The progression from student, to extern, to employee is the goal of every medical assisting student at American National University, and one that is made possible through the support of employers who are committed to students’ success. Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass is one such employer, where clinical director Vince Cecil works closely with the Lexington Campus to provide externship opportunities for medical assisting and health care management students. Pain Treatment Center has also hired many of their American National University externs.
“When I started in medicine, I was a medical assistant first, so I had the experience of doing an externship,” explained Mr. Cecil, adding that externships are beneficial to both the students and the clinic. “The students get to apply what they’ve learned in school and it helps us with our patient flow.”
Mr. Cecil said that he’s been impressed with the skills that American National University externs have demonstrated. “I’ve been very pleased with the education and the preparation that the students have had. I’ve not found one yet that I’ve had to worry about their preparation,” he recalled. He makes every effort to find a permanent place on his staff for the National externs who have worked hard and proven themselves during their time at the clinic. “Actually, it’s uncanny…everybody we’ve hired has been a National grad. Pretty much all the staff here…is a National grad, and almost every one of them has been an extern.”
In recognition of Pain Treatment Center’s ongoing support of American National University students and of career college education, campus director Kim Thomasson and career center director Cheryl Howell recently presented Mr. Cecil with a plaque naming the clinic as a Distinguished Community Employer.
Natasha Sleet, a American National University graduate who was hired by Pain Treatment Center, said that she appreciates the extern and employment opportunities that the clinic has offered her. “It’s a blessing,” she said. Her experiences during her externship confirmed to her that she had the skills that she needed to begin her career as a registered medical assistant. “I was nervous, but the thing that I liked the most was, from day one, I was right out on the floor with the patients,” she recalled. “I love my job. National prepared me for everything here.”
Lexington campus director Kim Thomasson (2nd from left) and career center director Cheryl Howell (2nd from right) are pictured presenting a Distinguished Community Employer plaque to Vince Cecil, director of clinical services for Pain Treatment Center. Also pictured are American National University graduates who are now working at Pain Treatment Center (l to r) Brenda LeMaster, Mia Jackson, Natasha Walker-Sleet, and Branden Oslonian. Natasha Sleet is pictured in the bottom photo.
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