Isolation gowns. KN95s. Face shields. Nitrile gloves. Big, warm smiles. These are what outfitted our Medical Assistant students on LAYC Career Academy’s (Career Academy) first day back to in-person learning after a month of virtual learning in January 2022. Career Academy’s decision to temporarily move to distance learning was driven by the massive Omicron spike, which grappled both our local community and the globe. It was of utmost importance that the school ensure all persons entering the building were tested for COVID-19 to mitigate the spread of the highly infectious variant in the school building. This needed to be done in a quick, effective and safe manner. As has been the case with many other schools and organizations, man power was limited. Fortunately for Career Academy, our Medical Assistant students recognized the need in their community and volunteered to assist.
All of the medical assistant (MA) students arrived bright and early and eager to help. They received instructions on how to direct their peers to conduct the Rapid Antigen self tests. The MA students immediately jumped into action with very little further direction needed. Several of the MAs even assisted with language translations as many are gifted bilingual speakers.
It was a very busy morning yet the MA students remained calm and collected while exercising excellent bedside manners. The leadership, skill and drive displayed by the MAs was impressive and a clear indication of their knowledge and skills gained through the Career Academy MA program. Many staff members commented on the confidence they had in the students to soon enter the workforce upon program completion. Thanks to the medical assistant students’ hard and thorough work and that of our dedicated staff, we had no outbreaks at the school that week or in any of the subsequent weeks. In times like these, it is important that people step up. Fortunately for us, that isn’t a problem for Career Academy’s Medical Assistant student heroes.