“I’m hopeful for the future of my career. I’ve been supported and mentored the entire way, and it’s made a huge difference in my ability to learn and apply skills.”
After being laid off from her job as a health coach at a nutrition company, Teniah Gonzalez found herself at a crossroads, contemplating her next career move.
Initially, she faced the choice between taking any available job as a temporary solution or pursuing a family-sustaining career that would allow her to develop her skills and advance professionally. Despite her previous experience as a health coach, Teniah had a longstanding interest in traditional medicine and had always dreamed of pursuing a career in healthcare. However, she felt that this path was too daunting and costly to pursue. Nevertheless, the circumstances of losing her job prompted her to reconsider her options and evaluate the possibility of following her childhood dream.
“Thinking about the route I wanted to take, and the change it could make for my career trajectory, I felt so stuck. I was in no position to pay for more training without earning an income. It seemed impossible to catch a break.”
In the fall of 2022, Teniah went to her local city employment office where she was introduced to the possibility of a registered healthcare apprenticeship. She was in disbelief – an apprenticeship was the solution she needed to start her path toward achieving her career dreams. “The thought of earning a certification while being paid seemed so foreign,” she explained.
Motivated by her passion and the newfound registered apprenticeship program opportunity, Teniah decided to take the plunge and pursue a career in healthcare. She became part of the first cohort of Ascension Seton Medical Center’s, TX (Ascension) apprenticeship program for certified clinical Medical Assistants (MAs).
“It was real. I’m right here, a few weeks away from my externship. I’m forever grateful to have been selected by the Education Department at Ascension.” Teniah is looking forward to her externship in women’s health, “I’ll impact patients’ care every day.”
Teniah was assigned a training location where an MA shortage was expected in the Ascension network. The registered apprenticeship program provided on-the-job training from day one, resulting in a reduced workload on existing MAs, leading to a decrease in overtime and a decline in overall burnout among the team.
“I have a stronger sense of connection to my employer due to the initial investment in my career. The other MAs are now less overworked, cutting back on overtime and overall burnout.”
She successfully finished the program and was rewarded with a pay raise, raising her hourly rate to $17.31. Apart from her primary duties in patient care, she also assists with administrative tasks.
Teniah has made professional connections that she would not have been exposed to without the registered apprenticeship. “I’m hopeful for the future of my career. I’ve been supported and mentored the entire way, and it’s made a huge difference in my ability to learn and apply skills. Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for those who want to make a change and are willing to put the work in to create it.”
Teniah's perseverance and passion pushed her along her career ladder in the healthcare field. She achieved her dream of working in traditional medicine, contributing to the well-being of others, and finding fulfillment in a family-sustaining career.