Wesley H. is one of our new students in the Certificate in Medical Assistant program at the East Wenatchee campus. He first started thinking about a career in the medical field while helping his grandmother on weekends. He talks about his goals and what’s motivating him to be successful.
Charter Success (CS): What did you do before Charter College?
WESLEY: During high school, I was a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Riverwest Retirement Community in Wenatchee. I worked as a dishwasher in the kitchen for six months before I became a CNA. I was also taking prerequisite classes at Wenatchee Valley College to go into nursing. I ended up injuring my back and decided that nursing was a great way to go but it was going to take too long. I also knew that I couldn’t do CNA work forever because of the strain on me physically.
CS: How did you find out about Charter College and what were your first impressions?
WESLEY: I started looking at different careers in the medical field including EMT and MA. I liked the sound of becoming a medical assistant. I found out that they did charting, a variety of patient care, interacting with patients and administrative work. My mother was looking through Facebook and saw a Charter College ad which said that they were opening a new campus in Wenatchee. I gave them a call and as soon as I came here, I knew this was the place for me. The college’s goals for their students were exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to get out in the field quickly, find a job and be successful and they wanted to help me do that. It was a perfect match.
CS: When did you first start thinking about getting into the medical field?
WESLEY: When I was thirteen, we would drive to Seattle and I would visit my grandma on weekends. My aunt, who was her caregiver, would take care of her during the week and I would help on weekends. I would take her to the bathroom, feed her meals, and clothe her. I was performing the same functions as a CNA. I was her only grandkid that would take care of her. The others were grossed out by the bathroom stuff which didn’t bother me at all. I got really use to taking care of her and got addicted to it. When I went to high school and started working at Riverwest, I had a great rapport with the elderly. I’ve always felt connected with older people. Some say that I have an old soul. I always knew that I wanted to get into the medical field and help people.
CS: How is it going so far at Charter College?
WESLEY: The first word I think of when you ask me this question is comfortable. I feel extremely comfortable here. The staff, the way the rooms and teaching is setup is extremely comfortable. In high school and college, things can get extremely stressful. There are always a lot of deadlines. Here at Charter, the people are always asking me if I need tutors or need extra help. My student advisor called me last week and she’s going to call me again this week to see how I’m doing or if I’m struggling. I’ve never seen a place so concerned with your actual learning. That is one thing that really impressed me about coming here.
CS: What was it like on your first day and do you have any advice for new students on the best way to get started?
WESLEY: My advice for new students is to be honest. If you’re nervous, let people know that your nervous by speaking up and saying, “hey I’m nervous or I feel uncomfortable with this.” People will talk to you about it and will help you feel comfortable. Be honest about what’s going through your mind and how you’re feeling. This is how you’re going to make it.
CS: What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not in school?
WESLEY: I’m an active guy and love to go hiking, running and biking. I have a 1 ½ year old black purebred Labrador retriever that I’m raising and training. This is the first dog I’ve ever had. I go biking, swimming and hiking with her all the time.
CS: What are your long-term plans after Charter College?
WESLEY: Nursing is still my long-term goal. I love to travel and would love to move around places and have job security. I know that MA is a great field to get into and, being an MA, I will be around doctors and nurses constantly. I’ll have such a good experience and it will help me move forward in my career. Becoming an MA will help me prepare for nursing.
CS: What is motivating you to be successful?
WESLEY: Money and a career is important but patient care is also a huge thing. My goal of getting into nursing and being around people that are motivated and want to succeed is also motivating me. Becoming an MA is a huge stepping stone.