Q&A with James Kennedy – Medical Assisting Student, Portland Campus
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in the Portland area and now I live in Tigard. About a year ago I was working full time after graduating high school and didn’t really have a career in mind. I have to thank my parents because I would have never taken that extra step and decided to enter the healthcare field. My mom and sister both work in healthcare and they are doing fantastic.
What first sparked your interest in medical assisting?
My mom first sparked my interest, but at the same time I’ve always been interested in health. I love to exercise, I love to know what’s going into my body and I try to avoid eating unhealthy food. By continuing my education, I know that I’m bettering myself.
I never really thought I’d go anywhere a few years ago but there was a big spark for me to get into the healthcare field because I know it’s a great career – there’s job security, lots of room for growth and many opportunities. I also like that medical assisting has so much to offer. One of the most important things I’m looking forward to learning is how to treat a patient in an emergency situation.
What has been your experience with the transition from Anthem College to Carrington College?
At first when I found out that Anthem was closing its doors, it was a big shock. I visited other schools to see what they had to offer but Carrington seemed like the best fit. Knowing that some of my classmates and a great instructor from Anthem would be transferring to Carrington also gave me reassurance that it was the best fit for me. I think the transition has been great. I have no complaints. Everything has been running smoothly since the day I left Anthem and went to Carrington. It’s great knowing that I won’t have to restart any classes.
How has Carrington helped make the transition easier?
Carrington is always reaching out to see if there is anything I need or if I want to find someone to talk to. They’ve let me know I can talk to anyone on the staff. The Carrington staff has sent out nothing but good vibes and it’s great to know that they’re always listening.
Who in your life helped you the most as you were going through school?
My mom has given me a lot of support because she does have a lot of insight in the healthcare field. She runs the neurology clinic for Oregon Health & Science University. She is a wonderful person. She’s always there for me and gives me advice especially, when things are rough. My sister has been helpful too, but I don’t talk to her as much since she lives in another state. But, she is always pushing me to do well.
What have you learned while studying medical assisting that has surprised you?
There’s a lot! I learned that infectious diseases could be transmitted as easily as wiping your finger on a table surface. It makes you think twice about your everyday lifestyle. It makes me think, “wow, this table might be really dirty – I should really clean it off since so many people have put their hands on it.” It’s the little things in healthcare that really surprise you. The way the body works and how it reacts to medication. The stuff that we eat daily and the ingredients we put in our foods to how we grow our foods and how that affects our bodies.
What are your plans after you finish your program?
As soon as I can get my foot in the door with an employer I want to continue on to get my associate degree and hopefully learn as much as I can and then continue on to become a sports medicine doctor or an exercise physiologist. I know it’s going to be a long road but it will definitely be worth it.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in this field?
Don’t be afraid about what you might be walking into. I see people come in and they get hit with a lot of information they’re not familiar with. But, even though you don’t understand it at first, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn it. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve always been an independent person and never wanted to ask for help and seem not smart enough, but I’ve learned that everyone has their own way to process things. I would also tell them to challenge themselves. It’s really cool when things start to click.
How do you spend your time outside of school?
When I’m not in school, I’m usually at home. I exercise a lot. If I have homework, I’ll do that and spend time studying and hanging out with my family.