Oriana Jackson has wanted to work in the medical field ever since she was little. As a young girl, she went through cancer treatment and personally experienced the care and compassion of healthcare professionals.
The cancer resulted in the amputation of her left hand.
“I could feel it,” Oriana said. “I knew it then that I wanted to care for people.”
Oriana was also influenced by her grandmother, who spent her working years as a nurse. She shared her stories and wisdom with Oriana, all collected through years of working in the medical field.
Later, when her grandmother got sick, she watched and helped her mother care for her.
“I started to take her vitals, administer medicine, monitor her oxygen machine and more,” Oriana said. “I knew in my heart this is what I wanted to do – to help people from whatever pain, sickness or illness they may experience.”
Eager to take steps toward her dream career, Oriana enrolled in Florida Career College’s Medical Assistant Classes at the Margate campus. Even amidst the pandemic, she was able to gain hands-on lab experiences, soak in information during online lectures, and connect with classmates via Microsoft Teams when FCC moved to a hybrid format in order to limit the number of students who were on campus.
Oriana felt confident and prepared with all the materials and knowledge that FCC provided her to move through the program coursework. She said her FCC instructor, Iveth Martinez, inspired her from day one.
“Miss Martinez teaches from the heart and she has a passion for what she does,” Oriana said. “She pushes me, motivates me and gave me the foundation to master my skills as a Medical Assistant.”
“Our clinical journey was intensive and sometimes crucial for Oriana,” Iveth said. “I told her, ‘I want you to be the best because people are not expecting you to be able to perform – I want you to shock people with your skills as a medical assistant’
“When I taught Oriana phlebotomy skills – injections and venipuncture – we worked out a special technique that she practiced and mastered. I am honored that Oriana was my student, and I am very proud of her for the dedication it took to preserve through everything.”
It hasn’t been easy for Oriana managing being a mom, having a family, a home and work. It’s helped her to prioritize and find balance in her life. She also constantly reminds herself why she started the program to help push her through.
“Starting my education was the best decision for me and my family,” she said. “Graduating and starting my career puts my family in a better position in life while I’m doing what I love.”
Oriana graduated from the MAT program in June and is now working at a medical center in Pompano Beach, Florida, where she has impressed the doctors and staff with her skills in spite of not having her left hand.
“She is a reminder that you accomplish your goals when you believe in yourself and put in the work to get yourself there,” Iveth said.
“Don’t limit yourself and dream big,” Oriana said. “Nothing can stop you except you!”