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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Externship experience confirms healthcare career choice for Hanford graduate

December 1, 2020

Externship experience confirms healthcare career choice for Hanford graduateDavid Garcia’s career path began in the culinary field; he worked for a few years at a local dining establishment but found it to be too stressful.

“I also really wanted to find a career where I could help others,” he says.

David was inspired by a friend who had become a registered nurse; he had begun his career through the Clinical Medical Assisting program at SJVC.

“My friend told me that doing the medical assisting  was a way to get into the field quickly and get more hands-on experience, then go back and build onto it with the RN program,” David says.

David decided to go for it. He enrolled in the SJVC Clinical Medical Assisting program in November of 2019. During his course of study, when Covid-19 presented the challenge of online-only learning, he pushed on. Students were unable to practice as many of the hands-on skills at first— such as phlebotomy and injections—but David quickly caught up on those skills as soon as he began his externship at LAGS medical center, a pain management group. He enjoyed his externship from day one and was appreciative of the time they took to train him.

“Everyone was great at LAGS, we really got along,” he says. “They showed me step by step how to do everything—vitals, check in, recording the chief complaint, administering medications—everything.”

His favorite responsibilities were injections and phlebotomy.

“I was nervous at first,” he remembers. “The first thing I had to do was to take two little tubes of blood—and it went very smoothly.”

Although the LAGS location where he had his externship closed recently, he is grateful for what he learned there.

“Some of my friends did externships in different medical specialties, such as urology and dermatology, but some students I knew didn’t get to experience the same things I did working in pain management. I got to learn how to do things like vitals, urinalysis, phlebotomy, injections, administering and checking medications, and more.”

David graduated from the Clinical Medical Assisting program at SJVC in August of 2020 and is currently looking for a great first job. Although he’d love to find a job similar to his externship at LAGS, he knows he’d be happy with wherever he lands as a medical assistant because he’ll be gaining valuable experience.

“I want to feel connected with patients, like I did at LAGS,” he explains. “I want to know their pain and help them feel better.”

David continues to work with Career Services at SJVC, whose specialists help students build resumes, learn interview skills, conduct mock interviews, and assist with the job search.

David looks back on his decision to attend the Clinical Medical Assisting program as one of the best decisions he’s made.

“It’s a perfect career,” he says, “You get in, get out, and get ahead. There were restless nights when I was trying to get my work done that I didn’t think I could do it, but I pushed on, knowing that at the end it was going to pay off. My instructors never gave up on us, our dean was always cheering us on. I’m happy to take a step further in my career.”

David plans to go back to SJVC to further his education toward becoming a Registered Nurse. His drive, dedication, and his compassion are an inspiration, and we wish him all the best in his career and educational path.

“I want to thank SJVC for being the best school out there,” David says. “You can do it if you believe in yourself and don’t hold back. It’s never too late to start a new career.”

Learn More About A Career In Medical Assisting

Whether you have always wanted to work in the medical field or you’re realizing a new passion for medicine, continue reading to learn more about what a medical assistant does, how to become one, how to choose a Medical Assisting program and California’s state-specific requirements for certification.

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