Sometime, in the summer of 1986, after Dan’s friend Allen and his wife Debbie had moved out of our house , Debbie called me up and asked if I would run up to Denver with her. She had found out about a school that offered a course in medical assisting; she had always wanted to be a medical assistant and was interested in checking it out.
At the time, I didn’t even know what a medical assistant was. Debbie explained to me that it was the person who worked in the doctor’s office, taking patient’s vital signs and medical history, assisting the doctor with procedures, giving shots, drawing blood and generally doing anything else that needed to be done in the doctor’s office.
“Oh, “ I said, “well, that is what my mom does.” But we never gave her a title; we just said she worked for Dr. Henderson.
I rode along with Debbie and took a tour of the Colorado College of Medical and Dental Assisting Careers. It was in an old run-down building in a questionable part of town. A railroad track ran next to the back of the structure. The woman we talked to, though, was cheery and bright and informative. It didn’t take much to convince me that I could do this.
On the way home, Debbie decided that it wasn’t really for her after all. To which I replied, “I think it’s for me, though.”
By August I started night classes there. The program was four hours a day, Monday through Friday, for six months. My classes ran from 6:00 to 10:00, but on Fridays we got out early. At the Marriott Hotel, we were expected to work every other weekend. I asked to work every weekend so that I could get two days off during the week. Not only did this keep me from losing my mind during the week, it also helped with babysitting.
I was way younger then than I am now. I can’t imagine putting in those kinds of hours now, and I don’t have any little kids at home.
So, that’s how I entered the medical field. But it’s not even close to the end of the story of how I got where I am in my life.