Meet Haley Travis, our graduate highlight for this week! Haley graduated from WVJC’s Medical Assisting program in June 2018. She enjoyed her time at WVJC Charleston very much and was thrilled with her experience in the MA program.
Haley works for the Cabin Creek Health System’s school-based clinics in eastern Kanawha County. She works side-by-side with the school nurse and the school counselor onsite, using a variety of skills she learned in the MA program at WVJC.
Haley says the WVJC staff were amazing to her and helped her with life-changing events she experienced while enrolled in school. Haley said she “was able to stick with the program because the staff cared so much about me.” Haley emphasized that the staff actively assisted with course work, financial aid, and graduate requirements. “They support you if you try and they support you even when you don’t know how you will do it.”
WVJC creates a supportive, family oriented environment for students to succeed. Haley said that even among the students, there was so much support and encouragement. “We had study groups, Facebook groups, and anything we could do together to help each other,” she beamed. At WVJC, students in programs together often develop strong bonds and lasting friendships. Haley said she often thinks about her time at WVJC and the support she received.
Haley rotates through different clinic sites each day throughout the week. Working within the schools, Haley has become a specialist in opioid addiction family care, not just assessing the ill students. A large part of her job is to help students who are dealing with the devastating opioid crisis when they feel they don’t have anyone else to talk to. Cabin Creek Health Systems has made strides in supporting families through this health crisis, by providing onsite counseling for at-risk elementary and middle school students who have had addiction issues at home.
This wasn’t the first job Haley had out of school. Like many graduates, she tried other jobs and wanted to find the perfect fit. Haley said that she wasn’t looking for this particular position and she fell into it when she heard about a clinic spot opening. “I didn’t know about such a job, or anything else I would be doing, except for the medical part. I love that part of the job as a medical assistant. I didn’t know I would be interacting with the students as a counselor, but I’m so glad I’m able to be there for them.”
When asked about the counseling portion of her job, Haley speaks enthusiastically about her interactions with the students. “I will speak to them and let them know that someone cares about them and their situation.” Haley said the school and the board of education are aware of these issues and try to support the students as well, but more is needed because it’s such a huge problem.
When asked what part of her training at WVJC has helped her in this position, Haley said her time in her Medical Ethics class. “I talk to the kids and help them understand the situation, but also let them know they have opportunities too, “she said. Haley stressed that the best she can do for students is to be there for them when they feel no one cares. Haley also noted that the Lab course was very helpful in her daily work with medical assessments and follow-ups.
Haley has several schools she goes to in the area, and she is responsible for assisting with overall medical care in each one. The counseling part has come about because of the needs of kids in crisis. Haley mentioned there are needs for more positions and people like her to help students from the fallout of the opioid epidemic.
When asked what inspired her to pursue a career in medical assisting, Haley said her grandmother was a registered nurse. She admired her grandma for going above and beyond her regular duties as a nurse. “Instead of charting and going back to the desk, my grandma would sit with the nursing home residents, because sometimes no one else would be there for them to talk to. She would reach out to them and take care of them.” Haley said she had the opportunity to shadow her grandma once while in middle school and was inspired to follow in her footsteps. Haley carries a lot of what her grandmother taught her, and still carries her grandma’s stethoscope into the schools to provide care and counseling, just as her grandma did.
If you’re inspired to carry on a tradition of caring like Haley has, consider a fast track path to success that starts at WVJC. We offer many programs that can put you in a position to give back to your community and beyond. Request information now to get started today!