Living and working throughout the Tri-Cities, Washington and Alaska, Jorge Rivera became interested in the medical field in a way that might seem surprising to you. During his eight-year career as a truck driver, he would assist his health and safety managers as they assessed other drivers to make sure they could safely return to work after injuries. But the path from truck driver to Medical Assistant was hardly a straight one. Jorge fell on hard times, left driving, and then went back again, but says the work did not fulfill him.
“I got my commercial driver’s license certification and went back to truck driving,” says Jorge, “but it didn’t seem as interesting as helping people.”
Shifting Gears Away from a Trucking Career
While Jorge was considering a career switch, he remembers always seeing commercials for Charter College when he lived in Alaska. When he moved to Washington, there was Charter College again. Was the universe trying to tell him something? He did some research and decided to enroll into the HVAC/R program. But when he got to campus, he changed his mind.
“I got to the Pasco Campus for my interview, and I saw the medical assisting video in the lobby,” says Jorge. “When they came and asked if I was ready, I said ‘yes but heads up, I want to make the change to Medical Assisting.’”
In 2018, Jorge enrolled in the Medical Assistant program and would continue on to receive his associate degree and a certification in phlebotomy. He worked as a phlebotomy technician for the American Red Cross but soon was contacted by Charter College Pasco. Did he want to teach students to become Medical Assistants?
The answer was yes.
Jorge’s Drive to Help Others
Jorge has been teaching for more than two years now. He says he likes the idea of helping others but by teaching he’s making an even bigger impact. Through a ripple effect, his students can go on and help many more people than he could as an individual. He teaches them the same academic lessons he learned in his Medical Assistant program but adds his personal and life experience into the mix.
And he likes engaging with his students. Charter College’s smaller class sizes helps Jorge really get to know his students in a professional and personal setting, so he can figure out how each student learns and can provide a tailored experience to lead them toward success.
Jorge says he’s faced lots of obstacles throughout his life and he feels it gives him a unique perspective when it comes to his students.
“I understand that life happens, and students need to miss classes for a variety of reasons,” says Jorge. “I always try to make myself available and come back to give them that hands-on experience to keep them motivated.”
Determined to Help Students Succeed
Jorge loves when students become comfortable enough to step into his office for conversations whether they relate to his lessons or not. When he meets someone who is facing adversity, he wants to hear their stories and develop the best strategy to get them through their program.
“I’ve had students and classmates facing homelessness or dealing with family issues while they’re coming to school. It’s inspired me to be thankful and it makes me want to be here for them because they are here for themselves,” Jorge says.
Because his students are determined, Jorge is driven to give his best effort every day. He continues to make himself available for anyone who needs help, and always feels a sense of pride when his students recognize his efforts at graduation.
Do you want to learn more about the dedicated Medical Assistant instructors at Charter College? Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more!