Editor’s Note: This article was originally published online on Laurel Ridge Community College’s website. You can see the original article here.
When she graduated from high school in 2021, Jazmine Sebestyen knew she wanted to work in the medical field in some capacity. After her family moved to Front Royal from Loudoun County, attending nearby Laurel Ridge Community College seemed like the right choice.
“It was so convenient,” she said.
Affordable and approachable
Sebestyen decided to enroll in two Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions’ credential classes – certified clinical medical assistant and phlebotomy. Thanks to FastForward funding, she only had to pay one-third of the tuition.
“You definitely have to apply yourself in class,” Sebestyen said. “I did a lot of study groups with friends in the class. I also made a lot of flash cards, which was super helpful in learning all the material. We all received blood pressure kits, which was very helpful because each week we had to take five blood pressure readings on people.”
On top of learning the textbook material, another aspect of the training involved jumping right into the hands-on skills needed for the job.
“Taking blood in phlebotomy was really good, hands-on experience. In our first week, we were practicing on a dummy. In the second, we went straight to the point and started taking each other’s blood,” she said.
Additionally, students in the program learn how to do various forms of point-of-care testing, such as pregnancy and EKGs.
“That was really beneficial because you do a lot of those in the real world,” said Sebestyen.
Finding joy in learning
Sebestyen said her time at Laurel Ridge was some of the most fun she’s ever had in school.
“This program is really, really amazing,” Sebestyen said. “I made so many friends. I use a lot of the knowledge I gained in this course in the workforce.”
Now, Sebestyen is working at an urgent care center.
“It’s wonderful,” she said about her new job. “Everyone I work with is so great.”
Bright future ahead
Sebestyen shared that she enjoyed the “fast-paced” courses she took at Laurel Ridge and is considering taking even more courses, such as medical terminology, biology and chemistry. She would eventually like to enroll in the college’s surgical technology associate degree program.
“You want to be enthusiastic about what you’re doing and enjoy it,” Sebestyen said.
Medical assistants with little to no experience can expect to earn about $35,000-$37,000 a year. Learn more about how you can get started earning a medical assistant credential by visiting: https://fastforwardva.org/contact-us/.