Tia West: Teaching Medical Assistant Students from a Unique Perspective

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Tia West has successfully found a way to follow two true passions, combining her desires to teach and to also serve others. Ever since high school, she knew she wanted to teach. She just had no idea what she might teach. And she had personal motivators to work in health care where she could provide direct patient care.  

Tia West

From Medical Assistant Practitioner to Teacher 

Tia chose to become a Medical Assistant in Albuquerque, and soon fell in love with the fast-paced environment of the medical field. She worked at different clinics and home health agencies for eight years. She liked helping others, making a difference in people’s lives, and honing her own skills as a care provider. Eventually, though, she wanted a change of pace and place. Her family was in Farmington, and Tia wanted to be closer to home and have more work-life balance.  

Browsing job boards one day, Tia came across the Medical Assistant instructor position at the Charter College Farmington location.  

“I learned in high school that I wanted to be a teacher,” says Tia. “I just didn’t know what kind of teacher.” 

Now she did. Tia says she still feels “that fulfillment of being a part of the medical field,” but also gets to teach what she knows. It’s the best of both worlds. 

Becoming An Instructor and a Student 

Tia’s place at Charter College is a unique one, as she is not only an instructor, but also a student. As a staff member, she felt nervous coming into the role and wasn’t sure if it would end up as the right fit, but she credits the caring community at Charter for helping her settle in and succeed. 

“Once I got into the groove and met my peers, I realized this is something I really want to do, and I enjoy it. They have an open-door policy, and I can go to my supervisors openly with questions or concerns,” Tia says.  

After she got settled in Farmington, Tia began herAssociate of Applied Science in Allied Health. Being a Charter student gives her a unique perspective that she can bring into the classes she teaches. While she does try to keep the lessons she instructs separate from the courses she takes, it gives her insight on how some students best absorb information and how she can better present her lessons.  

Communication and Collaboration 

Open communication is something Tia always emphasizes to her students, and Charter has given her the space to foster that student-instructor relationship. 

“The classroom sizes at Charter are smaller, so I can actually sit down with students and recognize who may be struggling with the course and give them the attention they need,” says Tia. 

Tia has a similar relationship with her colleagues who she describes as collaborative and always willing to help where they can.  

“The staff that we have here are a great bunch,” says Tia. “They all communicate well and help with lesson planning so if a student needs to miss an earlier class, they can get the information from a later one.”  

The same open-door policy that has been extended to Tia is one she tries to incorporate with her students. She wants to make sure her students feel comfortable approaching her with their questions.  

Preparing the Next Essential Workers 

Tia sees her role at Charter as an opportunity to mold individuals to become lifesavers. When she worked in the medical space, she understood that the patient was the most important part of the job and she found purpose in excellent patient care. She uses this belief to help motivate her students to bring the level of empathy she had to their coursework and eventually the clinics and hospitals they’ll work for.  

Tia gets emotional at graduation ceremonies because she gets to see the result of her and her students’ hard work. She knows that they are prepared to be successful in their careers and have the chance to propel the healthcare field forward.  

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!