Intuition drives business owner to Medical Assisting career

by Nyla on September 3, 2015 · 9:00 am

Medical Assisting graduate Rhonda Waters

Rhonda took a plunge into the unknown for a career she always wanted in Medical Assisting.

You know the feeling; that little voice that tells you, you should take a specific path, a step in a completely different direction from where you stand. Too often it is an easy message to stuff to the back of your mind, while you busy yourself with the trappings of a more familiar road.

Change is hard.

Rhonda Waters is a licensed esthetician who owned and operated a successful salon and spa in Texas. “But it was always in the back of my mind to be in the medical field,” she says. “I had my own business established, so I thought I’d already established myself in this field.”

Her intuition kept pushing. “It wasn’t going away, that itchy little voice that says you ought to do this,” says Rhonda. “But you keep putting it off by saying, ‘there’s not enough time, I’m too busy or not smart enough, I haven’t been to school in a long time.’ I always talked myself out of it.”

Finally, instead of stuffing that voice down, she turned up the volume. “One day I thought, ‘you’re always telling everybody around you they can do anything they want; why don’t you allow yourself the same possibilities?'” Rhonda’s firefighter/medic husband, Neil, encouraged her to pursue her dream.

Rhonda contacted SJVC’s Online division about the Medical Assisting program and liked what she heard. “The way it’s laid out makes you feel very secure,” she says. “Every person in every department is there to help you with any question you have, and you’re never left hanging.”

Still, she knew it was not going to be easy balancing a full-time business with school. “I had a lot of support from my husband, family, children (grown) and even my employees,” says Rhonda. “When I’d have five minutes at work, I’d sit down and do something like take a quiz or read.”

It was a tricky balance. “You really have to work on it 7 days a week,” she says. “It was hard, you get exhausted trying to keep grades and assignments up, and a couple of times I cried,” she admits. But, she did not quit. She continued to follow her ‘hunch’ for a new life.

“Rhonda returned to school to complete her dream of working in the medical field,” says Summer Kaines, Student Services Advisor for the Online campus. “She has an extremely upbeat attitude and was very determined to work in the medical industry. Rhonda is like a ray of sunshine, whose attitude can brighten anyone’s day.”

Her focus and hard work paid off. “In my first class, I got a 4.0 and I thought, oh my gosh, I can really do this,” she says. “It gave me the boost to keep going and told me I made the right decision. It carried me to the next class, then the next class and before I knew it, it was over and I graduated.”

Things did get a little shaky during the last few weeks of her Medical Assisting program, when she closed her spa business and kept just a few clients that she and a massage therapist serviced out of her country home. “I felt kind of lost; everything that was my safety net was gone,” says Rhonda. “I was blowing in the wind there for a minute.”

But then she remembered a truth that her family reinforced all her life. “We have reserve to pull on,” says Rhonda. “Regardless of how dark a situation gets on the road in your life, it’s going to work itself out. Struggles are where our greatest lessons are learned…and that’s where our strength comes from.”

Rhonda leaned into the winds of self-doubt and launched her job search well before completion of her Medical Assisting program. At the top of her prospective employer list was the Rio Grande State Center, where she applied for a Psychiatric Medical Assistant position. She got the call.

Rhonda joined the team and is now enjoying the training phase of her new position. She is ablaze with confidence and expectation.

“I’m super excited about what the future holds and the special people I’m going to meet and take care of,” she says. “This is a whole new story book I’m opening and there are so many experiences I’m going to grow from.”

Listening to that ‘little voice’ has lead Rhonda to a whole new way of living, learning and caring for others. It did not come without courage, sacrifice and more than just a little faith in who she was and what she might do.

“Even though it is scary, when you hear that ‘you should, you should,’ listen to where your path is leading you.”

Rhonda is living her own best advice.

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Posted in Grad Success / Medical Assisting / Online Division / Online Program