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Prison is Paradise for Medical Assistant

After ten years in broadcast journalism with several Associated Press awards to show for it, Rebecca Uhrig ended up in Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe, Ohio.* As a phlebotomist, that is.

“I never dreamt that I would work somewhere like this, yet I can’t imagine being anywhere else,” she told CMA Today in an interview. “These patients just want health care like everyone, and I really flourish helping them get it.”

So how did Uhrig go from journalism to taking blood samples from inmates?  “Mom and pop stations are slowly being sold out to national syndicated programing, so I knew I needed to think of another field,” she explained. That field was medicine, and after graduating from a local career and technology center, she began working as a physician’s assistant. When the opportunity to work at Ross Correctional Institute came up, she went with her gut and applied.

“Some of the patients I see are escorted in shackles, and others walk right in, depending on their security risk,” says Uhrig. “Either way, I’m always professional and treat them like I would treat patients on the other side of the fence. I like that every arm is different, every skin texture is different, and every person is different. It pushes me to be the best phlebotomist I can be.”

Turns out the best she can be is pretty close to perfect. In a recent state audit, her lab passed with a perfect score in compliance and made zero errors in blood or specimen samples for six straight-months.

As an integral part of the medical team at the prison, she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon. “Although this is a far cry from my life as a journalist, it’s a place I know I can make a positive impact.”

Medical Assistant Training Programs

If you’ve found this story inspiring, you might want to consider a career in Medical Assisting. At Unitek College, we strive to prepare graduates for entry-level employment as Medical Assistants. Our program enables students to invest in their future without spending years in school. The dynamic learning approach includes a combination of expert lectures, applied training, and a supervised externship. While students have access to well-stocked lab rooms, Unitek’s MA program also focuses on important tenets like teamwork and communication.

Successful graduates of our program are capable of performing numerous administrative functions. These can include tasks like scheduling appointments, interacting with patients, updating patient charts, restocking supplies, handling bookkeeping-related tasks, and coordinating hospital admission along with laboratory services. Graduates will be prepared to perform clinical duties as well. For instance, they can call in prescriptions to a pharmacy, collect laboratory specimens, sterilize medical instruments, prep patients for x-rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change bandages.

More About Unitek College

Unitek College is one of California’s reputable healthcare and nursing colleges. Taught by field experts, Unitek programs teach the best-practice clinical technique and theory used in the field today. Their graduates are equipped with sought-after skills, and they are prepared to excel in many of the fastest-growing careers in healthcare.

Currently, Unitek maintains six campuses in Northern California and one in Southern California. All of these locations offer a comprehensive Medical Assisting program which can be completed in as little as 9 months. To speak with a representative, please choose your desired campus and find their contact information here.

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*Source: CMA Today

This Unitek blog post was originally published on June 12, 2013.