When she graduated from high school in 2021, Jazmine Sebestyen knew she wanted to work in the medical field in some capacity. After her family moved to Front Royal from Loudoun County, attending nearby Laurel Ridge Community College seemed like the right choice.
“It was so convenient,” she said.
Sebestyen decided to enroll in two Laurel Ridge Community College Workforce Solutions’ credential classes – certified clinical medical assistant and phlebotomy. Thanks to FastForward funding, she only had to pay one-third of the tuition.
“You definitely have to apply yourself in class,” Sebestyen said. “I did a lot of study groups with friends in the class. I also made a lot of flash cards, which was super-helpful in learning all the material. We all received blood pressure kits, which was very helpful because each week we had to take five blood pressure readings on people.
“Taking blood in phlebotomy was really good, hands-on experience. In our first week, we were practicing on a dummy. In the second, we went straight to the point and started taking each other’s blood.”
Additionally, students learned how to do various forms of point-of-care testing, such as pregnancy and EKGs.
“That was really beneficial because you do a lot of those in the real world,” said Sebestyen.
Her time at Laurel Ridge was “the most fun I’ve ever had in class.”
“This program is really, really amazing,” Sebestyen said. “I made so many friends. I use a lot of the knowledge I gained in this course in the workforce.”
Now, Sebestyen is working at an urgent care center.
“It’s wonderful,” she said about her new job. “Everyone I work with is so great.”
Sebestyen said she enjoyed the “fast-paced” courses she took at Laurel Ridge, and is considering taking even more courses, such as medical terminology, biology and chemistry. She would eventually like to enroll in the college’s surgical technology associate degree program.
“You want to be enthusiastic about what you’re doing and enjoy it,” Sebestyen said.
Medical assistants with little to no experience can expect to earn about $35,000-$37,000 a year. Learn more about Laurel Ridge’s certified clinical medical assistant program at www.laurelridgeworkforce.com/CMA. Learn more about the phlebotomy program at www.laurelridgeworkforce.com/PT.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.