Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Julie's Graduation

On Friday, June 15th, Julie graduated from her Medical Assistant Program at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. She started the Medical Assistant Program in September of 2010 and after the completion of her externship this summer, she will be a certified Medical Assistant. A Medical Assistant is the person at your doctor's office that collects you from the waiting room, brings you to the exam room, checks your vitals (weight, height, blood pressure, etc.), reviews your medications and prepares the doctor before they visit with you. Julie will also be able to administer medications, give vaccinations, take blood samples, and conduct simple tests including pregnancy tests, STD tests, and other small office procedures.
Everyone loaded up in the mini van, on our way to graduation! (Julie, Joel, Julie's friend, Jaisha, and Mom)
Joel thought he looked better in Julie's hat, much to Julie's dismay.
Over the course of her studies, Julie has added plenty of excitement to our home. She brought home all kinds of strange things which she claimed to be a part of her homework. One item that Joel really didn't like was her practice arm. A too-realistic-for-comfort fake arm for Julie to practice taking blood from. There was tube for red-colored water running through the center of the arm to act as the vein and everything. Seeing this amputated limb laying around my house was a strange sight to get used to. Joel's dislike for needles caused him to institute a rule in our house, no needles in the house, except for Julie's room. I never thought we would need a rule about needles, but when a medical student lives with you, these things become necessary!
One very excited graduate!
Two very proud parents!
There were lots of evenings where Joel and I would be relaxing on the couch after dinner and Julie would practice taking our blood pressure. She would alternate between Joel and I, trying to listen for our heart beats and watch the dial, while Joel and I patiently waited for the pressure cuff to relax. In her classes she learned how to draw blood and giving shots by practicing on her classmates, who in return practiced on her. I can say with confidence that Julie does a great job drawing blood, because I visited her classroom on Family Day, where Julie practiced her new skills on me. I'm not sure who was more nervous, Julie or me, but it went smoothly and she did a great job! Julie would also impress us at the dinner table with stories of what she was learning in school. Sometimes I had to interrupt her stories to remind her, that we were eating dinner and maybe this story should wait until we are finished. Some meals were hard to get through while listening to medical stories.
Jackie and Julie
Jaisha and Julie
Julie put in a lot of hard work, late nights, and stressful study sessions with classmates, but soon it will all be over and she will have reached a lifetime goal. What an amazing accomplishment! She moved two hours south of her hometown, all her friends, her studio apartment and into the guest room of her older sister and brother-in-laws house to return to school. She faced a big change and a daunting task, but she faced them with courage, determination, and a positive attitude.  
Back Row: Mom, Jaisha, Julie, Dad, and Jackie; Front Row: Joel and Me
The whole family came down to see Julie cross the stage and accept her diploma. My house was full with the family members from out of town and we a planned a whole weekend of celebratory activities to make the most of the weekend together. We are just so proud of our Ju-Ju-Babe!
Joel and I are just so excited to see Julie graduate!
But we are also ready to kill her after living with her for over a year!

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