have to say life outside of school. I was dealing with a lot of life issues and it seemed like something would always happen to add more stress. Focusing on school became my motivation while going through a divorce. I graduated from the MA program, started working, and then started the ADN program in April. School quickly became my safe haven where I could focus on my interests and be part of student government.
Did you ever want to quit when you were in school?
Yes and no. Part of me just wanted to get out and work instead of being in the MA program because I was living with my parents with my girls. But then I decided to be patient and stick with it. I’m glad I did. I was able to get my job with Banner because I stuck with the program and graduated.
What got you through the hard times?
Family support and my daughters. My parents and siblings helped me a lot. Now that I am working and doing the RN program, it helps that I work at Banner three days per week for 13 hours, so I have four days off.
Is there a Carrington instructor or staff member who you would like to acknowledge?
My instructor, Mrs. Medina, was fantastic. I really related to her because we have similar backgrounds. She went to MA school when her kids were young. She even worked for Banner for a bit. Her background included a lot of different experiences and she had an answer for everything! If we wanted to do something like practice more venous punctures, she would stay late to let us. I use every skill she taught me every day at my current job. I also have to mention Miss Lewis for being so understanding and helping me in multiple ways. She helped me change externships and she even worked with Mrs. Medina to make sure I was safe during a domestic violence situation. That meant a lot to me.
Please tell us about your current work.
I’m currently working for Banner Health’s busiest urgent care clinic in Arizona. It can never be shut down due to lack of staff and it is always open until midnight. Patients are supposed to make appointments online, but they can also walk in. It’s just that the patients who have appointments are seen first. We also see pre-op patients for COVID tests. I really wanted this clinic. Because it’s so busy, the best providers are there and I’m always learning from assisting them. They are also really good about taking the time to teach me new things.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I really enjoy all of the stuff I get to learn from the providers and the fast-paced environment. I was considering becoming a labor and delivery nurse but now I am thinking about changing my specialty to emergency medicine because I like the variety. Labor and delivery might become too repetitive for me. I really like all the different people I get to learn from in emergency medicine and the different things that I see.
How did Carrington prepare you for your career?
Everything that I have learned, I apply at work. They sum up everything that you need to know in their nine-month program. I don’t know why other schools draw their programs out longer. Everything Carrington teaches you is on your actual certification exam. You don’t do anything extra or anything less. It’s just right. So, their curriculum is pretty exact.
Do you have any advice for people interested in going into your field?
You must have empathy to do this work. If you don’t have the ability to be caring and empathetic towards people even when they are being mean to you, then this isn’t the field for you. This is especially the case with the COVID19 pandemic. We are getting so much flack right now! But we have to remain professional. Professionalism is number one. Also, look for support to stick with the program. It’s worth it!