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Clover Park Technical College offers Medical Assistant Program

Start a career in medicine

Pvt. Tiffany Nguyen stands in front of Clover Park Technical College where she is enrolled in the Medical Assistant Program. Courtesy photo

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Sometimes all you need is a path. For Tiffany Nguyen, that path came in the form of an Army uniform and a glimpse into a career field she hadn't considered before: medicine.

Nguyen entered Tacoma Community College after high school but wasn't feeling motivated, not to mention she was paying for classes out-of-pocket. She realized she had a passion for helping people and that joining the Army Reserves might be the answer to everything.

"I needed some direction in my life, it's tough when you don't know what you're going to do," she said. "The Army gave me a goal and I realized I could go to school at the same time and use Tuition Assistance and the GI Bill to pay for it."

Nguyen enlisted in November 2012 and after completing boot camp in Ft. Sill, Okla. she returned home to Washington with a 68G military occupational specialty, which focuses on medical patient administration.

It was when she was attending Advanced Individual Training (AIT) that she realized medicine could be her civilian career as well.  

"I got to see the instructors in action, performing these medical techniques that they'd be using in combat," she explained. "It was amazing to see their passion so I decided to go ahead and pursue my own education."

Nguyen enrolled in the Medical Assistant Program at Clover Park Technical College last year and her experiences in the military have helped her to succeed in the program.

"I've never done so well in school before," she said. "I've been more motivated to do something and it structured my life."

Pvt. Nguyen's unit, the 6250th U.S. Army Hospital Reserve, works in support of Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord once a month. Although she does not get to interact directly with patients while she is working at Madigan, she knows her role is crucial.

"I didn't know this was the direction I'd go in, but I'm thankful that the military has led me here," Nguyen said.

The CPTC Medical Assistant Program prepares students to perform a wide rage of duties in physicians' offices, clinics and other outpatient health care settings upon graduation.

For more on the CPTC Medical Assistant Program, visit www.cptc.edu/programs/medical-assistant.

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