Kristen Selley, 2017 MTTI Medical Assistant Graduate

Success Stories

Kristen Selley

2017 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant at Ocean State Medical


"Medical Assistant skills go beyond CNA training; I have been trained to give injections, perform EKGs and draw blood. I can work in single or multi-doctor offices, specialty practices and urgent care settings. I loved MTTI's Medical Assistant program more than I thought I would--it’s very hands-on. Going to MTTI to become a Medical Assistant was the best thing I’ve done!"


Kristen Selley, 2017 MTTI Medical Assistant GraduateI loved being a Certified Nursing Assistant, but I ended up hurting myself. 

Lifting patients led to bulging discs in the lumbar area of my spine (the lower back). I couldn’t do the lifting required to be a CNA, but still wanted to work in a medical career. 

I love learning about medicine and helping patients. 

I always wanted to go to school to learn more about the human body. 

I kept hearing about MTTI’s Medical Assistant program.

I would see MTTI’s TV commercials and hear the radio spots. I have a friend who graduated from the Medical Assistant program and was hired at an Urgent Care.

I came to tour the school with the Admissions Rep, Cheryl. 

Then I interviewed with the Medical Assistant Instructor, Ms. Jen. Everyone at MTTI is so nice; I’ve never been to a school that is so helpful and caring. 

I felt overwhelmed during the first week of the program. 

I wondered if I could do it.  It felt like so much work in such a short time. Ms. Jen encouraged me—she believed that I could handle the work.

By the second week, it was still stressful, but you find ways to manage the work load.

It helps to make a schedule and organize your time. I would go home after class, help my step-son with his homework, and then study every evening.  The seven months in the Medical Assistant program go by very quickly.

It helped that my Fiancé was so supportive. 

He said, “You have this—you’re just feeling stressed. I have your back 100%”. He volunteered to be my final blood draw, to help me complete the 50 that I needed to earn my Phlebotomy Certificate.

I loved the Medical Assistant program more than I thought I would. 

It was exciting to actually perform phlebotomy—draw blood—from a human arm (not just the fake practice arm). 

We had a full class of 18 people. 

My classmates all got along well; many of us studied together. Ms. Jen was very helpful—both her notes on the board and her willingness to work with us before or after class and during breaks.

I shadowed at a pediatric practice and an ENT practice before choosing an internship.

They were interesting but I chose to intern at Ocean State Medical in Johnston, RI. 

Internship was challenging at the beginning.

Suddenly you are in the ‘real world’. You are trying to do your best at what you learned in school, but you no longer have your teacher to help you.  I would tell myself, ‘You have this. You learned it at school, and now you have to be tested.’ I would remind myself that if I make a mistake, this is how you learn.

I wanted to do things right, so I asked a lot of questions.

The practitioners I worked with encourage me to ask questions. They said that it is better to ask and learn the right way than to do it the wrong way.

Three weeks into the internship, I was hired as a Medical Assistant / Medical Secretary.

I weigh patients, put them in rooms, take vitals, and perform EKGs when needed. I also schedule patients and send messages to the doctors about medications. I check insurance, email referrals, and handle lab work slips and prior authorizations. I also follow-up with patients and liaise with doctors to have patients’ questions answered.

Medical Assistant training was more focused on one-on-one patient care than CNA—and on being caring.

My CNA training did help by giving me the experience of taking vitals and using medical terminology. CNAs provide more physical care—they feed and change patients. It is hard physical work, often performed in nursing homes and other care settings. 

Medical Assistants work in single or multi-doctor offices, specialty practices and urgent care settings.

The skills go beyond CNA training; I have been trained to give injections, perform EKGs  and draw blood.

As a Medical Assistant, I can do more than a CNA to make patients feel comfortable.

I can help them figure out their issues and give that information to the doctors. Patients sometimes feel upset or scared about their medical concerns. I have learned not to take it personally when they are emotional. I let them know it is going to be ok, which helps make them feel less nervous and more calm.

I learned a lot at Ocean State; it is a very busy Patient-Centered Medical Home. 

A Patient-Centered Medical Home is a team-based approach to encourage the partnership between patients and their physicians. Patient treatment is coordinated through their primary care physician to help patients receive quality care when and where they need it

I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to start working as a Medical Assistant anywhere else.  

The patients are nice. The doctors are caring. It is heartwarming when a patient expresses appreciation for my care. I like feeling that I am doing a good job. It makes me want to do this even longer.

I was excited to pass the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination.

The RMA is a national credential. We covered the material and took practice exams during school. I also studied after I graduated plus used an app called “Quizlet” to be sure I could retrieve the information during the test. The Quizlet app is like ‘flashcards on the phone’.

Friends sometimes ask whether I think they could become a Medical Assistant.

 I say, ’You don’t know until you try--but go for it’. I recommend MTTI to them—it’s very hands-on. For someone who needs to learn by doing more than reading a book. You’ll get it, and feel more confident in yourself.’ Going to MTTI to become a Medical Assistant was the best thing I’ve done!


Ocean State Medical, LLC

"We believe that every patient deserves a Medical Home where health care is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, patient-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. Together, following evidence-based guidelines for medical care, our team will work to provide the best health care services possible for you."
1539 Atwood Ave, Suite 101
Johnston, RI 02919
(401) 272-3410 phone
(401) 272-3417 fax