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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Breaking Barriers: How Amat Alrahman Found Her Path in Medical Assisting

April 2, 2024

Twenty-four-year-old Amat Alrahman had never really held down a job. As a young wife and mother to her two sons (Iskanadar-4 and Ibraheem-2) her focus was on her family’s needs. Now she was ready to work. She’d had a year of Gen Ed classes at the local City College where she was a Nutrition major, but she wanted to go deeper into the medical field in a way that would also allow her to advise and benefit women in her close Muslim community.

Amat needed a shorter and better-defined path to get to her career goal. SJVC’s accelerated education and training to become a Medical Assistant fit her vision and tight schedule.


What were your education/training choices to get to the medical career you envisioned?

I’d just given birth to my second son and SJVC’s schedule was compatible with my home life and career education ambitions. SJVC is a private school with a shorter Clinical Medical Assisting program, so it was a good fit.


What were other advantages you found at SJVC as a private career college?

At some other colleges the classes are big, so you don’t really connect with other students; and the instructor might not even know you’re there. I’m just that kind of student that needs one-on-one assistance. And I didn’t want to spend all that time in the wrong place.

And at other colleges you may not get to see the same people doing what you’re doing and going through the same things (career-specific education).  It’s important to build friendships with people with the same goals and who understand exactly what you are going through.


What made SJVC’s Clinical Medical Assisting program the right choice for you?

I could see where I was going to be after 9-months. It was a good schedule: My schedule was Monday through Thursday from 7:00 AM until 12:00. That’s it – and then I got to go home.


Were you able to connect with other Clinical Medical Assisting program students?

Everyone was in the same boat as you, and you saw them doing the same things you’re doing. We got together on breaks to study and would sit together and talk about what happened in class.

Most of the students were mothers and understood exactly what I was going through. It was amazing, and I loved it.


Did you get the instructor support you needed in the Clinical Medical Assisting program classrooms?

I’m the kind of student that asks a lot of questions and they’re happy to hear your questions.

You could always go and sit in on another of their classes or sit in with a different group of students. Instructors were also there for individual time. Sometimes on Fridays (non-class days) we could go over tests, courses or what I’m missing. Sometimes I just needed to talk.

Some of the instructors were previous students at SJVC. It makes you feel like it’s a school that believes in what they’re doing if they hire their own graduates.


Biggest surprise about the Clinical Medical Assisting program?

The most surprising thing is that I actually completed it! But I forgot my problems because everybody had different problems and hearing theirs made me feel more comfortable and that I’m doing fine.


How did you fit in with other Clinical Medical Assisting students?

You know what is great? You’re around people who are busy in the same way you are busy, and it makes you feel like you fit in. Out of school we all go through the same things…home, study, work, kids; we all had busy lives. Many of us had the same life. It was amazing to share that.


What was your greatest fear in your hands-on experiences?

Working with needles. I was not scared, I was not disgusted, but I didn’t know if I could actually do it. The first time I had to do an injection….I froze. What if I bruised someone? Watching classmates I thought, ‘If everyone else can do it, I can do it!’ After I did it, I lost my anxiety. And now I’m so proud of having that skill.


What was your greatest struggle?

During school my married life ended. My parents invited us to live there, and it simplified my life: school and home. I didn’t have to worry about the kids – they were taken care of. I didn’t worry about food or a car – Dad provided me with one. It made me feel like a teenager. I just had to go to school and get good grades.

School was the best place to be during that time. And the stresses of school were not as bad as if I would have quit school and the mental stress that failure would create. Besides, I was creating a new future for us.


What inspired you to complete your program?

Learning a lot of information is hard and I felt the pressure not to fail academically. The days I didn’t have school or homework, I would let out frustrations or feel depression. I just kept going to school. It really did save me.


Do you have a favorite moment as a Clinical Medical Assisting student?

Mrs. Garcia (instructor) would speak to us about when she was working and the experiences she had. I told myself that I wanted those experiences, too; and asked myself what I would do if I was in her shoes. I envisioned myself doing those things in my own career. I started to see myself there and know I really wanted to do this.


Who in your life do you wish to emulate or influence?

I’m committed to being a better version of myself for my sons and my parents, as well as an inspiration for my younger sisters. I aim to be someone they can proudly point to and say, ‘That’s my daughter…  sister’ or ‘That’s my mom!’ And sometimes, you have to do it just for you – because you believe in yourself.

I want to share the experiences and accomplishments of my life and recognize the need to be a positive example for the people around me.


How are you using your new medical skills and knowledge?

I’m looking for a job as a Medical Assistant and know I’m qualified and ready to go! I want to be on the front of helping patients with wound care, injections/vaccines, blood/urine testing – all the medical procedures and patient care I’ve learned and practiced.

The culture of the (Muslim) community I live in, I mostly spend time with women. Most of them are in their twenties and it’s great to have medical knowledge that has to do with their daily lives and allays their fears and worries.

Whatever I do in my work, I want to reflect in my own life. I want to learn from what I give to others.


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