The Charlottesville Campus recognized the University of Virginia Pain Management Center (UVA-PMC) with an award to spotlight the organization as a Distinguished Community Employer. UVA-PMC has been a strong supporter of the campus’s medical assisting program. Since the partnership was established in 2010, numerous students have completed their externships with UVA-PMC, and the clinic has hired several graduates from the program, as well.
“ANU externs make a great contribution to the quality of health care, our existing staff, and the clinical environment,” stated assistant nurse manager Susan Connette, RN. “They bring enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn; the staff benefits because they want to learn more.”
Ms. Connette also acknowledged three of her staff members who “do the work” to support the externs and help them gain hands-on training. These included Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and ANU graduate Winnie Chenault, RMA Jami Damron, and Carol Hieslup, LPN, all of whom participated in the award presentation and received accolades from their managers on their excellent ability to precept the externs and assume responsibility for providing the guidance and training necessary for them to be prepared for their future careers as a medical assistants. “We teach them what we know to meet the clinic’s needs,” said Ms. Hieslup.
The objective of the externship component of the program is to expose upcoming medical assisting graduates to a practicum opportunity that will afford them the real world experience to perform the skills they have acquired in the classroom. In his capacity as director of health science education at the Charlottesville Campus, Larry Liggan oversees the medical assisting program and externship activities.
Ms. Connette has been impressed with the level of skill she has seen from ANU medical assisting students so far and looks forward to working with Larry to bring future students and graduates on board as externs, and even employees. “When we hire an ANU graduate, they are a known entity because they have already shown what they can do as externs,” she stated. “They raise the bar.”
(L to R) UVA Pain Management Center ambulatory care services manager Catherine Cash, RMA Jami Damron, assistant nurse manager Susan Connette, RMA and ANU graduate Winnie Chenault, and staff member Carol Hieslup, LPN, accepted the Distinguished Community Employer Award from Charlottesville Campus director John Donohue.
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