Care + Career

      Resources, news and fun for NHA certification candidates and alumni.

      Celebrating Allied Health Professionals With Voices From the Frontline


      Allied Health Week is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the dedicated efforts of the thousands of healthcare professionals who work diligently to ensure the well-being of patients. From medical assistants, phlebotomists, EHR and pharmacy technicians to medical administrative assistants, billing and coding specialists, EKG technicians, and patient care technicians, these individuals play a pivotal role in the delivery of quality healthcare.

      To honor their invaluable contributions, we asked allied healthcare professionals to share their stories with us. Let's delve into the experiences and perspectives of some allied health professionals who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of others.

      Through their words, we gain insight into the challenges they face, the satisfaction they derive from their work, and the impact they make on the lives of the patients in their care.

      Overcoming Challenges and Pursuing Dreams: Frank Braat's Journey to Becoming a Lab Medical Assistant

      “When I was 23, I knew I wanted to be a phlebotomist for a long time. I finally got the courage and took the NHA class in Fort Lauderdale. Being that you need experience I was only able to start off at a blood bank. I was very blessed to be able to work on mobile blood bank OneBlood’s buses but still wanted to grow. So Recently I applied to Morton Plant Baycare hospital in Clearwater Florida! A company I have been working so hard to get into. I had my interview last week and am starting my dream job tomorrow 11/7/2023! Thanks to NHA I now have a career and will be applying to Baycare’s nursing school and will be a RN one day. I have terrible anxiety and I am 34 now, but thanks to NHA I would have never had the confidence to chase my dreams and now be on the path to being a Lab Medical Assistant and becoming an RN! It all starts with one small step at a time. Mine was NHA. Thank you for making my dreams a reality!🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼”

      ~ Frank Braat, Beacon Hill. Training Center


      Making a Difference Every Day: Insights from Senior Certified Pharmacy Technician Brenda Hall

      “Becoming a Senior Certified Pharmacy technician was a game changer for me. I love helping people with their medication needs. Ensuring their well-being is also very important to me, with medication management.

      1) I have dedication and knowledge that I make a difference in people’s lives and I love that
      2) Helping others
      3) Expanding knowledge
      4) Team collaboration
      5) Job stability
      6) Personal growth

      This is why I chose this as a career and what keeps me excited about it is that you learn something new every day.”

      ~ Brenda Hall, PillPack Manchester


      Empathy and Experience: Tiffani Maynor's Transition from Military Service to Patient Care Technician

      “When I retired from the U.S. Army, I pursued a career in security enforcement. I worked part-time providing in-home care for clients diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia. The job was both challenging and rewarding at the same time. I decided I wanted to go into the healthcare industry and work in a hospital environment.

      In August 2019, I attended Brookline College in Phoenix AZ, and achieved my NHA certification in July 2020 to pursue a career as a patient care technician assistant. Since I have been employed as a certified patient care technician assistant, I have gained the knowledge and expertise in providing multiple types of care from acute critical illness, geriatric services, and pediatric care and I am currently training in a cardiac unit caring for patients with heart-related conditions.”

      ~Tiffani Maynor


      From Patient to Caregiver: Hannah Cundiff's Inspiring Transformation into an EKG Tech

      “When I was 16 years old, I almost went completely paralyzed from an autoimmune disease. My 7-month hospital stay is what I believe led me to pursue a career at the hospital where I was born. I got my foot in the door working housekeeping 40 hours a week but knew I needed to go back to school and get a degree so that I could be more hands-on with the patients as I believe that being a patient myself helps me put myself in my patients’ shoes and makes me more empathetic.

      I was exhausted and working full time so I didn't think college would work for me so I found that I could be NHA certified online in a couple of months as an EKG Tech. My certification has promoted me in the hospital doing a job that I absolutely love!”

      ~ Hannah Cundiff, MedCerts


      A 22-Year Journey in Medical Assisting: Valerie Boyle's Heartfelt Reflections

      “It all started for me when I went to nursing school right out of high school. I went away to my first year of college excited to become the nurse I had always wanted to be. Unfortunately, illness took over me and forced me out of school for a while.

      After a year or so of dealing with this, it was hard to find the momentum to go back. I decided to start slowly and go into Medical Assisting. I joined a local MA school in New Jersey where I lived. I spent the next 9 months preparing for the CMA exam. I passed with much excitement and started what began my 22 years + of medical assisting career.

      I began at one large multi-specialty practice and gained a lot of knowledge. Life continued on and eventually got married and wanted children...I opted to switch to a smaller cardiology practice with "regular" hours and found my home for the next 17 years. What I love about medical assisting in a small practice, was the bonds I built with not only my patients but their families. They watched me get married, have children, and felt as close to me as I did to them.

      A significant amount of trust and understanding forms with these relationships. Over time, I was invited to weddings, baby showers, and unfortunately funerals. Feeling this connected with people was always my passion, and I felt in my heart I got this more from medical assisting than I ever would have with my nursing degree.

      As time passed, I would move on to another state with my family, and we headed to Indiana in 2022. With my new position at Indiana University Health, came the opportunity to get my certification through the NHA and also become a CCMA. Of course, I would not pass up this opportunity.

      After 22 years of being in school, I began studying all over again. Books, notes, practice tests, repeat! It felt so good to pass with a great score on my first try.

      So now, here I am. Valerie Boyle, CCMA, but something else was fueled in me to keep going. Through my generous company, IU Health, I am now pushing myself even further and went back to college while working full time and raising my family, now teenagers, and working towards my bachelor's degree in healthcare administration and management.

      I could not be more excited to see where this leads me, but I always know that the passion and experience I have gained from achieving my medical assistant certifications and experience has set me up for the future success I see ahead of me.”

      ~ Valerie Boyle, IU Health


      Encouraging Continued Triumphs in Allied Health

      The remarkable stories we've heard exemplify the unwavering spirit and dedication of allied health professionals. Their journeys, filled with challenges and triumphs, serve as beacons of inspiration for all in the healthcare community. 

      Embrace the momentum gained from these stories, and let it propel you to new heights in your career. Share your unique experiences, for in doing so, you not only celebrate your journey but also empower others to overcome obstacles and reach their aspirations. The collective strength of allied health lies in the diverse stories that shape it.

      Share Your Story

      With you every step of the way, 

      Topics: allied health careers, allied health, real stories, staying certified, nhacertified