Vernita Jennings: Charter College Helped Her Become a Telemed Assistant

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What’s a Telemed Assistant?

If you’ve been to the doctor’s lately, you’ve probably noticed that EVERYthing seems to be computerized. But did you also know that some patients don’t even go to the doctor’s office? Much like employees across the country are telecommuting to work, some patients telecommute to their doctors. And that’s where a telemed assistant comes in.

Vernita Jennings graduated from the Medical Assistant program at Charter College in Pasco, WA and now she’s a telemed assistant at Ideal Option, an addiction medicine program with 56 clinics in ten states. And she loves what she does!

“I’ve only been at it a short time, but I already love it,” said Vernita. “It’s so different and so exciting. It’s great when we’re able to see the success stories. I have one patient who’s been clean six and a half months now and because of that she’ll get to spend time with her son.”

According to Vernita, she gets to know her patients really quickly and really well. Long before the provider checks in with them, she’s gathered information that the doctor will need to know how they’re doing and assess their treatment. Through video conferencing, she asks questions like “’How’s life? Have you relapsed? Do you have a job?’ I see patients more than the doctors, sometimes twice a week, and I even scribe for them and put in their orders.”

It’s a long—ten hours—and busy shift, but Vernita feels like she’s doing important work that matters. She chose the medical assisting field because “for number one, I like helping people. But my second reason is that the medical field is a really important field. There are always going to be jobs and it’s a rewarding job.”

A friend of Vernita had recommended Charter for Medical Assistant training and Vernita was so pleased with the program, she’s now continuing on to attain her associate degree. But it was hardly an easy road. A single mom, Vernita worked three jobs while attending school. At times, she really thought she wouldn’t make it. She was “stressed and I wanted to quit. I was working and studying and still trying to be a good mom,” said Vernita. One day when one of her children saw that she got an answer wrong and suggested she wasn’t going to graduate, Vernita was more convinced than ever that she would.

“I was not going to let them down,” said Vernita.

Vernita said her children are really proud of her and she knows she’s setting a good example. And now that she has a career, she’s down to only two jobs.

“After the holidays, I’ll stop the second job,” said Vernita. “I’d wanted to be able to have better hours and make more money and I do now. And with my Associate Degree, I can get a manager position. I should finish my Associate in March and they’ve already told me I can move up in the company.”

Whether you want to move up in the company where you work, or start a new career entirely, check out all Charter College has to offer. According to Vernita, all it takes is hard work and time. “You have to put forth the effort,” but it’s all worth it in the end.