“Life can turn on a dime,” is an apt description of what happened to Michelle Michaels once she made the decision to attend Harrison College. “I knew I wanted to go to college, because I believed that to get ahead I needed a college degree in a field I enjoyed. I also thought that college was a big party where there were no curfews and fewer rules. But walking into my first class and going over the curriculum I quickly realized that attending college and receiving a degree was not a game. I had been a slacker in high school and now knew it was time to step up and take control of my life. I started the change that night,” explained Michaels.
Mindy Baugh, admissions representative was an encourager from day one was. “She knew I was nervous but she helped me to believe I was making the right decision. By the end of my first class I felt relaxed and at ease; knowing I could and would make it through,” Michaels shared. One tough challenge she faced and overcame was that of pathology class. Although admittedly her toughest class, Michaels found it to be completely interesting and her hard work earned her a passing grade. And it was learning gleaned from that class that helps her today in her role she loves as a medical assistant in the Cancer Center at St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital. “I work closely with the doctor and the nurse. I take a patient's vitals; go over their review of systems, and check to make sure that their medication lists are up to date. When I am not working with patients I work with insurance companies by prior authorizing diagnostic imaging tests and scheduling them,” said Michaels.
In addition to an increase in her income since graduating (that she estimates is at least 25 percent), Michaels believes the medical field was the perfect choice for other reasons and expounded, “I constantly get to learn new information and help others along the way. I feel like I am making a difference and that I am a stronger person and better parent for my daughter.” Her positive influence resulted in her sister enrolling and graduating from Harrison, and ultimately landing a job with Community Health Network, and Michaels seeks to positively influence other as an Alumni Ambassador for the Harrison College Alumni Association where she shares her story with current students. “Attending Harrison has helped to make me a top of the line medical assistant and I’ve actually had employers congratulate me on my knowledge in the medical field. I have been able to network with many people who will affect me for the rest of my life.” Michelle is already looking forward to the next “turn” in her life which she says may come in the form of pursuing a second degree at Harrison!