Shannon Quam, MTTI Medical Assistant Graduate, Loves Working At Compass Medical In Taunton, MA.

Success Stories

Shannon Quam

2019 Medical Assistant Graduate
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
Medical Assistant at Internal Medicine Group of Compass Medical in Taunton, MA

Medical Assistant Wearing Mask At Internal Medicine Practice.6 years in customer service was good preparation for a Medical Assistant career.

I learned how to work as part of a team, and to greet customers with a smile. I knew I could make people feel comfortable. I didn’t want to make working in fast food or retail a long-term career; I wanted to work in a medical position. Not having the means to go straight to medical school to become a doctor, I thought about becoming a Medical Assistant. I was concerned about whether I could afford a training program.

I needed short-term training to quickly go to work and earn a living.

Working at Burger King, I met MTTI students who said good things about the school. I found MTTI’s website online and then attended an Open House. When I met with the Admissions and Financial Aid Reps, they worked with me to find grants I was eligible to receive. MTTI has income-driven plans—they walk you through the process so you don’t feel alone or worry that you’ll be overwhelmed with debt at the end of the program. The balance, which I will pay in monthly installments, is very affordable.

Going to school was hard at first.

I sometimes felt frustrated, pulled between home and school. I had two step-children and two of my own children living at home. I worried about my attendance when one of the kids got sick. Fortunately, my boyfriend supported me by sharing in child care. But I felt stressed about needing to pump breast milk at school for my 10-month old baby.

My Instructors’ compassion helped me get through.

Ms. Roxanne and Ms. Courtney worked together as a team to help us become good Medical Assistants. They were relatable—both Instructors are mothers. Everything we as student were feeling, they had already experienced themselves; they understood our challenges. They told me, ‘We’ll find a place for you to pump breast milk for your baby. We’ll help you make it happen.’

I felt encouraged by Staff and Students at MTTI.

Just walking through the halls at MTTI you see how supportive the staff is of one another, and of the students. Ms. Courtney expected more from me than I expected from myself. That helped push me to want to be the best I could be. Shawn, the Career Services Specialist, went the extra mile to help us find internships and jobs. He was the extra push we needed to transition from school to work. I also made lifelong friends at school. Melissa and I got along especially well. We are different ages, but we both have young children and share similar values.

Medical Assistant Student Taking Vitals While Instructor ObservesI had so much opportunity to practice EKGs and phlebotomy at school.

I loved learning phlebotomy and completed 100 sticks before leaving for internship. Ms. Courtney put so much effort into it—she even offered her own arm for us to draw blood from her, so she could be sure we were doing it right. Her confidence in my technique helped me be confident in myself, when drawing blood from others. I was able to continue practicing when I began internship at Hoye Family Medicine; it was the perfect place to intern.

Hoye wasn’t hiring at the time.

After completing internship, I accepted a position at Compass Medical. Compass is much bigger—super busy and fast-paced—which keeps me on my toes. There are more than 10 Docs plus Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.  I have the opportunity to learn so many new things! I was nervous at first, giving injections on-the-job. Because I had confidence in the skills I learned at school, it really wasn’t difficult giving injections to patients on the job.

We have a large patient population 80 years or older.

Patients range in age from the youngest at 16 to the oldest, who is 106 years old. Married couples come in together; we are able to see each of them simultaneously, in separate rooms. I’ve become especially interested in working with elderly patients. Seeing my parents lose some of their parents, I have a special interest in supporting older patients—especially those who don’t have family members who can accompany them to their medical appointments.

A few months after I was hired in December, the Coronavirus emerged.Shannon Quam And Daughter At Medical Assistant Graduation

The office had to down-size. I feel fortunate that I was never furloughed or let go. I’m happy about the way the office handled the outbreak. They have been keeping patients and staff safe, by offering the right PPE, policies and tools to help us. I didn’t want to bring the virus home to my children. I have felt reassured by how safe they have made it for us.

COVID-19 prompted many changes.

We began providing telehealth visits for patients, which was a new learning experience for me. I sat out front a lot to take the temperatures of patients who came to the office. Patients and practitioners were feeling stressed. New policies had to be created as we continually adapted to meet changing information. For example, we initially screened for three symptoms—now we screen for twenty symptoms to identify who may be infected with the Coronavirus.

My decision to train as a Medical Assistant turned out to be the best choice in my life.

Even with the stress of the viral outbreak, I get to see people every day and put a smile on their face. I like helping the doctors and other medical practitioners. Medical Assistants get a lot of respect; we are a vital and necessary part of the healthcare team. 

I recommend MTTI’s Medical Assistant program for many reasons.

MTTI has both night and day options to attend school. I was able to go through the program super-fast; in less than a year, I started a new career. The hands-on approach at MTTI is how I learn best. A friend went to another school, and never drew blood during her program. It’s amazing that everyone at the school is so super-helpful and dedicated to helping us learn!

Medical Assisting is more than being good at giving injections.

Empathy is such a vital part of being a Medical Assistant. I am grateful for having learned empathy from my family—from my mom and dad who were so supportive and instilled good values in me.

I wish I had attended the Medical Assistant program earlier, instead of waiting 6 years.

After high school, I earned a Liberal Arts Associate’s Degree at a community college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Now I see that as a Medical Assistant, there are so many places you can work—dermatology, internal medicine, pediatrics, hospitals. It is a great field. I like feeling really useful. If I had gone to MTTI as soon as I had graduated from high school, I would have had a career right away.

Top Photo: Shannon at Compass Medical
Middle Left Photo: Shannon Taking Vitals at MTTI
Middle Right Photo: Shannon With Her Daughter at Graduation
Bottom: Shannon (Far Left) Looking at Documents With Classmates & Instructor, Ms. Courtney