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Carrington College Blog

My Starting Point – Chelsea Ruiz – Stress Management

October 23, 2014

Chelsea RuizHi guys, it’s Chelsea checking in again. I’m on the Medical Assisting program in Tucson, Arizona. This is my 11th blog; if this is the first one you’ve seen, why not read the others here and follow my journey? It’s not too long now until my externship starts in November, so now’s a good time to talk about stress!

Take A Minute – Take A Breath

I’m lucky, I don’t really get stressed out too easily; and I have to say that school never really stresses me out. Everything around it can; I have the same triggers as everyone else – money, kids, stuff like that – but I feel I’ve got a pretty good handle on school.

When I do feel stressed, I usually try to step back and just take a minute. Sometimes I’ll play with the kids as that always calms me down even if they’re the ones stressing me out! I’ll tell them “I’m having a hard time right now, we need to take a minute.” My daughter Lily is always excited for those moments; we’ll count and have a calm breathing moment.

As I go further into the program (I’m more than halfway through now) I feel pretty lucky. I see students who do get pretty stressed by school, and it can affect your learning and performance in tests and exams. If you get stressed, be sure to talk it out with someone – a friend, family, your instructor or program director.

ASPIRE logoDon’t bottle it up as it’s toxic stuff. And if you’re really having a tough time, there’s the Student Assistance Program called ASPIRE. It’s a confidential service that’s there to help with any personal or school-related issues.

Testing Times

Medical Assisting Students in Class in TucsonI’m also lucky that I don’t suffer from test anxiety at all, I love taking exams! I haven’t got a low grade yet, but I’m sure if I did I’d be upset with myself because there’s no real reason to do badly.

I’m paying good money to go to school, so I have to find the time to study enough to get good grades. I don’t want to go to class, spend my money and my time, and not do the best that I can. Why would you do that? I’ve never got anything lower than a B grade so far.

I do tend to dwell on things though. About three weeks ago my baby was really sick and my husband Alex had already missed too much work so I had to take a day off. I missed a quiz, so I scored a zero, and that brought my grade average down. That really upset me. I’ve dwelled on that for a while, but as it was three weeks ago I really need to let it go!

You need to focus on the good more than the bad. Each week we have a chapter exam to review the work we did that week. My greatest test achievement so far was getting 100% on a urinalysis exam a couple of weeks back; that’s really hard to do so it was pretty cool. I need to dwell on that!

Learning Tips

When it comes to learning techniques, I’m lucky that I seem to have a really good memory, so I can read something once and I’ve pretty much got it down. If it’s something like medical terminology I’ll make flash cards. The terminology can be difficult to remember and I find flash cards really help for things like that.

Tucson MA Instructor Ms. Judy taking blood pressureMs. Judy, our teacher, taught us to use word association to remember things, so that helps a lot too. She’s taught us a lot of ways to remember things; techniques she used when she was in school. I don’t know what I’d do without her – I love her.

How exciting! My externship starts soon so I’ll check back in with you with another post in a few weeks to talk about all the preparations. I can’t wait…