My name is Mandi Taylor and I am a student at Keiser University’s online program for Certified Medical Assisting, along with another resident of Winnfield, Angela Walker. When it became time to find our clinical site, panic set in as neither one of us knew where to begin. Angela emailed Dr. James Lee and he responded right back with “Sure I would love to.” Being as he is affiliated with the local hospital, Winn Parish Medical Center, there was a process we had to follow. I emailed Ashley, head of HR, with the contract, what skills we had to learn based on the curriculum of the school and our start date. Again, she responded quickly with a “we would love to, let me send this to our CEO Monica,” and within two days we had a site. The first two months were our clinical hours (10 hours a week for 8 weeks) and we got to observe and work along with the nurses and doctors in the surgery department, the emergency department, the laboratory, and Winn Wellness Clinic.
Personally, I enjoyed every department I was in. Dr. Lee and his nurses in surgery were amazing and took the time to explain to me every step they were doing and why. If I had questions, they answered them to where I understood. They never seemed annoyed because believe me, I’m all about questions. The nurse anesthesiologist Jeff is so funny and had no problem explaining every step, every machine, and beep as he was administering medicine. Kim, KeKe, Lana, and Gladys who are all part of the surgery department were so welcoming, helpful, and a joy to be around.
For my externship hours, which were 40 hours a week for 4 weeks, I choose to do all of them at Winn Wellness Clinic. I got to work alongside all the nurses, the receptionist, and all four providers (Tony, Angela, Dana, and Dr. Shelton). Michelle, Marie, Star, Ms. Judy, Ms. Sheila, Nikki, Cassie, and Jennifer are like a family. To watch everyone, work together, work as a team, help each other with questions, and have each other’s back was truly amazing. As a patient, you really don’t know what goes on in the back part of a doctor’s office. As a student and seeing it firsthand, I felt privileged to learn so from them. Not just one of them, but all of them. You can only learn so much from a book or computer stimulation, but what I learned hands-on, to me, was much more significant.
Tony Acosta, PA-C was amazing. He had no shame to ask me a question and expect me to know the answer or find it quick. If I was wrong, he let me know but then provided me with the right information and ask me about it later to see if I remembered. He would allow me to observe while he was with patients, and explain his diagnosis and treatment plan.
Once I graduate and get state board certified I will look high and low to find a “work family” just like Winn Wellness. This group has made me have high expectations of the type of environment I want to work in. Come Friday, my last day, I know I will leave in tears. It will be a bittersweet moment, but I feel so much more prepared for my career because of all of them.
We also attended the Rural Trauma Team Development Course that was sponsored by WPMC and Rapides Regional Trauma Center. Listening to Dr. Jeremy Timmer explain how important it is to get to a trauma center within 60 minutes of when the trauma occurred was full of information. Learning how to apply a tourniquet to stop bleeding or intubate a patient when needed is something most CMA’s don’t get to experience, but because of the invitation from WPMC, Angela and I are lucky ones.
From day one to my final week here at Winn Parish Medical Center/Winn Wellness, I have been treated with respect and never did I feel like I was not wanted, or I was a “burden” for being here.
Thank You to everyone at WPMC and Winn Wellness! Never forget the difference each of you has made not only in my future career but in my heart as well!
Pictured above from left: Marie Delaughter, Nikki Lawson, Nikki Cotton and Starr Womack. Back Row from left: Ms. Sheila Belle Temple, Michelle Culver (Clinic Manager), Jennifer Lowe, Mandi Taylor, and Ms. Judy Thomas