Pathway to a Career in Medical Assisting

Monday, May 17, 2021

Tien Tran moved to the Pacific Northwest from Vietnam in 2011. That fall, she enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) and high school completion classes at SPSCC. After completing her high school diploma, she worked a couple jobs and ended up as a licensed homecare aid. After a few years, she knew she was ready to come back to SPSCC and further her education.

“I was proud of myself for getting the diploma, but I had thought about a career in medical assisting since before I came to the U.S.”

Medical assistants play a unique role, combining clinical training with administrative skills to work in the office, exam room, and medical lab. They work closely with patients and medical staff to provide excellent service and ensure a patient’s stay is as comfortable and beneficial as possible. The combination of providing care and working with patients is a big part of what appealed to her about the program.

“I’ve always been passionate about healthcare and I love working with people,” said Tien.

Tien enrolled in the Medical Assisting program in January 2018 and graduated in June 2019. Since graduating, she took a position at SPSCC working as an Instruction and Classroom Support Technician in the Medical Assisting program.

Her role at SPSCC involves maintaining the medical supplies used in labs and working directly with current students. Tien assists students with questions on their homework, teaches them how to check vitals, and advises them on what to study for the national exam to become a certified medical assistant.

Tien said she’s happy in her currently role, but she’s also planning for her future. Her next goal will likely be earning a phlebotomy certification to help further her skills and add to her career growth.  Her advice to anyone who may be thinking about starting a career in healthcare or medical assisting is to make the commitment and just go for it.

“SPSCC is a good place to start a career,” Tien said. “The standard of teaching and instructors’ dedication can help you succeed in the program. If you commit and are willing to learn, you’ll have success.” 

Tien Tran standing outside near a tree
Tien Tran is a graduate of SPSCC's Medical Assisting program, a career path she chose because she's a people person, as well as a healthcare advocate.