Natalie's experience with delivering her daughter also gave birth to aspirations to pursue a career in the medical field

Becoming a Single Mom Inspired a Medical Assistant’s Career

During a long-term relationship, Nathalie Ruan had become comfortable not thinking too hard about her future. It wasn’t until she left that relationship and quickly became a single mother that she was forced to face reality.

“When it was just me by myself, I was just comfortable not doing anything for myself,” she said. “I was just living day by day. When I had my son, I thought I need to create a future for him now.”

Throughout her pregnancy, Nathalie’s nerves increased. She knew she would be raising him as a single parent, and she was feeling the pressure to find a path quickly. She had gone to school in the past for criminal justice, but she had never used her degree and it didn’t feel like a fit anymore.

It wasn’t until her labor and delivery that inspiration struck. She discovered a respect for the medical field. Her nurses and doctor were warm and welcoming, and she felt the impact of their efforts. Four months after she delivered her son, she decided to enroll in the Medical Assistant program at UEI College’s Ontario campus. She knew it would give her the quickest path to a stable career.

“I was nervous,” Nathalie admits. “I was trying to be a full-time mom by myself and putting myself into my studies. I ended up doing it.”

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Nathalie fell in love with the work and quickly made honor roll. Eventually, she became an ambassador in the class, assisting other students as they needed help or tutoring. Her favorite part was learning from her instructor.

“I had her the whole nine months and I loved seeing the way she taught each class,” Nathalie said.

“She was very, very good,” said Cynthia Cooke, Nathalie’s instructor. “She was always on time. She always came in. She’s very talkative and participates in everything. She was excellent. She tells me that it was me that motivated her, and I could have pushed, but she did it on her own. She just kept on pushing.”

Always in the back of her mind was her child, Nathalie said.

“It was my son. It was always him,” Nathalie said. “I just needed to get going and do it for him. I always wanted to be on honor roll and get the student ambassador. Whenever certificates were coming up, I knew I would be getting one.”

For her externship, Nathalie was sent to work in a pediatrician’s office. It was a perfect fit, and she was hired as soon as she completed her program.

“I enjoy it,” she said. “I like that I get to learn about children and see that I can make a difference in them feeling better.”

Nathalie already has plans to continue her education to become an RN one day.

“This program gave me the ability to provide a future for my son now,” she said. “I know if I went anywhere else, I would have wasted time trying to do all the general classes and not actually start my career as fast as I wanted to. Just do it. Believe in yourself.”

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