Kimberly Garcia
Kimberly Garcia

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Making a Difference, While Making a Career

Kimberly Garcia worked in the medical field for nearly 30 years before she got diagnosed with cancer and had to take a break. After a year off, and with her cancer in remission, it was time to figure out what to do next.

She started her job search with a new perspective and found out that the Charter College Canyon Country campus was hiring instructors. As she had been responsible for managing the externship program at her former job, she was already familiar with Charter and its approach to education. She knew she would enjoy teaching, but she wasn’t sure if she had the skills.

“I decided to take a chance,” she says. “They hired me and I’ve never looked back.”

That was nine years ago and since then Kimberly has helped provide life-changing careers for nearly 2,000 students. She says her grandchildren helped prepare her for her new vocation. “I’ve always related well with young people, but my grandkids helped me better understand what they were looking for and how I could help them achieve their goals.”

Conveniently located at 19034 Soledad Canyon Road, Charter College Canyon Country offers programs designed to give students the skills they need to begin a career in the growing health care industry. Currently, Charter College-Canyon Country offers certificate programs in medical assistant (MA) and dental assisting.

The Medical Assistant program, which is available at all Charter College campus locations and takes 10 months to complete, incorporates a combination of clinical, technical and business skills, preparing graduates for entry-level employment in health care, in a variety of positions, including: Medical Assistant, Clinical Assistant, Medical Receptionist or Medical Office Assistant.

As Lead Medical Assistant Instructor, Kimberly is in charge of the MA program, working with the other instructors to ensure students are prepared with the skills they need to go out into the real world of health care.

Kimberly says she’s constantly impressed with how quickly her students transition to professionals ready to take on the world. “It’s exciting seeing how their personalities change and how mature they are in such a short period of time. It’s incredibly rewarding seeing them go through their journey and then when you see the end result you know you had something to do with that.”

In addition to their medical training, Kimberly says interpersonal skills are important. “This job requires you to be able to greet people, look them in the eye and convey important information,” she says. “You’re responsible for making sure the patient is comfortable and has all the knowledge they need to understand their treatment.”

Kimberly says health care, specifically medical assisting, is rewarding on many levels. “There’s no greater feeling than knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.”

For more information on the Charter College Medical Assistant program, visit www.chartercollege.edu/programs/healthcare/medical-assistant. Click here for important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attend this program.