Senior students graduate with Medical Assistant licenses


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Flores

LINED UP: The senior students in the Health Science Practicum class pose for a photo in their blue scrubs to commemorate their achievements. These students will graduate high school with a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) license.

Savannah Linscomb, Staff Writer

This year a group of Bowie seniors will throw their graduation caps in the air while having a foot in the door of their future in the form of a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) license. The group of nine has been traveling from Bowie to Akins to complete the program in order to be a step ahead at graduation.

This was the third year of the program at Bowie. However, due to scheduling conflicts students had the opportunity to commute to Akins High School in order to take Health Science Practicum. Students decided to make this drive in order to gain the experiences offered by the program. 

“It was kind of tough at first going back and forth, but it was worth it because I got to learn a lot of stuff,” senior Marbella Carrasco said.

Carrasco, who is enrolled in Health Science practicum hopes that her CMA will allow her to help people in her future.

“Seeing that Bowie had a specific pathway to become a pharmacy technician or a medical assistant motivated me to be part of it,” Carrasco said. “I’m interested in helping people.”

Carrasco was not originally interested in the medical field; however the pathway offered at Bowie encouraged her to explore the field.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Carrasco said. “All the medical field stuff got me interested in making me want to help people”

The pathway prepares students for a myriad of medical and healthcare professions by providing early experience that is not available everywhere. Students learn how to take blood, give injections, perform EKG’s, take vitals and much more.

“There’s a lot of hands-on activities. You get to participate,” Carrasco said. “And you definitely socialize and get closer to your peers.”

Since Health Science Practicum was not yet available on the Bowie Campus, Akins Practicum teacher Jennifer Flores took on teaching both Bowie and Akins students.

It’s like we need those people, but it’s a hard path to take. I think it would be, you know, rewarding and heartbreaking at the same time.

— Corey Hooks, Health Science Practicum Teacher

“It was actually a great experience,” Flores said “Students got to see different perspectives and that is a lesson that goes far beyond the classroom.”

Flores who has taught practicum for 17 years has seen students go into Nursing, Pre-Med and Physical Therapy. She believes in being stern to her students to prepare them for their futures.

“Building relationships with students and pouring confidence into them is important,” Flores said. “I am hard on the students because the medical field is no joke.”

Corey Hooks, the Health Science Practicum teacher at Bowie is impressed by the effort he has seen from this year’s students.

“We had nine and all nine of them got their medical assistant license. So that is a big deal,” Hooks said. “And they qualify to work in a hospital as a medical assistant.”

The opportunities for these students go beyond applying for college, such as programs at hospitals allow students to begin work directly out of high school.

“Seton Ascension runs a job fair where high school students are actually looking for brand new medical assistants with no experience,” Hooks said. “Baylor Scott and White is also running a job fair as well. There’s actually a lot of healthcare looking for exactly this.”

Hook’s students have promising plans for their futures including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncologists and pediatricians. This group includes one student who wants to be a Pediatric Oncologist. 

“We need those people but it’s a hard path to take,” Hooks said. “ I think it would be, you know, rewarding and heartbreaking at the same time.”

The pathway and classes are partnered by the club Health Occupations Students of America, or HOSA, where students learn valuable abilities such as how to suture and how to apply and take off sterile gloves.

“All that seems super basic, but it’s something that high school students are willing to do so they know what they’re doing when they start working,” Hooks said.

Student Kyle Tran praises the program for the one-of-a-kind experience and connections it has given him.

“It’s the most unique class I’ve taken at Bowie,” Tran said. “It helps you get a jump start if you want to go into the medical field.”

Tran finds that the program can not only assist students who plan to go into the medical field but how to be a professional in any field of work.

“Getting to interact with health professionals in the hospitals is very helpful to getting insight on what it’s like to work there,” Tran said.

Students got to see different perspectives and that is a lesson that goes far beyond the classroom.

— Jennifer Flores, Akins Health Science Practicum Teacher

Tran values what he has learned in the program, but is not going into the medical field. 

“It’s interesting to see the variety of jobs in the healthcare industry,” Tran said. “I’ll be going to Texas A&M for engineering.”

Each Bowie student enrolled in this program has worked hard to prepare for this potential career. These students include Bailey Alsup, Daniel Cardenas, Marbella Carrasco, Michelle Colby, Isabella del Nido, Isabella Helmi, Lauren Luna, Kyle Tran, and Laura Vandervennet.

“The leadership and compassion of this class surpasses any college class I have ever taught,” Flores said. “I’m so proud and can not wait to see what the future holds for them.”